Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This evenings meal was made that much better by the amazing use of colour. The salad had so many different vibrant colours. The purple cabbage, orange carrots, yellow tomatoes, light green lettuce and dark green spring onions. Set next to this was the stewed squash which was covered in adzuki beans. They start red and then head towards purple as they are cooked. These are the very beans out of which anko is made. This is the filling that fills the toasted bun head of An-Pan man. Anyways enough links, back to dinner. The fish and koya-dofu were simmered in a sweet ginger and soy sauce mixture and then served over rice. The soup on the side was a freezer find from from a couple of months ago. It was just as good as when we first had it.

We also had our parent teacher interview today with the Grade one teachers. There was a major scheduling kerfuffle (I just checked the spelling) and we had to go back a second time but in the end all was good. The daughter is doing as should be expected. Both teachers noted her above average oral ability. I need to stop pushing on going up to a new level in basic reader. That was about the extent of it. They say by the end of grade one she will be reading and writing on her own. It seems impossible where we are now but I guess that is why they are the professionals and we are the parents. I leave it up to them.

Well that is all for tonight. Oh the response from the hotel lady was, and I quote, "thatissuchabummer..." C'est la vie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Busy Day

I just re read the whole e-mail exchange that happened today. I had been feeling that I had perhaps been too hasty on pulling the plug. The way it reads to me though it seemed like the most common opinion was get out while the getting is good. And the getting will be real good here in Grand Forks. What none of you realise is this was all a giant ploy by me to get you all to my house. This way I don't have to drive and you have to watch movies on my tiny 27 inch TV. I do promise to upgrade my VCR so that everyone's voices aren't 2 octaves lower. And the internet is high speed now. We even make coffee for those who drink it. (note. patrons must bring their own coffee grounds and not complain when we either make it too weak or burn it. Even better. There is the kitchen, make it yourself.) At least we have a coffee maker. So yeah water under the bridge. We will save the big getaway for a year that Joey and Dave can make it, yeah lets blame it on Joey. If only we didn't love her so much she would make a great scape goat. We loves ya Joey. xoxoxo. So in a totally unrelated story we had dinner this evening.

The wife's official name was, "meat loaf in a frying pan." I was about to call her out and say it was a hamburger but it wasn't. It was frying pan meatloaf. And it was good. The broccoli and cheese sauce was also very very nice. The salad was cucumber, tomato and plum. No one under the age of 7 thought that plums in the salad was kosher. Come to think of it I don't think it is. However, it was a novel and enjoyable taste switch. I also enjoyed the baked squash. Only yesterday that squash had a face painted on it and was then stuck with pins not unlike a voodoo doll. And today it made for good eatin. After arriving back from work session two I had chips with some of the crazy hot salsa. Let me tell you, in a month or two it will be four alarm hot. Just gotta let those oils ooze out of the seeds. All in all a good eating night. We have the parent-teacher interview for the daughter tomorrow. Fingers are crossed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Corn something

So the wife had a great idea for dinner tonight. It came in the form of a recipe from a book or magazine. It was some kind of fish dish where the fish was placed over a bed of corn, not bread, but perhaps ... i don't know oatmeal. Now I am not a big corn bread believer to begin with but this just didn't fly. However, the roasted chicken, potatoes, yams, and garlic were other worldly. The daughter went to town on the salad and actually finished it off. Nice spinach and cilantro combination with some feta cheese dashed on top. There was no dessert. We did have some snacks this afternoon. I made a fresh salsa with a half an apple. It was sweet and oh so delicious. I actually drank down the remaining salsa after the cheesy nacho chips were finished. Mmmm. Well that was the weekend. Hopefully we will be able to keep it going this week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Pictures, No Comments

So we were out for dinner this evening thus the lack of pictorial evidence of what we ate. We had roast beef and the little piggy had none. Our friends who live down the street, daughters classmate and his dad, had us over for dinner. The kids ran around and we sat and chatted while the roast roasted. Lovely green salad with a balsamic vinegar and oil dressing. He too uses the parmesan cheese and to good effect. We brought the rest of the brownies over and they were gobbled up for dinner.

As for the rest of the day I managed to pick up some painting stuff, tie downs, and a cross country ski set (boots, skis and poles) from the next door garage sale. Then we went to pick up our thanksgiving turkey from the swimming pool. This may make you wonder. It should. The swimming club sells organic turkeys as its fund raiser so this year we are eating organic come the middle of October. We plan to pick up a big one for Christmas. Their largest size is 26 pounds and it comes in at around $60 but we think you're worth it. Sent off the $700 deposit for the Honky Tonk lodge so it is game on. Other than that I did a little school work, the son went for a bike ride, the wife did various tasks integral to the functioning of our household. Well tomorrow is a big work day. Gotta get me marked up and ready for the interviews next week. Here is to hoping Wednesday from 2:30 to 8:00 goes well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday News

Well after blogging last night I played some online poker while listening to comedians on an internet radio station. After the tournament finished I lay down for a bit while still listening and actually fell asleep on the couch only to be woken by my irate daughter. It seems that my staying awake listening to the radio all night kept the tooth fairy from coming to our house. I will definitely not make that mistake again tonight. I am sure the tooth fairy will notice when I go to bed and she will remember to come by. Fingers are crossed.

