Today was a very cold day and my husband and I decided to take our son to walk around our local outdoor shopping center after breakfast. We haven’t done something like that in awhile because the weather hasn’t been appropriate but today felt like the perfect day for a bundled up stroll. We all had on our sweaters, undershirts, coats, hats and gloves and began our walk. The first thing we did was take him to see the giant Christmas tree. It’s November 7th, does anyone else feel this is an unacceptable time for a Christmas tree? I love the holiday season and can’t wait until we get our tree and start listening to Christmas music but I am not even close to being ready for it now. If we start to get used to seeing the big green tree now, then what’s so special about it come mid December? I suppose it’s all done for marketing reasons, but come on- Let us eat turkey first, and then roll out the jingle bells.
We then went to Barnes and Noble, which my son adorably calls the Train Store because of their Thomas the Train tracks. He could stay in there for hours if we let him and I usually have to bribe him to get him out of there, but not today. I walked him back to the kids section and saw his face light up when he saw the train set. I took off his jacket, coat, gloves and hat and he started to play. He had the set all to himself until another boy just his age came up to join him. The boy’s mother and I talked for a couple of minutes, mostly about our train-obsessed sons and how they were both named appropriately (mine Henry, hers Thomas). About 30 seconds later I noticed a strange, but all too familiar look on my son’s face. While he was distracted playing with the trains he’s been separated from for months, he forgot to focus on the fact that he wasn’t on a potty. Right there at Tidmouth Sheds we had ourselves our first public accident since Potty Training him several months ago and bless his little heart, I had to take him away from his trains to go clean him up and dry him off.
I always keep fresh underwear and socks in my purse, but no pants…that would be a bit excessive I believe. So I sent my husband to the closest kids clothing store to buy pants (remember, it’s Freezing outside), Thomas’ mother agreed to watch our things, and I went into the bathroom to clean up my little man. We came back to find my husband empty handed (stores don’t open until at least 11 on Sundays…apparently nobody needs pants before lunchtime), and another boy at the train set. My son went right back to work in his winter sweater, undershirt, socks and Buzz Lightyear underwear. I explained to the new mom in the group what had happened, made a little joke about how we’re trying out a new look, my husband made another little joke about how he could barely count all the times he’s been in Barnes and Noble in just his underwear, and all seemed fine. We were gonna let him play for a few more minutes until it became extremely inappropriate to have an almost 3 year old without pants in a public place. But I felt horrible for my son for not getting to do what he came to do! Just a few more minutes, I told myself.
Within 1 minute, I looked over and saw the new little boy buried in his mothers lap. She had a disapproving look on her face that was aimed directly at me, and then I heard her say, all too loudly,
Oh no she didn’t.
First of all, if that’s honestly why your boy is upset, then he should see you in your underwear, mama. Second of all, uh…how rude.
I continued to make jokes, because that’s just what I do when I feel uncomfortable, (it’s either that, or slug someone but I felt it more appropriate to not get in a pregnant fist fight) and we soon gathered all of our stuff to get the heck outta there. I grabbed hold of my pants-less wonder, made sure to take the long way around the train set so new mama was forced to look at Buzz Lightyear up real close and we walked out of the store, heads held high. My poor little man had a total of 2 minutes with the trains before we had to come home. I was actually the only one bothered by any of this, blame it on the hormones I guess, but I still felt the need to offer my little guy whatever he wanted to make up for the ‘trauma’ he was just involved in. So I decided to make him a little something special, and I tell ya, the rolling pin served as a great aggression reliever for me.
*Apricot Stuffed Goat Cheese Shortcakes with Almond Whipped Cream
(If you don’t feel like making your own biscuit dough, don’t worry, those biscuits in a tube are cheap, easy and delicious. Roll out each raw biscuit until very thin and spread a bit of chevre on them before spooning on your filling.)
-In a small saucepan, add the contents of 1 15oz can of apricot halves in light syrup, (Yes, by all means use fresh apricots halves in sugar, but this was a spir of the moment idea and I happened to have the can on hand), and mash it all up until pulpy with a potato masher.
-Add about 1/3 cup of apricot preserves, the zest of 1 large lemon, a pinch of salt, and 2-3 TB of brown sugar, (to taste, depending on the sweetness of your preserves and apricots), stir well, bring to a simmer.
-In a small bowl, place 2 rounded spoonfuls of cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of cold water. Stir well until all lumps are gone. Add this to your hot apricot mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil and once thickened, turn the heat off.
-Allow this mixture to cool completely while you prepare your biscuits.
-Make your goat cheese biscuits by using my recipe HERE, but omit the parmesan cheese and instead of dropping them onto the skillet, knead the dough on a well-floured surface, roll it out to about 1-1 1/2 inches thick and cut them into baseball sized circles.
-Roll each circle out to be about 1/8 inch thick and in one half of each circle, spoon about 2-3 TB of the cooled apricot mixture, being sure to leave at least 1/2 an inch of a border. Dip your fingers in some water and moisten the edges of the biscuit dough then fold over the other half to make a half moon shape and press to seal. Press the tines of a fork all along the sealed edges to make it look pretty, then poke a few holes in the center of the dough. Transfer to an un-greased cookie sheet and sprinkle the top with sugar.
-Continue until all your biscuits have been filled, (you may have leftover filling) and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, (some filling may escape from your dough, don’t be alarmed, just spoon it back onto the crispy crust so it won’t be wasted.)
-Allow to cool a bit before topping with loosely whipped fresh cream flavored with a bit of powdered sugar and almond extract. If there’s more filling left over, spoon that on as well. Top with slivered, toasted almonds before enjoying.