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The Sift Shift


So, I’m checking in with Daddy-o yesterday, before talking to my sweet kiddos, and as he assures me,  ”Everything is going just fine,” I hear Honorée pipe up from the back seat: 


“What about Nathaniel swallowed the marble?” 


“Oh, yeah! Nathaniel swallowed a marble.” 


“He did?”


“Yes, he seems okay.” They tried to connect with their host’s pediatrician contact, but I guess the Dr. would not advise without face time. And they’re on this camping road trip…


“You have to go through his poop until you find it.” 


“Yeah, that’s what we’re going to do.”


One good thing about having to poop in the woods…easier to examine le merde.


Now as I write, I’m wondering if the effing marble was in fact glass. What if it’s a metal one? Breathe. I just assumed it was glass because marbles are glass…but…I will call when it’s not 6:45 am Pacific time. No, I am not going to wait, this is not the time for respecting convention.


Okay, I called and his mailbox is full (for the first time ever). So I texted him. Marbles are glass. If they’re metal they’re something else. Metal balls. Ball bearings. Something else.


* * * 


And now back to our regularly scheduled programming, which is not The Worrywart’s Aria.


Cleansing breath.


Speaking of arias, Laura and I walked out of an opera last night up at Santa Fe Opera. Now, I am not an opera buff by any means…I just love it the way any good former high school theater geek would…for the spectacle, the production values in action, and because my ears experience orgasmic pleasure from beautiful music of any kind. Yes, any kind…


Plus I love to dress up and Santa Fe doesn’t offer many reasons to do so. SF is very casual (which I love), but I hail from New York, where there are more reasons to dress up than you can shake a stiletto at. Because I am an Earth-shoe-wearing woman at heart, I love Santa Fe’s supremely laid back deal, but I also thrill at the idea of the occasional “In Full Effect” gussying up. 


It was one of those weird nights. Laura left her house early but got caught in two complete hoser traffic jams that even made it onto the Google traffic page. We had gotten tix for a pre-performance mingle with really good food, wine and chocolate, but missed that and just made it in time to wolf down a sammie each before curtain. We sat down, got chided by a young gent in a striped serape (the unfortunate opera staff signifier–methinks occasional resident Tom Ford needs to redesign that) for pulling out the camera to document it all…


and then, in a nutshell, we experienced the first act, and it wasn’t our cup of tea (such a dirge, so bleak and mono-tonal), and we skedaddled. So you wonder: was all that traffic a big signifier that we should have just stayed home and rented a movie? But then we would have always wondered…


We walked toward the exit and a nice staffer asked if we wanted a ride to the lower parking lot. My pinched toes took the floor and said “Oh, yes, MA’AM.” It comforted me to converse with two other couples, both lifelong opera buffs, who were just like, “What was that?” “I’ve never walked out of an opera in my life!” said the most senior woman. 


Laura and I jumped in the car, and went to La Boca, where we shook it off with the help of a glass of wine each, some roasted figs, and the best homemade pasta/chicken/mushroom thing I have ever tasted. Here’s what I gathered:


Pasta, homemade, pappardelle, a bit thicker than you would expect, finished in the sauce…which was:


red wine and chicken stock, cooked down (maybe thickened with a touch of cornstarch?), then they threw in some small bits of grilled chicken, sauteed portobello slices, a braised bitter green, paper-thin garlic, salt, pepper…mmmm. Yum! We salvaged the night.


* * * 


Yesterday, we went to the farmer’s market and got beautiful eggs with white, tan and pale blue shells. Plus lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, fava beans, ground beef, chicken, garlic, onion. 


Best of all: a pie from Crumpackers…apricot blackberry! Best pie I ever tasted (sorry, mom!). Thick, cookie-like double crust (probably some kind of whole grain flour in there). The clarion-fresh apricot and blackberry filling: melded into one other perfect tart yet sweet flavor. They used some really elegant thickener within, maybe apple pectin, which held everything together at room temperature but did not in any way give it a gummy characteristic. Turbinado sugar sprinkled on the top crust, slightly caramelized. Generous, extravagantly wavy thick crust edge…When I ate the top crust by itself, it tasted like a linzer tart-kind of cookie. A whole bite delivered perfect pie bliss. I want to try to make it somehow. I’ve been goosed by its goodness.


Thanks for listening to me natter on while I try not to get extremely worried about Mr. Boy.


Now it’s a decent hour and I will call Peter (over and over, if needed). I need to know whether the marble has been sifted out of Nathaniel’s poo, and also what the heck material it is.




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Mothering › Child Articles › The Sift Shift