I think it’s time to get in to macrame. The big girl version of my childhood friendship bracelet habit. F**k It, bring back friendship bracelets too!
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I think it’s time to get in to macrame. The big girl version of my childhood friendship bracelet habit. F**k It, bring back friendship bracelets too!
My grandma’s cheesecake is truly the best around in my opinion, and it has been a huge hit on the extremely rare occasions I have made it for friends.
It is a little involved to make, you really need to follow the instructions and ingredients quite carefully in order for this to come out right. It takes about a whole afternoon and it’s best to let it chill in the fridge overnight, but it’s very worth it. Also worth the lactase pill, in my case. Can be made 1–2 days ahead of time.
I’ve included variations on the original recipe below because she included these variations in the cookbook she gave me. I’ve never made them myself though, not yet!
This is a re-written version of my grandma’s recipe. I inhaled this as a kid.
It’s basically a really massive “drop” biscuit that you then slice in to portions and drown in strawberries + milk. It is one of the quickest and easiest things to make, a must between May and June.
You can use oat milk instead, just try to use something as similar to whole milk in consistency as you can find. The smaller the strawberries, the sweeter they are. A sturdy straw works fantastically as a strawberry core-er.
Also, you can make this ahead of time, but it’s really best enjoyed the same day you make it. The crispy bits of the cake go a little soft after the first day, and the strawberries, while still delicious, start to look a little sad and anemic. It’ll still taste good, but I recommend re-warming a slice of cake if you’re having it the next day or so.
One final thought: This makes quite a lot of cake + strawberries… Might be worth halving this recipe if you’re not serving many people.
As my grandma wrote in her recipe book (she was confident about this recipe, and she wasn’t often wrong): “MMMM good!”
I think you could do a ton of great variations on this recipe. Like a crushed gingersnap base with chocolate ice cream and butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips. Or a Biscoff cookie base with coffee ice cream. Or a graham cracker base with quality, real vanilla ice cream.
But below is Grandma Piper’s original recipe, with some notes from my friend Sarajane Blair. Grandma preferred mint chocolate chip.
This is super simple but takes a lot of freezing, so plan to make it at least a day in advance. It’s easiest if you give it a few days and do most of the freezer time overnight.
This site is ‘bout to become a recipe blog for a hot second… The SuperHi crew was talking about favorite cakes recently, and I have a lot of family recipes to share.
So apparently you can’t set your iPhone to show AM and PM alongside the 12-hour time. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it’s a pretty significant accessibility issue.
My grandpa is 100 years old, we just celebrated his birthday in March. He’s doing pretty darn well for his age. The only thing he’s having trouble with is short-term memory. This usually isn’t a big enough problem to cause any major concern at the moment. Although he lives on his own, it’s in an apartment that is equipped for his needs within an assisted living building, and my parents aren’t too far from him.
The thing that is causing problems, pretty major problems, is when he takes a nap and then wakes up and thinks it’s the wrong time of day. This causes him to miss meals because he doesn’t go down to the dining room in time. And when older folks start to regularly miss meals, they get pretty weak pretty fast.
He doesn’t want to cause a fuss, so we don’t know exactly how often this happens. I imagine with other folks, it also might be a bit embarrassing (maybe it is for him as well, I’m not sure). He naps a lot, which is fair enough considering his age, so I suspect it might be more often than we think.
I was talking about this with my mom, asking him if he has a big digital clock in his apartment or something. He does have a clock, but he usually looks at his watch or his phone for the time. I don’t want to suggest that he wear a digital watch, because his watch came from my grandma. So we were looking at our phones, and she pointed out that there’s no AM/PM.
There’s no way of changing it! That seems ludicrous.
I know he could change it to 24-hr time. But I doubt he would do that, because he would probably convince himself that it’s fine and he doesn’t need it. It would be a heck of a lot easier if you could just show AM/PM via the iOS Date & Time settings, as one would expect.
If any Apple folks happen to read this, I’d love if you could take this feedback onboard in some way. Or if you happen to know anyone at Apple, I’d really appreciate if you shared this with them.
