Day 330: I can’t believe it’s not butter

November 26, 2007

This evening we made French Onion Sliced Steak Croissant Sandwich, which was a fantastically good sandwich. The flank steak was marinated for ten minutes in olive oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, thyme, salt and pepper, then cooked over a high heat. Once cooked, it was left to stand for five minutes then sliced thinly. The onions were sliced and cooked in olive oil until golden. Chicken stock was poured over the top and left to bubble away until the onions were just slightly damp. Croissants were split and placed on a cookie sheet. A dollop of onions were placed on the croissant base, followed by the sliced steak. More onions and a slice of Emmental cheese topped the sandwich, which was grilled until the cheese melted and the croissant lids browned. The sandwich was served with a green salad.

I wondered whether this would be the sort of meal that would be more trouble than it was worth, but actually the two pans, two bowls and a cookie sheet which need to be washed up are a small price to pay for the meal itself. The steak was like butter; so very moist, tender and succulent. The croissants were oozing butter, which is always nice. The onions and cheese were just good; tangy and chewy and delicious- and I don’t even particularly like Swiss cheese. Very excellent all round.

This morning I felt like I had lived a hundred lives before 9am. Juggling the very different demands of a newborn and a toddler, whilst trying to maintain a basic level of personal hygiene and a barely acceptable level of appearance, is something that I need to work on. Fortunately, I’m sure I have plenty of opportunity for practice and improvement. Once we managed to leave the house, the day was actually pretty good. For the most part I enjoyed myself and the company of the girls, although it does feel a little like tightrope walking, blindfolded, with one leg tied behind your back. If Baby N had woken up hungry at different times- like bath time- the day could have been an unmitigated disaster. As it was, we all survived with only minor injuries. We went out to a friends house for play and lunch, where I had a most unfortunate incident. I fed Baby N then lifted her to face over my shoulder for a much-needed burp. I had completely failed to register the breakfast bar counter behind me, the very counter upon which I managed to bang her poor little noggin against. The baby screamed, the toddler wailed, I may have shed a stressful little guilt-ridden hormonal tear, but we all recovered and lived to tell the tale. Baby N barely has a mark on her forehead, although she’ll probably develop an enormous bruise just as I go to pick up my mum from the airport tomorrow. On the way home from our playdate, I had to take Little A to the clinic for a flu shot. She was very excited to go, obviously not having the faintest idea what she was in for when she asked for her “flu shot, pease”. The sight of the needle prompted a swift downward turn in her mood, but she was consoled slightly by a sparkly plaster and not one but two piggy stickers. The stickers which she is now sleeping with, after refusing to part with them.

Tomorrow we have to tidy and clean as much as possible before heading out to the airport. It seems a little self-defeating to clean when we have workmen in the house and cardboard taped to the floors to protect the wood. L is still painting the never-ending woodwork so we have dust sheets and paint pots around. It just seems so hard to get on top of house stuff at the moment, what with the 84 loads of washing a day and the endless nappy changes. We’ll get there eventually, maybe. Or we won’t. Either way you won’t get your money back. It’ll be interesting to see how this house accommodates visitors. The bedrooms are very much on top of each other and the walls are paper thin. There’s no room for privacy. But hopefully there will be much grannie/ grandchildren bonding and an opportunity for the little things in life like getting a haircut. My roots are so bad that I have taken to wearing a hat. All the time. I am so grateful that it’s cold enough that I don’t look like a complete idiot. Or maybe I do but at least no one can see my terrible grey hair stripe. Tomorrow we kick off Mother Visit ’07 with Rosemary Lemon-Pepper Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Lemon-Parmigiano Dressed Greens and Garlic Croutons. I think everyone is pleased that the upcoming run of five (FIVE) versions of polenta lasagne is post-visit. Our families already think we’re crazy doing this project- in as much as every now and then we’ll be asked “are you still doing that food thing?” with a touch of disbelief/ disdain. There’s no reason to vividly illustrate the crazy with five versions of the same meal. Otherwise we’d be hard pressed to answer the inevitable “why are you doing this?” question.

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