This evening we made Veal, Chicken, or Fish Francese with Lemon and Wine, and we actually ended up using chicken. This was less by choice and more by virtue of having chicken cutlets in the freezer, which is as good a criteria as any other for making these protein choices. The chicken was seasoned in salt and pepper, dredged in flour then dipped in whisked frothy egg and fried. The pieces came up beautifully golden and puffy, just as the recipe said that they should. The pan was deglazed with white wine and lemon juice, with nutmeg, parsley capers and lemon slices added. After the heat was turned off, a knob of butter was added to the pan and everything mixed together and served. Spinach and crusty bread rounded out this meal.
The chicken was pretty nice, as chicken goes. This is an excellent way to prepare chicken to keep it moist and succulent. The sauce was a bit too acrid for our tastes. The lemon and the capers combined to make an extremely sharp sauce that could have brought a tear to your eye. So it wasn’t a great tragedy that we inadvertently only made about a teaspoonful of the sauce- that was all that was needed to get a hint burst of the flavour. We would use this method of cooking chicken again, but the sauce will never be reprised. If you have a sauce with actual slices of lemon in it, I do feel that there should be something to balance the acidity, either in the form of something rich or something sweet.
Tomorrow we will be making Mushroom-Veggie Sloppy Sandwiches, which hopefully have neither lemon nor capers in the ingredients list. We are half-heartedly gearing up for change again round here. After a couple of nights in a row where Baby N has been up until 1am, plus colds all round, we are too exhausted to really process anything. L goes back to work tomorrow so he has to get up at 5.30am, and he won’t be home until after 7pm. I need to somehow work out how to get two children and myself up and dressed and out of the house before 4pm. Everything hinges on Baby N’s sleep/ wake pattern. Some days she is awake and hungry at the exact same time that Little A wakes up wanting breakfast, other days things are less crazy. I am interested to see how A does when it is just the three of us. When I was still pregnant I was gearing myself up for a rejection in favour of Daddy, as that is apparently pretty common when new babies arrive. In fact Little A was all about Daddy for the last couple of months of my pregnancy. What has happened so far since the arrival of the sister is that she has been much more clingy than I expected, especially if the baby is awake. She always wants to be carried by me, presumably so that I am not spending time with the baby. It’s been a juggling act, obviously made billions of times easier by the fact that L has been home all this time. She has been playing us both a little too. However, presumably she is starting to realise that the baby is here to stay and that some things are not going to change. Now when I feed Baby N, Little A invariably has a sore tummy or her eye hurts or her leg hurts or something else. Fortunately she is too young to be very manipulative about it. When L asked if her tummy hurt on the inside or the outside, she said outside and pointed out the window. Later on when I asked if her tummy hurt because I was feeding her sister she said yes and agreed that it would stop hurting once I stopped feeding the baby. So I wonder if she’ll be more angry with me tomorrow when there is no Daddy around to mediate? Time will tell, I suppose.
Also, just to make things more exciting, we are starting construction again tomorrow. Yes, the men, they will be back. The last part of our house renovation is the insulating and finishing of the attic space in the house. Upstairs was utterly unbearable temperature-wise in the summer. Even in May when we first looked at the house, it was so stifling upstairs that we could only be up there for perhaps five minutes. By the time we moved into the house in August, I honestly couldn’t be upstairs, not even for five seconds. The plan was always to insulate the space, both to make it habitable and to cut down heating/ cooling costs. The contractor said that they could finish the space, but only over fall or winter because it was so inhumanely hot up there that nobody could possibly work in those conditions. Now that the weather has turned, we have an Arctic chill coming down from the attic, it hits you about half way up the stairs to the bedrooms. Whilst I can’t face having workmen back in the house in any way, it will be good to get the work done. Hopefully within a couple of weeks they’ll be out of here again and we can turn the heating down a bit. In a week and a half my mum is coming for a visit for ten days or so, then we have a couple of weeks before friends arrive for Christmas. Unbelievably that takes us to the end of the year and the end of One Year Project. Bonkers crazy.