Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not Much Ado about Nothing

Here's to a "daddy and the boys" weekend

You may have noticed that my odometer (running mileage) is not going up very quickly. Well that's because I'm not putting in very much mileage at the moment. My next ultra isn't until July and Nancy is out of town from Thursday thru Sunday for the next three weeks, so no weekend long runs for me until April.

Instead, I'm enjoying some wonderful father and son time, and getting in a bit of cross training at home - circuits, weights, yoga, tabata and the bike trainer. Whereas last year I concentrated mostly on high mileage, I've pared down the running for the moment and replaced it with a lot more cross training. It seems to be paying dividends, as evidenced by my marathon at Little Rock.

And Gavin and I seem to be enjoying a much better relationship than of late. When we were in Arkansas, he broke down and told me that he's been upset that we're not spending as much time with him since Dylan was born. Since then, we've been getting along much better - he's become my "sous chef" at home, we've been doing a bit of trail running together and I've been getting some Roald Dahl books from the library which we've been working through at bedtime.

Yesterday the weather turned cold and rainy, and we took a trip to the library to change out our books. I'd been reading "The Witches" to Gavin, and we swapped it out for "Fantastic Mr Fox". These are all the books I enjoyed reading when I was a boy, and he seems to enjoy them as much as me.

I think when we exhaust Roald Dahl, I may start on the Chronicles of Narnia.

I've just finished Bear Grylls' excellent The Kid Who Climbed Everest and I swapped it out for Lance Armstrong's War and Positively False - the story of 2006 Tour de France "winner" Floyd Landis. Should be some good reading.

We also stopped off at a local restaurant supply store because I needed a new pizza peel. I've been experimenting recently with grilled pizza, which is absolutely wonderful, but you have to be super fast and react really quickly or the dough will burn and you'll be eating cereal for supper. Having another pizza peel handy should help.

Last night we took advantage of what may be the last cold spell of the season and lit a fire. We sat around it enjoying hot tea and biscotti, reading "the Enormous Crocodile" and watching a Star Wars movie.

Can't think of a better way to spend a cold night.

Ah, the lure of biscotti

This morning I promised Gavin that we'd make some homemade ice cream, so I stopped off for a few ingredients and then we had a go at my version of "chunky monkey".

I bought this ice cream maker a few years ago and simply love it. There's no messing around with rock salt - I just store the main barrel in the freezer and bring it out when I'm ready to go. It's super easy and Gavin loved helping and watching the ice cream come together.

I got my base mixture in there and started it churning. A few minutes before the end I added in some dark chocolate chips, chopped walnuts (the "chunky" component) and some smashed up banana with lemon juice (the "monkey" part). It was very delicious, and we spooned it into a container and got it into the freezer to enjoy for dessert tonight.

Well, most of it. Gavin and Dylan (and I) really enjoyed the "clean up" afterwards (hey, it's quality control right)!!!

Cleaning up after making "chunky monkey" ice cream

Once the ice cream was cleaned away, we decided to plant some herbs. I'd picked up a herb starter kit that we could work on together, and we had a great time getting the soil together and bedding the seeds in. It's going to be Gavin's job to monitor the pots and ensure they have enough water.

I suspect I'm going to have to prod him a bit :-)

Gavin with his herb starter kit. He's pointing his finger to tell me that I'm going to help him.

Gavin is very proud of his indoor herb garden

I'm enjoying a bit of down time right now as I've managed to get both boys to go down for naps at the same time. I've no idea how I managed that, but I took advantage of it to get a nice big batch of marinara sauce going - it's bubbling away on the stove right now.

When they wake up we're going to go to the swings, and then later we're going to make pizza dough for the grilled pizza tonight. I'm going to put a little extra into the dough because I've promised Gavin that I'd let him have his own dough ball and teach him how to toss and spin it.

That should be fun.


clea said...

I LOVE Roald Dahl. Have you read his adult short stories? They are great. James and the Giant Peach was one of my favorite childhood books.

I love homemade ice cream do a great job creating a lot of fun activities at home.

Mark said...

Yes, I read some of his "Tales of the Unexpected" a long time ago. I should read them again, I remember them being really good. He was an interesting character with a fascinating life story.

He was also a Welshman.