- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
The Birthday Fairy was up late putting final touches on things that needed attention around the house. Flowers, decorations and presents all present and accounted for. The alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am. It’s Theo’s 10th birthday and we’re up even earlier then usual to cook 3 pounds of bacon for 5 lunches. Theo’s favorite-BLT sandwiches. In our house, with our persnickety cast, it’s never easy.Â Let’s see… Theo and Ollie like B&L, Sam and Henry like BLT and Simon wants the B, that’s just bacon.
If Theo had his way he would sleep in, but it’s a school day and there’s just time to open one gift and look through his birthday album. Debbie has made a birthday album for each boy. It’s a simple and beautiful tradition. One photo from the from the past year. The kids love to see how much they have changed which each turn of the page.
As usual, we are running late, but this morning we can’t forget the brownies Debbie and Simon made for Theo’s birthday celebration at school. It’s a busy morning for the Birthday Fairy as she Â loads up the mini van and starts the dropping off Â the boys at school.
I’m on Â pick up duty today. I need a list so I don’t forget who I’m either taking from south campus Â to north campus or just watching. Today it’s super confusing, if I lose the list I’m in trouble. Ollie has reading after school so I need to watch Pasha, Mimi, O’Loren, and Laney only till 3:00 when Laney’s mom comes to pick Laney up then I get Ollie early from reading at 3:10 then take Ollie, Pasha and Mimi to south campus, deliver them to their parents then pick up Henry and Theo and today Dominick who is coming home to goof off with Theo and have birthday dinner with us later on. All present and accounted for we arrive home Â and the boys skateboard in front of the house for awhile.
The boys skateboard and I walk to the pet store with them to get goldfish to stock the pond in our yard. Or in other words, to get more racoon food. Â The guy working at the pet store Â is very patient with us asÂ the boys have a blast picking out their favorite goldfish while scooting around the store with their skateboards. With instructions on how to gradually introduce the goldfish into our ponds’ water we leave without breaking anything.
Simon looks at the bag of goldfish and dumps them all into the pond. These fish better be hardy, they’ve been transported to the Land of the Catanzaro Boys where one slip up could be their last.
It’s time for dinner. Steak, french fries, salad and lots of red wine. Sam is at Universal Studios for Halloween Fright Night with friends from school and one of his teachers. It’s the first time I can remember where one of the boys has been absent from a birthday celebration. Omi brings an ice cream birthday cake and I break out the ukulele and attempt to play while we all sing Happy Birthday to Theo. It’s late, way past bedtime. The house is a mess. The day is winding down. Theo is in bed playing around with his new camera by the light of his new lava light. It’s been a nice day. Happy Birthday Theo!
and all through the house, the smell of bacon is wafting about. The pre Thanksgiving wheels are in full swing. Theo and Debbie are starting desserts. Bacon seems to be the common thread running throughout the entire Thanksgiving meal. Today Debbie sizzled up two pounds of the pork to be diced up for the Brussel sprouts. The bacon grease is reserved and later drizzled into the stuffing.
I wouldn’t even begin to know all what Debbie’s puts in her stuffing, but here are some of the ingredients that I know. It all starts off with fresh pain demi, chanterelle mushrooms, artichoke hearts, dried apricots and a bunch of other stuff. And, as I said before bound together with bacon grease.
For lunch today I fried up polenta in the bacon grease and leftover Bolognese sauce. Really, what’s not to like when it’s cooked in bacon?
This year I used a dry Sicilian sea salt rub on the Kosher turkey. I’ve been giving the bird a few daily massages and today applied some fresh herbs which Debbie got from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and Bell’s Poultry Seasoning. And of course, I put bacon on top of the turkey before cooking.
Sam and Henry have been incessantly bickering ( actually some violence ensued) all day about their trivia quizzes they hand out at Thanksgiving and our annual Saturday after Thanksgiving leftover party. Sam started this 2 years ago and last year Henry concocted a Harry Potter quiz. This year Sam somehow convinced (coerced) Henry that 80% of his quiz MUST be sports related. They made me take a photo of them shaking hands in accordance to this agreement.
Besides massaging turkey breasts I’ve been trying to get the yard in shape for the holidays. We had a guy come out yesterday to give us an estimate to put artificial grass on the side of the yard the boys practice their athleticism on. That side of the yard seems to take the hardest beating. I’ll give everyone a little quiz here. How much do you think it costs to scalp our old grass, level our soil, put 3″ of decomposed granite and install artificial grass in an area roughly 36″ X 15″? The answer is $6,295.00!Â And if we do it before the new year he could do the job for $6000.00. Yeah, well that’s not going to happen. Anyways, I’m getting off the subject. Tomorrow we cook, eat and oh yeah give thanks.
With Winter weather still lingering in southern California, our supply of firewood has reached near end. Sometimes we have the wood burning stove going 24 hours a day. It’s a nice feeling in the morning when you open the door to the stove and see hot embers and you can rekindle your fire without striking a match. I’ve resorted to cutting old 9′ seamless background paper on the table saw and using twine to bind them to make colored paper logs.
I once heard that a guy in Canada got on every catalog mailing list and heated his home with the catalogs for an entire Winter.
We also ran out of Nutella. So, we’ve resorted to placing chocolate chips and chocolate coins in our croissants in the morning. Here’s the recipe:
-Take a croissant
-Slice croissant down the middle
-Place ample amount of chocolate chips and chocolate coins in croissant
-Bake at 350 for five minutes or until chocolate melts
Another new recipe this week came from Debbie. It was meatloaf. Maybe Debbie will edit this post later with the recipe but all that matters is that the meatloaf needs to be draped in a pound of bacon. I remember a saying in art school, “if you can’t make it big, paint it gold.” The same goes for meatloaf, “if you can’t make it pig, drape it with bacon.” Does this make sense? If it does you’ve been to art school.