Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day, Abelskiver, and Goofball!

Happiest of Mother's Day to all of you mamas out there! I hope you had a lovely day!

We did. It involved (2) mothers and (2) daughters (and 1 mother-and-daughter, that is me) and (2) husbands and (2) fathers and (many) Danish pancakes and (some) presents and (1) extremely silly singsong goofball toddler:

This wig, ah, it hasn't gotten a lot of play, but this brief photo session makes up for all the times it has been yanked off by tiny hands or flat-out denied. Thank you, Clementine, for this Mother's Day present of letting me take these pictures! 

(This wig was handmade by the lovely Cyndi, wife of Babymouse illustrator Matt Holm, and it is sewn onto a newborn cap, as they delivered it to our door -- along with champagne :-)-- the day we brought Clementine home from the hospital! How awesome is that? Anyway, it now only really perches atop her noggin, which is not a wee noggin at'all. 95% for noggin size, baby!)

A short time later, and a completely different look, Prairie Clementine:

Preparing to be a huge help to me making abelskiver. Huuuge help.

What are abelskiver, you ask?

The little round Danish pancake thingamies, little parcels of hollow deliciousness:

I love making them, but don't do it often. I hope to make it a more regular thing. 

They seem tricky, but are actually easy and really fun!

It starts with the pan.

You can find them new in catalogs like Williams Sonoma. I got mine at an antique store.

So the thing is that you pour the batter in, as above, let it set briefly -- a minute or less -- then, the traditional technique is you take a long knitting needle to hook the edge, here's me with my needle:

And you lift it part way up so the batter pools out and begins to create the round shape:

The above, after one rotation. Note also the squeezey vessel to the left. This is THE BEST THING. It's a pancake pen! If you like to make pancakes and you don't have one of these, you need to get one. It makes it SO MUCH EASIER. You put your batter in there after you make it, and just squeeze it onto the griddle or pan, no mess no drips. Lovelovelove. I'm not one for foofy kitchen gear that you never use. This thing is just awesome.

Anyway, with the abelskiver, you just continue to do your little turns until you've got a full sphere:

 (there are videos online if you need to see this in action to fully grasp it.)

Some powdered sugar?

And ... EAT!

I like to put out an assortment of jams and syrups; this year I forgot Nutella (doh!) but had mango butter and caramel sauce in addition to strawberry jam, strawberry syrup, and real maple syrup. Also sausage and turkey bacon and fruit and baked eggs. Might I suggest baked scrambled eggs? When you have a lot of other stuff going and can't really turn your attention to scrambling eggs, these are the best. They're basically scrambled eggs baked in a casserole dish in the oven; they come out GREAT and you don't even have to pay attention to them! (That's not the exact recipe, but the basic idea, except not so many eggs!!!)

My wonderful parents were our guests today:

I've been so lucky to have the most amazing parents -- my mom is like a "demo mom," like: this is how it's done, observe. Seriously amazing in all things mom, and she's also the best grandma, or as we say, "nonna." So now Clementine gets to be the lucky one too :-)

I'm very blessed in my family, including Jim, though that isn't just luck, that was pure husband-choosing skill on my part :-) Okay, plus a lot of luck finding him in the first place. Every time I pay my art school loans, I think: worth it.

Clementine was the day's official gift opener, of course:

Looky, new pillows. So pretty!

They're by Anna Joyce who, funnily enough, was at art school with me and Jim in California, as was her husband Victor -- they also met there then moved to Portland. Parallel lives! We were different majors and only knew them by name. I love Anna's art, and cannot wait to nest these pillows in the new house!

(As is the way of things in our family, books were also given and received, notably, YAY, my massive "wish list! wish list!" hint from this recent post. Thank you, sweetie! It's gorgeous!) 

So we had a big afternoon abelskiver-digesting nap (Jim and C and me; my parents went home to watch European soccer) and then went to have a soak in the Kennedy School soaking pool, a new favorite place -- of Clementine's too. "Pool!" She hears that word and she's off, grabbing fistfuls of bathing suit and pulling them on any way she can, legs through arm holes, head through leg hole, two at a time, just get me to the pool!

"Why yes, I am wearing two entire bathing suits. Is that strange?"

