Friday, August 29, 2008

Rest in Peace Garrie Wood Nicoll

P1040751, originally uploaded by freemntn.

Our beloved brother-in-law, Garrie, passed away in his sleep last night. He had been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer and it just got the best of him. We are all going to miss him dearly, most especially Prescott and Roslyn.

A local service will be held at a date and location to be determined, where we can all share our memories.

Garrie Wood Nicoll
October 16, 1954 - August 29, 2008

Prescott, Roz and Garrie Nicoll

Garrie & Prescott

Roslyn and Garrie

Garrie & Prescott

Garrie & Davey - 36 days old


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No knead bread

I can't believe it but I finally got around to making the No Knead Bread recipe that I'd been hearing about for well over a year.

Even though I thought, as I put it in to the oven, that it was too sticky and wasn't going to turn out, it is really, really good!

Almost No-Knead Bread


An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best
results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast- iron Dutch oven
or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "Making Your Dutch
Oven Safe for High-Heat Baking" for information on converting Dutch
oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager,
such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is
best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and
stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

Makes 1 large round loaf
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for
dusting work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and
vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from
bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap
and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet
and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly
floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by
pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to
parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick
cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room
temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring
back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest
position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on
rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and,
using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep
slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid.
Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let
any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven.
Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and
instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20
to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to
wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

What song was #1 when you were born?

Polly showed me a fun site this afternoon -- Josh Hosler's # 1 Song on This Date In History.

The #1 Billboard song the day I was born was Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentrie.

More family member's birth date songs:
Mark: Paperback Writer by The Beatles
Davey: Sexyback by Justin Timberlake
Polly: So Much in Love by The Tymes
Prescott: Dreamlover by Mariah Carey
Rozzie: The Boy Is Mine by Brandy & Monica
Dad: Music, Maestro, Please by Tommy Dorsey (prophetic?)
Mom: Buttons and Bows by Dinah Shore

What's YOUR birth date song?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Um, maybe we got a little carried away?

Polly and I made 5-3/4 Quarts of peach preserves on Sunday. Plus Polly made two double-sized peach crisps. And Polly still had an over-stuffed Safeway bag full of whole peaches when I left her house last night.

My fingernails are still stained.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy birthday Dad!

P1210739, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

70 years young, still touring, making music, having fun and one of the nicest people one could ever hope to know. I love you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Davey meets Potty Scotty

Novato, Aug 21, 2008, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Part of the "Potty training in one day" plan... let's see how this goes!

It's been rough but he's starting to feel a little better

Novato, Aug 21, 2008, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Oh boy, last night was ROUGH. He continued with his high fevers, spit out medication he was given, had a couple of sponge baths and barely ate or drank anything. Of course, it goes it without saying that there was a lot of screaming (his) involved. *pout*

At midnight Davey was crying again and Mark asked me to go give Davey more Motrin.

By the time I was back in bed, my throat was really sore and it took me 45 minutes to go back to sleep.

He was still cranky and fussy this morning but the fever was, thankfully, finally gone. He was clingy and cried whenever trying to swallow anything most of the day. By the end of the day, however, he was eating lots of cookies, freeze-dried mangosteen and freeze-dried snap-peas. Feh, not a very healthy diet, but it was calories. We can go back to a healthier diet tomorrow and/or whenever he's feeling better.

Oh, did I mention that the pediatrician diagnosed him with a raging ear infection in one ear, pinkness in the other ear and a pink (so probably sore) throat? Davey's on a 10 day course of Amoxicillin.

As you can see in this photo, he was feeling happier this afternoon.

I, on the other hand, have clogged up ears, swollen sinuses and a sore throat.

Motherhood is grand.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poor little boo boo

After a fun-filled day with Marina II, going to two playgrounds and having lunch at her house, Davey came home a happy little boy. Then I let him watch Curious George while I finished making dinner, something that has become a ritual (joyous for David). When the show was over, his eyes were really red and watery. Now, we have to remind him to blink when watching Curious George as he gets so mesmerized (yuck!) but that wasn't the problem this time. He was acting cranky, unhappy and very tired. I brought him to the dinner table and he reluctantly ate two bites of chicken and got really upset. I took him from the table and he pointed to his room.

There, I changed his diaper and he nearly fell asleep and it was only 5pm. However, in just a clean diaper and t-shirt, he pointed to his crib. I lay him down, tucked a light blanked over his legs and he happily clutched a couple of stuffed animals and fell asleep. Wow!

At 6:15, he awoke crying. I went in to get him and he was a HEATER. I'd never felt him so hot. I took his temperature, under his arm, and it read 102.4. Yikes! He had a very high fever! No wonder he was crying and unhappy. A dose of infant Motrin and 30 minutes later he was back in his crib, still burning up, eyes half open, breathing fast and whimpering. At that point, I called the advice nurse. She said that I could give him more Motrin than I had, initially (2.5 vs 1.875 ml) and that if the fever hadn't reduced in 30 minutes, then give him a luke-warm sponge bath.

Thankfully, the fever DID reduce and our happy, chirpy boy was back. He was up and about, stealing lots of pasta from Mark's dinner, eating two bunches of grapes, half an orange and drinking lots of fluids. Phew! He got the treat of staying up late and watching some Olympic men's spring board diving, which he LOVED. After every dive he'd raise his arms in the air, say, "Whoooaaaa," clap and then give the sign for "more!" That was fun. By 9 I had him back in his crib and he quickly drifted off to sleep.

This morning he awoke at 6am, not cranky but insistently calling out, "Mom! Mom! Mom!" When I got him he was burning up again. He was clingy and kept saying, "juice!." So, while holding him, I squeezed an orange and made him a cup of juice, which he chugged. Then he chugged a dose of Motrin. Then he came to bed with Mark and I to lie down until he felt better...

