This morning was Baby A’s Big Stage Debut. This was the day when we discovered if she has what it takes to be A Star. We dropped her off at daycare and went to grab a cup of coffee, generously leaving her teachers to wrestle her into her swimsuit. The concert had a beach theme so they were supposed to be dressed appropriately. Our neighbour came along to be A’s honorary grandfather, which was great, although he totally would rather be an uncle. Eventually about 20 toddlers emerged from the building, crossed the street and were assembled on the stage outside. They all seemed pretty bewildered, despite their dress rehearsal yesterday. Who knows, maybe they didn’t understand that there would be about 150 spectators. While the staff tried to turn the toddlers to face the front, Baby A decided that if she couldn’t wander off then she would sit down smack bang in the middle of the stage. Facing backwards. With her finger in her mouth and piggy under her arm. She stayed that way through the entire rendition of Baby Shark. She would occasionally look over her shoulder at the audience and scowl; she looked as grumpy as I’ve ever seen her. Interestingly she looks just like her father when she’s sour faced. Some of the other little ones cried, and some of them even did the hand actions to the song. Most of them just stood there. It was the funniest and sweetest few minutes. Afterwards the Director of the daycare said staffing the toddler room is like chasing kittens. How very apt. When all the kids came back for the three song finale, Baby A sat on her favourite teacher’s lap, with her finger in her mouth and piggy under her arm, absolutely refusing to participate in any way. We are so proud of her, she’s a natural. Hollywood, here we come.
She also got a clear bill of health from her ear, nose and throat specialist/ surgeon today which was excellent. Plus we were in and out in 10 minutes rather than the usual 1 1/2 hours. That meant we had plenty of time to ride Baby A’s sugar high from the lollipop she was given as a bribe by the doctor. There’s a reason we don’t give her sweets. Incidentally, calling lollipops suckers seems just wrong, so very wrong to us non-natives.
Anyway, this evening we made Baby and Big Bella Mushroom and Chicken Stew [recipe]. As L is on chopping duty, he got the bulk of the work, I did some stirring and pouring; pretty taxing stuff. I cooked the mushrooms large and small in olive oil, then removed them from the pan. In went the seasoned and floured chicken, the onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, carrot, bay leaf and thyme. 5 minutes later I added the white wine, then the stock and the cooked mushrooms. After leaving the pot to simmer for about 10 minutes, the parsley and peas were added, and dinner was served with some crusty bread.
This is a good stew, even for a summer night. Fortunately it has rained a bit and the temperatures have fallen, otherwise this menu would have been hard work. The liquid content was minimal and it didn’t thicken as such, but the whole meal was very tasty and satisfying. Perhaps because the liquid did not thicken, it managed to still be reasonably light rather than too hefty, which was a good thing. The one thing I didn’t understand was why you would bother to cook the mushrooms alone, remove them from the pan, and add them back in with the wine and stock. Surely this just stops them from picking up the flavours of the onion and garlic, which is not necessarily a good thing. Alternatively, perhaps it is just to draw attention to the fact that there are two types of portabella mushrooms being used- large and small. Or maybe it is to make this stew seem different to all other stews because of the focus on the mushrooms. Really this is just a stew; there’s nothing overly special about it. The dish is good, but it’s not breaking any records or pushing any boundaries. It’s solid, dependable food. If we made it again, the mushrooms would absolutely be fried with the onions and garlic.
Tomorrow we will be having Southwestern Pasta Bake, followed by Smoky Chipotle Chili Con Queso Mac. Unfortunately this is giving me flashbacks to the less than spectacular quartet of macaroni cheese we waded through way back in January. Let’s hope it’s better than that experience; at least there are only two variations.