I just cut off all my hair. The jury is still out. I thought I'd post a picture of myself for once, since I've been oya bakaing the littles pretty hard lately. Here I am. Fat and somewhat happy.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
This morning as we piled out the back door with backpacks and the baby car seat there was a brown rabbit sitting between the porch and the car. Ella ran towards him and he ran under the car and then across the backyard. I told her it wasn't nice to scare rabbits, and she said that he wasn't scared, that it was his birthday. " I know when rabbits have their birthdays too."
We had Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house in Farmville. It was warm and festive, and the food was above and beyond good. My brother smoked the turkey again, and I've got to get one of those smokers. Click on the picture for more Thanksgiving goings on. The baby was smiley and peaceful, and Miss Ella was doing her best to be grown up. She wanted to dress up for dinner, and she was quite prepared to ask if she could be excused when she was finished. She stayed at the table so long waiting for the very tall chocolate cake that she didn't even have to ask to get up.
On friday we went out for sushi in Petersburg. No, it wasn't scary at all. It was delicious at Wabi- Sabi, and we were wishing we had such a cool little outpost in our hometown. Then we took in the art at the Nathaniel Friend Gallery and did some antique shopping. We ran into a classmate of my mother's that hadn't seen her since 1961, and he told me some good stories about my father when he was teaching high school english.
John and I went to see Good Night and Good Luck friday night at the mall. The movie was good, but it broke in the middle and we missed a bit. We got free tickets for another movie but ended up staying anyway because we so seldom are out without two small children. During the movie repair process we went to a puppet store in the mall. I don't know if it is a chain or not, but it looked so fun. They had an incredible owl puppet that I wish I'd gotten E for Christmas. We are putting on another Provo production this weekend at Hiyumi's birthday party. Strangely enough, I was dreaming about puppets last night...and discussion about jesus with Mr Rodgers.
I've been thinking about the Gallo kids. They lost their grandfather on friday.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Tis the season for folk art poultry, and you know how I feel about that. ( I love folk art chickens, and I just don't know why. ) Ella was determined to put the waddle on the turkeys, but she was 100% determined that the little red part under the neck was called a "wobbler".
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Active time: 45 min. Start to finish" 1 ¾ hours
1 3 lb chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces or 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
1 (14 to 15 oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
¼ cup water
2 T tomato paste
¼ cup oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 ¾ cups chicken broth ( 14 fl oz)
1 (10 oz) box frozen WHOLE okra
1 lb sweet potato
Place chicken in a single layer and salt; let stand at room temperature for 30 min.
Pulse tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until finely chopped.
Stir water into tomato paste in a small bowl.
Pat chicken dry. Heat oil in a 10 to 12 inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, without crowding, in 3 or 4 batches, until golden, 6 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a 6 to 7 quart heavy pot. Pour off all but 2 T fat from skillet, then add onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring until edges are golden, 2 to 3 minutes, Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic paste, and cayenne to chicken in pot. Whisk together peanut butter and 1 cup broth until smooth. Add to chicken along with remaining broth ( chicken will not be covered completely with liquid). Bring to a boil, uncovered, then cover and simmer , STIRRING OCCASIONALLY TO PREVENT STICKING, until chicken is very tender, about 25 minutes.
Peel sweet potato and cut into 1 inch chunks. Stir into stew along with okra, then simmer, covered, until potato is tender but not falling apart, 10 – 12 minutes.
Chicken stew, without sweet potato and okra, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, covered, then refrigerated. Reheat and proceed with recipe.
The recipe is readily doubled.
From GOURMET 10/05
Four year olds love this and grownups swoon. The peanut butter sounds gross, but it is absolutely what makes the recipe taste rich and luscious.
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 ¼ cups half and half
1 ¼ tsp. Salt
ground black pepper.
Pinch ground ( freshly) nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper ( optional)
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick or less
Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350*
Rub bottom and sides of 5 to 6 cup gratin dish or shallow baking dish with garlic Mince remaining garlic and set aside. Once garlic in dish has dried, about 2 minutes, spread dish with half the butter.
Bring half and half, seasonings, potatoes, and reserved garlic to boil in medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally with wooded spoon ( liquid will just barely cover potatoes, Reduce heat and simmer until liquid thickens, about 2 minutes.
Pour potato mixture into prepared dish; shake dish or use fork to distribute potatoes evenly. Gently press down potatoes until submerged in liquid; dot with remaining butter. Bake until top is golden brown, basting once or twice the first 45 min) about 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Let rest and serve.
For a more pronounced crust, sprinkle three tablespoons of heavy cream or Gruyere cheese on top of the potatoes after 45 minutes of baking.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sunday, November 06, 2005
I love it when E comes out of her room in one of these get ups. This was after she had scrubbed the floors and the fairy godmother helped her get ready for the ball. She loves to switch roles and play the wicked step-sister and order me around. She will usually whisper, "I'm just pretending."
Thursday, November 03, 2005
John took a bath with Ella last night for the first time. It was not as hard as it sounds. I put his tub inside the big bath tub with her and sunk it to the bottom. Then he could be supported in his little seat in the deeper water. They both loved it. John was laughing and kicking his feet. Ella was a little over enthusiastic with the water but he took it well. Here he is all bundled up and ready for bed.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Back to Halloween.. Ella got a lot of treats. Her bag runneth over. I had let her carry baby John's little bee bag to limit her capacity, but she dumped and started over. Daddy John was running along with her with a bumblebee puppet on his hand, and I was thinking about Shakespeare---Midsummer Night's Dream. After making the full round of downtown we had dinner at Gillies, some tofu to balance out the chocolate. Back at our house we visited Jan next door for yet another treat for Ella. Walking to her house was very dark and spooky. The night ended with a lavender bath for Ella and some fairly horrid candy induced behavior before she crawled in bed and fell asleep almost instantly.