As for the rest of the day I got caught up on some important sleep. We went for an ultrasound and after consulting with our doctor post exam it looks a little boy might come and live at our house next February. It isn't 100% but we are definitely thinking in that direction. Post hospital visit we went to the library, bank, and farmers market. We deposited some money, picked up grapes and prune plums and got some books and videos. I hope you can figure out which activity happened where. Then it was off to the grocery store for some chili fixings.
We used our home grown toms for the sauce and it had a really nice sweet chili flavour. I made a hot addition on the side and that brought the temperature up nicely. The green salad was nice and we made more garlic bread with our own garlic. Once again all the taste without the bite. I managed to get three pieces of brownie into my mouth before having to slap the back of my hand and cover it up. The chili was split, some for lunch tomorrow, a big bucket for another dinner/lunch sometime in the future. It was a good Friday but I have to spend some time at work this weekend. C'est domage.

By the way we have a boy's name that we like right now. Lets see if we still like it in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Treats Night

Well it is Thursday so it must be treat night. However, I will start with a breakdown of this days events. The son went to an orchard and farm today with his preschool class. He had a great time, tormented some chickens, and came home with his very own, "princess pumpkin." Pretty cute. It is really an amazing thing when your children start to move out into the world and have experiences without you. The amount of passion he puts into his story telling is awesome. He never remembers everything but the things he remembers obviously had a great impact. The daughter went to a Terry Fox run with the rest of her school. She did eight laps and was very proud of that fact. As it was a rainy sort of day I was met by the whole family when I went to pick up the daughter after school. It was a nice drive home but that walk home on a Thursday is something I am starting to enjoy. No hurry. I bring some change to buy a treat. Good times.

As for dinner this evening the wife decided to push the envelope. She made spinach pastries. Now the fillo came in a box but it was still great. She had some left over and decided to make curry pastry baskets with the left over curry. It was too juicy and they had to be lifted out of the pan with a spoon but they were oh so good.
The french fries were home made and the pasta salad was a leftover item but that never seems to detract and it was again a superb meal. The daughter ate the meal with two teeth missing as before dinner she asked me to pull out the other wiggly one. It gave her a little pain but after a pull forward, the twist got the job done. It was well on its way so I didn't have to inflict that much pain.
After dinner I felt like this. I was pretty wiped out. However, Mom mentioned that we should get cookies or make cookies. Well the daughter picked that one up and ran with it. So inspite of feeling like the picture below, we decided to make brownies.
And they turned out pretty well. We used a recipe from a Christmas cooking magazine the wife got last year. I think the brownies were meant to be firmer than ours are but all in all they are delish. Very very sweet. We ate them while the brownies were still hot and the icing though cooled kind of got melty on top. Wow. The extra coloured m&m tinies add something nice visually.
As part of the deal the daughter helped with the dishes post cooking. This wasn't in the original deal but she seemed to understand the value of saying yes she would do it. She actually did a lot of the work for the brownies. My level of patience was not very high so I probably had a few more mildly explosive moments than I should have. Put those in the parent guilt jar. I am saving up for some massive inappropriate gift. I wonder if she will ever know why she got it.
Brush teeth, book time, bed time here. Deep exhale. I am sleeping in tomorrow. At least until 7:30.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still cooking

Although we didn't tonight. What with the pressures of school, meetings, marking and such I just haven't had the time or energy to get the evenings meal and story up. Fortunately there is no evening meal this evening as we went to a BBQ at the kids school. It is the welcome back BBQ and it is nice to see everyone a year older and wiser(hopefully). These are the people we will grow up with as parents. Same christmas concerts, same sports days, same swimming lessons, and so on and so on. But since we didn't take a camera you are not going to be privy to what we ate this evening. Instead I will catch you up on the last few nights.

Monday, September 22nd.

