Day 261: TV + Sofa= Very Nice

September 18, 2007

Today this entry comes live from the comfort of the sofa. And the TV is on (not anything that I’m watching- ie some sport thing, but hey, who cares?) and life is getting a little more normal. Of course we have no window coverings so the neighbours can see exactly how dull we are, but that’s a small price to pay for the luxury of a child in bed, a cat on the lap, and a nice cup of tea. On a sofa. Mmm. It’s the little things.

We got a little more unpacking done today; we have some books on the shelves, some paintings on the wall and a little more homeliness. It’s amazing what seeing your stuff again does for your mental balance, I think we are both feeling a little calmer this evening. Which is good because tomorrow we are apparently going into battle once more about the bathroom. The tiler is being an a** and our goodwill is running out. Or maybe it’s already gone. It’s fantastic that he was supposed to be back on Monday to repair the job, then Monday mysteriously turned into Thursday, and now we are supposed to have a visit tomorrow so that he and the contractor can talk about options. Again. This should be done by now…

In the world of big decisions, we took our heads out of the sand long enough to seriously look at the costs of daycare for two kids. A has been in daycare part-time since she was 9 months old, until we moved house when we put her in full-time so that we could get all this mess done with minimal disruption to her life. Putting two little ones in daycare even a couple of days a week can’t be justified by my terrible salary, and we just can’t stretch to pulling the money out of thin air. So it looks like I may be attempting to get my business venture up and running in between naps, possibly teaching evenings again, but mainly looking after the childrens full time. It doesn’t leave any time at all for the collaborative work that L and I do, other than naptime, which is big a problem. It’s all a little daunting right now. Hooray for multiple art degrees and their endless well-paid job opportunities. Not. I enjoy A’s company most of the time, the main problem is that I know that I can’t compete with what she gets from her daycare. She’s at a fantastic Montessori school where they do loads of activities and get a good rounded balance of learning and play. The staff are enthusiastic and she loves them. I fear that she would spend a lot of time in Target with me. Which whilst colourful, is maybe not such a varied diet of activity. And I don’t know how people do anything more than physically look after the kids. Where does the energy come from to not want to nap the second the child lies down?

Anyway, moving on, this evening we made Baked Sesame Eggplant Subs with Fire-Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce, which was surprisingly good. I am not an aubergine/ eggplant fan, but I would certainly be happy to eat this again. I would, however, quarter the portion sizes- this recipe makes a mountain of food. The eggplant is thinly sliced, dusted in flour, coated in egg, then dipped in a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds and olive oil. The slices are put on a baking sheet and cooked in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, the tomato sauce is made by sautéeing garlic in olive oil then adding fire roasted tomatoes and roasted red peppers, all seasoned with salt and pepper. The peppers are supposed to be puréed, but I just finely chopped them; the tomatoes are already pretty chunky. The tomato sauce and eggplant slices were layered on an open sandwich roll and topped with slices of smoked mozzarella. The subs were grilled until the cheese bubbled.

This food mountain is very tasty. You could possibly omit the bread base and have a more reasonably sized dinner, but overall this meal is easy and rewarding. It did take around 45 minutes to cook, but we were also hanging paintings at the same time. We weren’t exactly power-cooking. The fire roasted tomatoes are so much better than standard tinned tomatoes- they are almost good enough to eat straight from the tin. Piles of grilled cheese can never be a bad thing. Although this meal was quite cheese-heavy, it didn’t taste fatty or lardy, and there was minimal extra fat used to cook. A success, thumbs up in the 80’s stylee. Tomorrow’s meal sounds less than appealing, Veal Saltimbocca with Spinach Polenta, but we’ll see. Maybe it’ll be tremendous.

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