This food is so good that I have to go and blow my nose.
(silence, as the mama tries to parse this compliment. Muffled amusement, as Auntie A and the partner watch mama and Eldest.) Note: recipe is below
It's a grab bag kind of day, people. Here it is:
*the babes has two teeth coming in, as evinced by a delicate thread of drool working its way down his chin. The teeth are on the bottom, and angled just at the same angle as the Eldest's two front lower teeth. The alignment between the boys delights me.
*Auntie A, or as we call her 'Almost Auntie A' is in town for a week! a week! Such delights have not been mine in years, and she had to come during school vacation? Oy. We've been shuttling around to the MIT museum and Frank Gehry building, the local Butterfly Place (a surprisingly delightful find), and if it ever stops raining, to the duck boats. Such plans we had! The Garden in the Woods has a big rock exhibit (small boys and big rocks - seems perfect, no?), Land Sake farm in Weston has pick your own cherry tomatoes and raspberries, taking the babes to see the allergy nutritionist - okay, so that last plan will survive the rain, but the rest are taking a beating. If anyone has a suggestion for kids on rainy day activities that will delight the adults, I'm listening. And please don't suggest the Aquarium which is a pain to get to, and yes, we'll go to the Science Museum, although the idea of seeing dried dead bones and muscle and tendon gives me serious icks. Tonight, we escape to Pandemonium, a funky bookstore in Central Square, where we'll wander and I'll try not to spend money. Ya, right.
Hopefully, this long standing friendship will survive a week with my kids. And with me, being testy at my kids. Possibly that last is the trickier obstacle - I'm rather demanding of the eldest, and currently buried in enough work to be impatient with anyone who isn't falling into line. Luckily today was a day founded on flexibility, with three separate, possible plans in train, depending on the oh-so variable weather. With that mindset came a somewhat more patient Mama, a trick I really ought to remember. Of course it helps that Auntie A is here, and currently reading stories with the Eldest while I avoid writing his IHP (Individual Health Plan) for school...
*the partner man has decided to walk. A lot. But at least he decided to walk with a cause, covering the Boston Marathon route for the Jimmy Fund, come September. He's going into this blindly hoping to find the time to "train," a practice with which I am familiar, thanks to a marathon running father. In my humble opinion, I consider marathon runners to be exhibiting an obsessive form of behavior, in which momentum is used to blot out the rational thought that would keep one in bed at 5 am on a Sunday, avoiding the pulled muscles and pain of serious running, and so on. But who am I to judge? Anyone who has seen me working my way through a bag of Madhouse Munchies barbecue chips knows that I am not unfamiliar with the focus needed to get a job done.
Me, I strongly suspect that he's walking because someone's giving him an official-ish excuse to do so, but I trust that his choice will offer support and a sense of community to our friends whose daughter is battling leukemia. And some time for quiet solitude, always useful in the over-programmed. Here's the link to his post, describing his plan and giving folks a chance to donate to the Jimmy Fund. For those of you who don't know his real name, well, it's a decent cause anyway...and the name of our friends' 1 yr old daughter with leukemia is Amelia. When in doubt, a donation in honor is always welcome. Now, if we can only manage it such that the partner doesn't spend the next few weeks hobbling with sore, cramping muscles. And I am far too wise to refer him to the marathon-running crew, who'd doubtless know how to do this. (But hopeful that you'll offer him advice without my wifely, aka credit dampening, intervention?)
The recipe that makes the Eldest blow his nose, adapted from Sole with Fresh Tomatoes,' Almost Vegetarian Entertaining.
Blow Your Nose Fish:
1.5 lb mild white fish
1 Tb olive oil, plus a drizzle
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
fresh black pepper
2 Tb fresh chopped parsley
2 Tb fresh chopped oregano
(Note: I love having herbs growing! dried should be fine if you need to substitute for the fresh herbs)
zest of 1 lemon, or most of a lemon
Combine the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon zest in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, stir. Pour 1 Tb olive oil into baking dish, lay fish in dish, overlapping where necessary to make it fit. Spread herb-lemon mixture on top of fish, let sit (in refrigerator, covered) for a bit while you start the sauce. Bake in preheated oven at 425 F for 7 minutes, then broil for 4 minutes. Baking/broiling times may vary - check. Fish should flake easily with a fork.
Courtesy of Redfire Farm and their tomato festival (to which I dragged the non-tomato eating Auntie A), I now have a new found love of the Federle tomato, a roma-style tomato that dissolved into a heavenly sauce. Here's the sauce that we ate with the fish:
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 onions, sliced somewhat thinly
4 fresh sage leaves (or substitute dried), chopped
1 Tb cornstarch
1 cup dry white wine/mirin
8 chopped Federle tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 Tb olive oil
optional: 1/2 cup sour cream
Saute garlic, onion, sage in olive oil until onions start to brown a bit. Add cornstarch, stir until paste-like. Then add 1/4 c of the cooking wine, stir some more. Dump in tomatoes and the rest of the wine. (At this point, I'd shove the fish into the oven.) Stir and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes on low. The tomatoes should break down into a wonderful texture, making it unecessary to puree.
Serve sauce with fish, on the side, to be added as desired. We also had a corn, peach, avocado green salad, and rice cakes to mop up extra sauce. Okay, so the babes had rice cakes and we all glommed on to the idea. Happy, happy, slightly over-full we.