Today was a long day for no exotic or unusual reasons. Thing Two woke up early, and is still a little sick with a drippy nose. She is also in the–“I won’t eat anything and will fuss unless I can use my own spoon. Unless it is yours, then I will beg for your food off your spoon. Not my own identical food, not my own spoon, not my own bowl. Your food. Your spoon. Your bowl. My drippy nose — phase” This leads to a lot of truncated meals for me, and thrice-daily bathing for Thing Two. I hope this phase ends quickly, I don’t remember how long it lasted with Thing One.
She is also doing a lot of climbing. (I post this picture hoping you won’t call DCF on me. I had the camera in my hand when I found her like this.)
Her degree of difficulty is improving, although she is still having problems with the dismount. The feline judge is particularly harsh. With Thing One, we solved this by lashing loose chairs to table legs and radiators so she couldn’t drag them around the room to use them to climb higher. I think we are going to revisit that solution soon.
On the meal front, the calendar says spring but the weather still says late winter, so I have been making unseasonal hearty fare. Here is one I had the other night that was really tasty that I call “The Kitchen Sink”.
I made chicken and rice (rice cooked in broth with spices, then add cut up chicken breast for the last 10 minutes) the other night and it was a hit with the kids…although hard to clean off the chair, table, floor and hair. I had some left over, so I sautéed some garlic, added a few whole cherry tomatoes and cooked them until they burst. Then I added chicken stock, a few shakes of smoked Tabasco and left over chicken and rice. I topped it with a poached egg and it was yummy. Thing Two thought so too, until I put some in her own bowl and then she wouldn’t touch it. I think I remember calling this stage the Seagull Stage with Thing One. Constantly swooping in and stealing your food.
For dinner tonight, it was another off-season meal. Roasted chicken parts (shh we don’t say that too loudly around Casa de Loco Pollo) and smothered cabbage. The smothered cabbage recipe idea I got from a Marcella Hazen cookbook, but I am hesitant to tell you how I changed it; I have read MH is quite a stickler for following her instructions.
I’ll be brave though. First you shred a head of cabbage. Then you sauté some onion (she said half, I used a whole…please don’t tell). Add in some garlic, then add the cabbage and turn it to coat in the olive oil (MH said use half a cup (!) I used less than half of that. Is she lurking?) Add a little salt and pepper and cover and cook over low for an hour and a half until all tender and melty. This is where I went a little crazy. I thought it was a little dry and lacking in flavor (maybe because I drastically cut back on the oil), so at about an hour, I added a cup of beef broth, and simmered it until it was fully absorbed. It was delicious, but please don’t tell MH, just say I followed the recipe.
I used the cabbage as a bed for the roasted chicken. Yummy.
But it wasn’t the meal that made tonight’s dinner special. Tonight, I was all excited because I tracked down this wonderful white wine we had when the adults went to the big city for dinner. The cheese and meat boards were delicious and the meal was great, but for me the most memorable part was the glass of white wine I had. I usually don’t enjoy wine very much, and only order it because I am supposed to be a grown-up, but this one was great. It tasted to me citrus-y without being bitter or acidic and it felt thirst quenching. I could picture having a bottle of this cooling in a stream as I tended my olive trees in late summer. Stopping for a noonday break I would get my bottle of wine out of the stream and sit under a tree. Lunch would be a hunk of bread, a piece of cheese, a pear and this wonderful clean, thirst-quenching wine.
. . .
Sorry I was in a reverie for a moment there. Here is the wine.
Domaine La Hitaire, 2009, Les Tours. a blend of 3 grapes. Pairs wonderfully with cheese, chicken and long days with climbing toddlers.