Day 199: Dull Central

July 18, 2007

This evening Baby A got to eat beans on toast, my all time favourite comfort food, while we had the dubious pleasure of making some food sadly lacking in flavour; Lemon-Thyme Succotash with Garlic-Parsley Shrimp. This meal isn’t exactly difficult to make, although we did manage to mess up a wee bit. L chopped everything and dumped the vegetables into the skillet with olive oil. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to telling him, as I read the recipe, that all the vegetables didn’t include the garlic, which had to go in a different skillet, the one with olive oil and butter. The succotash consisted of red pepper, onion, celery (plus the misplaced garlic) sautéed for a while, then supplemented with corn, cannelini beans, thyme and lemon zest. Salt and pepper were added to taste. Unfortunately there’s only so much that salt and pepper can do; even with 3 cloves of garlic thrown in there accidentally, this dish still managed to be a little on the dull and bland side. It was served with the shrimp; fried in olive oil and butter with more garlic, then stirred with parsley and white wine, the shrimp were ok but nothing wildly exciting. They were a little on the fatty side, but not in that good restauranty indulgent way. Just in a slightly institutional way. The lemon wedges on the side helped a little, but again, there is only so much that lemon can do.

To cut the meal a little slack, it’s not terrible, and it was a bit of a grower. We did get to use up a good range of vegetables, and we also got to finish the tin of beans that we opened on Monday. There aren’t that many instances where we aren’t left with half a can of something left lying around in the fridge. When we first started this project, we had planned to eat leftovers for lunches, but we try our utmost to make sure that we cook very small portions with no leftovers. Obviously the small portions don’t work so well with the monstrously huge burger meals, but when we can we try and keep the volume down. When lunchtime rolls round, it is good to not eat these hefty meals, and instead feel free to eat anything in the world ever. Normally the same sandwich over and over again, but that’s beside the point. Consistency can be comforting. Speaking of hefty, as we are now well past half way, it’s probably a good time to take stock of any weight gain or loss. As I am 6 months pregnant now, (aargh. Freak out.) I have obviously put on a few (ahem) pounds. In all honesty, I don’t think that has much to do with Rachael Ray’s recipes, but rather because I am starving all the time and addicted to ice cream. L has actually lost weight since the start of the year, about 6 pounds. Obviously there’s no direct correlation between this project and his weight but either we are eating far more vegetables and less pasta than in previous years, or there are enough meals that are only mediocre so we don’t feel compelled to eat to the point were we are stuck in the sofa for the rest of the night.

In other news, we managed to sneak away today see the new Harry Potter film and enjoy the extreme air conditioning in the cinema. Unbelievably it is only like the third time we’ve got to the cinema since Baby A was born. We’ve become those people, the ones that stop doing so many of the things that they used to do, pre-baby. Mainly because a babysitter sets us back around $50 by the time we’ve seen a film and had a couple of drinks. It has to be a really, really good film to justify that cost. We’ve only seen Borat since the last Harry Potter film. Actually Baby A was small enough last time round that we could take her with us to see the wizarding antics. She was great all the way through, sleeping and eating very quietly. Until one of the final crucial dialogues between Harry and Dumbledore, where the audience was extremely silent and absorbed in the explanation for whatever was going on. Then the little one chose her exact moment to fill her pants in the most explosively loud fashion possible. L and I almost followed suit it was so funny. The girl has comic timing; not sure the rest of the audience agreed.  This film was pretty enjoyable, but we always end up a bit homesick seeing so many great British actors (the adults, not the kids) talking in their differing accents, living in the UK. Alan Rickman was, as always, sublime. Anyway, tomorrow is the 200th day of the year. How insane is that; we can start the countdown to 2008 and culinary freedom. We will be celebrating with Big Mussels with Chorizo and Saffron Rice which sounds really good, if expensive.

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