Wherein Lily learns to distrust a cookbook

We were an hour late to church because Mary slept in a looooong time. I guess all that running around the church gym last night tired her out! It worked out, though, because we got to Skype with Sruthi (Swathi’s sister who lives in Calcutta). It was great to chat with her, and by the time we were done, Mary was just waking up.

I learned today in Sunday School that today marks the one hundred year anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. I remember a scene from The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper wherein one pioneer shoots a canon into a cloud of pigeons…for fun. And now, here we are one hundred years after the passing of the last of those birds. Some stewards of this glorious creation we’ve been.

On that note, we all took deliciously long naps this afternoon. At the end of it, both girls and Abe gave me a back massage. During my massage, I could not imagine heaven being one bit better. Maybe it is? But that was hard to beat.

And then my day came crashing down around this: brown butter icing. Joy of Cooking promises that this is a quick and easy recipe, and it also says not to make this too far in advance. I thought, terrific! A carrot cake with apricot preserves and brown butter icing flecked with orange zest. It sounded so yummy and pretty. And then, this happened:

IMG_6304You can’t see it, but there are grease pools on top of that cake. I was all in a frenzy because we were late and the cake looked like this, and Abe kept telling me it looked fine and we should just take it to the Miners’ as is.

It looked fine?

At that point, my response helped Abe decide to exit the kitchen. I made up some butter cream and smeared it all over this mess, and at that point I got really mad at Joy of Cooking because, thanks to their instructions, the hot brown butter icing melted the buttercream. But there was nothing left to do, so we took the unsightly blob to the Miners, stuck candles in it, sang to Abe, and cut it up. The cake itself tasted great, but the icing tasted only nominally better than it looked. Next time I will be sticking to cream cheese icing and consulting America’s Test Kitchen instead of that sub-par Rombauer publication.

Here are the pictures from the Miners’:

abe birthday family

And one from earlier this morning at church:

mary water fountainMary is growing up! We took away her binky tonight. It is sad and painful, and Lydia claims to remember how hard this was when we did this to her. She told Mary that it would be okay, but Mary doesn’t seem to agree at present.