In the meantime… I guess we get him a bigger digital clock for his apartment? I’m really not sure.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
While the 1½-year-old is playing with their toddler-sized soccer ball at your feet, take all of the ingredients and equipment out of the cupboards and grease the mini-muffin trays. To get started, pour the oats in to a medium sized bowl and pour the “dry” ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a bigger bowl.
Let the kid climb up on to the learning tower platform, and immediately recognize that starting with the oats was a mistake because they love oats. Try to prevent them from shoveling dry oats in to their mouth by giving them a spoon to stir with, and then realize that just compounds that mistake since they’ve recently learned how to use a spoon at dinnertime.
Switch the spoon out for your grandma’s 100% flat spatula to confuse and confound them (“…what on earth is this?”) while you measure out and pour the applesauce in to the oats. Let them lick the applesauce spoon, making them doubly excited about the mixture in the medium bowl. Remember almost too late that their Nana recently gave them a very cute apron, and manage to pull that over their head right before a glob of oats and applesauce dribbles off their chin.
Measure out and add the sugar to the oats-applesauce bowl. (That bowl is only becoming more and more exciting to the kid.). Then measure out the milk in to the jug and pour that in. Mix it up a bit to distribute the chill of the milk — because you learned last time that if you throw melted coconut oil directly on top of cold milk, it congeals in to one big lump — and then measure and add the coconut oil.
You could add the vanilla now, or you could forget it entirely because you hid the little bottle behind the fruit bowl away from cute grabby hands.
Add the egg last (adding it last means less likelihood of raw egg making its way into their mouth), then stir the oat mixture together thoroughly. Put the bowl aside, well out of reach.
Open up the raisins and put a handful on the counter to distract the kid. Fluff the dry ingredients in the big bowl together with a fork, and then pour in a half cup of raisins.
Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients while the kid absolutely houses the rest of the raisins, and then mix it all together with the spatula until combined.
Using the spoon you abandoned earlier, fill as many of the mini-muffin cups as you can. You want them each to be almost full, maybe seven-eighths of the way there. If you have any empty cups, use the kettle that’s always sitting on the stove to pour a little bit of water in them. You do this because someone once told you it protects the tray, but you have no idea if that’s actually true.
Part way through filling the cups, get the kid down from the learning tower because they’re bored and have spotted their ball again. Try to avoid having them step in the spilled oats and flour because it will stick to their feet and track throughout the apartment. Finish up the filling, then put the trays in the oven and bake at 375F for 15 minutes. Remember as soon as you’ve put the trays in that you always mean to put them on a baking sheet since it’s easier to take them out that way, and make a mental note (again) to do it next time.
When they’re done, let them cool momentarily in the tins to “loosen up” and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. Accidentally forget that the kid really loves muffins (why else would you be making them in the first place?) and belatedly realize that you’ve left an actual mountain of one of their favorite things out in plain sight. Blow on one frantically while the kid shouts “MUH-IN!” until it’s cool enough to eat.
Let the rest cool completely before storing them in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag in the freezer. I can’t say how long they keep, since we never keep them all that long.
People think that serial / “Oxford” commas should be an optional style thing. But if you’re writing for the web, please use it.
Here’s an example of a sentence without a serial comma:
Please bring Jack, your brother and your uncle to the party
And an example of a sentence with a serial comma:
Please bring Jack, your brother, and your uncle to the party
First point: the second sentence makes it much clearer that Jack isn’t some questionable relative and that you’re meant to bring three people to the party.
Second point, and more the point of this post: the sentence with the serial comma is much more intelligibly read by screen readers, particularly when content is being read quickly.
Use the serial comma!
Updated my Now page, contents below for posterity. View past presents.
Since the last update in April 2022:
In broader, non-personal news, for posterity’s sake: 🌻 the terrible war in Ukraine continues, 💔 Roe v. Wade was repealed, 🐦 Twitter was bought by a megalomaniac and is subsequently imploding (who saw that coming?!?!?!?), 🇧🇷 Brazil finally got rid of their Trump (swiftly followed by a January 6th-esque attack on Brasília), 🇬🇧👑 the UK saw three prime ministers and two monarchs (all before B was 18 months old!).
We continue to see major tragic events being caused or exacerbated by climate change: flooding devastation in Pakistan, heat waves shrank the Po and Rhine rivers in Europe as well as the Mississippi in the US, Europe experienced its hottest summer on record, Category 4 Hurricane Ian left destruction from the Caribbean up through Florida and the Carolinas.
