Wednesday, September 19, 2007

hand gestures and barbecues

Oh, dear. Did I get political? Right, then - let's get maternal:

Wail! Wail!
1.17 am. We are both awake, working on various deadlines, and slightly stupefied by our own night-owlishness.

Wail! Wail! [insert note of increasing indignation here]
The Man goes down the hall to the small, miserable body while I dive behind a door. Night weaning is still somewhat iffy, dependant on me doing a Mission Impossible-style disappearing act when necessary.

Oh, little one.
Oh little one, let's go to bed.
WAIL!! [brief pause for oxygen] DINK O WATER!
Drink of water? Oh, my sweet one, okay, you can have

Two adults gulp for a calm breath, while the child examines his father to see if the gulping sounds meant agreement. It didn't. But his dad gave him all props for timing and effort.

I had seriously underrated the stresses of a morning commute.

For years now, the Man has been trying to explain it to me, and I thought I got it - after all, I rode the subway for years in NYC to and from school. How much more raw and unwashed could you get? Okay, okay I understand now. Boston drivers are grumpy. They are crude, they have too little patience, and they are all too willing to use fellow drivers for their emotional dumping grounds.

Yesterday, an elderly man gave me the finger - one on each hand - for not turning right on red. I was indicating a left turn.

Today, an orange clad bicyclist hollered at me for wedging myself at the end of a long line of barely moving cars. Two other cars were behind me, moving purposefully.

Sigh. On the other hand, there is one distinct advantage: the reading material. Boston drivers tend to be Democrat at best, and Green Party or libertarian at better, and all of those come with some fun bumper stickers. My favorites from today:

Evolutionists do it in increasingly complicated ways.

prune Bush

Dog is my co-pilot.

Editor's note: thanks to all who responded by slapping stickers on, especially my next door neighbor (two of these are his? hers?). All new ones are in red.

may the fetus you save be gay

Bush's approval rating is approaching his IQ

the future is organic

You can't beat a woman who shoots

I'm resigned to you idjits out there, and if you teach my kids new and exciting vocabulary, I will take my revenge by turning you into an object lesson. (D'you see that driver there? She is not behaving in an appropriate way. Is she being considerate of others? What do you think happens if everybody behaves like this? I can go on like that for hours, you know, and I'll do it with the windows rolled down while going precisely two miles under the speed limit. heh.)

But if you've got to be grumpy, aggressive so-and-sos on the road, could'ja at least provide a little reading material? get a good bumper sticker. Be crabby on the 'sticker if you like, heck - be crude, even. Please. Because even with the moderately inventive hand-gesturing, I'm just flat out bored.
But not hungry! This week's been all barbecue, all the time. We have a gas Weber, and I'm having a blast.

Mama's Got a 'cue Salmon

1 slab of frozen salmon fillet, with or without the skin (if you buy fresh, adjust the cooking times accordingly)
olive oil
sage leaves, fresh

Fire up the barbecue, and when hot, lay the salmon on it - skin side down. (No skin? Look for the darker side of the salmon for the skin side. Can't figure it out? Don't worry about it too much - I suggest skin down because there's some fat content in the skin, which will keep it from getting glued to the barbecue too much. If you can't figure out which is which, just pick a side, drizzle a bit of oil on it and slap it down.)

With the salmon on the barbecue, drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and carefully lay a few sage leaves on top. Leave for about 6-7 minutes, lid closed and smoke leaking out a bit. Then, flip the salmon over and repeat drizzle, sprinkle and add herbs. You might see some white fat/liquid bubbling up around the edges - resolutely ignore this and close the lid of the 'cue.

Walk away, coming back perhaps 5-8 minutes later (depending on how hot your barbecue is) to find a smoky, fabulous salmon. If you are wise, at this point you will also slide some veggie kabobs onto a plate, and voila! dinner is ready.

Options: replace sage with rosemary, or use thyme. Squeeze half a lemon over the salmon when done.

Veggie Kabobs, a.k.a the Whole Shishkabobble
(named by the Eldest)

bamboo skewers - they get scorched, by don't conduct too much heat
a colorful range of the following:
cherry tomatoes
whole white mushrooms
slabs of red onion
chunks of bell pepper
zucchini/summer squash (unless you are eating with an Imperfect)

Slide onto the skewer carefully, trying to alternate colors for maximum effect. Note: this is not a Martha Stewart moment here, people, this is feeding strategy. We are attracted to visually appealing foods, and we tend to like a range of colors - nutritionally, you should aim for three colors per meal - so pretty it up here, folks. It's easy and it's how I get my kids to eat bell peppers without nagging.

Leave a good quarter to a third of the skewer empty, you'll want it for a handle when you turn the food.

Line the skewers up on the barbecue, leaving about an inch sticking out over the edge - these end bits won't get as hot. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Leave for about 8-10 minutes, then turn as best you can.

Consider squeezing a bit of fresh lemon or lime juice over the skewers when done, or leave well enough alone.


magid said...

Soaking the wooden skewers in water first minimizes scorching...

magid said...

PS. There's a reason I much prefer a walking commute in the morning...

dykewife said...

i have a few nice bumper stickers:

"kali is my co-pilot",
"don't believe everything you think",
and my personal fav:
"invisible dragon in backseat"

my all time favourite, but can't find anymore:
"i'd turn you into a frog, but why be redundant?"

joy said...

My fav sticker which I haven't found in ages is "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." but that's just me. And perhaps outraged is not where I'm at exactly anymore. Sure I'm still seriously mad, but in a different way, and I'm better at fighting with carefully snide smiles.

I must admit, I'm a horror myself doing the morning commute. I've gotten too accustomed to my freelance life and working on-site is really bringing out the bad words regarding my fellow commuters. Sigh, I am an object lesson, so I turn up the music so that wee B can dance in his little seat and ignore me.

Jill said...

"Well behaved women rarely make history"

Sometimes I'm not very well behaved!