Day 198: Great meal, shame about the season

July 17, 2007

I have a question; it’s sort of a chicken and egg scenario. Do you need to have no teeth to get into the architectural salvage business, or is that an unexpected perk of the job?

Today was a day of excitement, it started when the man from the energy company came round at 8am to change our gas meter. Apparently the meter has recently been registering no gas usage, so the company deemed it to be faulty. I had to turn on one of the burners on the stove while the man checked the meter in the basement. When he returned upstairs he told me the gas meter was working fine and postulated, “I guess you’re just not cooking all that much, hey.” I nearly snorted my juice out my nose, but mumbled something about it being summer and being too hot to cook. So there you go, Rachael Ray cooking really is quick, so quick in fact that the gas meter doesn’t even recognise that the oven is even being used; it’s like cooking by lightning. So at least we’re saving money somewhere with this project.

Today we also discovered that you can move from a condo where your car is parked outside in a lot shared with a pub and a liquor store, and a reasonable amount of drama, to a house in an infinitely quieter neighbourhood with a double garage, and your car insurance will go up. Quite substantially too. Score. Also, the “free” boxes provided by our moving company, the company chosen partly on account of those “free” boxes must be returned intact within 30 days of the move, otherwise they are yours to purchase. So despite the beautiful check boxes on the outside where you are to mark the contents and the destination room, you can not write on said lovely label. No, any writing must be done over the strip of packing tape on top of the box. Given that we have boxes that are yet to be fully unpacked, or indeed opened, since we moved from Scotland in 2001, I think it’s a fair bet that we are not going to have everything unpacked by mid-September. And as much of our stuff needs to be in the basement because of the work going on in the house, it’s probably reasonable to suggest it will be an enormous pain in the posterior to have the boxes labelled on the top on the packing tape. So it looks very much like we just bought ourselves some moving boxes. And who knew I had two boxes worth of shoes? Eek. That’s sort of excessive, and there’s nowhere to offload them at the other end. I’m thinking the trainers with cat faces on them, and the pair that light up when you walk may have to be eBay’ed. They’re both brand new, never worn, but now I can’t. Having shoes more childish than your toddler seems a little off somehow, like trying to bribe the 2 year olds into being your friend.

Anyway, something great did happen today, in that I became the proud owner of the scarce Print Gocco. I am hoping it will get much usage on the work front, but mainly I can’t wait to play. A local shop has finally managed to source some of the new units (very beautiful in orange and yelow) and we got a demonstration. After lusting from afar via various online resources, the print quality in person was outstanding, and the process was ridiculously quick. I think I may have a new addiction coming on.

So, other than that, once we got Baby A to bed (an increasingly difficult process as she tries to find reasons to stay up and play), L and I made White Beans, Pancetta, and Pasta, a hearty pasta and beans stew or soup, or even stoup, I suppose. The process is easy enough; pancetta is fried in olive oil with some garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme. Onions, carrots and celery are added to the pan and the whole lot cooks until the vegetables are tender. A splash of white wine is used to deglaze the pan. Two types of greens are wilted into the mix, then chicken stock, tomatoes, white beans are thrown in. Once everything comes to a boil, the pasta is added and the pot simmers until the pasta is cooked. The dish is served with grated cheese and crusty bread.

This meal is excellent, it is tasty and hearty and has just the right level of spice and flavour. It warms the cockles of your heart; unfortunately we are not in need of any warming round here. If only this recipe was placed within the winter section of the index, it may have got 5 stars. As it was, we went down to 4 stars for being just the wrong kind of food for summer. But if you’re somewhere cold, get to it and make this meal. It is good. Tomorrow we will be making Lemon-Thyme Succotash with Garlic-Parsley Shrimp. Sounds intriguing.

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