Saturday, June 12, 2010

Football commentary

We are not a sports-loving family. We don't go out to play or watch team games of any sort, and although the kids occasionally watch (American) football on TV they don't really have much clue about it. So they don't have much experience watching sports on TV. As it was a rainy day, I turned the television on this afternoon so we could watch at least part of the World Cup game between England and the US because DD had asked at lunch "What's the World Cup for and when's it happening?" The commentary was hilarious, but we did have to alternate between watching the game and playing games on the wii because DS really wasn't interested in the game.

DD: What time is it in England now? (Umm - 5 hours ahead of here, but the game's not happening there - it's in South Africa.) Why is it happening in South Africa? (Because that's where FIFA decided to have the World Cup this year.) What's FIFA? (The organization that organizes the World Cup.) Why are they playing soccer at this time of year? (Because this is when FIFA decided the World Cup would be.)

DS: What team is the guy in the yellow shirt on? (That would be the referee.)

DD: The guy in the yellow shirt seems to be on the England team.
(Again, that would be the referee, and he wasn't on England's side!)

DS: Who's the guy in the orange shirt? (One of the goalies.)

DD: Why isn't the goalie staying in the goal?

DS: Why did they move the goal? (They changed the camera angle!)

DS: I think his chest is broken. Someone else is going to have to take his place. (He's probably just fine - they usually are.)

DS: I hope the England player gets another yellow card or a red one, then America will win.

DD: Why aren't there any girls playing? (They have their own teams.) Because the boys think they're better than girls?

DS: This is boring! (Repeated loudly every five minutes.)

DD: There's more tomorrow? I thought it was just today! Does it go on for days? (Yes, and no we won't be watching much more of it - probably just the highlights on the news!)

DH: What, they don't play until there's a winner?

DD: England would've won if Mia Hamm had been on their team!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The World Cup

This cartoon is by Dave Walker and is used with permission.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Chocolate delivery system

I wrote this post back in February and apparently I forgot to hit 'Post'!

I recently recommended that Kelly, in her search for the best cookies ever, try this recipe for chocolate cookies with chunks of Maya Gold chocolate in them. I hadn't actually tried the recipe myself, but it looked yummy. Kelly took the bait, made the cookies and wrote a wonderfully detailed post about the making of the cookies. She concluded that, good as they are, the Rolo cookie recipe we got from In the Left Lane is still better.

So I decided I should do my own comparison. I'd made the Rolo cookies for DS to take to school for his birthday and had THREE adults want the recipe, so you know they are good. DH had given me some Green & Black's Maya Gold for Valentine's Day but on looking more closely at the recipe I realized that one 3.5 ounce bar wasn't going to go very far when the recipe called for a POUND of chocolate! That's $12.50 worth of Maya Gold, when it's on sale. $15 when it's not. I was thinking these had better be some freakingly awesome cookies!

I decided I had to try them anyway. Kelly had warned that the dough got hard to mix at the end, and boy was she right! Getting the last of the flour incorporated took a lot of effort - and then I still had to mix in the chocolate chunks. I'd decided to go with four bars of the Maya gold and it turned out to be plenty. I wasn't sure that I had the right kind of chili powder so I only added 1/8 of a teaspoon.

For all the effort, they were worth it! The kids love them. I love them too, but can actually eat just one at a time. (I really didn't believe Kelly when she said one at a time was enough!) The kids were eating them for a treat this morning when we were out and someone walking by commented on how good the cookies smelled! And although the recipe said "makes 24 cookies", I made up the whole batch and got not 24 but 44 perfectly sized cookies. Again, I should have listened when Kelly said she put half the dough in the freezer, or perhaps the sheer quantity of ingredients should have clued me in!

Our conclusion - yes, they were great, but for 'everyday' cookies we liked the Rolo cookies better!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Definitely not British!

I had to renew DD's British passport last week. When we went to get her photo taken they asked in the store if this was going to be her first passport. We both hesitated for a moment, and then we agreed that, no this was not going to be her first passport but her sixth. You'd have thought we had six heads the way they looked at us! They are, however, quite used in that particular store to people of various nationalities wanting photos for passports, and they didn't quite believe me when I said I just wanted "passport photos, just like for an American passport." They seemed convinced that the photos must need to be different in some way. When I renewed both of DS's passports we had one set of photos taken and I used the same photos for both passports, so I really don't think there are different requirements! (Though if you apply for a British passport in the UK, the background for your photo has to be cream or light grey, but when applying from overseas it can be white.)

The passport application still has that section where you have to find someone other than a working-class person who's known you for at least two years and get them to sign the application to vouch that you are who you say you are:

At least you don't have to find someone British to do it, or I'd be in trouble! I asked a neighbor if she'd be willing to do it. We chatted briefly about the luxury of having two passports and the implications for future employment possibilities. I commented that simply having British passports doesn't really make my kids British, and she responded that she doesn't think of me as being British either. A few years ago I'd have been quite taken aback by that. The reality is that for some time now, the US is where I've lived the longest, and I'm actually more surprised when someone comments on my accent and asks me where I'm from. My answer to that is usually , "Well, I've lived right here for most of my life . . ." which really throws them for a loop!

Later, chatting with DD we were talking about the fact that should anything ever 'happen' to DH and I, she and her brother would probably go and live with my sister in the UK. She was OK with that and said she knows that's why we keep her British passport current, but then asked, "But what if there's World War 3? Britain and America would be on opposite sides so we wouldn't be able to get there!" I started to say something about the US and Britain usually being on the same side in a war, and then I remembered what she's been studying in history class this month! She grinned when she realized what I'd forgotten, and then followed it up with "Britain should never have fought the Americans. They wanted to be free and Britain should have let them be free." No, despite the passport, she's definitely not British!
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