Day 272: And then there was polenta

September 29, 2007

Today was spent quite pleasantly with A at the zoo and at the train set at the bookshop in the mall. We bumped into friends at the train set who were also procrastinating the day away with a toddler. They, however, left to take their kid on the train ride at the amusement park inside the mall. A doesn’t yet realise that she could conceivably actually go on one of the rides there, and we’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible. So we feigned ignorance while they talked about the big train. At the zoo A ran around saying “bye bye monkeys, bye bye zebra, bye bye tiger” as soon as we got to each animal. At least we didn’t have to hang around much. She was, however, completely intrigued by a water bottle lid that had been discarded under a bush. It’s nice that she now has words to voice what we have always suspected that she feels; that the animals at the zoo are completely over-rated.

The tiler came today to grout the replaced bathroom tiles and the kitchen splashback. The end of the job is so nearly within our grasp, that it seems churlish to complain that the tiles which were knocked out to break up the patches of colour, are identical to those put in to replace the originals. Really, you have to laugh. The heating guy didn’t turn up to reinstall the radiator as promised, but the roof no longer leaks so all is good.

This evening we made Mushroom Sauté on Charred Polenta and Seared Spicy Ham, a variation on the “Master Recipe” of yesterday. The mushrooms were cooked with red wine, rather than sherry, and fire-roasted tomatoes rather than cream. The mixture was grilled with Italian cheese on the top, sitting on a bed of fried polenta disks and seared Italian ham. The dish was easy to make and actually relatively pleasant. Neither of us like polenta, but we both ate everything on our plates. The mushroom sauté is very different with tomatoes rather than cream, obviously. Tonight it was more like a pasta sauce. The seared ham was pretty tasty, and the polenta served to soak up some of the juices. The next couple of days sound like we are having mushroom-based pasta sauces, beginning with Creamed Mushroom Sauté with Artichoke Hearts, Spinach, and Penne.

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