AI technology and use is accelerating rapidly. It really scares me. Worsening problems with misinformation is part of it, but honestly, deepfaked sexual content and its implications (made-to-order revenge porn, teens using AI to generate idealized images that are even more divorced from reality than IRL porn, etc.) scares me the most right now.
As with the last update, it feels a bit dark right now. But there have been some brighter points. Scientists seem to have made a breakthrough with ☢️ fusion technology. 🏳️🌈 Conversion therapy was officially banned in Canada. In Europe, ☀️ solar and wind power overtook gas for the first time. Both sides of the civil war in Ethiopia have signed a disarmament plan. Germany returned 22 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria, as did The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and the RISD Museum (you listening, British Museum?). In terms of US politics, the midterms weren’t as hard-right-heavy as had been expected. (Probably because the majority of American citizens aren’t nuts and think that abortion should be legal in most cases? IDK, call it a hunch.)
In more personal news: It looks like I’ve made progress on most of the things I’ve wanted to do, which is a nice feeling.
We’re still in Brooklyn, and loving our neighborhood. But honestly, it’s probably too expensive for us long-term, and our apartment is definitely too small. So sad, because we love it in every other regard. Do we find a slightly larger apartment in a slightly less ideal location in this neighborhood? Do we find a much larger apartment in a different Brooklyn neighborhood? Do we try Queens? Do we look at a suburb? I really don’t know. Meanwhile, if you know of any 3 bed places coming available, give me a shout. We’d really like to stay where we are.
I’ve been working at SuperHi for a little over seven months now. Early on I was feeling very impostor-y, but I feel a lot more settled in now and have been loving it. My team is great, our projects are exciting, I’m learning so much. In particular, I’ve come up with a system for accessibility auditing that I’m really happy with. I’m hoping to write about that soon.
The day-to-day home routine has just been getting better over time, as long as you ignore the frequent days when it gets thrown off completely by daycare colds… Anyways, it’s pretty much the same as before, only I’m trying to get up a little earlier in order to do at least 15 minutes of exercise per day. I’ve been doing this routine plus some abs stuff, but I really need to branch out a bit. I’ve started running 💨 to daycare pickup which is a super new thing for me, I’ve never been a runner because of my knee. But it isn’t a long distance and it gets my heart rate up, which is good. I’ll keep doing it until the knee thing seems unbearable.
I have been meeting up with people more often, which does wonders for my mental health. Finally went to visit SJB and get the boys together, what a gorgeous house. And the daycare moms meet up for drinks 🍷 about once a month, they can tip it back. RIP Lizzie King’s, hopefully you’ll find a new home. Haven’t found a choir yet… but I’ve only recently felt like it might be a sensible thing to do, both because of Covid and because of time constraints.
Speaking of Covid 🦠, it feels like it’s… gone? Not gone, but we’ve reached some sort of uneasy equilibrium. To be honest, it may be less of an equilibrium and more of a shifting of priorities. Flu, RSV, and just general cold season is so unbelievably bad right now. B got RSV very early in the season, which was awful at the time (Sam was just getting over Covid but still testing positive, so I had to take B to the hospital alone). But looking back, I’m sort of thankful he got it back then? At least we had OTC meds and the hospital wasn’t too busy. There has been zero infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen on the shelves for weeks now, I check basically every store I pass. And hospitals have been packed.
Spring 🌷 can’t come fast enough. I said to Sam the other day that spring is going to come quick, and he gave me a very skeptical look. I think he may be right, but maybe not… time seems to be moving so fast.
B has changed SO MUCH over the past 9 months. First words (“hello” 👋, “ALL DONE” 🙅, “apple” 🍎, “ball” 🔵, “Stu”), animal noises (snake 🐍, lion 🦁, cow 🐮), pointing to body parts (belly button, nose 👃, eye 👁️, ear 👂, feet 🦶), walking then almost immediately running, lots of soccer ⚽️, absolute obsessions (and meltdowns) over anything hand-held with wheels , so many teeth 🦷. He still loves being startled, and cuddly things. He just started saying “please” (“eeethzzzz”), on command only. On the whole, he’s pretty “easy”. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop…