Friday, May 26, 2006


So last night my parents and I came home from a dance production and my brothers informed us that we are pet-sitting.

"Darla?" Mom asked, wondering if the neighbors' mop little dog was back.

"No! These!" My brother held up two tea light holder mesh things that had plastic wrap attached to both ends with rubber bands. Inside, each had a stick and then a little nest-like thing. Huh.

"They're preying-mantis eggs!"

Yeah, so basically we're pet-sitting insects.

I didn't know people raised those.

And, ok, what are we going to do with them? Supposing they hatch, what exactly do people do with newly hatched pet preying-mantises? Name them? It says online that each egg case usually hatches 200-300 of the things. That's disgusting.

Good thing I'm not an entomologist.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

a first post

While I was in Italy, people loved talking to me about food. I would tell them that I wanted to learn to cook well for my future husband, and that would get them really excited. They would explain their recipes to me.

This afternoon I invited my 13 year old brother to make eggplant parmigiana with me. We spent some quality time together.

I've been in the mood for it for a couple weeks now and so yesterday I went and bought the ingredients.

We had a great time making it. I cut and breaded and fried the eggplant. And got the sauce ready. Jason chopped fresh tomatoes to put into the sauce. He grated the mozzarella. Then together we layered it in a 9x13 casserole dish. Sauce on bottom. Eggplant. Sauce. Mozzarella and parmesian cheese. More eggplant. Sauce. Cheeses. Eggplant. Sauce. Cheeses. It looked and smelled really good. We resisted the urge to dig in, and put it in the oven instead, to melt the cheese.

It smelled really good and after a while it was finally ready. I was excited to eat it and to share it. I called everyone to the table for a nice family dinner.

"I'm not eating that," Tyler (10) announced.


While I was in Chile, my family instituted the "thank you bite." That meant that Tyler and any other picky eaters were required to eat at least one bite, in gratitude towards whoever had prepared it. He didn't even want that.

"I just want a little bit." "Yeah, me too." "Can I just taste it?"

"But. Guys." I started dishing out little pieces and everyone except Tyler and my dad came to the table. The neighbor kid was over, too, and he wanted to taste just a little bit "in case I don't like it." I had worried that there wouldn't be enough because there were so many people eating, but, oh, yeah, we didn't even touch more than half of it. Mom wanted us to save her some, and it wasn't going to be a problem.

Blessing on the food.

I took dad two-bites worth. And then the moment of truth came. People started tasting their food.

And what happened?

"It tastes kind of like pizza," the neighbor kid said.

"Or lasagna," someone else said.

Everyone loved it. Tyler changed his mind and wanted some, after all. Dad had expected it to taste like zucchini (which he doesn't like), but came back wanting more because it tasted like lasagna. They all fought over seconds.

Heck yeah, I cook well.