I was home for this meal, I remember it like it was two days ago, which it was. The shrimp and tomato sauce pasta with crumbled feta cheese was awesome. I really think there is something to be said for minimalist sauces. I remember thinking that a big meaty, thick, tomato sauce was the bomb. However, eating lighter and enjoying the flavours individually is growing on me. Especially when you have stuffed eggplant as the meal partner. I do not know which was the main and which the side so I will let you decide. The eggplant had a lovely stuffing which I do not believe had any meat in it. There was definitely parsley and onion but after that I really couldn't tell you. I can tell you that finding some in my lunch on Tuesday was a real delight.Unfortunately, on Tuesday we had a doctors appointment and then I was back to work for a dinner meeting. We had chinese food from the local joint (its across the street from work) and it was good but it couldn't compare to the curry that was whipped up at our house. I know because this was the feature entree in my lunch today. A big tupperware full of curry and rice with a small tupperware of coleslaw. With one of our home grown apples as my snack it was another fabulous lunch time meal. I know my colleagues envy me but I sure hope it never goes so far as someone stealing my lunch. I would hate to make that kind of a life death decision for someone else on an empty stomach.
Well I need me sleep. Hope you and yours are well and don't forget. Tomorrow is Thursday. Its not that far away.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall has fallen

So with the cookout done and the garden mostly finished I woke to the sound of rain this morning. It has not rained in the last three weeks and has felt like August the whole time. Today it feels like September. I carried an umbrella when I went to work. I wore a jacket (still wearing shorts however). A chill was in the air. And what better way to take on that chill then to stew up some chicken and potatoes and make a corn chowder. The wife started off heading towards a teriyaki style chicken but with a little prodding ended up here.Kind of a sweet base but for me it was perfect. The chicken tasted like chicken. I mean it was cooked through and through, moist, falling off the bone chicken and was just very lightly flavoured. The potatoes were lovely even though they just tasted like potato. I mean the stewing juice definitely added something but it was almost intangible. The soup was made with an assortment of vegetables and then a creamed corn base. It was also a little sweet and the warmth of it filling up my stomach turned aside the chill of the day. The hijiki had some of our home grown beet in it for a little flare. The rice was unbleached and just soaked up the sweet stew juice. A great meal to usher in the fall. The peppers are all hanging outside and the not quite ripe tomatoes are down in the cellar. Gotta get back to work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Cookout

Just like every good cookout this one had sushi. I called up some friends yesterday morning and said something along the lines of lets have a wiener roast in our back yard tomorrow. And now today is tomorrow so we had a cook out. The wife decided to make salad and then late in the game decided to throw in some sushi. Gotta love it when she gets the feeling. Isn't she just lovely. I get luckier every day. Anyways, I was in charge of the fire and the smokies, the guests brought the smores ingredients and our neighbour next door dropped off some peanut butter chocolate drop cookies. Along with the beers I bought in the afternoon it was truly a feast. Unfortunately, neither the smores, the fire, the smokies, nor the cookies managed to make it into a picture before getting gobbled up. Hers is the sushi before it was sliced.
In other news the daughter lost her first tooth today. Now saying lost is probably putting it slightly incorrectly. Last night it was still quite firmly in place, I mean there was a good wiggle there but not much more. So she pushed it way back and got it half way there and spent the evening and night complaining about her sore tooth and agreeing that she should have listened to us. It turns out the possibility of getting money for the tooth from the tooth fairy was just to pressing. So this morning it was no longer sore and was hanging mostly off. So she got a tissue, a good grip and ripped it out. Sure hope the tooth fairy can find a loonie.
My final section tonight is because I am pissed off. It may end up having no point so read on at your own peril.

I read today that the American government is going to spend about a trillion dollars of taxpayers money to try and fix the financial mess that they are in. I heard a commentator maybe 3 months ago talking about a law that was introduced after the great depression. It meant that financial institutions couldn't invest in sketchy investments like the sub prime mortgages. Then in the nineties the law was repealed because it was seen as punishing the big institutions because they couldn't reap the benefits of investing in all these new investment schemes. And now the American economy is in the crapper and threatens to pull the rest of us down with it because people believed the market was all powerful. The same Free Market Capitolists who fought to get that law repealed so that the "market could take care of itself" now want a bail out so that they can get their market going again. I can't tell you how frustrated I am. I feel like I am taking crazy pills, to borrow someone elses words. Do people not see what is going on? Will people ever get over their desire to have more? Is greed just part of our nature? There are people out there who have made millions of dollars which now need to be paid out by the rest of us in taxes. Why aren't all the people who made money on the way up charged. It just seems so monumentally unfair that some can rape and pillage the market and leave the rest of us holding the bag. I have no idea what my piddly little mutual fund is valued at these days but I am sure I don't want to know. Of course this begs the questions, Should I even have a mutual fund. There has to be a better way.

