Friday, February 10, 2012

Seven Quick Bedtime Takes

--- 1 ---

This is what we had for dinner on Tuesday: Rosemary pork "chops" (a roast cooked whole and then sliced), buttery garlic rice, and green beans with bacon. I felt so accomplished because I cooked a meal with SIDES. Usually if I'm not cooking a pasta dish or soup (which are like complete meals by themselves) I just serve up a slab of meat. Maybe one side. But almost never two.

This is what we had for dinner yesterday: Homemade chicken alfredo pizza. Scott and I went to Olive Garden on a date last month (we had a coupon) and chicken alfredo pizza was one of the things we had there. Scott asked me to recreate it, and I did. It was pretty awesome. We did not eat any vegetables.

--- 2 ---

My big cooking goal for next week is to recreate Scott's mother's stroganoff. It is pretty much Scott's favorite food ever, and if he wants a food I cook it.

To that end, I purchased cooking sherry for the first time in my life. (Random tidbit: This is only the third time I've purchased alcohol of any kind, and Scott's first time, even though he's almost 5 months my elder.) Did you know, gentle readers, that the cooking sherry is NOT in the giant section of beer and wine? i.e. THE LOGICAL PLACE FOR IT? It is over with the ketchup and stuff. It's a good thing we needed Worcestershire sauce as well, or we would never have found it. What is up with that, Meijer?

--- 3 ---

I visited four stores today: GFS, Aldi, and Meijer for various foodstuffs, and a store that shall remain nameless to return an item which may or may not have been a wedding gift. So now I have a $17 credit to Nameless Store, in addition to a $20 Wal-Mart gift card and $125 in Target gift cards. Methinks I need to redirect my desire for Stuff to things from one of these three stores.

Oh, did you notice the part where I went to FOUR stores? In ONE day? I have never done that before. I am such a grownup it's not even funny.

--- 4 ---

I want a mantilla. Sadly, I can't get one from any of the stores above, and I have an aversion to spending actual money given our current state of Depressingly Low Income. I could just wear my old, little chapel veil (which I found in a sweater pocket after it was lost for six months), but I don't want to. I want to be an old married lady in a black mantilla.

--- 5 ---

My babysitting job that started last month ended on Tuesday. I had kind of hoped that it would be a regular thing for longer than that, but such is life sometimes and I was promised that I am on the list of people to call if they ever want a babysitter for a one-time deal. So, I'd say it was a good experience all around.

I was going to give myself a little vacation, but then a lead for another job cropped up, so here I am pursuing it. But trying not to stress out too much in the pursuit.

--- 6 ---

On Monday, Scott rejoined the schola at the parish we attend. (His family is in the schola even though they go to a different parish; he was in it until school obligations conflicted with practice times.) He was gone at practice for FOUR HOURS (yes you were, dear, I counted) and I missed him horribly.

Seemingly unrelatedly, some time ago I got an invitation from a Facebook friend to a young adults retreat in the area that will take place in about 2 weeks. I invited Scott to the Facebook event and then it just kind of sat dormant until a day or two ago when Scott got an email from the head of the schola asking if anyone could commit to singing at the Mass for this retreat. So now Scott and I are going on a retreat and he's singing.

--- 7 ---

According to Facebook, Mom was trying to put Teresa to sleep the other day with stories from a children's Bible.

At David and Goliath:

T: "David is a boy's name, right?"

Mom: "Of course it is."

T: "Then why does he have a purse?"

Mom: "That's a bag for his stones and slingshot."

T: "Then why is he wearing a dress?"

Mom: "Men didn't wear pants back then."

At the feeding of the five thousand, Teresa insisted that they count all the people in the picture. There were 18.

Teresa: "That's not two thousand!"

Have I mentioned lately that I love this kid?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! Betty Beguiles!


DavidD said...

Surely you did not get carded for cooking sherry, did you?

The Sojourner said...

Actually, no. I refrained from mentioning that in case the U-Scan machine was broken and we accidentally did something illegal. (I've bought wine at a U-Scan and it prompts you to show your ID to a cashier before you can finish checking out.)

Melanie B said...

Cooking sherry isn't in the same category as drinking sherry, wine, and beer because it has salt added. That's what makes it "cooking". And thus it is in the grocery section not the liquor section of the store. It would not be a pleasant thing to drink and that's the point. The salt allows it to be classed as a condiment rather than a beverage. It can be sold in grocery stores which are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. (Like most of the grocery stores in this benighted state I live in which has the most backward objection to wine and beer being sold in grocery stores.)

I also used to have the hardest time thinking of meals in terms of a main dish plus sides. I think I've gotten better. For me the thing to do is to come up with a standard side to go with the various main dishes I cook regularly. So roast chicken usually has green beans, some kind of potato, and a green salad. Stroganoff always has noodles, peas and corn, and either squash or green salad.

I actually sat down and made a list of our favorite main dishes and brainstormed sides to go with them all. Then when I went shopping I'd pick up the ingredients for the sides that matched whatever meats I bought. That way I'm not standing in the grocery store trying to plan meals on the fly.

I've gotten much better over the years at making more green salads too. i love salad but keeping all the ingredients on hand is a challenge. To me the key is to buy the bags or boxes of pre-washed greens instead of a head of lettuce, which I can never bring myself to wash and chop, and an assortment of cucumbers, radishes, and bell peppers-- vegetables that usually will keep for a whole week in the fridge-- add goat cheese and dried cranberries and it feels like a salad to me.

Melanie B said...

You can tell I've given a lot of thought to this whole meal thing. Your posts really resonate with me because I went through much the same process of trying to figure out how to plan meals and cook for a family.

The Sojourner said...

I don't think wine is pleasant to drink, so "unpleasant to drink" doesn't move something out of the alcohol category for me. :)

I probably do need to just declare, for example, that rice and green beans always go with pork chops, peas go with stroganoff, etc. (I try to have a protein, a starch, and a fruit or green vegetable. So, spaghetti is a complete meal but chicken alfredo pasta is not. When I'm not eating something milky I drink milk, so I suppose "dairy" is also one of the food groups I shoot for.) The main trouble I'm having is figuring out vegetables Scott and I both like to eat. So far green beans are a yes; peas and broccoli are maybes. (We do both like corn, but that's a "starch" in my system.) My hangup salad-wise is carrots; they're probably my favorite part of salad (and Scott LOVES them) but they're a pain to peel. So I don't eat any vegetables because I'm saving them all for a salad that never happens. I actually don't like the bag o' lettuce because it usually has that red cabbage stuff in it. I do love those cranberry things.

Oh, and Scott doesn't drink milk (just out of habit, not for dietary reasons) so it's easier to make cheese pizza or baked potato soup or some other thing that has dairy in it than it is to do my "normal" meal of meat, veggie, potato, glass of milk.

(I'm the granddaughter of a dairy farmer and was raised to believe that if you didn't drink at least one tall glass of milk per day you'd end up horribly crippled by osteoporosis. I'm not sure if that's true or not but I'm still vaguely appalled by people who don't drink milk.)

Scott said...

Technically, the schola's not affiliated with any particular parish to my knowledge; however, the director is involved at the parish we go to, and we've been doing a number of joint things with the order that runs said parish. The possibility of singing at the retreat had come up at practice, but the email asking for confirmation on who could come reminded me to ask you about it. Keeping myself organized is a challenge; I prefer being given a task to throw my efforts at for a while.

I like your peas at any rate, last I recall.