Scrooge and the Penobscotts

The Fab Five gave me a really cool gift for Mother’s Day!

Even before we watched Turkey play through the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and long before we started planning our trip to to Disney World, I’ve had a fascination with the extended Duck family. Donald and Daisy are my favorites…his temper always cracks me up, and I love her fashion sense. And one day, I was doing some reading about the Ducks, and their associated relatives (including the Goose family), and I realized that Donald Duck’s mother, Hortense, was Scrooge McDuck’s sister. Which means her maiden name, if you will, was also McDuck, and if she had wanted to, she could have hyphenated her name to McDuck-Duck, and that thought made me happy.

But then I thought about it further, and realized that one of Hortense McDuck-Duck’s children could have married a member of the Goose family, and that hyphenated name would have been McDuck-Duck-Goose, and that thought made me practically delirious!

All that to say, I love the Ducks and McDucks. But wait, there’s more! Because Huey, Dewey, and Louie, the Duck triplets, have also become one of my favorite M*A*S*H* jokes. There’s a scene in my favorite episode where Frank Burns is rambling on about Margaret’s fiancé, Donald Penobscott, and he imagines them introducing their children, Huey, Dewey, and Louie Penobscott. It’s probably the funniest thing Frank ever says, and now whenever we talked about Huey, Dewey, and Louie, we always tack “Penobscott” on at the end!

I love how thoughtful my children are in choosing gifts!

Fifteen!

Today is Ladybug’s 15th birthday! We did a lot of our celebrating yesterday, because it’s more fun to have a birthday on the weekend, but she waited until this morning to open presents:

I think she liked them!

Her birthday dinner came entirely from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook…Pixieberry tea, cabbage rolls (her birthday dinner of choice for three years running!), and rye bread:

For her cake, I re-created (or tried to) a chocolate cake she had a few years ago, with white and milk chocolate mousse fillings and chocolate ganache. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how it turned out (the mousses weren’t as stiff as they should have been, and I wanted the ganache to drizzle, not cover so well, so you could see the fillings), but she liked it, and it was delicious, which is all that really matters!

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

Spargelparty

Last weekend was the first-ever Markel Family Spargelparty!

When I first came across the idea of an asparagus celebration in one of my Duolingo lessons, I think my family thought I was joking when I said it was something we should do this spring. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could run with the idea of a meal centered around asparagus…(and it even makes a pretty centerpiece, especially when you have all three colors Eckert’s offers!):

I picked five recipes, all of which were at least somewhat new. There was an asparagus tart, bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles, cream of asparagus soup, asparagus and bacon quiche, and sautéed asparagus with (homemade!) Hollandaise sauce. Many of recipes included lemon, nutmeg, or a combination, and I discovered both are great additions to asparagus dishes. The overwhelming favorite was the soup…it was smooth and delicious.

It was a very spring-y meal!

I offered to incorporate asparagus into our dessert, as well (perhaps an asparagus cheesecake?), but no one took me up on my offer. Instead, I used a mix from Dr. Oetker to make a Käse-Sahne Torte. German Girl in America’s website was very helpful in translating the directions on the box, and I also followed her tips of using plain Greek yogurt instead of the quark, which you can only find around here sometimes, and serving it with fresh strawberries. It was the perfect end to our celebration of spring!

For years I’ve told my children the story of how they ring the church bells in Germany when the asparagus season begins…I’m glad I found a way for us participate in this tradition of celebrating the arrival of spring in a uniquely German way here at home!

Sartorial Saturday–Dirndl Blouses

As I’ve been collecting dirndls from Rare Dirndl to add to my wardrobe, I’ve also been collecting dirndl blouses. If you’ve never worn a dirndl blouse before, they’re kind of a unique item…they’re (usually) an extreme form of a crop top, often with a drawstring at the bottom so you can decide how much coverage you want.

I now have four blouses…three white and one black. Two of my white blouses are lace, and I think they’re my very favorite, because they have such a traditional look. The other two blouses both have puff sleeves, which is really fun! I love how switching out the blouse can give a dirndl a totally different look…it allows for so many more styling options!

