Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pickle the poo snail and the perfect loaf

There has been a lot going on these days. Good things, exciting things, scary things, stressful things, happy things, sad things. I have much to tell and limited time to write them. However, I really wanted to post about two silly things that just chuffed me to bits.

First thing. Andrew, Abby and I love to go for walks. It feels like a crime if we stay inside on a sunny (or non-rainy)day given the beautiful surrounding we call home. Well, a couple days ago we went for a nice, long walk on a river trail and while we were out Andrew met someone who turned out to be a brilliant new friend. It was a snail...just a little guy trying to cross the pavement as fast as he could sludge. Sadly, he wasn't making very good time. When noticing the poor fellow's struggle Andrew immediately told me to "Stop the push, Mom" and he got out of the stroller and picked up the wee sludger. "Oh,'s a snail!"

"That's right, it's a snail. Should we help him get to the safe grass?"

"No, he can come wiff me!"

So off we went, Abby, Andrew, myself and our new snail pal. Andrew enjoyed watching him hide in his shell and then come back out when he thought it was safe. Which it wasn't. So then he hid again. Andrew giggled and giggled.

I then suggested that we give our slimy new pal a name. Andrew agreed and I started throwing out suggestions. Fortunately Andrew is a considerate soul and determined that no random name will do. It needed to be something special. So after regecting about 53 of my ideas Andrew piped up and said, "PICKLE!" (Followed by fits of giggles, and of course, with a name like pickle who wouldn't giggle?)

"Oh Pickle! What I fantastic name!" I said.

"Yep. It''s a snail. Pickle snail!"

"Sure is."

We then continued to stroll along until I heard Andrew pipe up again. "OH wook!! Poo!"

"Really?" I asked while looking around for signs of animal droppings ( a very common thing)and finding none.

" on the shell!" I looked down at pickle and saw that in his sluggish struggle to cross the path he had managed to get a little dirty. Was it actually poo? No, just a little dirt but Andrew seems to think that anything causing a slight mess these days is poo. (Sadly, a residual effect of potty training...dirt has never been the same since.)

"Oh...he is a little dirty, isn't he?"

"Ya, poo! He's a poo snail!" (Fits of giggles)

"I guess he is!"

"Yep, he's...he's pickle a poo snail!"

Then I began a fit of little giggles.

And so we walked on some more...Abby (who incidentally was brilliantly sleeping or sitting quietly enjoying the views)Andrew, Myself and Pickle the Poo Snail. Finally near the end of our walk Andrew found an acceptable looking home for Pickle between some withered daffodils and budding queen anne's lace. We decided that Pickle would enjoy being outside much more than he would enjoy our little flat. So there we left him and said our goodbyes.

As we walked closer to home, Andrew looked back and yelled (in his most irreverent voice, to ensure Pickle heard) "BYE-BYE PICKLE POO-SNAIL!"

Bye-bye pickle! It certainly was nice to meet you (fits of giggles).

(NOTE: This is not actually Pickle the Poo Snail. Sadly, I did not have my camera with us. But I did find this picture on the internet...and it comes close. This literally could be Pickle's cousin)

The next item that made me smile real big this week involved bread. YES! BREAD, glorious bread! I have attempted to make loaf after loaf in my days and I have NEVER gotten it right. It either comes out too crumbly or too dense or too doughy. It's been a rough one for me because I want to master the art of bread baking so badly! Well...the other day I was out shopping and noticed this delicious looking granery bread flour on special as Tesco's. It had been a long while since I attempted to make bread so I thought I would give it another shot. Well...yesterday Andrew and I had some time to kill during Abby's nap so we discussed it and decided to bake bread. The conversation went like this

"Andrew, want to help mommy make some bread?"

"WHAT?" yelled while jumping on the bean bag pretending to be spiderman.

"Want to help me make some yummy-tummy bread?"

"I SPIDERMAN, YAHHHHH!" yelled while attacking my calfs with his super spider fists.

"Come here" He managed to follow me into the kitchen and noticed all the flour. Suddenly his spiderman cape was on the floor (what? Doesn't your spiderman have a cape?) and he was clamoring for a measuring spoon.

Well, one thing lead to another and to be honest, I don't know how it happened, or what I did differently this time but it worked!!! Really, the end result was BRILLIANT! It was the best looking (and tasting) bread I have ever created. HALLELUJAH! Who knows if I will ever be able to do this here are some pictures to remember it by. (Confession: I think that perhaps the reason it was a success had to do with some seriously awesome Spiderman powers, perhaps he is my lucky charm?)

Incidentally, when Mike came home and saw all the pictures of bread he thought I was a little a mental--which I won't refute---but this has been a life-long pursuit. And I finally succeeded. I thought it merited a few snapshots.

It's a shame Pickle wasn't there to join us. I think he would have really enjoyed the experience.