30 Days, Day 15: Pão de Queijo

Once upon a time, I lived in Brazil for eighteen months. Brazilians make some seriously delicious foods, and among the most delicious is pão de queijo (literally, “bread of cheese”). As I am planning to have a Brazilian-style first birthday party for Baby (not for a few months, but I’m excited), I wanted to practice some of the foods I might make.

I used the recipe here. While definitely not completely authentic (they just don’t sell queijo minas in the local grocery store), these lovely little bread-cheese-puff things are fantastic.

I’ve already eaten about ten.

The only weird ingredient was tapioca flour, which we found at a local farmer’s market-type grocery store. (It was buy one get one free, too!) And with the help of the KitchenAid, they were quite easy to make.

30 Days, Day 14: Abstract Algebra

This one will take a lot more than one day, but we’ll count starting it as one of my days.

As I have mentioned, I was a math teacher before becoming a mom, so I took a lot of math classes in high school, including Abstract Algebra, widely regarded as one of the two hardest classes in the MathEd major. I actually rather liked it, as I’m generally a fan of the more abstract parts of math, anyway, but in the intervening nine years, I’ve forgotten all but the most basic aspects.

So for this day, I started reading through my Abstract Algebra book and working the problems as I went.

It's a pretty ugly book, really.
It’s a pretty ugly book, really.

I haven’t actually gotten to any of the abstract algebra itself, yet — so far it’s just notation and set theory — but I am excited to continue. I hadn’t done a real proof in years (though I do occasionally prove the Law of Cosines when I’m in boring meetings, just because I’m cool), so it was a little challenging, but ultimately gratifying.

30 Days, Day 13: Sock Puppet

It is clear that I will never be a Pinterest Queen, but I did have fun making this dragon sock puppet out of felt, buttons, and a sock whose match I lost ages ago.

It’s a wingaling dragon!

It would probably look more like a dragon if I’d had, say, a green sock, but I didn’t, and this is how it came out.

It looks like maybe some kind of dragon/cow/donkey/dog hybrid. Terrifying.

But the thing is, Baby seems to like it, and that’s all that really matters. Right?

30 Days, Day 11: Fudge

Fudge is delicious and also very expensive. I’ve never made it myself, and so I decided to give it a go yesterday. I found a recipe, here, for which I already had the ingredients. I should have known, based on the fact that it said “advanced” that this wasn’t a good idea for a first time fudge-maker.

Really, though, the recipe wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I apparently can’t read our candy thermometer, so I didn’t let the fudge get hot enough and, thus, it didn’t set up correctly.

Maybe if I put a cute bow on it, it will taste better.

But! It seemed a shame to waste so much sugar and cocoa, so I decided to try the entirely-too-runny stuff as a fudge topping instead. We didn’t have any ice cream in the house, so we haven’t sampled it as hot fudge, yet, but we’re planning to try it out tonight.

30 Days, Day 9: Organs — The Body Part Kind

It occurred to me that I don’t know very much about how the human body works. I mean, I know the names of a lot of organs, but I’m not really sure what many of them do. So for day 9, I decided to learn some things about organs in the human body.

Because I’m lazy, I used wikipedia. It was really pretty handy, though, with a nice list so I could click on links and read more about specific organs. Among the things I learned: ligaments and tendons are basically the same thing, they just connect different things (ligaments connect bones to bones; tendons connect bones to muscles) and are both made of collagen; “sinews” is just another word for “tendons”; I’ve been saying “larynx” wrong forever; your gall bladder stores bile (also called gall), which makes sense; and your stomach isn’t centered — it’s a little offset to the left.

I didn’t get through all of the organs on the list, but I learned a lot of things. I even took notes so I could feel legit.