2021-22 School Year–Week Thirty-One

I can’t believe we finished the penultimate week of the 2021-22 school year!

If I’m being honest, we really didn’t do a ton of school work this week. We did a lot of cooking/baking/prepping for Star Wars Day/Revenge of the Fifth. And we walked a lot…we’re up to about 3.5 miles a day. We’ve been really good about walking daily when the weather is nice since the schools here shut down in 2020, but we’ve really been trying to go the extra distance for the last month or so, to prepare for our trip, because we don’t want to run out of steam early in the day when we’re at the theme parks. But time outside in the fresh air and physical activity are important, too, so I’m not going to stress too much about how much we did in the classroom this late in the year!

Ladybug learned more trigonometric ratios in geometry…cosign, cosecant, and cotangent. That was her last lesson of the school year! In biology, she started reading about mammals. We talked about the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita in her study of religious writings. She read about Caligula and Nero in history.

Chickadee reviewed ratios in math. She read about Saul’s conversion in her overview of the Bible. We learned about corals and coral reefs in science. We have almost finished our study of US geography…she learned about the states in the Pacific timezone this week. We continued to read about the White House.

Next week will be a short week because we’re taking a day off for Ladybug’s birthday, and then we’ll say hello to summer vacation!

And Also with You (Revenge of the Fifth)

The Jedi had their day, now it’s time for the Revenge of the Fifth! I didn’t make quite as many dishes today, but we still had a special dinner. I turned back to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook and Star Wars: The Life Day Cookbook for inspiration. For the main course, I made Bantha Surprise (beef stew)…do you know how hard it is to find fresh Bantha around here?!?…and served it with Rorkid Bread (garlic bread dusted with matcha powder).

I made another special drink, the Photon Fizzle, and just left out the gin. I got to work with a new ingredient (boba pearls), which was a lot of fun!

For dessert, I made Mirial Teacakes, which also had matcha powder:

This won’t be the last themed dinner before our big trip…I already have something special planned for the last day of school next week, and beyond that, who knows?!?

May the Fourth Be With You

Happy Star Wars Day!

We have especially been looking forward to this holiday this year, because we’re so excited about our trip to Disney World and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next month! I planned some special meals to celebrate, featuring recipes from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook and Star Wars: The Life Day Cookbook. We started the day with Five-Blossom Bread for breakfast:

For dinner, I made an Eopie (pork) Roast, Plicated Orga Root (hasselback-style russet and sweet potatoes), and Roasted Rootleaf (cabbage).

We also had a Kyyyalstaad Fizz (lemon and lime juice with sparkling water):

For dessert we had Kashyyyk Cakes (chocolate cake, raspberry jam, and chocolate-mascarpone filling):

We’re not done yet…I have another special dinner planned for Revenge of the Fifth tomorrow!

Kyber Crystals

Happy Star Wars Day Eve!

Yesterday I took a look at the Kyber Crystal necklace I bought as an early vacation souvenir. I’m not the only one who wanted one of these, though…the thing our family is most looking forward to about our trip to Disney this summer is visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where we’re hoping to build lightsabers and droids, go on the rides, and visit the shops, so Kyber Crystal necklaces are natural souvenirs for multiple members of our family! Chickadee picked Rey’s, Bunny went with Ahsoka Tano’s, Ladybug had to have Kylo Ren’s, and the Darksaber was the perfect choice for Turkey:

I think it’s pretty cool that most of us were able to find a necklace that fit us and that we love!

An Early Vacation Souvenir

I’m so excited about our family vacation this summer, I already bought a souvenir, and we don’t even leave until next month!

I knew I wanted to get a RockLove Jewelry Kyber Crystal necklace to commemorate our time at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, even without knowing for sure if they’re sold anywhere at Disney. When RockLove had their birthday sale last month, I decided to just go ahead and order it ahead of time, promising myself I wouldn’t wear it until our trip (although I am going to make an exception on Star Wars Day!). I chose Princess Leia’s Kyber Crystal, both because I think it’s the prettiest necklace in the collection, and because the words “optimism, stability, serenity” really resonated with me.

I’m really looking forward to wearing this unique piece, and I’m glad I already have something to remember our trip by!