When baking in a mason jar, do not fill jar more than halfway. (Also do not knock over your conventional loaf pan when you put your macaroni in the oven).I know: baking in a mason jar--why a mason jar? Because angry chicken did it? Giving gifts to the kids' teachers at the holidays is apparently the thing to do. Al and I totally failed to realized this last year. Now (of course) I've been in a total lather for weeks about what is an appropriate gift for a teacher. (Giving gifts to teachers was not done at Bank Street so this is all new to me). I thought contributing cash to the Visa gift card fund seemed tacky and unoriginal. But baking a holiday bread in a mason jar? Classy and unique. Well, unique anyway.
Of course I'm not a baker and never have been. But it's on my list of goals for this winter (along with learning to make good soup and learning to sew with knits). My friend Holly laughs at my anxiety over baking, but let me tell you I've had one disaster after another. The picture above is only one small example. Omitting sugar. Tripling the required amount of butter. Everything has been edible but hardly worthy of Paige (Penelope's teacher who everyone by now knows I think is really really cool. Like really cool. And funny. With a great accent. I'll stop now). So anyway, I keep trying with the baking. Today Diego and I made cranberry nut bread in the small mason jars I got to gift the teachers. If you put the lids on when they first come out of the oven they seal. And then you have canned cranberry nut bread (or whatever). It just seems cool to me. (This is one of those things that you either get or you don't. Anyway, the cranberry nut bread looks every so slightly like barf in a jar. It might not be the right one for gifting. I guess I could try a banana bread, but it doesn't seem very seasonal.
Enough about the baking. Last week Claudia and I took a trip to NYC to welcome my dear friend Emily's new boy Kieran.
Seeing them together was crazy because Claudia looked like this giant kid next to tiny new Kieran. Emily was appreciative but really what could be better than hanging out with a brand new baby and mama? We sat around and admired the babies and munched and nursed and that was pretty much it (somehow I munched a lot more than Em did, but that's okay).
Emily is my one really really sane friend and hearing her birth experience and seeing her so calm and relaxed with her new babe really reminded me that people are apt to birth and parent much like they live. It is such a treat to see an old friend become a mom. Emily and Andrew have probably been married for about 3 years now. Of course their wedding quilt is still under my sewing table in the 'needs to be quilted pile.' Sigh. So of course I had to at least bring them a baby quilt. Because I'm still in a deep love affair with the Heather Ross fabrics I bought over the summer, I used them to make Kieran's quilt. The goldfish fabric was particularly suitable because of Emily and my Fire Island history.
Last but not least, see below Miss Smiley in the shirt made for her by my friend Nikki (now sadly living far far away in Madison Wisconsin. Also came with handmade booties and gifts for the big kids. Unbelievable!