We’ve had a great Labor Day weekend — now that we have a deep freezer we continued our experiments in freezing fresh fruit as a method of preserving it (so far we have about five quarts of sliced frozen peaches, one quart of frozen blackberries and a half a quart or so of frozen strawberries). We also spent some quality time in the kitchen, despite the fact that the high temperature on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was at or above 100. Today we’re planning to head over to Samanpazarı and Ulus to scope out stores for patio furniture and maybe some carpet stores.

Saturday night we made pizzas for the first time in forever. I made a pizza bianca with olive oil, thinly sliced zucchini (almost the last of it!), roasted garlic, fresh basil, mozzarella (sliced up string cheese, but it worked), grated aged Turkish sheep’s milk cheese, and some fresh chopped arugula and truffle oil that I put on top once it came out of the oven. Danny made a pepperoni pizza with homemade sauce that he pulled together from some tomato paste, garlic, red wine and spices.

Sunday was Danny’s birthday, and we hung out with Tara and Craig and their daughter Adrian, who is two weeks older than Stephen. Stephen tried his best to impress Adrian by sitting unsupported for a few seconds at a time before toppling over, but since she has been sitting by herself for a couple of weeks now I’m not sure he wowed her with that. It’s funny to see how different they both are now than a couple of months ago when we first started having play dates with them, though, because they’ve just recently started noticing each other. They reached for each other’s hair, ears, fingers, and faces, and took turns gnawing on toys. I guess the days of “mine!” are still a ways off, for which I’m grateful. Tara and Craig brought a birthday cake, so after a late lunch/early dinner of roasted chicken with adobo, sauteed zucchini with caramelized onions, steamed brussel sprouts with lemon oil, brown rice, and salad, we all sat around and pretty much destroyed the cake while the babies alternated napping and fighting their naps for a couple of hours.

Monday morning once Stephen was down for his first nap of the day, we decided to try to make Eggs Benedict, despite the fact that neither of us have ever made hollandaise sauce nor have we had much luck poaching eggs in the past. We used this recipe to help us decipher the process (by the way, check out the cool calculator function that recalculates the ingredients for different serving sizes, so helpful!) and actually ended up with a pretty successful version of one of our favorite brunch foods. Now I’m scheming about how to get my hands on crab meat so I can try to make the Eggs Neptune that I loved at Luna Grill back home…a crabcake instead of Canadian bacon.