My love of cookies is well documented. I just … I love them, guys. I might take little forays into cupcakes or tarts, but I’m always going to come back to the cookie. It is the ultimate comfort food. Especially soft and warm from the oven, gooey with chocolate. Yum.
Less well documented (on this blog, anyway) is my total adoration of all things Disney. I think if you hate Disney, you are taking life WAY too seriously (ahem, Z). My sister and I earnestly discuss whether it would be preferable to go to Disneyland Paris, or Paris itself. And the indoctrination starts early. X, only 18 months, already adores “Mitt-y,” as he calls Mickey Mouse, and can spot him anywhere. It doesn’t hurt that you can’t go very far in the world without seeing Mickey Mouse, so he is given constant reinforcement that this is probably an important personage to be aware of.
No matter how great the food is over here, sometimes you just want to have what you know, you know? Z and I compiled a list of foods we miss from home. To be honest, it’s not very long. Dill pickle chips. Bagels. We both will be hitting up Tim Hortons when we’re back in the mother country. My biggest thing I actually miss is yellow mustard. Weird, right? But you just can’t find it here. And I know that Z misses his Kraft Dinner. We might need to stock up on that one when we can.
In order to fulfill my need for back-home cooking, I got the barbecue fired up (well, got Z to). We have this fantastic marinade for chicken, but we haven’t used it for awhile. It was heaven being able to whip it up again. It’s pretty easy and so delicious.
There is no doubt that my son is a rough and tumble boy. He is quickly transitioning from baby to a little guy who wants to get out into the world and find all kinds of fascinating things. It really makes me think that the whole “nature vs. nurture” thing isn’t really a thing. No matter what, X will always gravitate towards trucks, the bigger the better. I don’t think there could be anything I could do to change that. He likes fast cars, choo-choo trains, and also bugs.
I got a fun surprise when he brought something to me the other day. He will often bring me interesting stones or, to my delight, flowers, when we’re outside. I opened my hand as he eagerly gave me his prize, just as he said “Bee.” I was just processing the word (his word for all creepy-crawlies, as I’ve discovered) when I found myself the happy recipient of a big beetle. When I squealed and threw it down, X gave me a reproachful look and went to pick it up again, like I didn’t really understand the magnitude of what I had been given. I finally had to throw the poor thing in the bushes before X could do it any harm. Still. I could have been worse. We have some gigantic spiders that live in our house, and I don’t know if I would recover if he gave me one of those. Shudder.
For our weekly adventure, we decided to stay within our own little region and took a leisurely tour around Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Leman). I don’t really know how to say this, other than: it’s stunning here. The lake, the mountain, the vistas, the beautiful bridges and the gorgeous villages that dot the coast are all designed to be breathtaking. We didn’t really have much of a plan in mind, other than getting around the lake. We began by heading up into France along the southern coast. Evian-les-Bains, of bottled water fame, was a spot that caught our eye. While we didn’t stop to poke around, there is a boardwalk-type development right at the edge of the lake, with casinos and glamourous hotels … looks like a place we’d want to visit without the toddler.
One of my favourite things about Geneva is the storms. I’m not sure whether these summer storms come whipping in from the Juras or the Alps, but they are fierce and mighty, and sometimes turn nights into adventures. There is rain, yes, there is rain, but there is also some spectacular light shows that strobe into our living room and thunder so rumbly it makes my normally brave little boy run directly into my arms (so of course I love it).
The other night I had a rather interesting time when I was woken up at 2:45 in the morning with one of our X’s shutters slamming against the side of the house. I had forgotten to batten it down or whatever, and a windstorm had blown up over night. I couldn’t risk the shutter waking X up, so I threw on a housecoat and trudged outside to fasten it.
As a part of my ongoing mission to make eggplants palatable to Z, I thought I would try something new and (I thought) delicious. Eggplants are in season right now, so what perfect time to make a yummy summertime dip with some of our favourite flavours, including garlic and black olives.
The results were mixed. Z did say that it was the best eggplant-based dish he’d had, and if he had to eat eggplant, he would rather it be this. That being said, he still didn’t really like it. I wonder if it’s because he KNEW it was eggplant, like if it’s a psychological thing? But then I’m not looking to trick Z into eating food he doesn’t want to. I do that enough with X. The other part of it is the texture issue. Even I will admit that eggplant has kind of an unappetizing texture. It’s just a little too squishy, you know. Even this dip was just a little too squishy.
Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
Book description: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.