On conclusion I don't think that was very coherent. But I am moving on. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Well we made pizza tonight. It is Friday after all. First up you can see the dough getting set up. After I get it smooth enough and not so sticky then I hand it over to the kids. While I wash the bowl, they keep it going. The sauce this evening was made from some of the last tomatoes we will be picking this year. It was nice.
We went with a bunch of veggies for the adults and the ham and pineapple for the kids. The wife also fried up some steak for the second pizza. The kids pizza this evening turned out really well. The adult pizza on the other hand was overloaded with fresh veggies and with the thin crust turned a little soggy in the middle. There was also a salad made but I think only the wife partook. It was a good day in that I got the rest of the free fire wood chopped and stacked. It looks like we have a cord. We need at least two for the winter. Where or where will I find another cord of wood. I guess it is time to start asking people if they know someone who cuts fire wood. The awesome guys I had last year are in the midst of building a house. Rats. I also managed to get two sets of tests marked and went for a bike ride with the daughter. So all in all good day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barely the will to live

Man it is only a four day work week but the part that should be on Friday is packed into the other days. So by the time we get to Thursday we have actually done five days worth of work. As a result I am totally shwacked by the time I get home Thursday after noon. The result, I have nothing to give in the dinner help department and tend to indulge in snack foods. Not that anyone here seems to mind. A dinner of cheesy nacho's with homemade guacamole and salsa, bowls of ice cream, cookies, dill pickle chips and all that after having slurpees on the way home. The wife did put together a wonderful tofu infused yaki soba. This was all the base that was necessary for this evenings meal. Honestly, anything more solid and I wouldn't have had the energy to chew it. Well, I have had a sort of 30 min post dinner nap so am functioning again. Gonna be a busy weekend. Gotta get the rest of the wood chopped, tonnes of planning and marking for work, tomorrow is pizza night so that is also on the agenda. Lots brewing here. If anyone is going to make it for pizza please give me at least 3 hours notice so I can increase the amount of dough. Your all welcome.

Roll it up, I'll take it.

I finally got the skinny on the wicked dinners. The wife has decided she wants to get everything done before lunch. She makes the wicked lunches that I and the daughter take to school in the morning or possibly the night before from the leftovers. Then once we are out the door she starts in on dinner. By the way she also makes her and the son's lunch when we get our bentos. So by 10:30 she is done cooking for the day. She's happy, I am ecstatic and the kids are fed.
This evening we had some really nice cabbage rolls. Once again the tomato sauce was from the garden, can you believe it is still in the 30s when I walk home from school between 3:30 and 5:00. I have stopped watering everything but the last of the tomatoes are still ripening up as I type. So good, so sweet. The last of my pasta was used as a side and so was the rest of the chef's potato bean salad. Tomorrow is Thursday and those syllables sound so sweet rolling of my tongue. Deep breath and exhale. Good night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spicy Bean Pie

Well it is Tuesday which is hump day here in the Forks. After a long but mostly successful day I remembered to pick the daughter after school. One for me. It was 31 degrees on the way home and the daughter was not loving the fact we made her wear tights this morning but we did make it home. After a bit of play and what not, oh yeah we made a poster of a bird with all the feathers we have found on the way to school in the morning, we had dinner. This was the spicy bean pie. Not chilli, not curry, but spicy none the less. It was sided with a green salad and some borscht from our neighbour across the street. I liked it but once again the wife was not loving it. She felt it would have been better with the filling wrapped in a tortilla or served with rice. I offered up wrapped in a tortilla with rice. We finished undecided but I get to have it again for lunch tomorrow. Lucky, lucky. Well off to bed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The revenge of the Pork

So after last nights foray into pork, the wife decided to marinate up the rest of it. This sat nicely in the fridge until this evening. But I get ahead of myself. The focal point of this evenings meal was a lovely chef's salad. Right down to the hard boiled eggs, quarter and precisely arranged around the points of the compass. The salad had some potato, beans, lettuce, celery, red pepper, red onion, chives and a creamy dressing of unknown origin ( I just didn't ask). I enjoyed it but the wife pointed out that it was more of a visual feast than a gustatory one. I thought it nice but she had a lot personally invested and I don't think was satisfied with her final product. I think maybe more paprika or vinegar but I hate to sound critical. I liked it. Getting on to the rest of the meal we have to get back to the marinated pork.
I don't know about you but whenever I cook pork it turns hard and kind of lifeless. Even if it is undercooked I somehow often manage to ruin it. Of course the wife offsets this frailty as she makes outstanding pork. Cooked through and through but still juicy and tender. My mouth is actually watering while I write this even though I am full. It really was superb. The past I made last night was added on as a second side dish and with a little parmesan added courtesy of the old wife-ola the missing ingrediant was found add the thinness it suffered from last night disappeared. It might have also been the second day flavour spreading syndrome which makes leftover chilli and curry so good. We will never know on that front. By the way the kids salsa is fantastic. Cilantro, cilantro, cilantro. Not overwhelming just enough to say, "hey I'm over here, no hurry." Yeah, if its that good after sitting for 3 days I can't wait to see how good it is after 2 months. Sound of hands rubbing together.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feta Finds its Footing

Well the wife started this evenings dinner with lovely green salad. The organic mini spinach, some of our last cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and the Feta cheese to which we owe this evenings title. My obviously better half has made up her mind that we always need to have mushrooms, avocados, and feta cheese in the fridge. We need other stuff too but these three have become staples in our house hold. So Feta has made its mark.
Up next this evening was garlic bread. I started with some homegrown garlic which is less hot making it palatable to the kids. This was crushed and mixed with margarine. I sliced the loaf in half lengthwise and spread the mixture on both sides. This is where I strayed. I did not wrap the whole thing in tinfoil. Instead I put the two slices face up on a cookie tin. I baked it on 400 for about 6 minutes and then grilled it for about 2, on the middle shelf. A little crispy on top and the garlic was a little cooked. The kids loved it. Which meant the main course was not as well attended.

