Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Banana bread pudding with caramel sauce

My new favorite thing.

Caramel sauce
Stir together in a small saucepan:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Let it cook over medium heat, not stirring, until it's deep amber colored. Remove from heat and stir in:

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk

Keep in a jar in the fridge and eat on ice cream, apple slices, etc.

Banana bread pudding
This is bread pudding with bananas, not pudding made from banana bread. In a greased 9x9 pan, stir together:

2 mashed bananas
2 cups bread crumbs (I used a large bagel cut into chunks)
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
enough milk to cover most of the bread
a drizzle of the caramel sauce - as much as you want

Bake at 350 until it's not too gloppy anymore . . . 30 - 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and more caramel sauce.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blast from the past

Quiz: who wrote this quasi-feminist text, and when?

Let us compare, if it pleases you, the advantages of married women with that which awaits virgins. Though the noble woman boasts of her abundant offspring, yet the more she bears the more she endures. Let her count up the comforts of her children, but let her likewise count up the troubles. She marries and weeps. How many vows does she make with tears. She conceives, and her fruitfulness brings her trouble before offspring. She brings forth and is ill. How sweet a pledge which begins with danger and ends in danger, which will cause pain before pleasure! It is purchased by perils, and is not possessed at her own will.

Why speak of the troubles of nursing, training, and marrying? These are the miseries of those who are fortunate. A mother has heirs, but it increases her sorrows. For we must not speak of adversity, lest the minds of the holiest parents tremble. Consider, my sister, how hard it must be to bear what one must not speak of.
("The problem that has no name", anyone?)

Why should I further speak of the painful ministrations and services due to their husbands from wives, to whom before slaves God gave the command to serve?

. . . . They paint their faces with various colors, fearing not to please their husbands. . . . What madness is here, to change the fashion of nature and seek a painting, and while fearing a husband’s judgment to give up their own. For she is the first to speak against herself who wishes to change that which is natural to her. So, while studying to please others, she displeases herself.

And the answer is . . . Saint Ambrose, writing to his sister in the year 377. Christianity has spent a lot of energy pushing wife- and motherhood as women's true roles. Yet when they would rather promote virginity, it's easy to point out how the roles trap and pain women.

"While studying to please others, she displeases herself." Ouch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

I'm in charge of the Quaker meeting's Christmas pageant again. Last year someone decided the kids were going to do a mummer's play (traditional English pub play done at Christmastime, in which Saint George fights with a dragon, is slain, and gets raised from the dead). She then failed to show up for the rest of December, leaving me holding the reins. After that I figured I could do it a second year.

The kids first suggested doing the mummer's play again, mostly because they liked the dragon. Then they changed their minds and settled on doing the nativity story from the viewpoint of the animals present, provided they could pick the animals. Currently we have a camel, three dogs, a monkey, a snake, a colony of ants, and . . . a dragon. The good news is we have another month to figure out what the dragon was doing there.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Half an onion

Today when cooking dinner I used half an onion and put the other half in the fridge. I haven't done that in at least three years.

Know what that means? Jeff and I don't live with his parents any more. This week we moved to 380 square feet of our own in Cambridge. I come home and the door is locked because nobody is home before me. Not even a cat. When I cook dinner, there are just two of us to eat it. There's no point in cutting up a whole onion. Jeff doesn't even like onions.

I've been really committed to the idea of living in community ever since I figured out what it was. I've done the vegan women's student co-op, the Quaker center, and the summer camp. I've lived with three different families I'm not related to. I really think group living can be good for children, good for parents, good for old people, good for the environment, good for living cheaply. But here I am in an apartment, in a building full of people I haven't even made eye contact with.

I spent the first twenty-four hours crying. But it's something we need to try. (And eventually the apartment won't be covered in cardboard boxes.)