Saturday, March 30, 2013

*good spring food*

It is sneaking up through the dirt, budding on the trees, scuzzing the floor of the woods with green.
It is (finally) coming! 

And with it have come peas, radishes, great avocados (which have nothing to do with spring but more about imported food... sorry local farmers). 

Ricotta and Radishes
For lunch, radishes from the farmer, green onions, a drizzle of olive oil, coarse salt, and pepper.  

Peas on Toast
Recipe adapted from Country Living, April, 2013
2 c fresh (or frozen) peas
1/4 c fresh mint (little more)
a generous 2 T fresh mint
1/2 t salt
1/4 T olive oil
freshly ground pepper
sliced and toasted baguette

Cook peas and blend in food processor with mint, lemon, salt
Drizzle in olive oil
Smear sliced baguette with sliced garlic and toast in oven
Spread toasted baguette with fresh ricotta, 
top with peas and avocado
drizzle with olive oil 
sprinkle with coarse salt and serve

The New York Sour
Bon Appetit, April 2013

A whiskey sour with a float of red wine -- delicious and beautiful:
2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Shake and pour over ice
Gently pour fruity red wine (Malbec)
over the back of a spoon to float on top

{thanks, Chris Himes}

Parmesan Bread Pudding
My favorite of all of these recipes; I've made variations twice this week.
adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2013

1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 bunch broccoli cut into small pieces
2 t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
6 eggs
1 1/2 c whole milk
1/2 pound country-style white bread cut into 1" pieces (about half a loaf)
1/2 c + 2 T finely grated Parmesan
6 thin slices of prosciutto, chopped

-preheat oven to 350
-lightly steam broccoli to soften
-heat oil over med heat, add garlic and red pepper -- stir until garlic is softened about 30 sec
-add broccoli, season with S&P, cook about 2 minutes so flavors marry, cool slightly
-in bowl, whisk eggs, milk, 2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper
-add broccoli, bread and 1/2 c Parmesan, toss to combine
-transfer to a 1 1/2 qt baking dish
-top with prosciutto and 2 T Parmesan
-bake until slightly brown and set in center, 45-55 minutes

The original recipe calls for broccoli rabe and pancetta.
Also works with kale instead of broccoli.

 (image from Bon Appetit

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Seven Years

Last Saturday Silas turned 7.

We stood in the kitchen and saw the golden ball of the sun swell up behind the winter trees.  
Silas, the morning you were born, I watched the same sun rise over the ocean from my hospital room.  And then, at 11AM you came.

Born on a round number, at a round weight, a little round head of hair, he came as the child who would round my sharp corners, make me see myself and learn, who would surprise us again and again, leading us through firsts with his bright-eyed face...

At seven he is covered, arms and legs and up the neck, with poison ivy, presumably from the yard compost bin he jumped into again and again from the fence.  The evenings are full of moaning and ice packs, but in the day, his hands are busy building circuits, legos, learning the rhythm of dribbling a ball, raising his eyebrows and crossing his eyes, doing both at the same time.

Silas, my son, I am so glad to know you, so glad you are here*

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eventful St. Patty's Day...

The sound was a shriek but I couldn't tell if it was laughter or crying.  Then it stopped.  Suddenly, again, and I ran outside.  Silas, the only one I could see, was nearly speechless:
she ...  (pointing) fell in there -- help her, mom!
I turned around to see where he was pointing: Eden, hysterical, was trying to climb out of the basement window well, where she'd fallen, apparently through the plexiglas covering it.
I pulled her out and tried to assess injury.  She was standing, breathing, crying.
My head.
I felt the back of her head -- a huge goose egg, already risen.

We came inside, and for about an hour she cried, and we held ice on it.  I sat trying to remember things about concussions -- Max was a head-hitter when we were growing up and once lost memory for some hours.  So I asked questions: why are we wearing green today?  who turned the milk green this morning?  who was in the yard with you?  She tracked with me.

I quickly googled concussions -- watch for dilated eyes, confusion, tingling arms or hands, double vision or loss of vision, nausea etc.  None applied.

My mom came over for corned beef and cabbage, and we took turns holding weepy E.  The grumpy pediatrician called me back and told me which hospital to go to if any severe symptoms developed.

