Monday, October 12, 2009
In the book's foreword Julia writes, "This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children's meals, the parent-chauffeur-den-mother syndrome, or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat."
I have read that sentence more than once straight from the book, but was I going to heed her advice? Of course not! Instead, I dove head-first into making boeuf bourguignon on a day when I needed to drive Caroline to and from preschool, needed to buy the ingredients, and would need to feed Jackson throughout the day until Brian got home. Now, her recipe for boeuf bourguignon is not at all difficult. There is not a single technique that requires expertise. That being said, the catch is that it takes quite some time to make her recipe from start to finish. Even when you finally put the stew in the oven to simmer for 3 hours, the recipe calls for you to make two different side dishes to be added to the stew later.
So here's how my day went:
- Load kids into car to head to school
- Run back into the house because I forgot to put the roast in a sink of water to finish thawing
- Drop Caroline off at school.
- Drive to the "fancy" grocery store to ensure that I only have to make one stop because everyone knows that the "fancy" grocery store has everything you could need
- Discover that the "fancy" grocery store is out of cheesecloth
- Drive home and unload everything
- Have a little bit of time before Jackson needs a bottle but not enough to actually start cooking so I have a lovely e-conversation with my sis-in-law
- Give Jackson a bottle
- Cube the roast and refrigerate
- Feed Jackson lunch
- Load Jackson into the car and go to "regular" store for cheesecloth
- Upon arrival at "regular" store begin to wonder why no one has any cheesecloth
- Leave store without cheesecloth (where's the cheesecloth???) and pick up Caroline from school
- Get home, unload kids, cut bacon into lardons
- Begin the actual cooking process
- Brown meat while holding a bottle for Jackson who I'm carrying in the Baby Bjorn (he seemed very interested in the whole process...perhaps this has made an impression and he'll grow to be a fabulous chef)
- Begin to "glisten" from the combination of sizzling olive oil and holding a 25-pound baby boy
- Give in and change into a pair of boxers and a t-shirt (not looking so cute now)
- Continue cooking while preparing snacks for kids, shaking rattles, changing diapers, finding toys, tending to requests like "Mommy, my blanket is messed up, help me fix it," and "Mommy, this blanket is too short. I need another one," and "Mommy, can I have scissors to cut some paper?"
- Get the bright idea to turn on Olivia
- Look down to discover that I'm bleeding from some unseen wound. Oh, wait... no... that's tomato paste smeared across my leg. How in the world?
- Finally get the stew in the oven
- Brian gets home and my job gets a whole lot easier :o)
Brian took a photo of the finished dish. It was yummier than I imagined. Oh, and since I couldn't find any cheesecloth, I made my herb bouquet with a coffee filter. I think Julia would have been proud. :o)
You can see a bowl of peas close by. I simply had to make one of the pea recipes from Julia's cookbook in honor of Louisette Bertholle. Those of you who have seen the movie Julie & Julia will recall that poor Louisette received reduced royalties because she did not put the work into the book that Julia Child and Simone Beck did. Louisette's protest consisted merely of, "But I do contribute. It was my idea of adding peas to the boeuf bourguignon." Love it!
And to Glen and Mary, the meat was superb! So tender and flavorful... thank you again.
Friday, October 9, 2009
The Autumn Blaze Maple that Brian gave me for my birthday this past June has turned a glorious shade of red. When I chose that tree, I had read that it sometimes takes a couple of years after planting for it to give off the fiery-red color in autumn, so I was tremendously excited that our tree turned red in its very first year.
Our pumpkin patch was causing me some worry, because it took longer than I thought it should to actually see some fruit. We kept getting these gorgeous yellow-orange blossoms but no pumpkins. Finally towards the end of September, the pumpkins began to grow.
Brian and I were married 5 years ago last Saturday, (been the best 5 years of my life!) and to celebrate we decided to treat ourselves to a new digital video camera. I think we've already made around 10 videos. Here is Caroline singing "It's October." The words are, "The leaves are falling everywhere. The geese are flying over. Boo! It's October."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The day following Jackson's 6-month birthday, Caroline made a dog outfit at school (ears and a collar). When I came to pick her up, all of the kids were coming out of school dressed as doggies and yapping. We parents would ask them questions about their day, only to receive woofs in response. It was too cute. We were laughing so hard, we almost couldn't stop. Anyway, here's a pic of her in her outfit, complete with a dog bone treat with her name on it. Woof woof!
Monday, October 5, 2009
There is a huge waterfall in the rainforest exhibit.
Here's Jackson seeing the waterfall for the first time. He loved it.