Friday, January 27, 2006

Not barefoot, but pregnant and in the kitchen

It's been a pretty remarkable week around here (which I desperately hope I am not jinxing as I type...). First, I did not throw up Tuesday morning as I got ready for my long day of driving and working. Second, on Wednesday night we actually went out to dinner, to our favorite barbecue spot (which unfortunately has a very smoky kitchen, so you leave smelling like grease and BBQ... not a pretty smell when it's on your clothes instead of a pulled pork quesadilla). Third, last night I not only went to the grocery store but cooked dinner. And ate it. How's that for progress?

Getting back into the kitchen felt fantastic, but it felt like I'd been gone for ages. And, when you think about it, I guess I had. Things weren't where I expected them to be; the cruet in which we store the olive oil was empty, although there was a giant tin of oil in the pantry; the oregano jar was empty, although there were not one but two packets of backup oregano from the fantastic spice stand at the public market in the spice cupboard. The onions had sprouted, and the island was covered with mail. So it felt a bit like I was cooking with one hand tied behind my back. (None of which is meant as a complaint about my esteemed husband's habits in the kitchen; he's carried the vast majority of the food burden in this house since late October, for which I am eternally grateful.)

So, what'd I make? Whole wheat pasta with a fennel and pork ragu. It's not as fancy as it sounds, just a Cooking Light recipe I've fiddled with a bit. You saute chopped fennel, onion and garlic in a little olive oil, add half a pound (or more) of ground pork, saute it and the fennel/onion/garlic along with oregano, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, a smidge of sugar, salt and pepper, then add a couple cans of diced tomatoes and their juices. Bring it to a boil, simmer for 15 or 20 minutes, and you're done. Easy and tasty, and it gets us out of the pasta-and-red-sauce rut we love so much.

On the agenda for the weekend... is not much. We're planning to finally move into the redecorated bedroom, so we can eventually start getting the bambino/a's room ready, and to hang the art we received for Christmas, which has been leaning against various walls ever since. Oh, and we're hoping to see Capote and Match Point. (At some point I've got to catch up on my movie blogging; we saw Brokeback Mountain weeks ago, and it's still reverberating in my head. Syriana, not so much.) I'm also hopeful that I can do some more cooking; at the very least, I want to make some crystallized ginger cookies, to use up the ginger I bought before Christmas in hopes of making lemon-ginger biscotti. That plan fell by the wayside as I lay on the couch and whimpered for most of the holiday season. I think late-January cookies are a fine substitute.

Oh, and good news today from my oh-so-mellow doctor: I have gained a grand total of one pound over my pre-pregnancy weight. She didn't make a peep about wanting me to gain faster, just said she figures now that I'm feeling better (knock wood) I'll keep gaining. I heart her.