Sunday, April 6, 2008

Everything is Coming Up Coconuts and Spring is in the Air

The weather was finally springy this weekend so we were outside every chance we got and I hope you were too. I've been cooking, but I always seem to forget to take a picture until we've already eaten. Here are a couple pics of food and fun from this weekend where coconut seems to be the theme.

Breakfast Saturday was Coconut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance which I picked because I'm not so patiently waiting for the maple syrup we order every year from a friend to come in. These pancakes were so good, I would make them even when I had maple syrup. Dema ate a bunch eve without the topping. I think it would have been great with just crushed pineapples without the arrowroot, sugar, and vanilla extract. I subbed agave nectar (just a squirt) for the maple syrup in the pancake recipe since as I stated, I have no maple syrup and used whole wheat pastry flour for the unbleached all purpose because that was what was closest.

After breakfast, we finally planted the seeds in the hanging baskets the boys received for Easter. We talked about what vegetables we will plant in the backyard garden too. They are so excited about growing things this year. Dema and Parker are experts at watering so I'm hoping I won't kill the hanging plants. Dema checks them every couple of hours to see if anything has started growing yet. I had fun with the kids while Rob did the hard work of cleaning out the gutters and moved the extension ladder around the house by himself (crazy guy!). I was busy chatting with neighbors and enjoying the weather. It is so nice to see everyone out and I look forward to long walks and neighborhood gatherings. Several of us ended up in the park for lunch (everyone had the same idea) when Rob and Dema got back from the day's grocery shopping on the Xtracycle. They brought crusty bread, baba ganoush, and hummus and joined the picnic. Have I mentioned how much I love living here?

Parker put out his stepping stone he made with Karen on Easter and I noticed the abundance of leaves and raked some into piles which Dema promptly began jumping into. The boys also painted their Easter pots. Dema loves using every color and made quick work of it. Parker, as usual, was very intent on making a work of art and waited for one color to dry before doing another and went back to it throughout the day to add more touches. They played with the neighborhood boys for hours and I was able to watch them all play "CNN" and for the older boys to tell me their views on politics. It was interesting to hear what they had to say about Obama, Clinton, and McCain. I asked a few questions, but mostly they talked. I really think pollsters should question 11 to 14 year olds instead of adults to see who might win an election. Apparently, Obama wins if he runs against McCain, but McCain wins if he runs against Clinton. We will see.

We played "baseball" at the park down the street today and I'm pretty impressed with Parker. He hasn't played much baseball ever and we just bought the equipment last year, but he has a pretty good arm and was able to hit some balls. Later we went to watch Rob play soccer with his team from work. The boys had a great time playing with rocks, mud, and kicking the soccer ball around on the sidelines. It felt cooler today because of the wind and I'm surprised the boys lasted the entire soccer game...Rob did too and he will probably be sore tomorrow. Since we were outside most of the weekend, I didn't have time to soak beans and cook them so dinner tonight was Curried Lentils with Carrots and Peas from Vegan Planet. It has onions, garlic, ginger, olive oil, curry powder, cardamom, cinnamon, dry mustard, cayenne, allspice, turmeric, water, brown lentils, carrots, peas, salt, pepper, and coconut milk. I made brown rice since we didn't have any basmati and used the remaining coconut milk to make a mango sorbet (added banana and sprinkled shredded coconut on top). I love using my grandmother Sylvia's dishes for something. The kids love them and Parker thinks it is cool that she painted them herself. A side salad of mixed greens, raisins, and walnuts gave me the idea to add raisins to Dema's curry. He thought it was a little spicy so the raisins made it perfect for Dema to eat.

Not to leave Josie out, here is a picture of her enjoying the leaves and grass while the boys played ball. I tried to get her to chew on the Klean Kanteen instead of the twigs, but she really had her heart set on the everything dirty. Oh well, some extra B12. I look forward to more beautiful weather, but I have lived here long enough to know I can't count on it yet so we try to take advantage of the nice days while we can.


half pint pixie said...

Those pancakes look yum (I'm a coconut lover), the bike looks very cool (we're carfree, so I love seeing cool bike stuff) and your neighbourhood sounds so friendly, I'm jealous!

VeganLinda said...

I love coconut too and I will be making these quite often. We so want to go carfree and have gone weeks with our car gone, but with three it is harder for me to take the plunge. I'm hoping as Josie gets older I will feel more comfortable going carfree...I know, I should just do it! We are lucky with the neighborhood, all the adults look out for the kids (even the ones without children at home) and most of the time the kids all get along great.