hiiiiii!!! I’ve missed y’all!! And clearly based on your abundant fan mail of quantity zero emails, you’ve missed me.
There are more opportunities to miss me.
I’m pregnant. I’m growing something, other than mold in the back of my fridge. This means that if blogging is happening at all, I’ll be presenting mashed peas. And pureed sweet potatoes. And on special occasions, a blend of peas and sweet potatoes.
I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to decide how to share the news with you. I think I’ve spent more time wondering how to tell you than how to tell my husband. And this is how it came out…very anti-climactic. Don’t worry though – you guys didn’t get the short straw on this one. Wait until you hear about how I told him. Just think, what is the worst way to tell your husband that you’re pregnant? If you just accidentally got pregnant and didn’t mean to, then no big hoo-rah expected. But what if you had, say, FIVE YEARS, to think about how to tell him and didn’t get it right? Stay tuned.
Now that my body is changing and I’m looking lumpy, I started wearing maternity clothes. At first I wore neglected pieces in my closet that I used to dismiss because they made me look like I was pregnant when I wasn’t. You know, like anything that has an empire waist or tie in the back giving you a poof in the front. These were the pieces that if I wore them in conjunction with turning down a glass of wine, then I was definitely assumed to be pregnant. Later, I actually started to buy maternity clothing and I learned a great deal. First, I should have been buying maternity clothes a loooooong time ago. Everything is simply a longer version of regular clothes. Tall people – go to Pea in the Pod! Secondly, everything is just solids and stripes. Those are your options. Like guy-clothes. This works out well for me since I don’t want to spend my time “styling” myself. Maternity intimate apparel is a different story. Imagine an ever-so-alluring hybrid: Adidas Sports bra meets industrial grade elastic straps. Mrs. Doubtfire has a sexier bra than I do.
At first I had a hard time discerning the belly: Is this baby bump or is this muffin top pooch? I did have a row of Oreos yesterday. This is just the beginning of the cosmetic changes. As soon as I saw my mom, she said “oh you have that beautiful pregnant glow”. These are nice things people say when you’re about to get fat so you don’t remember that you’re fat. Like when it rains on your wedding day, that’s good luck. Or if you broke a mirror, that’s good luck. These are all distraction methods to divert your attention from the fact that the weather is going to suck on the big day or that you’re a clumsy idiot who has to clean up a dangerous mess. So thanks mom, but, it’s not a glow. That’s my L’oreal True Match Foundation paired with MAC Mineral blush. But I will be sure to tell L’oreal and MAC that another marketing opportunity is lurking. Now my legs, still chopstick legs. Thighs are inching toward Beyonce-style, but without the impressive dance moves. My boobs, still an A, comfortably nested in my Mrs. Doubtfire bra. I’m not getting any favors in the looks department.
Aside from looks, let’s discuss the real concern here. Me, a Mom. I’ve never owned a pet and I’ve never grown a plant for longer than 7 months, but I’m trying not to consider these as indicators of how I will raise children. Luckily right now my circulatory system is set to auto-feed so I don’t have to remind myself to DO anything to perpetuate the growth, but that will change soon. At the 9 month mark, I’ll have to be….responsible. Like a real adult. Funny how a license is needed for driving a vehicle, a background check is needed to hold a job, and a credit check is needed to own a house, but to grow a human, why have any rules?
Lychees and dragonfruit are in season in June. I got some from Frieda’s produce at Kroger and I thought the quality of their lychees were amazing. Be sure to grab them early while in season!
Lychee-Coconut Jelly Skewers with Lemongrass Syrup
This impressive display is perfect for entertaining. It combines Nicola Graimes’ Coconut Jelly recipe with some of my favorite fruits and flavors. Why not get some Thai take-out for appetizers and the entrees and spend your energy on this? If you’ve never had lychees, it texturally resembles a grape but has a very sweet and floral note to the taste. You can add other exotic flavors to the syrup such as ginger or my favorite, star anise.
For the Coconut Jelly:
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin
1-2/3 cups canned coconut milk
For the Lemongrass Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped (i only use the green leaves to keep it subtle, but you can use the white part of the stalk for more flavor)
Two Blades lemongrass leaves
Dragonfruit Wedges (optional)
Shotglass for syrup
1. Cut the lychees in half. Using a paring knife, cut each lychee down to the seed (like cutting an avocado) Remove the outer shell and then gently peel away each half of the lychee fruit.
2. Prepare the coconut jelly: Heat the water and sugar in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle the gelatin over and stir occasionally, until dissolved. Stir in the coconut milk, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Grease a 7″ square cake pan. Line with plastic wrap. Pour in the coconut milk mixture and chill until set.
3. Prepare the syrup: Heat the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add chopped lemongrass and cook on low for 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. Make the skewers: Cut the coconut jelly while in the pan into 1″ or 1-1/2″ squares (you’ll need to test which one goes on the skewer better – if it’s too small, the jelly will break, but if it’s too big, the weight may also cause it to break from the skewer). Just be gentle, and you should be okay! Skewer the lychee and coconut jelly cubes at the end of each stick.
5. Arrange the platter: Lay out some lemongrass leaves on the platter and then criss cross a pair of the skewers on top. Then serve dragonfruit or lychees on the side with a small shotglass of the syrup. The syrup is intended to be poured onto the skewers before eating.