I love global warming

8 01 2008

If the environmentalists can promise me mid-60’s weather every January then I’m buying a Hummer this year.

So it was warm and Jonathan has been driving me crazy lately, so I decided to take him to the park to run off some steam. We had a great time, but something has changed.

look ma, it’s a leaf

We were there during school hours, so he was one of the oldest kids there. It was the first time I had to tell him to “watch out for the little kids” so he didn’t knock them over. It was surreal watching him with the toddlers and other preschoolers. I’m used to him being the kid brother, the tag-along, but he really is growing up.

hamming it up

I’ve spent all this time daydreaming about what it will be like in September when he starts all-day kindergarten (mmmm, quiet), but I think it’s really going to be weird not having him around.

hydrocarbon emissions! YAY!

Since Ben will always be with us I suppose I look at Jonathan as the baby of the family, the one who shouldn’t be allowed to grow up but who does anyway. It’s tough to imagine him going off this year in uniforms and backpack to school.

Tonight we dine in Hell

6 01 2008

Bad movie tie-in, I know. But the smoke from this one was so caustic that maybe it’s not too far off.

can you see it through the smoke?

I started with the typical inspiration: The Soup. I’m getting pretty cocky these days with soup, adding and replacing ingredients as I please. It hasn’t ended in disaster so far. This time I took the recipe in the book as just a general outline to follow since I obviously know more than those hacks at the Culinary Institute of America. Sorry, but when you hear the words potato and sour cream what do you think? Chives. It’s not rocket surgery.

So I had a good idea for the soup, but what about the sandwich? We’ve got chicken breast, but how many different kinds of chicken sandwiches can you come up with? Well, I had this recipe from Mario Batali’s cookbook for a whole roast chicken called The Devil’s Chicken (Pollo al Diavolvo). It involved rubbing the almost-cooked chicken down with a paste of dijon mustard and crushed black peppercorns. But the true beauty of this recipe was the “salad” side that he included. It used flat leaf parsley, halved cherry tomatoes, and red onions sliced thin. We’ve made this with lots of different dishes, and even used it in sandwiches before. Karen has added sliced baby cucumbers into the mix somewhere along the way as well. So I took this idea and turned that paste into a marinade for the chicken breast. Way cool, Mark’s the hero.

I’ve said it before. When I’m cooking meat on the stove top I use high heat. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. The end result tends to be smoke. The dinner isn’t always ruined, but sometimes the windows get opened in January. And it’s worse on the second floor. You see, we’ve got this set of stairs from the kitchen to the second floor so all the smoke goes straight up. Add a quarter cup of black pepper to the fog and you’ve got something that’s near impossible to breathe.

The chicken was scorched past recognition cooked perfectly, and the soup was also a hit. The compliments sounded something like this:

“Good *cough* dinner, hon. I really like *choke* the *cough* chicken. *hack*

bring your fire extinguisher

For the second time ever in her life in my cooking career, Karen didn’t need to add pepper sauce. A quarter cup of black pepper will do that. I, however, needed a half gallon of milk to make it through the meal. And some eye drops.

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What if this was a sports car blog?

3 01 2008

If this year’s Christmas takings were indicative of what kind of Christmas gifts I can expect in the future then I’m never stopping this blog.

So what did I open on Christmas morning? Well, Karen got me Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, which is good reading in case you’ve been thinking about opening your own restaurant.

My sister got us some custom printed aprons, and these came with opening instructions. I was to open my present first,

Order yours today!

Then Karen was to open hers.

Too shay

I’m looking to market these in local Wal-Mart stores.  I’ll get them on the shelves, I know the overnight stockers.

My sister also sent a “Giant Art Jar” for Jonathan.  When this arrived I took a quick glance at the packing list and thought for sure I’d seen “Giant ANT Jar.”   I was on my way to Starbucks to get her kids some chocolate espresso beans when I realized my mistake.

A dear friend who visits this blog once a quarter got us a set of Alton Brown’s plungers, perfect for measuring and doling out those sticky ingredients.

Look!  It’s Alton!

Thanks, Michelle. Your copy of Why Mommy is a Democrat is on the way.

So how cool was that? Best Christmas Ever.  These presents give me the idea that people actually read this blog. Pretty soon I’ll get an ego like Stephen Colbert. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention what Aliyah gave me.

My resolutions

1 01 2008

I’ve been neglecting my blog responsibilities, I know.  Sorry.

It’s January 1.  I feel older already.  I thought up some new year’s resolutions and I thought I’d share them.

This year I resolve to replace the toilet paper holder.

no, I haven’t done it yet

This year I resolve to finish painting the stairwell.

it’s only been 9 months…

This year I resolve to wash the dishes sooner.  What a smell.

they’re only four days old

And lastly, this year I resolve to do a better job of watering Karen’s plants.

it doesn’t matter what they used to be.

So there.  Some (kind of) realistic goals that I can actually reach.   I think.  At least I didn’t resolve to not ruin any more dinners.  How much sense would that make, really?