Day 356: Almost gone but not forgotten

December 22, 2007

This evening I almost went to bed without posting an entry, it completely slipped my mind. That would be great, to blog for a whole year even through extreme morning sickness, on the day we moved house, during the weeks of construction chaos, when in labour and the night after giving birth, only to just forget to post ten days from the end of the year. Luckily(?) Baby N woke up again, reminding me of my duties. But, I have finally got a decent set up where I can feed and be on the computer, so I can say farewell to one-handed typing, which is a relief. I must type a good 6 words per minute faster with four fingers typing rather than two.

Anyway, today was interesting in many ways. It certainly started early, with our jetlagged guests getting up around 5am. Unfortunately our walls are made of paper so once one person wakes up, everyone is awake. We had fun, although the addition of 3 kids into the mix of friendship certainly changed the quality of the day from our last visit. Far less relaxation, how strange. My major observation for the day is that for at least ten minutes this evening, all three of the children in the house were neither crying, puking, exploding out of nappies or running riot, but rather they were all sleeping. That was the first and only time during the day when they were all quiet. Baby N does seem to be on better form, sleeping more which is delicious. Little A had some serious exhaustion inspired meltdowns and also woke from her nap covered in vomit, which is not so fine. She is doing ok though, hopefully it was just a one-off thing. We think it may be because she’s coughing so much. She’s no longer in daycare, so really she can’t be getting ill. That can’t be right, who would we blame for the inconvenience? This afternoon we nearly froze the children by going for a walk, because we were going a little stir-crazy inside. Still, permanent red cheeks are cute, right? No real damage done, surely. Think of all the money the girls could save on make-up in the future. The two toddlers had a bath together this evening which was incredibly sweet and something which blows your mind if you think too hard about it. The bathing together of children of friends is that quintessential picture in the family album. I never really thought about it from the perspective of being one of the parents, not one of the children. We just had our very own Polaroid moment, capturing an image that the kids may look back at and say “who’s that?” or maybe they’ll see the photo as defining a moment in an ongoing friendship. Either way, it makes me feel old and mysteriously nostalgic.

The meal tonight was Honey Chicken over Snow Pea Rice, which was a MYOTO meal, meaning Make Your Own Takeout. In this instance, I would have to agree with the label; this really was like good take-out food. Part of that was that we didn’t really know what we had ordered- this was called honey chicken, but really the ginger was a far more dominant ingredient. I’d certainly refer to this as ginger chicken in future. The rice was browned in butter and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, joined by lemon zest and wine. Once the white wine evaporated, the rice was cooked in chicken stock with sliced snow peas added just before serving. The chicken was browned and cooked with honey, garlic, onion and ginger with red pepper flakes for some added heat. Chicken stock provided the liquid content, with cornstarch thickening the sauce and lemon juice adding some depth. Scallions were added just before serving.

The meal was mellow but with an excellent depth and warmth added by the ginger. I used to think that I didn’t like ginger, but this year has certainly helped convert me to the cause. The honey, lemon and ginger sound like a cold remedy, and this meal would probably be very comforting if you were sick, but the balance of flavours worked well. This doesn’t taste like sweet and sour, it is more delicate and less contrasty, if that makes sense. I have to say I enjoyed the meal a lot. The rice was also almost good enough to eat by itself, which is always a bonus.

Well, I am now the only person awake in the house, although it is far from silent, Between the snoring and the coughing, the cats and the stirring children there’s a sleep symphony going on, I think I should go and contribute. It’s only polite, really. Tomorrow sounds very much like Christmas dinner, interrupted; Crispy Turkey Cutlets with Bacon-Cranberry Brussels Sprouts.

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