Apr 2 2009

What’s for Dinner

Last week’s dinners were pretty much all successful. The mushroom-barley soup is easy, fairly inexpensive, and good enough that we had it again last night; the Tuscan style garlic-rosemary pork roast (Cook’s Illustrated recipe) always comes out well; and to my great delight the pan-fried sand dabs (they didn’t have catfish) were fun both to cook and to eat. I’m definitely going to try to work more fish into our menus.

The prettiest thing I made was this asparagus and gruyere tart, from a Martha Stewart recipe:

asparagus tart

Greedy little fingers not included in the recipe! The tart with salad made a nice meal, and I think it would also be elegant as the first course at a dinner party.

This week in our veggie box we got chard, collard greens, asparagus, lettuce, a bunch of green garlic, a bag of Yukon potatoes, and a great frondy bunch of something that I’m embarrassed to admit I have no idea what it might be. Mom! What is this?

mystery greens

Tonight I plan to make a salad with green goddess dressing (involving anchovies and the green garlic) and pissaladi√®re (we like anchovies!). Tomorrow Robin and I will have the potatoes and the mystery greens for lunch: I have some salt pork in the fridge, and I’m working on the theory that any sort of dark leafy green is good when boiled with salt pork and dressed with a little cider vinegar. And for dinner, a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for “Whole Wheat Pasta with Collard Greens, Beans, Pancetta, and Garlic Bread Crumbs” that I’ve made before and liked.

Saturday night’s dinner needs to be quick and easy since I’m off with friends for the day; I’m thinking the asparagus, roasted, and a couple of steaks. Sunday night I want to try this recipe for “false mahshi” with chard, beets, rice and beef.

Having thus disposed of all the vegetables, I’ll be able to get creative on Monday and Tuesday nights. There’s a couple of recipes I’ve been eying: one for Rustic Farro Soup with Sausage and Mushrooms, the other for Braised Squid With Artichokes. Squid! I know! Look at me getting all adventurous with the marine life!

Apr 1 2009

Ernie Is a Jackass

Robin’s Elmo obsession continues unabated (he is as I type these words watching Sesame Street with his Elmo doll clutched close, occasionally crooning small remarks to the doll). So I end up watching a lot of Sesame Street, and I have to say, with the perspective of adulthood a lot of the muppets take on a different cast than they held in my hazy childhood memories.

Take Ernie. I came out of my own Sesame Street watching days having formed the impression that Ernie was an awesome dude, and Bert a huge prissy stick-in-the-mud who was basically lucky to have someone like Ernie to bring some fun into his boring life.

Now I find Ernie almost intolerable. He’s so mean to Bert! He thinks he’s so funny, always laughing at his own jokes with that smug little snigger, but actually he’s just tremendously self-involved, inconsiderate, and rude. Ernie is literally the kind of guy who will invite a bunch of strangers over to the apartment and then bail, leaving his roommate alone to manage the chaos. Ernie is the kind of guy who will wake Bert up just so he has someone to talk to, and when he’s driven Bert to sleep in the kitchen with his unreasonably loud activities, he’ll roll over and enjoy having the whole bedroom to himself. Ernie will come up to Bert when he’s trying to read, distract him repeatedly, and finally end up reading the book himself.

My point here is that Ernie is not a cool fun-loving dude, Ernie is a jackass. Bert, on the other hand, is a really sweet guy with unexpected depths of sensitivity and compassion. Sure he’s a little cranky sometimes. If you had a roommate from hell like Ernie, you’d be cranky too!

And I’m not even going to address the whole gay thing, because frankly that takes Ernie from “roommate from hell” to “emotionally abusive boyfriend,” and Bert deserves so much better. So that’s all I have to say about Bert and Ernie!

Apr 1 2009

Robin at the Beach

We went to the beach last weekend; Robin looooooved it. He loved all the space to run and all the stuff to see. Sam flew his kite:

and Robin ran around like a maniac:

Sam has lots more pictures up on his Flickr account.

I guess the big news on the child-development front is that Robin is now fully weaned. Again, it just sort of happened. He crawled into my lap one night and fell asleep right there, without nursing. The next night he dropped off again without needing to nurse. So just like that, he was weaned.

No news on the house-hunting front. We’re still waiting for a response to our offer from the sellers and their bank. If we move to Oakland we’re going to have make time to come back to the beach!