Day 231: 231 days of cooking, day 6 of the urban camping

August 19, 2007

On our third day of having at home internet access, I still can’t figure out how to configure our network, and I still can’t face dedicating the time and energy required to call into customer support to ask them to help sort it out. I seem to remember it taking many frustrating hours last time and I just don’t feel up for that at the moment. Tomorrow. For now, I am perched virtually on the windowsill of the room that will one day be a baby room, rather than a cat-trap for when there are workers in the house, angling the computer out of the window. Such a feat is no easy matter when your belly is as big as mine. We may still have no mirrors in the house, but walking past a shiny surface today I did a double take at the fat pregnant lass in front of me. And to think I am still surprised when people ask me when I’m due. How do they know? I think to my deluded self…

Anyway, the rain continues which does have the one benefit of making Baby A’s refrain of “rain, rain go away, come back another day” contextually appropriate at least. But other than that, it’s just making life a little difficult. We really have to find the box with A’s long sleeved clothes in, at least we found her baby duvet so she doesn’t freeze at night. We had to invite ourselves round to our Sunday playdate friend’s house once more because A’s room is only wee and 4 adults sitting on our bed or in the narrow hallway may have been fun for the first few minutes. The rest of the house is none too toddler/ baby friendly. One day, however, all will be good, surely.

I am wary of becoming that crazy hormonal pregnant woman who needs to nest- just before A was born we attempted to get our minute bathroom floor tiled. They started in late August, removing the toilet and ripping up the old tile. By the time A was born in October, after so many increasingly irate calls and threats, we had the toilet back in, but the floor eventually went down about a week after we came home from the hospital. And they never finished the skirting board. On the plus side they never charged us, but for a job that was to take 3 days and cost $300, my stress levels were up like never before. And hopefully never again. At least the people we have around at the moment seem competent. I don’t want to be the angry shouty lady, I scare myself sometimes.

Anyway, this evening we made Sweet Date, Apricot, and Sage Veal Chops with Chive Potatoes which is directly related to the meal we had yesterday. The prunes in the sauce were replaced with dates, apricots and orange zest, and the pork chops were supposed to be exchanged for veal chops. We couldn’t track down veal chops so we had to stick with the pork. Also we were out of shallots so we had to use an onion instead. The process was easier second time round. Our elaborate dance between upstairs, downstairs and the garage is becoming a little more automatic each time. Our ridiculous levels of tiredness are however a bit of a hindrance- sometimes it takes three trips out to the garage before we remember something. Tonight I caught myself just in time about to take a swig of chicken stock rather than apple juice. Mmm-mmm, that would have been good. Anyway, anyway, the food this evening was good, not as spectacular as last night but still satisfying. The sauce was a little sweeter, without the depth of flaour offered by the prunes. If yesterday’s meal was Christmas dinner, then this was a November supper. It was good and filling but a little lighter and less dramatic. We would make it again though, although the shallots are definitely better than the onion.

The only thing that was annoying about this meal, is the title. I don’t mind that the recipe is almost identical- the flavours are quite different; as Ms Ray says, “what a difference a date makes”. But what I don’t understand is how come yesterday the potatoes with butter and chives were just potatoes, and yet today the very same side dish is labelled “chive potatoes”. Same dish, same title please, it’s a small request.

Tomorrow we are set to make Chicken Sausage with Fennel and Onions which sounds awful in so many ways. It is literally sliced sausage on a bed of fried onions and fennel, as far as I can tell. Although there are some pine nuts in there- which may well be a waste of a good ingredient. Hopefully it’ll turn out to be a dazzler, but nobody around here is holding their breath.

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  • Reply Joannie August 20, 2007 at 7:32 am

    I don’t think the “same dish, same title” request is out of line. It’s easier to make a side dish if you’ve made it before. It seems if it had a different title each time, you’d be psyching yourself up to make something different each time.

    I’m still laughing about the Spanish fries from several months ago. A few days before they’d been labled something completely different.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project August 22, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Imagine how much trouble it would be to rename the same meal over and over again every time you served it.

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