I took Eden up to the bathroom, still crying, and sitting there she asked why she couldn't see me.  I watched her hand opening and closing, opening and closing.
You can't see me? 
I can't see anything.  Why does my hand feel so weird?  She opened and closed it.
Every nerve in my body stood on end.
We packed into the car -- so grateful my mom was over and could stay.

As Ben drove, I leaned back and asked Eden questions to keep her from crying.  Within a minute, her eyes started glazing over and she couldn't answer me, couldn't count.  Her eyes kept rolling.  Eden, Eden, look at my eyes.  Let's count, Eden.  
I was leaning so far into the back of the car my face was only inches from her and we kept talking.  Eden, let's count together, repeat after me -- one....  Eden, ONE.  (one).    Two.  (two).   Three.  Eyes rolling.  THREE.

What if this is my daughter now?  What if life just altered?

She threw up the rest of the way to the hospital and kept getting disoriented like a tiny old lady with quiet wild eyes: where are we going? where are we going? what are they going to DO?  

The emergency room was empty and felt like stepping into Grey's Anatomy with only young attractive doctors in slouchy scrubs.  Slowly we moved through the steps -- vitals, check for neck pain, track a finger.  She kept throwing up  (all of her throw up was green from a day of Leprechaun-colored food -- kind of sad).  Then they sent her for a CT scan -- she lay perfectly still as the camera lens arc around her head and the radiation sign flashed on and off above her body.

Doctor Sanjay came in within minutes.  The scans looks good.  There is nothing glaring, no bleeding.  We are just waiting for confirmation from radiology.

She threw up until she fell asleep against me.  Radiology confirmed, and we drove home.   By morning, the swelling was nearly gone and Eden was full of play again.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Picture of Life

Ben and I are trying to do our taxes.  Why this is always a prolonged effort rather than a succinct action, I don't know.  Yesterday involved faxing a 15 page form from my parents' fax machine.  Ordinarily this would seem a reasonable task, but I couldn't get the machine off a setting that involved placing each page, one by one, on the platen glass  to scan s l o w l y, and it seemed an inordinately long time for the fuzzy screachy fax sounds to begin and even longer for the confirmation to be spit out (mine never came out at all).  But, nonetheless, a doable task, especially with the kids out back at the park and Maeve in her stroller in a post-sleep stupor; I just needed to be patient and shake off my hurry.

Slowly I scanned each page, feeling the relief of the task nearly finished and feeling proud of myself for sticking to it.  Right when I was standing up to leave, the fax noise started and was met with a "if you'd like to make a call--"  I'd misdialed.

The only thing to do was to start over.  So I took a deep breath and began again.  About halfway through, the machine, like a possessed robot, began dialing the wrong number again.  I pushed every button (literally) and could not make it stop until I finally unplugged it.

Maeve started to shake her rattle but seemed happy.  I carefully entered the number and lay page one down for the third time.  Then Maeve started fussing.  The scanner bar slowly moved across the document.  A quarter of the way.  Half way.  Maeve started crying.  Three quarters of the way.  I walked, picked her up, and laid her on the floor, then moved the first page out and lay down the second.  She wasn't happy on the floor.  She needed to be changed.  I went back to the stroller for a clean diaper and wipes, moved the second page, laid the third, and started unsnapping her suit.  Not just a dirty diaper, but a blow out.  I checked the scanner -- only mid-page -- and went back to the stroller  for the extra outfit I'd shoved in the pocket last minute.  I moved page three, put down four, unfolded the clean diaper, put it under her, and realized the blowout was so big that the new diaper was now dirty too.  So I went to the stroller for another clean diaper, moved page four to five, discovered poop was up her back and all over the inside of her onesie and that in trying to pull it off, I'd also gotten it on her arm.  I lay her back down and pulled out a gob of wipes, switched pages on the scanner, wiped and wiped and wiped.  Changed pages again.  Smooshed her chubbiness into a clean outfit.  Changed pages again -- on it went: me on my knees, swapping pages on the glass with one hand, shoving dirty diapers and wipes into a bag with the other, debating throwing the dirty clothes straight into the trashcan (I didn't), and the kids walking in from the park right in the middle of it because I'd taken so long -- ahh, a picture of life!