For the main this evening I made a pasta pork slices. I started off with the pork, onions and garlic in the big pot being gently sauteed in some vegetable oil. As they sizzled and then simmered with the lid on I processed the tomatoes and strained off most of the water. These were then added with basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Finally I diced up the peppers and threw them in. I forgot the mushrooms, damn. It was still delish and I get to have it again for lunch. Back to the grind stone. Well that is 2 of 40 weeks down. Only 38 left.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Slooooooooow Day

So it was Saturday all day, still is as a matter of fact. I guess we did get some stuff done. The apples all got picked. We got a box of pretty good apples for keeping and all the drops, bug holes and bird damaged apples that were still in good shape were made into apple sauce. Once you start canning it is hard to stop. We are down to 9 lids remaining from the original 48. I also made a batch of crazy hot salsa today with the remaining, jalapenos, chillis, and the three jabanero's. Four big jars and 2 small jars. The hits just keep on coming. We also cleaned up the garden a bit, just a bit, pulling out the squash and cucumber plants. There were about 6 small to medium sized cucumbers left on the vine and these six squash.
With only 6 this year I do not know how far they will stretch. Hopefully there will still be one for thanksgiving dinner. As for dinner in the background of the first picture you can see te-maki sushi. The wife's great pun to night , "goo ga nai ha no goo". Goo is the japanese word for ingrediants, so goo ga nai means no ingrediants. ha is pronounced "wa" and is a japanese particle that you don't need to worry about. "no goo" is a japanesified way of saying no good which you might actually here in you live in Japan. So altogether we have , no ingrediants is no good. With the word play on the double meaning of "goo". There the lesson ends. In fact there was plenty of goo and it was very goo but when comparing things with how her mother does it I can see why she worries. The key point I try to emphasize is that we are a family of four, two of which are mostly satisfied with one ingrediant rolls and then just eating the seaweed. So yeah it was an awesome dinner as usual.

Cute moment for the kids today. They are sitting watching a Japanese animated movie for the first time. They are both seated in front of the computer. The opening theme song is playing and they are clapping along, in time, totally engrossed. A really precious moment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

25 and a half

Sort of like Fellinis 8 and a half only mine is in litres of salsa and his, well who the heck knows what Fellini was ever talking about. Today was a salsa day. I started with the run to the local organic producer for the toms (roma), corn, peppers, cilantro and watermelon with orange flesh (not for salsa just for eating). I also picked up assorted sweet onions and hot peppers at another local produce grower. As the first pot got to bubbling I realised I did not have any lids so off I went to extra foods, sold out, home hardware, sold out, buy low foods, sold out, and finally overwaitea, right there on the shelf and on sale. This second trip was by bike and took about an hour in total what with running into people as you do in a small town. Not that I crashed into anyone, just had a couple of conversations along the way. So it was back home and get the first batch into jars and into the canner. These done I started the second batch. This time with no heat, you know, for the kids. We are now cruising around 2:30 and said kids head off for a birthday party at the skating rink. By the time they make it home 2 and a half hours later I am onto spicy batch number two. After this was processed we kind of had dinner and then I started on kids batch number two. At about 9:00 pm, 11 hours after starting, with lots of little breaks in between, the kitchen looked like this.
So now that it is all cleaned up and the salsas are all labelled and I am thrashed I plan to wake the wife and watch a movie. La vita bella, life is beatiful. Only that wasn't Fellini's.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Left overs sort of

Phew, that was a killer week. I am totally thrashed. Post dinner I literally poured myself into the couch only to come to suddenly two hours later. I had slept through the kids watching videos on both the tv and the computer. Still feeling it.

Other than being tired down to the bone, I was also quite satisfied after having a great meal. The miso soup had some nice spring onions sprinkled in. The son said he didn't like the things that look like donuts, the spring onions. Such a cute paraphrase. His second day at school went well and he had some tales to tell. Apparently there is some kind of art project with a set of eyes on it. Looking forward to seeing his first school craft. Getting back to dinner the salad was just chopped cucumbers and tomatoes. These being the last of the cucumbers and with the threat of frost the last of the picked ready to eat tomatoes I really really savoured them. This evenings main dish was Oyako don, its been done before. The chicken and egg stew/sauce served over rice. I picked up the chicken last night on the way out of the meeting. Heck someone had to take it and the president kept saying that she needed someone to take it because she couldn't finish it and there was no room in her fridge, no I'm not going to feel guilty. It was delicious, nuff said.

