Archive for August, 2008

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WND – Rambling & Housewifery

August 28, 2008

Unless I’m planning on doing something really interesting on Sunday, Saturday is my day off.  I don’t cook (usually).  I don’t run errands.  I don’t think about menu plans, or go to the grocery store.  I might go shopping, but not that kind of shopping.

Sunday, on the other hand, is my day for being a good little housewife.  I make a menu plan.  I go to the grocery store, and clear out the fridge of old leftovers and milk that’s gone bad.  I take the trash out and try to figure out if this is a recycling week or not (usually solved by looking up the street to check whether my neighbors have put theirs out, since they apparently actually kept the schedule that the town sends out every year).  I do laundry and change my sheets.  I’m so very very boring. Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – Are You Paranoid Enough?

August 21, 2008

After many years of cooking for groups of people I have to say I agree with the sentiment:  It’s not whether you’re paranoid, it’s whether you’re paranoid enough.

I have a running list in my head of everything that everyone who comes to Dinner regularly is allergic to, and what they’ll eat but rather wouldn’t, and what they’ll carefully pick out of any given dish.  I also have a running list of substitutions, additions, subtractions and the point at which I don’t care if they pick it out of a dish and leave it on the side of the plate.  On the other hand, if you haven’t been to Dinner in more than six months, I’ve probably forgotten what your food quirks are and will require reminding.

Case in point, when a friend and her boy came up to visit last month I sent about five emails checking to make sure that they ate meat/eggs/dairy products.  The final response was more or less an exasperated, “Yes.  Do your worst woman.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – Taking the Easy Way Out

August 14, 2008

We were up in Vermont this past weekend for the annual antique car show. It was unexpectedly gorgeous in Stowe – we’d been threatened with a weekend of rain and gloom and instead got clear blue skies and sunshine. However, the drive up and the drive back were both nightmares of bad traffic and inexplicable traffic jams and I was exhausted by the time we got home on Sunday night.

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SND – The Fiasco Version

August 7, 2008

[Note: I started this entry…oh, 6 months ago? And am just now finishing it. Roasted chicken was just the thing to make… in February.]

I imagine that every self-taught cook has some dish that they’re absolutely petrified of for no good reason at all. Mine’s roasted chicken. Simple, right? Basically impossible to screw up, yes? Hundreds of time-tested recipes to choose from!

And yet, I have irrational fear of roasted chicken. But I decided to conquer that fear – to take on the roasted chicken and win! Which. I kinda did. An hour and half after all the rest of the food was already on the table.

Roast Chicken. Run!

No, I don’t know how it happened either.

So this entry is not about how to make the perfect roasted chicken. In the end, mine tasted pretty awesome, but I figure I’ll wait till I’ve cooked it a few more times and can actually offer pointers for how best to conquer the beast. Click on the link for side dishes and dessert.

Dinner:
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Potatoes
Chocolate Mousse with Chambord Whipped Cream

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WND – Paean to Summer Vegetables

August 7, 2008

The hard part about Dinner isn’t making Dinner, or figuring out how to time everything so that it’s ready at the same time. That’s just a question of practice. The hard part about Dinner is coming up with something to make every week. There comes a time in every week, usually sometime between Friday afternoon when I’m willing the work day to end and Sunday morning when I’m making a grocery shopping list, when I say plaintively, “I don’t know what I’m going to make for Dinner this week.”

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