Inspired by a book that I can't recommend highly enough, we learned that blackberry fool is A Fine Dessert. Sweet and tangy and gloopy, pretty and messy and easy, but also good for several helpers, especially if you pick the blackberries. Shmoogie and DiDi and I picked the brambles nearly clean to get enough, Shmoogie and Mr. P helped with the mashing and the sieving and the whipping, and we all helped with the eating. Mostly, we ate it before it chilled because I forgot the part about having to leave it in the fridge for 3 hours and started the recipe at 7 (or maybe 7:30; our summer days go so loooooong). It was delicious at room temperature, but a fascinating gelatinizing thing happened to the part that did get chilled and I think that's probably what you're supposed to end up with. More like mousse than warm fruity whipped cream.
I won't spoil the book for you, but I can't resist sharing that when we turned the page to the last story-in-a-story, Mr. P huffed, "Finally! A boy!" And then griped for a while about how unfair it was that there were three girls and only one boy. I tried to think about how to explain that it was actually not fair to the girls that they were stuck in the kitchen, but then I realized that the better point was pretty much the one he was making, that it's silly and sad to define activities by gender. The story makes a subtler point, too, about how people have always experienced moments of enjoyment and love, even if the boundaries of their lives were bleak.
Did I mention that I can't recommend the book highly enough? A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall.
Of the many things I've read via Twitter lately, I keep thinking about Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man from Brain Pickings. I was born well after the invention of women, which is wonderful, but that means her words should feel a lot more dated than they do.
I'm feeling a little wistful for summer (making blackberry fool and then blogging about it so I'll remember it, see?) as the end draws near, but mostly I can't wait for the cool and the dark so we can sleep. Zzzz.
Northern summers, as I know I have said, are amazing and also hard.
I had reason to look back at some of my posts from several years ago and was stunned at the things I don't remember. People tell me how wonderful it is to have a record of things so I can remember them later (too bad this past year will always be mostly a blur, I guess), but I always laughed that off and said that I wouldn't forget, especially not after writing it all down and proof reading several times and all. But I did.
We learned this weekend that is possible for a baby to have a cold and exhibit no symptoms except for a full body rash. It's unnerving, but spotty baby doesn't seem to notice he's spotty, although he has seemed to notice he doesn't feel super awesome.
I did not rear end anyone, drive off the road, or squeal (much) when I noticed a very large spider (I'm talking like the size of a cookie) crawling slowly up from the lower left corner of the dashboard while I was driving home. I did not even pull over and demand someone rescue me when my attempt to smoosh it with a paperback succeeded only in (possibly) maiming it and (!!!) dropping it to the floor between my feet. I did pull over and was not at all happy to find that I couldn't see the thing anywhere, meaning I had to get back in the car and drive for fifteen more minutes home knowing it was somewhere under the seat and in who knows exactly what state, although clearly a healthy enough state to have hidden itself under the seat in the first place. I did tuck my pant legs into my socks. And I did have a nightmare about spiders, but only the second night. The first night I slept unaccountably soundly.