After the post dinner nap and watching a video we ended up having fresh salsa and humus with nacho chips. There was also some pudding served up. A lovely way to start the weekend. Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Something Fishy

So I had the pleasure of dining with my colleagues this evening. Yes, meeting season has begun. Here at home they feasted on home made fish cakes, noodle salad, some of what seems to be hijiki with gobo and possibly some soy beans. The rice seems to have been infused with some kind of seaweed flavouring, this is called furi kake in japanese and is a very nice rice additive.
Interestingly enough, in Japan adding something like that or a pickled plum (umeboshi) to your rice is totally on the up an up where as a light sprinkling of soy sauce is frowned on. The explanation was that rice was too delicious to put anything so crass as soy sauce on it yet into the same mouth that those words spouted from would be shovelled rice covered in furikake. I wonder if I will ever get that one. One more day till this school week is over and I am fully ready for a nice relaxing weekend of making salsa, bringing in the rest of the ripe and semi ripe veggies from the garden, planning for next week, marking and whatever else is on the agenda. At least I can mostly wake up when I want. Come on Thursday.

I think it happened on a Monday

So I am not sure what we had for dinner on Monday night. I sit here wednesday morning wracking my brain but nothing seems to come. Was it leftovers from the shepherds pie? I think that might have been it. Was there something else added in. There must have been. It was after the big run... Well if I had the picture I could take a look but that is still at home on the computer. Man! Just not feeilng brainful. Wait there was Nimono which I didn't end up having any of. But that played in lunch yesterday. Maybe that was it. Nimono, left over shep's pie, and a salad. Yes a green salad which the daughter just went right through. Okay I sticking with that. If there was something else amazing added then it has just slipped through my mind and I apologize. I promise to add the pictures when I have a moment.
okay I missed the rice. but otherwise just as stated.and here is the nimono. Yosh.

Then there was Tuesday

So last night I was not able to get to the blog either. I was able to make it to dinner and once again I was in luck. We had spaghetti with meat sauce. Fresh tomatoes were used sparingly and I felt there could have been much more splashed around in the pot. However, the flavour was awesome. The garlic bread never materialized. The wife gave the old, "oh the garlic bread!" during dinner but none of us were fooled by her subtle ruse. We were also not fooled by her not so subtle coleslaw. An action packed whamo of vinegar and a majority of greens lead to an interesting variation. I have become quite accustomed to her creamy slaw. This was more along the lines of a KFC slaw, infinitely better but along those lines. Lets hear it for variety. There were also some pickled eggplant which was also quick action packed taste wise. A step out for the wife or are the fickle taste buds having some affect. Have to wait and see on that one.

Speaking of something new today was the son's first day at Pre-school. Apparently he was a little hesitant at the door when mom was leaving but she fired the old, "your friend Matthew is here so it will be alright." and he bought it. He went off to play and the wife went off to get on with her afternoon. He did manage to have an accident at school so we are hoping that is not repeated on Thursday or our claims of having him toilet trained will come into question. I hate being questioned, on anything. So fingers are crossed.

Sorry this and the last post are out of order. I am chronologically challenged unlike some of my sisters.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Dinner

So I am sure we had dinner last night. I mean we must have eaten something. However, I can't recall ever sitting down or organising anything. It was a Saturday night, the wife had worked all day. I was thrashed after what was supposed to be a morning turned into a day and the daughter found a lost dog and we had to make posters and put them up around town only to find that when the dog was put down outside it trotted off presumably to its rightful owner and then we had to go find all the posters we had made and take them down. That with some wood chopping, a bunch of gardening, trampoline time, making lunch, and assorted other tasks had me plum worn out. So yeah there was something eaten last night. I am just not sure what it was. I think I had a beer and some food.

This evening however I was reminded how nice it is to have a wife. She complemented all the dishes I made and seemed truly pleased that I had done most of the dishes before dinner started. When I first imagined this evenings meal I was thinking something vegetarian. Like a nice vegetarian shepherds pie. I am now starting to think that the key to a nice vegetarian dish is the mushrooms. I started by boiling some beans I had picked from the garden. As these boiled I peeled the potatoes and set them to boiling. Beans done, I drained off the water into a bowl and put the cooked beans in the bottom of a casserole dish. Next I diced 6 large white mushrooms with the help of the children. Note. Kids can dish mushrooms with a regular table knife and they feel like they are really helping. I minced two large firm home grown cloves of garlic and then cubed the block of tofu that I had been squeezing the water out of . The mushrooms were fried with the garlic and some fresh ginger that had been ground up. After a little frying I put the lid on to let it steam. I then added the tofu, some soy sauce and some molasses. After this was fried a bit I stirred it and put the lid back on. A minute or two later this was poured over the beans. In a small pot I took a half cup of the bean water and threw in some chopped up tomato, more soy sauce, molasses, vinegar and curry powder, this came to a boil and then was set to simmer. At this point the potatoes were boiled so I drained them, added some milk, margarine, salt and pepper and set to mashing. Mean while I got started on the buns. This being a nice vegetarian meal I decided to wrap them in bacon. I used the pizza dough recipe but cut out the oil. The dough was made before everything else and it had by this point risen sufficiently that I could start working it. I set the oven the 400 and started pulling the dough. The daughter came over and she pulled chunks of dough. Rolled them into little sausage type shapes and I wrapped them in half a strip of bacon and set them on a rack in the pan. These were cooked for 15 minutes, then broiled at 400 on the bottom for 5 on one side, turned over and grilled on the other side on the top shelf for another five. Of course the second 5 was way to long, thus the slightly blackened bits. While this baked I set to finishing the pie. I cut up some broccoli and added some frozen peas. The tomato-y sauce was poured over the veggies and tofu and then the mashed potatoes were doled out and smoothed around. When the buns were done it went into the oven for 20 minutes. Half broil, half bake at 500. I was really winding down by this point so the wife, post run, stepped in and made a wicked grean salad. I know it is tough to see in the picture but the tomato is almost

