Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fireplace pizza

Tonight we tried to make fireplace pizza. I (Michael) like wood-fired pizza and it seemed like a good idea to to try making it in our fireplace.

I started by getting the fire going. I put a 12x12 floor tile in the fire place so there'd be a clean non-ashy surface for the pizzas to go on. The first tile shattered soon after the fire was started. I figured it was because the hearth was so cold and the fire was hot enough that the temperature difference made it shatter.

So, once things were going, I moved all the logs to one side and put another tile in.

The first pizza (pepperoni, onion and cheese) flopped in half, like a calzone. One end was close to the flames and started burning. Then the cheese leaked out and the tile shattered.

This pizza ended up edible but slightly doughy in the middle and burnt on the edge.

Here's the burnt tiles. 

For pizza #2 (margarita pizza) I removed the broken tile, and moved all the embers to the side. The bottom of this pizza had a good layer of flour on it, so it slid off the pan more easily, but I didn't do it fast enough, so the back 1/3 ended up folded upsidedown under the pizza. This one was sort of edible. We ate it, but it tasted like disapointment.

Pizza #3 (hawaiian) mostly worked. I put down a layer of flour before putting the pizza down. I slid the pizza off the pan with a sharp sliding motion and it didn't curl over. I was even able to rotate it partway through cooking.

By this time the fire had burned down enough that it took the middle of the pizza a long time to cook. The edges all ended up burned (since I rotated it), but we were able to eat the slices and just not eat the crusts. 

Then as I was throwing the crusts into the fire, the fireplace door shattered. I'm not sure why.

So, for tonight's effort we got some mediocre to crummy pizzas, and a broken glass door on our fileplace. We probably won't try this again. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy 2016!

Well, I have officially fallen off of the blogging bandwagon.  Sad but true, seeing as I haven't really posted about anything current since September.  Rest assured, we had a fall.  And it was lovely.  Also, we had birthdays, an anniversary, a wedding, a trip to Las Vegas, Christmas, New Years and two root canals!  All were fantastic (well, except the root canals).  Hopefully I will get around to posting about all of those things sometime soon!

Today the kids headed back to school.  It was lovely to have some time with just Hannah.  We walked in the door from dropping people off and giggled together on the couch saying "IT'S JUST YOU AND ME!"  It was delightful.  Then we stayed in our pj's (yes, I dropped my kids off to school in my pj's.  It's fine if I don't leave the car, right??) until noon eating muffins and watching concurrent shows (Hannah: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Me: Downton Abby).  Because we could!  It was a nice decompression time from this last crazy busy month.  It was busy with good things, but busy nonetheless.  We had so much fun visiting with family, but it is nice to be home, too.

When I read back over my old blogs, my favorite entries are the ones where I give a kid update, so here's a new one!

Ryan will be 10 next month and he talks about that every day.  He has a countdown going.  Ryan is still by far my best helper and most obedient child, however I am noticing more and more how he has a keen ability to bother his younger siblings, and does it ALL. THE. TIME.  I need to find him some hobbies.  Especially since his deep love of cars is waning.  A while ago he said to me, "Mom.  I'm concerned.  I feel like I'm losing interest in cars, but I don't know what I'm gaining interest in!"  Poor guy.  He loves cereal and would never stop eating cereal if we didn't make him.  He also loves anything minty (always has), lives for having a play date with his friends, and has made a New Years Resolution to stop biting his nails, which he is trying to reach by slathering his hands in sanitizer all the time so they taste bad.  He sure is a good helper, though.  I am constantly thinking about how grateful I am that I can rely on him, and that if I ask him to do something, it almost always gets done.  He is a good boy.

Calvin is super excited to be getting baptized this year.  He talks about that a lot, and feels very grown up because of it.  He still plays so well with Sophie.  They love to play together after school and always make up funny games with the horses or legos or whatever.  Calvin has a tough time listening, but I think it's more because he is easily distracted, not that he is trying to be naughty.  If I ask him to put on his pajamas it takes 10 minutes because he will find a Calvin and Hobbes book to read, or a rock to look at, or he will find his reflection in the mirror and need to check out his own muscles for a while.  But he sure does have a tender heart.  He thinks about others and is sad when they are sad.  He is good at finding things that he can do to help others feel better.  And he still comes in for snuggles pretty much every morning when he rolls out of bed.  However he has sworn off kisses, and gets very angry any time I smooch his grumpy little cheeks, especially at school drop off.  He is very good at math and reading, and is doing great with Spanish!

Sophie is growing up a lot this year.  She loves everything--the other day she even declared her love for mint AND chocolate after Michael gave her a minty oreo!  I never thought I'd see the day!  If you ask her what her favorite food is, she'll name a million things.  If you ask her what her favorite color is, she'll name them all.  She is making good little friends at school, and she is really doing well in Spanish.  Sophie and Hannah are starting to play really well together lately, and that has been fun to watch!  She has a tough job, sharing a room with Hannah (nothing is safe!  Hannah scales dressers and gets into everything!), but she handles it well, for the most part.  Sophie is a sweetheart at her core, layered on the outside with equal parts drama, silliness and smarts.  She loves to show her love for her family, always writing us sweet notes and drawing us pictures.  She wants to do what is right, and tries her best.  She has silly ideas that she thinks are hilarious.  And she is REALLY good at math, and getting better every day at reading.

Hannah is definitely two!  Oh how I love Hannah, my little sidekick.  She is fun to be around, until she's not, but then she will usually nap!  Although I sense that is changing, which is scary, because it's like 3 years earlier than any of my other kids quit napping!  Hannah loves horses and we love hearing her say "horses", which sounds more like "hisses".  Hannah is silly and goofy and awesome.  She is usually a ray of sunshine, but when her two year old shines through there are some definite storms, so watch out!  She loves Jack and Aiden.  Michael told her the other day that they were coming over and he asked her what she was going to do with them.  Her reply was, "Play hisses (horses) with them.  That's easy!"  Hannah loves any dairy product (except whipped cream, oddly enough), can't say her c's, and HATES to fall asleep without snuggling someone, although we typically don't give in.  But I did the other night, when her cries of "I'M LONELY!  I DON'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS!" turned into more of a full-body shaking/sobbing/crying experience.  But once I snuggled her, she calmed right down and we both drifted off to sleep snuggling.  Another funny Hannah-ism was the other day when Michael asked her to do something and then she got a sad face and looked down at her hands and said, "I can't do nuffin!  I got wittle hands!" She's a sweetie pie underneath that crazy toddler.  We'll keep her.

Great everyday photos have not been my strong suit lately, but here are a couple, just to tide you over!

Me and my Hannah girl:

Me and my big sis, Kelly:

Me, Kelly and Dad:

Sophie warming up with some hot cocoa:

Getting together with friends:

Making cotton candy with cousins!

Katie eating a thing of cotton candy that was bigger than her head!

And if you read all the way to the end, you get this bonus video of Hannah pronouncing "horses".  You're welcome!