Day 281: The trouble with being two

October 8, 2007

Today was A’s second birthday; where oh where did our baby girl go? When did she become this sweet and charming and clever and funny and adorable and mischievous and opinionated and stubborn and strong-willed little girl? Today was a day like every other, in that she is a whirlwind of adventure and delight and dismay completely interwoven. I took the piggy cupcakes in to daycare for the kids to have at snack time. I was a little embarrassed by their amateur quality, but by 1am this morning, I was too tired to care. And to think that when I used to stay up late I’d at least have a hangover to show for it in the morning. Next year will be ladybird cupcakes, made with chocolate buttons and red icing and nothing more. We picked A up early to take her to the zoo, but had forgotten that the beginning of October heralds winter opening hours, so we were too late. Instead we decided to go out for ice cream and walk around one of our 10,000 lakes, and maybe do some duck-spotting. A was inconsolable that she couldn’t go in the lake, then she was happy to splash in a puddle. Then inconsolable that she couldn’t hold the water in the puddle, then happy to go home. Then inconsolable… In the three hours before bed she had more mood swings than most people have in a lifetime. She was extremely tired and a little overwhelmed; I’m very pleased we made no birthday party plans. Life is a big place for a two year old. When you ask her how old she is she says “I old”. I know how she feels.

This evening after the birthday girl went to bed, we made Big Bistro Burgers with Caramelized Shallots on Grilled Bread with Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. The preparation was extremely easy, and in fact the whole meal was very straightforward and successful. Shallots were caramelized in a frying pan with olive oil and some sherry vinegar. The burgers were made by combining the ground beef with gril seasoning, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and thyme, then frying them until done. The bread was rubbed with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, then browned on the grill pan. Meanwhile, the salad was made with sliced beetroot, baby spinach and goat cheese crumbles, and dressed with sherry vinegar and olive oil. I have added a new definition of anxiety-inducing to my personal lexicon; chopping beetroot in the vicinity of our new countertops. The butcher block is beautiful but while it’s still in its oiled-up infancy, it is a bit of a nightmare. We have to be hyper-vigilant about water splashes or spills, and I can only imagine how nice a beetroot stain would be in the middle of the slab of wood. It’ll only get better though, with more lubrication, phnarr phnarr.

Anyway, the meal was assembled from the plate up in the following order; bread, salad, burger, shallots. This was a remarkably tasty dinner and an excellent way to serve a burger. While the bread, cheese and onion components were all present and correct, the serving method made it seem less hefty than normal, and much more satisfying. Also, I suspect the lack of “exotic chips” helped me agree with Ms Ray that this is more of a “bistro burger”. We did half the called for amount of meat- 1/2lb of beef each is insane. L really loved the salad, being a big beetroot fan, I thought it was pretty good. This meal looked good and tasted mighty fine; if we come back to any of the burger recipes next year, this could be the one.

Tomorrow we will be making Ginger-Lime Chicken with String Beans and Wasabi Smashed Potatoes, and I will be attempting to attempt some personal grooming, so that the impending hospital trip is less embarrassing all round. I feel like I am on the final leg of this journey: today I made the inevitable pre-birth pharmacy trip for post-birth fluid management. Nice. Oh the glamour and the dignity; it almost makes me wish I didn’t know what I was in for.

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