Last night I went to the grocery store for milk and yogurt and the usuals, and the cashier smiled and commented on how much my belly has grown since she last rang me up.  For the past couple of months, each time I’ve gone grocery shopping, no matter who my cashier is, he or she has asked about my progress and said a few nice words.  I don’t know any of these people. No idea what their names are.  A few of them might have been to Delancey, since it’s in the same neighborhood, but I don’t think that’s it.  I think they know me by the round appendage on the front of my body.  I hadn’t expected to like being That Pregnant Lady, but today I’m starting to think I might actually miss it, this feeling of having a cheering squad wherever I go.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on around here.  Just, you know, talking about my body with strangers in the checkout line.  That, and continuing to work on my manuscript, and helping Brandon try to get Essex open before we fall into the Black Hole of Infant-Related Sleep Deprivation.  There will be custom walnut bar stools.  And wallpaper with herbs and whales on it!  Lacquered, smoked pork shoulder! Housemade amaro!

In the meantime:

I bought apricots at the market this morning, and though I mostly want to stand around and sniff them, I think I’ll turn them into a crumble.  I’m going to try a new recipe, and if it turns out to be worth sharing, I’ll pass it along.

And after that, whenever blueberries are ready, I want to make this.  If any of you have tried it, please report.

And I highly recommend this.  I’ve made it twice in the past three weeks, mostly to eat for breakfast, but then I wind up stealing a slice after lunch and another in mid-afternoon. One note: I use Bulgarian buttermilk, which is creamier and sexier than the usual low-fat kind.  It’s available at my local grocery store, Ballard Market.  And I use white whole wheat flour instead of the regular whole wheat flour, because that’s what I currently have around.  And I buy whole raw flax seeds and grind them in a spice grinder.  FYI. 

Since reading Megan’s postI’ve been thinking about making my own yogurt.  We’ll see if anything comes of this, however, given that I first started thinking about making my own yogurt a year and a half ago, when I read this piece.  I’ll get there someday.

If I weren’t supposed to go easy on caffeine and yadda yadda blah blah blah, I would be drinking cold-brewed iced coffee every morning right now.  Have an extra glass for me.

I love it when Tommy talks food.

Youngna drew my attention to this E. B. White piece, which she calls “the ultimate summer essay.”  I think she’s right.

Katie has a lovely, delicate eye, and she’s been on fire lately.  For example, this.  Which is a photo of this strawberry cake, which is also on my to-make list.

Last: I went to visit an old friend and her brand-new son, and when she showed me his nursery upstairs, I suddenly had a vision of him a few years from now, building a blanket fort in the corner, under the eaves.  And then I thought, A BLANKET FORT!  I get to build blanket forts again! And maybe eat strawberry cake in them.

I took the pictures in this post earlier this week, while on a 36-hour mini-vacation with Brandon.  We went to Whidbey Island, ate mussels, read the newspaper, saw a bad movie, visited a farm that grows some of Delancey’s produce, and met a dog named Peanut.

I hope summer is being good to you.