I’m pleased to report that I am feeling much, much better today. I managed to get up at a decent time, get myself and the kids dressed and fed, and we headed off in the late afternoon to go to Grace’s swim lessons. I absolutely love Monday swim lessons because there’s a mother there that I just click with, and we sit and talk and laugh the entire time. She’s originally from Spain, and every time I hang out with her, my Spanish comes flooding back. I’ll speak a bit of Spanish to her younger daughter and then turn to ME and expect her to understand me. Oops. I told my friend I wish we could move in with her family because I think it would be freakin’ awesome if my kids spoke fluent Spanish the way her kids do.
But you know, maybe there is another way for my kids to learn a foreign language. Kurt’s been able to call for orders to see where we can go in the fall, and one of the options is — Japan! I think it would be really amazing if we could go. I grew up a Navy brat, but I never did make it overseas. We were supposed to go at one point, but it was right when we were trying to adopt my brother and it would have messed up the adoption proceedings. So we stayed in the Midwest, which was foreign enough for my dad’s East Coast tastes, until we made it back to Virginia. Thus far, Kurt and I have lived in southern Virginia, Washington state, and Rhode Island. I have a bit of a feeling of desperation to this because Kurt already has seventeen years in the Navy. This could be our last shot at overseas. I don’t know if Japan would be my first choice, only because it’s so far away and because of the language difference. But Japan! How do you turn that down?
I only wish the kids were a wee bit bigger so they’d remember more. I know Grace probably would, as she’d be nearly six by the time we left, but ME would just have hazy memories. Better that than nothing, though.
In other news, I have managed to wound myself yet again. Maybe I should give up cooking! It’s hazardous to myself. After the bulgogi incident on Thursday, where I sliced open my left ringer finger, I tried to be as cautious as possible when slicing some onions for dinner tonight. In fact, I looked at the mandoline as I was using it and said, “Self, you really need to be careful before you slice open your finger.” Seconds later, a chunk of my right thumb was missing, and my finger would not stop bleeding. Not good!! When Kurt came home, he found me pressing a paper towel to my thumb to try to stanch the bleeding. He rolled his eyes at me and said, “You know I told you not to use that mandoline!”
See, I know you’re supposed to use that guard thing with the mandoline so you don’t slice yourself open. But if you do, you lose so much of the vegetable you’re trying to slice! And I never did get the hang of it. Maybe I need to try again… or at least get myself one of those cut gloves that chefs use in the kitchen to prevent this kind of injury. It’s getting quite annoying to hurt myself time after time after time when I’m just trying to get dinner on the table!
Fortunately Kurt really stepped up and helped me out. I already had the chicken in to brown, but I still had to soften the onions with the garlic, slice the potatoes and the carrots to roast once the chicken came out, and to get the chicken in the pot to braise with some red wine and red wine vinegar until it was cooked through. He sliced all the veggies while I softened the onions, and then helped me to get the dinner on the table in general. He did tell me that I didn’t have to slice my finger open for him to help; I just had to ask!
Haha. I know that. He usually acts as my sous chef, if Gracie hasn’t taken over first.
Dinner turned out deliciously, though, so Bittman’s Tarragon Braised Chicken definitely stays on our list of delicious yet easy meals — and it’s an amazingly fast way to cook a whole chicken. The only downside is the skin doesn’t get as crispy as I would prefer. I can live with it, though, because it’s so delicious in every other way.
Tomorrow’s meal is meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Alas, my friends are moving this week to head to Colorado, which makes me super, super sad. I just got to know the mom well in the last month or two, and now she’s moving all the way across the country. I offered to help them out by cooking them dinner so they don’t have to go out, or eat in an empty house off paper plates. Plus her husband loves meatloaf, apparently, and it’s just something she normally doesn’t make. I found an awesome recipe my cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen that got rave reviews from my family a few weeks ago, and meatloaf is one of Kurt’s favorite meals to boot. I can’t help but be amused because he’s normally not a fan of red meat. But meatloaf is something he love love loves.
I need to get some latex gloves so I can mix the meat, though. It wouldn’t do to get raw meat onto my sliced open finger. Dying of E. coli isn’t on my list of things to accomplish in my life, that’s for sure.