Ariel’s on his way to Albuquerque to pick up Hanna, whose flight arrives at 8. He was so excited today you could feel the vibrations all over the house. After hours yesterday cleaning his room, and the bathroom (the. bath. room. that’s right.), he stopped at the grocery store today to get her flowers, banged out the dents in his car door Charles’s sledgehammer, then headed down to Albuquerque. I’m SO happy for him. “Don’t text and drive; don’t talk on your cell phone and drive; drive like people who love you are depending on it. Now get outta here.” That’s how I express love at this point in El Nino’s life (well, one way).
Charles is in the kitchen making invert sugar. For his birthday earlier this month I gave him a year’s subscription to Recchiuti’s monthly “Classics Club” (we discovered an amazing chocolate shop in San Francisco in October) with their book on making chocolates. Many recipes start with an invert sugar syrup, basically sugar heated until it breaks down into glucose and fructose, which makes for a much smoother consistency. You can buy this syrup but it’s not hard to make, and Charles took it upon himself to learn how. He went to two cooking stores to get things we need, including an immersion blender and a new instant-read thermometer.
“I love this, it’s so cool,” he says. “You stick this bad boy in there and it tells you what you need to know.” For the moment all I need to do to help is say “mm-hmm” and “wow!” once in a while and keep him company. We’ll do the real work together tomorrow with “the kids.” There will be a second one here soon. “208,” Charles says. “We’re almost there, honey.”
I have dinner cooking for Ariel and Hanna, an ad-libbed chicken and green olives and some spaghetti al limone, which smells delicious. Hanna may be too tired after a day’s travels to want to eat much, but Ariel’s never been too tired to eat. We’ve got clothes racks near the wood stove temporarily to finish drying, Charles at the stove announcing the rising temperatures of his syrup, Misty sleeping on the warm floor near the fire, chicken hissing in its juices in the oven, and peach-colored tea roses on the kitchen table for La Hanna. I feel like Eloise at midlife: “Oooooooo, I absolutely LOVE domesticity!”