Day 353: It’s the little things

December 19, 2007

As we swiftly approach the end of the year, the big question is when are we going to eat the bonus recipe, Day 366: And Last But Not Least… Christmas Pasta? We can’t have it for Christmas dinner because we’ll be eating Rachael Ray food for lunch and duck for dinner on the 24th, and Rachael Ray food for lunch and turkey for dinner on the 25th. So the logical thing would be to eat it on the 366th day of this project, 1st of January 2008. But I suppose that means that the one year project would have taken over a year. Maybe on New Year’s Eve we could do Rachael Ray for lunch and dinner. I’m only thinking about it online because I just asked L and he said he didn’t know.

Mind you, we are too tired to know much of anything at this point. I can’t begin to figure out how many hours I have spent asleep in the chair in the baby’s room rather than in bed. I just can’t stay awake when I go to feed the little one. L and I keep starting the “what should we do next year?” discussion, and somehow we never get anywhere. This may be because we only really manage to get time to chat in the car, and Baby N seems to hate the carseat with a passion. She is not a baby to be taken out for a car ride when she can’t get to sleep at night. We should get a move on, apparently the year is almost over.

The strange thing is with visitors coming for the holidays, rather than family coming to help out, there is a sense that things in the house should be finished. We’d hoped that our endless construction would be over by now, but it is still dragging on. We are going to postpone any work while we have prisoners guests because it gets pretty noisy and dusty, and they will have have come a long way for a relaxing break. We are going to take up the cardboard which is currently all over the house to stop the floors getting scratched. There’s still a great big hole in the wall upstairs where our linen closet should be. One of the workmen must have hung our wreath outside- the one I ordered when I was in labour from some local kids who were fundraising for their school. It was delivered a couple of weeks ago and has been sorrily sitting in its plastic wrap on the front porch ever since. Finally Baby N’s room does have a matching pair of curtains up, I changed one set weeks ago and never got around to doing the other one. She also now has drawers with her clothes in, rather than drawers filled with piles of junk hastily packed up from the old house on moving day. Things are going very slowly on the organising front. In many ways it is as if we are still in the process of moving in- finding places for stuff and still unpacking occasional boxes. We have far less storage here than we did in our condo, so things have to be figured out a little more creatively. And the creativity is currently sadly lacking.

In other news, we missed a Christmas performance at Little A’s daycare today- somehow we just didn’t know it was going on. However, I’m not going to go down the conspiracy theory route. Well maybe a little bit. The toddler class were donkeys, how I’d have loved to see that. Apparently Little A managed to sneak away to wolf down handfuls of cookies. That’s my girl. And between starting this post and finishing it, Baby N threw up on me in a spectacular fashion. It’s only happened a couple of times, fortunately, but pleasant it is not. Of course I’d spent the last couple of hours sniffing her delicious little head which smells so good after she’s had a bath.

Anyway, I still need to settle the little one so this should be brief. Tonight we made Crispy Rosemary-Orange Chicken with Parmigiano String Beans, which was much better than I’d anticipated. The chicken was sautéed with rosemary, garlic, onions and carrots then sprinkled with flour. Chicken stock and the juice of an orange were added. Once the liquid had reduced by healf, chopped kalamata olives were added. The chicken mixture was put in an oven-proof dish and topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs, parsley, orange zest and Parmigiano cheese. The topping was browned under the grill; in our case we just saved it before it became blackened. The beans were cooked, drained then returned to the pan with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and more Parmigiano.

The beans were great; crisp and rich. Of course after being tossed in both butter and olive oil they were bound to be good. The cheese was an extra fat-tastic bonus. The chicken dish was better than we thought it was going to be, although we both felt that the layer of breadcrumbs was unnecessary. It made everything a little stodgy, but this is not always a bad thing. The rosemary-orange flavours were subtle and understated, in a good way. Often dishes with “orange” end up being almost like caricatures of orange-flavored food, if that makes sense. The orange here didn’t scream, hi I’m orange and I’m here to be all orangey. And the kalamata olives, which I have to admit puzzled me a little as they were being added, offered a nice saltiness and element of interest. Good food, good times.

Tomorrow we will be having Chicken Cutlets on Buttermilk-Cheddar-Chorizo Bisciuits with Tomato-Olive Salsa Mayo. I have to grocery shop for the week tomorrow; I just hope I remember to buy stuff for our many planned Christmas dinners.

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