Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail

or, How I Confirmed I'm Still Rebelling After All This Time.

I finally summoned the strength and courage to return to the Den of Iniquity kitchen. The blueberry jam sessions and subsequent jelly sessions went a long way toward boosting my confidence that I can, in fact, handle cooking while pregnant. At least this trimester. Then I also washed, par-boiled, and froze 20 bags of pink-eyed, purple-hull peas. And I want to make and can many pints of the base for butternut squash soup.

I clambered into bed Sunday night with a glimmer of a plan to make breakfast for Burgundy on her first day of school. Let me explain something to the world about having an independent, easy-going, joy-filled teenager. Sometimes, it's too easy. I have never, ever been the get-up-and-make-breakfast mom. Ever. And she has never complained. Just asked me to buy another box of cereal.

Monday morning the alarm went off at 5:30, and I clambered out of the bed, caught a quick shower, and made my way to the kitchen. I threw five strips of bacon into one of my skillets and two slices of bread into the decrepit little toaster I've had for at least a decade. While I waited for the bacon sizzle to start, I found a pancake recipe online and started mixing the batter.

Halfway through the batter, I flipped the bacon and set aside the last three eggs in the refrigerator to be fried and scrambled. I added the melted butter to the batter, beat it in with a fork, the thick sludge oozing around the fork while I smashed flour lumps against the side of the bowl until I had a nice, consistent goop.

I flipped the bacon again and gathered my salt and pepper. I folded a paper towel in half and scooped the bacon into it, setting it onto a plate on the opposite counter and hoping enough grease would drain to assuage my guilt. I cracked the first egg into the still-spattering bacon grease and quickly sprinkled a smidge of salt over the top. I ground a little pepper over that and let it fry while I washed out the eggshell and threw it into the oatmeal box I converted into a holder for eggshells (Mark likes to spread them in the garden).

I flipped the egg, grabbed another paper towel and folded it, then slipped the egg onto it and laid it next to the bacon to drain. I did the same for the second egg and breathed a little easier knowing I still had 30 minutes to clean the skillet of bacon grease, melt some butter, and scramble an egg for my vegetarian daughter's breakfast.

While the second egg fried on side one, I broke the third egg into a bowl, added salt and pepper, and I beat it frenetically. I hate half-beaten scrambled eggs. Gross. Flipped the second egg, whipped the pancake batter, set egg number 2 to drain with number 1 and the bacon, and poured the bacon grease into a dirty pot to cool for the trash. Used yet another paper towel to wipe out the skillet, threw in a dollop of butter, and after a final quick thrashing, poured in the final egg. It took about 32 seconds to cook.

After that I spent what felt like hours at the tedious task of pouring, flipping, and scooping out pancakes. By 6:15, we all were seated at the kitchen table for one of our few real breakfast meals ever as a family. I said a prayer, and we dove into our food with the reckless abandon of a family that eats out too often.

The pancakes lasted through Tuesday, and I made more bacon and eggs to go with them.

Please excuse the crappy, cell-phone
quality photo. I wanted to eat, not take
photos, so this was my compromise.
Oh, the quiche. I don't know how to tell you what a lovely, wonderful cook and writer is Julia Child. Her quiche "base" recipe is so perfectly simple and elegant; it cooks perfectly every single time I've ever made it. Tuesday evening I also undertook to make her pie crust for the first time. If it's possible, I didn't keep it cold enough. Next time I will freeze the butter, flour and shortening for a little while before I make it, and I'll use ice water instead of just the cold refrigerator water.  I had a hard time getting the dough rolled out to a consistent, thin thickness. Anyway, the quiche rose high and serene from the gorgeous pie crust, standing like a tower of princess eggs over her realm. We ate half for dinner Tuesday night, and I forbade Mark to touch it again before morning, when we shared the remainders for breakfast with bacon and toast liberally smeared with butter and homemade blueberry jelly.

Inspired by my incredibly repeatable success with her quiche recipe, I decided to try her recipe for fish poached in white wine and baked in a sauce mornay made with swiss cheese. I served it with bow-tie pasta served with very slightly wilted spinach all mixed up with the liberal amount of leftover sauce mornay from the fish.

Today I served breakfast for the fourth day in a row, bacon, eggs and toast - an English muffin each for me and Burgundy - and Burgundy tentatively remarked that she felt so much better at school for having eaten a good breakfast. Normally I will take a grateful, loving remark like that and turn it into a reason to beat myself up for the 14 years of breakfast opportunities lost. Not today, though. Today I will use it to say, "Well done, Mel. You're a good mom Right Now." Even though I employ random capitalization for emphasis, unnecessarily provoking the wrath of the Minor God of Anal Grammarians.

Tonight the main dish is spaghetti and meatballs so I can focus on doing something evil and delicious with the box of fresh brussels sprouts in my refrigerator. I'm pretty sure it will involve the last of the white wine from yesterday's adventure, some garlic, and a number of fresh herbs from Mark's garden. I feel such delight and joy to be back in the kitchen.

So you wonder what this has to do me being rebellious? It's this: I took one look at today's topic and thought, "What? Food. That's dumb. I don't want to write about what I ate. I want to write about what I've been doing in the kitchen." *headdesk*

No comments:

Post a Comment