June 29, 2012

And oh, how we shall eat...

Just because I'm on the couch doesn't mean we aren't eating well!  Ry has taken his new role of sole-dinner maker to a whole new level.  I swear, I haven't eaten this well in a looong time.

Does this mean that I am not actually that good of a cook? Or that it just tastes better when someone else makes it?  Or are we eating simpler, more wholesome meals where the ingredients just shine on their own?  Or is it that we're starting to eat things from our garden!?  We did just buy a gas grill, which has helped revolutionize and expand our culinary repertoire.

Either way, here is a sampling of our meals recently:

Marinated grilled pork chops and peaches.  Greens from our garden.
Grilled shrimp and whole-wheat linguini with garlic scape pesto.
Boiled beets and greens with butter, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Paaaaastaaa with a hearty chicken and vegetable sauce.  This is my death row meal.  Or my special occasion meal, if you want to look at the lighter side of life.
Steak, beets and simple green salad.
More grilled pork chops, whole wheat couscous and Kat & Ed Tomato Chutney, and simple green salad.
Yeah, that's Mickey Mouse.  Ry made me Mickey Mouse pancakes, for peet's sake!

Here is the recipe from Bon Appetit for the Marinated Pork Chops we used, and we substituted marjoram for oregano.


June 22, 2012

Fists of Solidarity (or Being a Couch Potato)

Our pregnancy isn't what you'd call "normal."  At the risk of giving too much information, I have a short cervix, and need a bunch of interventions to ensure that this baby stays in his cooker.  So, I've had a procedure (success!), and am getting weekly hormone shots (Ry will be starting to give them to me next week)...and I am sentenced to "couch potato rest."

Being in the hospital for the procedure was kind of a big deal, but we only had to be there for 9 hours.  The couch potatoeness, on the other hand, has been a much bigger deal, and one that we will be dealing with for the next 13 weeks.  We are dealing with it quite well, though, one-week in.  We had one tough day of transition, but then I'm proud to say we quickly developed a routine--which we like--and it hasn't been all that bad.

Ry has been amazing - cooking, cleaning, laundering, vacuuming, gardening, getting me everything. We can't decide which is going to be harder once this sentence lifts - me stopping asking for everything, or Ry being in charge of everything.  He has been quite impressive, even labeling condiments that he just opened with the date that he opened them.  Genius.  I think we are both learning a lot about each other.

Everyday I pretend I am one of two things.  The first is a lazy high school teenage girl (which I used to be), who only wants to lay outside in the sun, tan, paint nails and read trashy magazines classic novels.  The other thing I pretend, and mostly when Ry is around waiting on me hand and foot, is that I am completely loaded (like Pregnant in Heels* loaded), and have an actual butler, and I just sit around while someone does everything for me.

I am incredibly fortunate that I am still able to work, and actually haven't had as much time as I thought I would to knit, read, do crosswords, organize iPhoto because I have been working 40 hours a week!  Thank goodness for computers!  I work with a woman who was on strict bed rest for 20 weeks, before the days of the internet, and THAT would be challenging.  This is still hard, but I think I am in the best worst case scenario possible.  

So, here is my set up from 8:30 - 5:

And this is me, pretending I can still garden:

(Note my awesome $50 reclining chair from Walmart.  Game-changing).

I originally thought I'd be blogging constantly and maybe I still will, once I get bored.  But in the meantime, I ask you to help us keep strong and positive with a Fist of Solidarity.  Close your fist strong, and point it at the nearest cervix, and think/wish/pray/visualize my cervix staying CLOSED and STRONG for the next 14 weeks.  We have to keep this baby boy (yes it's a baby BOY) in!


*I've only watched pieces of one episode, so I am only assuming it's about rich people who are pregnant.  I hope to watch more of it soon.  Maybe that'll be my project for weeks 3 - 5 of this sentence.

June 4, 2012

I think I just made Refried Beans from scratch.

Refried Beans - you just take beans and fry them, right?  Actually I am not so sure.

We had tacos the other day, and didn't have any refried beans, and I really really wanted some.  Consider it a craving, and the only answer is to find refried beans.  No other option exists.  I popped into the pantry and found some kidney beans.

"I think I got this," I said to myself.

Potato masher, big spoon, bowl.  I drain the kidney beans of most of their water.  I mush them all  up.  I heat up some olive oil in a cast iron, and add the mush.  I add some paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper.  I stir.  I taste.

They taste like refried beans!  But more importantly, they remind me of the dried refried bean mix you can buy at bulk food stores that I used to eat while camping.

In 2004, I hiked the Long Trail the length of Vermont with a great friend.  We joke that even though we felt pain for each and every single step of the 272-mile hike, it was still the greatest experience.  We had ravenous appetites.  We hiked with two other men, who for some reason, could handle the 12 - 15 mile days with nothing more than a Lipton soup packet and a granola bar.

We, however, had to eat at least 6 full meals to feel satiated.

The point of the story, however, is that dried refried bean mix became our dessert.  Our after dinner treat.  Our last chance before bed to pack on the calories.  So we ate the mix, spoonful by spoonful.  Dry.  My trail-palate thought it tasted like Doritos.  But each time we'd gorge on these Doritos, we'd then drink a lot of water and those Doritos would double, maybe even triple, in size in our stomachs.  It led to some massive stomach aches.

I recreated them in my kitchen, years later.  This time without the stomach aches.  I'll call that a success.