Sunday, November 21, 2004

Weekend food fest

Phew, it’s been a 24-hour cooking whirlwind around here. Yesterday was a busy one, with four hours at work around mid-day, dealing with stories written by freelancers who chose to use the assignments I gave them as mere suggestions or inspiration, rather than specific instructions. Grrr. But we followed up that frustration with a good bout of leaf raking – I actually asked Darren to wait for me to rake so I could be guaranteed some time outside and a wee bit of exercise.

We grocery shopped and hit the video store yesterday afternoon, then I made squash and sausage soup, an Emeril recipe that I loooove. Also made a spinach salad with apples and red onion and an apple crisp. The crisp could’ve come out better – I didn’t get the topping moist enough, so there were some dry flour bits in the finished product, but that was solved by mushing them around and covering them with ice cream. It’s rare that I make dessert when it’s just the two of us, but it felt cozy and festive.

We ate while watching an impromptu animation double feature --- The Iron Giant and Ice Age. Ice Age was cute and the animation impressive (my sister’s boyfriend’s brother worked on the film), but it’s not the best story ever. And I can see how little kids would get totally addicted to the movie and then drive you insane quoting some of the sarcastic lines from it. The best part to my mind was the MPAA warning before the movie starts, which says it was rated PG for “mild peril.” How’s that for an evocative description?

Iron Giant was much better, not least because it’s set in Maine. I don’t have the stamina for a plot recounting, but let’s just say it’s particularly relevant in a time of war.

Weekend Food Fest continued this morning with French toast – again, something I don’t make all that often. But we’d picked up a semolina batard (which we, being the mature adults we are, insist on calling a bastard) for dinner last night, and so had perfect leftovers for breakfast. It was a decadent one – we also had some heavy cream left over from the soup, so I used that as the base for the toast rather than our usual skim milk.

Then I spent an hour or so making a lentil soup with cumin and red peppers for our friends D. and S. and their new baby (though I suspect the baby won’t be so impressed with my creation.) It was a pleasant way to spend the morning, listening to the end of Weekend Edition and then two hours of World Café, one of the best places to hear good music on the radio. It does have its drawbacks, though: I just spent $20 on CDs by two of the artists featured today, Jill Sobule and Ray Lamontagne.

On the books for the rest of today is several hours on the couch, reading the Sunday Times. Plus a trip upstairs to clean up the clothes that are strewn about the floor and bed, a quick trip over to D. and S.’ place to drop off the soup and, finally, the finale of the food orgy: beef, beer and barley stew, which should set us up well with leftovers for lunch this week. And I think we're going to watch Citizen Ruth, too.

As for that big food-related holiday coming up this week, I’ve got no idea what I’m making. We’re having a tiny little low-key celebration with Darren’s parents, so I’m just waiting to be told what to bring. No big blowouts for us this year, which sounds perfect right about now.