Today it was all about food. I don’t think I consciously meant it that way – though I wanted to celebrate Mike’s birthday – but I guess that’s where my mind, and my kids, led me.
It actually started yesterday at the supermarket when I was deciding what to cook for dinner. Mike wanted pork chops, and that’s what we got – but I saw some spareribs on sale and I suggested that for tonight’s dinner. Then they had huge sea scallops on sale so I wanted to try those too. And then I thought of French toast – how long has it been since I’ve had French toast? And I love French toast, so… you get my drift.
So today started with a cup of tea. Nobody else was awake at 7 am and I was thirsty so tea it was. By 8 the whole gang started to wake up, I had a clean kitchen and a load of dishes done, and Mike remembered that he was going to make French toast. Yummm. I had two and a half slices – Mika, who was apprehensive, finally accepted that she liked it. It was made with day-old Safeway sourdough bread (say what you must, I think it’s great), President’s butter and real Maple Syrup – Mike forgot the powdered sugar but it would have made it too sweet. Some fruit might have helped, though. In any case it was really, really good.
Later it was time for the farmer’s market. This week’s catch: strawberries, blackberries, grapes, a watermelon, some basil and quail eggs bought second hand. By the time Mike got to the egg stand, the woman had sold 20 boxes of quail eggs to a man in a van (we’d gotten there later than usual), and she insisted that Mike go to see him and ask him to buy a couple of boxes. He complied 🙂 So now we have quail eggs – our girls’ lunches are based on quail eggs so this is very important to us.
Home again, library to return a book and then… lunch time. Gregoire’s, the French take out place, now with a branch on Piedmont. We got a lamb and a roast pork sandwich, their potato puffs and scallopped (sp?) potatoes with truffles. I knew Mika wouldn’t be OK with that – well, maybe the potatoes, but she doesn’t eat sandwiches – so I sanck into E.G. (or whatever initials) Ferrari next door and got some incredibly expensive chicken drumettes (polleto) for $13 lb, and some drinks (Gregoire is too posh for cokes).
Several people on Craigslist had recommended the Piedmont cementery as a great pic-nic spot, and that’s where we headed. They were right – what a beautiful place to have a pic-nic. Quiet and peaceful as only a cementary (in America) can be, with rolling hills filled with tastefull grave markers. We sat under a shady tree, watched the birds and a friendly squirrel (who clearly knew where her next meal was coming from), and had our lunch. I liked the lamb sandwich, though I think the olives were a tad overwhelming. The lamb flavor was pretty strong, in its own Gregoiresque way, but I enjoyed it. Mike said that the pork sandwich was better, but I was too full with the scalloped potatoes to try it. These were phenomenal. The flavor itself was nice, but they had such a homeliness to them, they provided such a degree of satisfaction (umami I tell you) that I just couldn’t stop eating it – and they give you a generous portion. The puffed potatoes, which we’ve had several times, were also good but they couldn’t compare with the scalloped type. Incredibly, Mika loved the drumettes and ate most of them. She tends to dislike food these days.
The girls – of all things – decided to play in the car, and we figured they were unlikely to waken the dead by doing so, so we let them. That gave us some wonderful moments alone on the grass, spent mostly looking at the squirrel. But we realized the place had the potential of being very romantic, if only we had no children (having them with a babysitter wouldn’t help, as then we’re painfully aware the meter is running). They’re worth it, though. We think.
As if we didn’t have enough food, we couldn’t go to Piedmont without going to Fenton’s. Specially to celebrate daddy’s birthday. So here we shared a regular sundae – which is still quite huge. I ordered a chocolate peanut butter crunch and heath bar sunday but I got a butterfinger and banana sundae instead. The waitress disappeared so we couldn’t really complain, fortunately the flavors worked quite well. Who’d have guessed? Someone else must have been pleased with our selection, as we didn’t hear other complains in the house either.
We were tired, exhausted, time for home. Mike had a nap, I worked, the girls played and played and played and made a mess after mess after mess that I don’t even want to know about (they were hiding behind the diaper table, I’m afraid to look there, they may have discovered a new life form, created solely out of beauty products stolen from mom’s cabinet). But at least we didn’t eat.
Until Mike woke up, that is. Then it was time to grill the ribs and a couple of the scallops. They didn’t turn out that great, so i won’t be posting any “recipes”. But it was food.
And it wasn’t enough food. It was daddy’s birthday, we had to have a cake. And while Mike and Mika were busy watching a video earlier (btw, don’t watch “Winged Migration,” that movie is filled with horrible death scenes and sad penguins) I had made a boxed cake and put it in the oven. And forgotten all about it. Until I brought the dirty dishes home from the backyard and Mike asked me if I was cooking something. I said I wasn’t. He thought I should check. I smelled the cake and I remembered.
It turns out that overcooked white cake is actually pretty good.
And that vanilla whipped frosting (based on sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil, ack!) is not that bad on it. Mika got to decorate it with little hearts. She loved it.
Food, food, food. Now they’re all asleep.
I’m drinking water.