And how great are those rain boots? Sent by my friend Lori in Amsterdam -- we couldn't find them small enough here! These are from Hema, the store I am dying to go to whenever we finally get to go visit Lori. She sends Clementine the most awesome stuff from there, and says it's cheap! Lucky Dutch! (Actually, that [outermost] bathing suit is from Hema too!)

Oh, and this is last Mother's Day. Sigh. How she is growing. 

Love and hearty wishes. Full full heart :-)


Jim Di Bartolo said...

To you I say: "Mwah!" my sweetheart. Happy Mother's Day you amazing mom/wife/writer-artist/human!


Msb said...

I love that wig! What an awesome idea.

Your day looked amazing. Thanks for sharing it with us.

, said...

OH MY GOD LAINI WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME. Clementine in that wig is the cutest thing you've ever posted here... almost. Maybe her in the bunny suit. You make me want to have kids every time I see her, hahah.

Laini Taylor said...

Hee hee hee Heidi, from here straight to your ovaries :-)

megwrites said...

I love ableskivers! My mom always made them for me on my birthday growing up. So delicious! I need to make them more often. I love your topping ideas.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! You're child is ADORABLE. These pictures make me want to be a mommy... and that's saying a lot.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tinker said...

Adorable! The wig is too cute for words - but I especially love that photo of Clementine and your mom going in for the big 'Mm-wah.' Made me a little misty, as my littlest grandgirl is up in Oregon country now and had to settle for blowing kisses to her over skype, yesterday.
Also, admitting to both pillow and abelskiver envy - as well as coveting that hot pad/trivet thingy made of felt pennies. Did you make that? I've been in fabric-cutting mode may have to stea- er, borrow that idea...
Glad you had a happy Mother's Day!

Commander Kip said...

Aw, Miss Laini, you have such a pretty life.

Love the double swimming suits.

Evie said...

You have a big, beautiful life!

I love Clementine's wig. So cute. And the boots and the bathing suits. :) 2 bathing suits means twice the fun! I can see the logic in that.

She seems to have a comical side, and that's such a blessing, to be able to laugh through life.

Why not just make pancakes? I've never had ableskivers but the toppings sound yummy.

R.L. LaFevers said...

You live SUCH a colorful life, Laini! I all senses of the word.

tone almhjell said...

Happy Mother's Day! It's on a different date in Norway, and I think less of a deal, though I usually get breakfast in bed.

Clementine really IS growing! And so adorable. Sigh. So are you, and your whole family. Your mother is beautiful.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Tinker! Sorry your grandbaby is far away :-(
I didn't make the trivet but when I got it at a craft fair she was also selling kits. If you're feeling circly, I say go for it!

Thanks, C Kip, Evie, Robin :-)

Evie: we *do* make pancakes, fairly often. These are just fun. Plus you can fill them with things. And they're cute. Cute = very important!

Tone, I know, she IS growing! Wah. I want you guys to live here :(

Kayla Olson said...

I am totally amazed by those tennis ball-shaped pancakes, and now I kind of want to get all the stuff I'd need to make some of my own…(including that pancake pen—I could have used that on Sunday. I attempted to do a makeshift pastry bag with a ziploc baggie; while it worked just fine, it was a bit messy.)

Love your blog—it's always so colorful and full of interesting things to see and read! :)

Emily said...

Those abelskiver look delicious! I've never heard of or seen them, but they look amazing! Clementine is adorable in the apron. It looks like you had a lovely Mothers' Day. I was wondering...are you planning on having a giveaway for any ARCs of Daughter of Smoke and Bone?

Amber said...

What a sublime sweet post. I LOVE what you said about your mom. I bet she did too. I'm sure your bathing beauty will be saying the same about you.


ME Moon said...

my FIL is a purist and says they can't be called ableskivers if they don't actually have applesauce inside.... i like them hollow :)

and i found this link, immediately thought of you:

Laini Taylor said...

Liss, thanks for the link! How fun :-)

As for abelskiver, it's clear from the name that apple should be involved, but none of the recipes I have mention it at all. Huh. Also, when I try to cook them with filling, they get too soggy and the filling squishes out the side. I may try to perfect that if ever I'm making these more regularly :-)

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