as sweet as a peach. It is from an heirloom variety seed that I received from my friend. He calls it Barry's Beefstake. It was perfect. I rarely let my tomatoes really ripen as we are hungry for them every day. But this baby I left on the vine and it was well worth the wait. The sweetness is hard to describe but if I had to make a comparison it was like a just ripe peach. Not that super sweet overripe peach but that just ripe taste. Anyways with her patented onion, garlic and vinegar dressing the salad was heavenly. Being out of beer and feeling the need I

decided to crack a bottle of wine. Having feasted on the buns as they were the first thing ready I only had one helping of dinner but make no mistake it was great. Once again I have to come back to the mushrooms. Not a true vegetable as they are a fungus, they really do bring a solid middle flavour to any dish. Especially if they have been lightly sauteed first. The funny thing was I didn't use any onions in the shepherd's pie. I can't remember the last time I cooked a pot or casserole type meal without onions. In any case I know what I am taking for lunch tomorrow. Mmmmmmmm....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Heart in throat.

Today's lesson is if it doesn't feel right don't do it. We were a little behind this morning as the daughter was not into eating her breakfast or getting dressed of brushing her hair or teeth or anything else that needed to get done before heading out the door. Thus we arrived at the intersection near our schools at exactly 8:00. This gives me 16 minutes to be ready to go for the day. As we approached the intersection I was trying to make the, "walk her all the way to school or watch her walk the last 75 meters from across the road" decision. Our friends had crossed the intersection on the previous light and I thought if she caught up to them it would be okay. So when the light turned green I said, "run along and catch up to your friend and his mom." So off she trotted with the light. On the other side she got onto the side walk and headed down the other side of the street towards her school. She waved and said hi to the teacher she knew coming the other way and then turned up the side street beside the school. Now as she turns up this street, which she has to cross to get to the school playground, I see a red truck getting ready to make the right up the same street. The kid keeps running up the street about 20 meters, until she passes a parked van and then turns behind the van to cross the street. Now in her defense this is how we always walk to the school and we always cross at that point. However, the red truck has now turned the corner and is heading up the street as she runs out from behind the parked car all the while my heart is in my throat and the cry of my daughters name is lost in the roar of traffic that is humming by on the busy street. Long story short the guy in the red truck was moving really slow as it was a school zone and my oblivious daughter ran into the playground and caught up to her friend as I told her. However, I am still slightly reeling from how close that could have been. Obviously my cavalier attitude to crossing roads where I wish and the thought that she is old enough to be on her own near what can be heavy traffic both need to be wiped out of my brain. I am sure there will be other close calls in her life, I just do not need to be the cause of any more. Like sending my little sister flying over the cliff on that toboggan. Sure a good push will make the ride faster but there might be too much momentum at the end. Lets hope that is a lesson I will not have to relearn with the kids.

Tonights dinner was almost as exciting as all that. The wife made a rice and chicken casserole.
Now some of your are probably tilting your heads slightly at this one but I am telling you she hit it out of the park. Onions and chicken sauteed. Eggplant slices sauteed. Simple white sauce of flour, oil and milk. Rice is covered and then mixed with onions, chicken and white sauce mixture. Eggplants are laid on top and the whole thing is covered with cheese. She said she added cumin and some other spices but wow. No dry tough rice, just the perfect consistency on that. The flavour was out of this world, I mean is she using msg and just not telling me. This was one that I wish I had videotaped as this could be made again, heck it could be made for guests. Just the look on their faces as they go from, "your serving me casserole" to "can I get the recipe" would be worth it. So yeah I pull major bone head stunt number two of the week and get rewarded with awesome dinner number four. For those of you doing the math at home I am way ahead. I wonder what I am making for dinner tomorrow. Only time will tell.

Thursday Sept 4th.