I noticed last night that he kept putting his hand to his right ear. When I asked if his ear hurt, he didn't respond. However, this morning he's doing it again, so we're going in to the doctor's office at 10:50 to get him checked out. I'm pretty certain a dose of antibiotics are on their way...

In the meantime, he's happily outside with Marina, looking for the garbage truck and watching birds.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Curious George-i-fied

Curious George-i-fied, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Remember, Davey, BLINK!

Happy birthday Dad!

Originally uploaded by jessicafm
For Dad's 70th birthday, rather than have a small family gathering in our back yard, we changed it in to a BIG party at Stafford Lake in order to let his friends help him really celebrate the big event.

Dad was blissfully unaware of the hurried preparations through the week and only started getting suspicious when Linda told him they needed to stop by Stafford Lake on the way to our house to pick up Polly's address book that she'd left in the bathroom. Hahaha!


When Dad arrived he found a big picnic area with a good-sized group of friends, balloons and pictures of him throughout the years incorporated in to collages and hanging from the trees. In the end a good 80 or so friends and family arrived, gave their love, enjoyed the food, beat on the pinata (thanks Darby!), had shots of tequila, gave Dad presents, played music, sang and all-in-all enjoyed themselves.


We had California Grill cater ribs, chicken, grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, salad and garlic bread plus Gregg and Tim grilled up some extra hot dogs and chicken, just in case.


Polly, of course, made two poppyseed with lemon cream and fresh fruit birthday cakes plus a carrot and marzipan cake. She also made a batch of chocolate cupcakes that were "Davey safe," and I made, "Davey safe," banana chocolate chip muffins and peach & ginger pie.


As usual there was (too much) great food at a Freiberg party and, most importantly, great guests and so much love.


Dad's birthday is on August 24, but he'll be on tour in England then. We were happy to start off his birthday week, which can continue across the pond. Everyone make sure to wish him a happy birthday on the real day if you can!



Wolf and Morgan

Wolf and Morgan, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Building a massive tower

Building a massive tower, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Davey loves Daddy's gloves

Davey loves Daddy's gloves, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Davey helped Mark and I with a bit of yard work yesterday morning. He loves wearing Mark's gloves or trying to walk in our shoes. It's a good thing he's got good balance and strong hands.

Reading Curious George

P1000033, originally uploaded by freemntn.

With Grandma Julia.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tickle monster

P1000055, originally uploaded by freemntn.

After some tug-o-war over dinner being required before dessert, Davey's happy side eventually came out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Jump!, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy 22 months!

Happy 22 months!, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Today is Davey's 22 month birthday! He is such a joy in our lives and charms those who know him. He's so bright, observant, funny and cute. Not that we're biased, of course.

Bonnie keeps telling us, "You need to get that boy tested!"

He's parroting what we say all the time, kissing us (and his toys and books), full of energy, loves to take things apart and put them back together again, play with the hose (including a mastery of the hose nozzle), have us read to him and also sit by himself and read. He loves drawing with crayons, finger painting, throwing rocks, watering plants, feeding the goldfish, going for walks, EATING. The kid is great! He still loves his weekly Kindermuzik and Gymnastics classes and enjoys socializing with the kids in class and on the playground.

Oh, and of course, when we let him run around naked he voluntarily uses his potty!

Where's Davey?

After his bath we did a little measuring, to see where he stands, physically. Our scale only measures to the 1/2 pound and he was wearing a (fresh) diaper and we're not sure if we measured his height the same as at the doctor's office or not, but here's what we wrote down anyway:

Height: 34"
Weight: 22.5lbs
Head: 19.5" in diameter

Thanks for being our boy, David!

Cautionary Tale

Cautionary Tale, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Do not use a Food Saver to seal your freshly baked bread.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday = Cooking Day?

Whew, today was a day of cooking! First thing in the morning I made a batch of banana chocolate chip muffins, which were a major hit with Davey and Mark (and me).

Enjoying chocolate chip banana muffins

Then, a little later in the morning, I started off a batch of Anadama Bread. I'd never made it before but another member of The Well mentioned it, it sounded good and I had all the ingredients in the pantry.

I followed the recipe closely except I omitted the butter as I wanted the recipe to be Davey friendly.

The dough was quite sticky, but it did come together and, as you can see in the photo above, was very happy and easily doubled itself.

When baked up it turned a beautiful brown. Once cooled and sliced, we found the crust to be a bit too tough and the flavor to be a little lacking, but the interior texture was fabulous. Next time I try it, I'll add more salt and substitute maybe some olive oil for the butter.

Regardless, Davey loved this bread and couldn't stuff it in his mouth fast enough. On his second piece, his mouth was literally so full he couldn't chew and he was motioning for more (uh, no).

Baby scrub jay

Baby scrub jay, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

He's (she's?) growing up! But still hanging out in front of my office window.

A great new blog for the food porn addicts of the web

I know this author from the Cooking conference of The Well and she's a wonder. She's a few years younger than me, is a full-time professional, happily married and is always cooking amazing meals and throwing sumptuous dinner parties.

And now she's started a blog: Love Apples

If you love food porn, I highly recommend her site.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Bribery, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

As witnessed in a post on this blog earlier in the week, it was TIME for Davey to get a haircut. I took him to the Panda Room in Novato this afternoon and he got through it without much fussing! The secret: I gave him a lollipop DURING the haircut. The promise of a lollipop after being a good boy during a hair cut was not going to cut it.

However, the distraction of the lollipop and a basket full of toys was enough for him to get an excellent hair cut. Yes!