My Modern Family

S9 (she’s now 9, you know!) just informed me that she can’t relate to certain things I experienced as a child because, as she says:

“Because I’ve spent my whole life in the modern world.”



Back to the Regularly Scheduled Programming

There’s been entirely too much French thrown about here lately. Here’s some good old American English dialogue to break things up a bit.

Tonight, O7 was drawing in her Garden Fairies book. The left page has a simple picture, which you’re supposed to copy on the right page by scratching off the black coating, thus revealing the stunningly beautiful and most fairy-like colors underneath with every stroke. She made a nice copy-drawing of a Poppy Fairy, and then brought it in to show me.

“That looks great,” I said. S8 came over to investigate. She eyed her sister’s scratch-drawing critically for a moment.

“Pretty good, O7!” she announced. “You’re going to grow up to be a Major Artist, just like me!”

Back to the Grind

Today we made a lemon-blueberry cake, which we will drool over until it’s time to eat serve to some friends who are coming for dinner tomorrow.   The cake is in the oven now, and the girls are licking the bowl and spatula.   Natch.

I can hear the kids talking while I’m out here in the dining room.  They are discussing the finer points of our cake batter like two miniature gastronomes.  “Don’t you love how smooth the batter came out?”  “I love the hint of blueberry in this cake.”  “It’s so light and fluffy.  I can’t wait to taste the real cake.”

Little O6, who helped me beat the butter and sugar with the lemon zest before her sister came in to help us, pointed out the subtle lemon flavor.

“Can you taste that lemon, S8?” she queried, between licks of the spoon.  “It’s from the lemon grind.”

Anyway, if you would like to make an AWESOME Lemon-Blueberry [Bundt] Cake*, here’s the recipe.

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice – zest the lemons first!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (see note below)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon grind zest
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups blueberries (I used frozen ones- if you do, thaw & drain them first)

Note: if you don’t have buttermilk, put 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar into a glass measuring cup.  Then add milk until you have 1/2 cup of liquid.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then continue on your merry way with your buttermilk substitute.

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1 T buttermilk (or regular milk, half & half, etc)
  • 2-4 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 12-cup Bundt (or tube) pan with melted butter, then dust with flour.  Shake to remove excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  In another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Put the butter, sugar and lemon grind in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and cream until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately until all the flour/buttermilk is in the batter.  Mix until batter is throughly combined.  Fold in blueberries.

Put batter into prepared pan and bake in oven for approximately 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.  Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes, then unmold cake and let it cool until just barely warm.

Make glaze: mix the powdered sugar, buttermilk and 2T of the lemon juice in a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup because it makes pouring the glaze much easier).  Stir until smooth.  If glaze is too thick, add lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time, until it’s a good consistency.  Pour half of the glaze over cake in that fancy way people do (and which I can never seem to duplicate).  Let cool 1 hour, then pour remaining glaze over cake and serve.

*I used a tube pan instead of Bundt, since that’s the kind of pan I have.  Do with that what you will.


S7 loves to make signs.  She has recently combined her love of sign-making with her love of “teaching other kids how to do all this stuff I’m already great at”.  Ergo, we have the “Learn to Be Groovy Lessons” summer camp.

Groovy. by MotherMe

In case you need a translation, it says:

Free! I’m not joking! Learn to be groovy with lessons from Sam! Starting Tuesday, May 31st, to June 19, Sunday, 4-9. 2 to 5 kids each day. [address]

I am super impressed that she looked up the dates on the calendar.  May 31 really is a Tuesday this year, and June 19 falls on a Sunday.  That’s pretty good.

She’s written a few others.  I came across this one today:

Jazz Lessons

Zebra, apparently, is a prospective Jazz student in S7’s upcoming Jazz classes.  Here is her note:

Zebra, here is a note for Jazz lessons.

  1. Pay Attention!
  2. Be Good.
  3. Wear Jazz Shoes
  4. Black shirt.
  5. White socks.
  6. Purple pants.

Do the top and wear the bottom.  Here is my address:  941897 Jewel Circle, Jazz Town, Alabama.  412396*  Love, Sophia Vutaski. I love you!

*US ZIP codes are five digits.  Oops, Sophia!

** a totally made-up last name

Reproduction According to Children

The girls are playing with a bucket of plastic wild animal figures.  From the other room I just heard this:

S6: When the rhinos want to mate, they put their horns together!

O5: When the giraffes want to mate, they put their necks together.  Then they kiss, like this!  mwah, mwah, mwah!

S6: When the cheetas want to mate, they run in opposite directions, really fast!!

O5: When the elephants want to mate, they throw water on each other!!!