Well with three days in the bag and only one to go things are looking good. Had a good run after school and came home to find another amazing dinner being made. I jumped in to help and made a bowl of fresh salsa. I also made fresh tomato juice once again to keep the salsa from being to soupy. I then add a sprinkle of salt to the tomato juice and it was awesome. It did seem to be missing something but I didn't have the rest of a bloody mary so I enjoyed it virgin. The soup was made with the last of the pumpkin from last year. When I say pumpkin I mean pumpkin, as in jack'o lantern type pumpkin, not squash. It was awesome. I don't know if it is cumin or nutmeg but just that hint of spice sets it off nicely. The salad was good on the side, feta cheese crumbled over carrots lettuce tomatoes and cucumber. It was also nice wrapped up with the pan fried/steamed pork, the stir fried veggies, the previously mentioned salsa and some very lemony guacamole. I don't know what I did in a previous life to enjoy this bounty but I ain't complaining.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whoops I did it again

So note to self. If at all in doubt go to the elementary school to pick up daughter after school. I got really hectic today after school seeing as I was supposed to get right home so the wife could go for a run. People kept getting in my way and side tracking me and I didn't make it home until 4:10. At which point the wife says, where is daughter. So I get in the car and head back to the elementary school and there is daughter, one of the last 8 kids playing in the playground and I am feeling like such the wicked bad parent. She seemed a little down but then we came home and played some hopscotch and she had had a really good first whole day at school. None of this assuages the massive guilt I am feeling but at least she didn't seem too put out. I honestly do not remember getting the command to pick up the daughter. It may have been an implied command or I may have just totally missed it but nevertheless I go back to the fall back position. When in doubt go straight to the elementary school. If she isn't there then I can head home. Just gotta in grain that one in the brain.

On a different topic we did have dinner today. It was a sort of a medley, leftover this, new side dish that, some assorted what not. It was nicely topped off with the boarder asking his running buddy over for dinner,(this buddy is also my buddy and one of our running buddies) and they drank beers and hung out while I started bath time and headed back to work. Anyways back to dinner. The overexposed white stuff down front is tofu steak. The noodle salad had ham, broccoli and carrots. The curry is from way back and was just nice over rice, and then the sprouts, onions and mushroom fry was lovely although in the picture it isn't as appetizing as I remember it. I managed to stay away from seconds and after the wood chopping this afternoon and a whole day on my feet, I believe the calorie balance is finally heading in the right direction. Hope all is well and everyone e-mails me about winter holiday plans. With us four, five sis's one ma, and some significant others we may be over 12 but it is only $15 a day for overages and I don't know if the kids even count. Lets hope this plan comes together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fabulous First

Well the first day of the school year went great. After the walk to school as a twosome my daughter had a great day in grade one. A colleague of mine was in her school and commented on how pretty she looked, the daughters response, "Don't I" honestly I have no idea where she gets it from. She also introduced one of her friends to the teacher when the teacher asked the other little girl her name. Talk about having to be in the middle of everything. As for my son these are his tonsils. Gotta find a higher shelf for the digital camera. The batteries are already low again and I just changed them. On the food front we had an awesome day. There were boxed lunches for the whole family. I could get used to this. And then dinner was an amazing assortment of dishes. The miso soup is pretty standard, there was a mostly from the garden green salad which had the left over feta crumbled over it. There was a slightly spicy, potato and vegetable stir fry and there were home made gyoza served over rice. So good I didn't even have chips and salsa. The amazing dinner along with my 7 k run today and I am feeling like a king. The only down side was not getting in my afternoon nap. How many days is it till christmas vacation?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The next best thing

So we woke early this morning after a late night chatting with my sis and her husbabe (her spelling not mine). When we made the half failed dinner plans last night we also decided to put on a breakfast and this was well received and had the feeling of a meal for guests, which it was. We had french toast made with our home made bread accompanied by whipped cream and maple syrup or ketchup depending on ones preferences, the good sausages from overwaitea, a nicely balanced fruit salad and some juice. We didn't get any coffee on and since there would have only been one taker and she politely declined, I think that was okay. We all tucked in and all the french toast and most of the sausages were finished. I believe this was a good sign. After breakfast we had a short chance to visit and then our guests were off on their Okanogan adventure. It all happened so quickly. We love it when people come to visit and for those of you out there take note. Two nights should be the minimum. You need to be here long enough to get bored. This is the last shot taken just before they headed out. You will notice the son has lost his shirt. In our seemingly endless quest to get him potty trained he now prefers to be without most of his clothes. When he is naked he does manage to get to the bathroom but those are still dice I am leary to roll. And really how practical is that. If he only remembers to use the washroom when he is not wearing botttoms then how do you work that into a pre-school setting. "You said he couldn't wear diapers, " or "he is a free spirit." Anyway you slice it he will have to figure this one out with his pants on. Fingers crossed.