I just returned from vacation, and I wish I could say I am "leaner, meaner, stronger, and ready to take on the world." Instead it is more like, "round, tired, broke, and if I must, I must."
My mother lives just outside of Cincinatti, which I am sure is a very nice place to live. Unfortunately, while we were there we saw nothing but rain on our windshield, and frostbite on our flip-flop-clad toes. Among my methods of combating the frigid temperatures were 1) Eat everything in sight, and 2) Walk around with a blanket around my (swelling) waist. The latter of the two didn't get me into as much trouble, but I wonder how a girl can gain 5 pounds in as many days. What is it, 3500 calories to gain a pound of fat? Times five? Surely not. Surely it was the sodium content of the pizza, Chinese food, and basket of onion strings.
Whatever it is or isn't, and as crappy as I feel right now, I do enjoy seeing my mother. We have never been those girls who go into the fitting room together, and we do have our... issues, but I enjoy her company- her loudness- her acts of love toward my little family. I like how she sounds like my grandmother more and more every time I see her, and on the way home I teased my husband by doing my best version of her voice (shockingly well).
"Patrick, do you think you got some good pictures?"
"Hmm? Patrick? Patrick?"
Miss her already.
While I was there, I decided to make an Oreo cake, and in true "Rachel Style," I completely ruined the first one. I tell you, hand mixers are hard to use! And so is counting to four, apparently, as I believe I added too much sugar the first time, leading to a spongy, gooey, sunken mess. The second time I made it, I decided to hand-mix it, and it turned out much better.
Here it is before I put the frosting on the top. If you check out my recipe here, you will see that I usually make an Oreo cookie crust for the bottom of this cake. This time, I actually pulled apart the Oreos, and on top of the parchment, before I poured the batter in, I covered the bottom of the pan with cookie halves (cream-side up). My mother's oven really caused this cake to dome, so I flipped the top cake over to get a nice, flat surface for frosting.
How cool does this look? I would love to show you a picture of the finished product, but we ate it before we could set it up for a shoot. We did put Oreos all around the bottom of the pan, so regarding the negative space in the cake above- I suppose there were a few cookies floating around somewhere in the cake. Feel free to make the cake either way, but I don't need to tell you which way is easier.
As much as I love to travel, I love being home even more. I love our old house, our puppies, my kitchen, my grocery store- all of the little things that make "home," "home." I miss my friends, my church, my salon, and the warmth of my Southern city (both literally and figuratively).
24-hour bakeries, specialty shops, and Anthropologies have their appeal, and maybe little old Augusta will grow to accommodate more of my interests- but so much of that is selfishness. As a girl who has lived under 23 different roofs since high school graduation, I can say with certainty that I have very, very little desire to ever move again. Maybe it is age, maybe it is motherhood, or perhaps a mortgage that we will never, ever get out of- but picking up and meeting a new group of people- establishing my personality and morals- or even choosing where to put my silver in a new house is increasingly less appealing to me.
Or maybe, just maybe... I like Augusta.
Missed you all.