• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

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No country for clean floors

I spent Saturday outside walking (first with a friend, and then on a family hike), and yesterday in the kitchen. All in all – a good weekend! I am coming out of my summer work schedule (off on Mondays, but late hours every night), and trying to take advantage of my last two weeks to help myself feel ahead of the game and slightly organized.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but Seth is starting school tomorrow (excuse me while I go grab a tissue). And, yes, that was said with sarcasm. I am well aware that this is boardering on a “Back to School Blog,” but, while its on your mind, any little prayers that could be said on my behalf at about 8:00 am, EST tomorrow would be greatly appreciated!  Anyway, I am nervous about what this new phase is going to do to our schedule. We already have a precarious schedule that shifts daily depending upon what work events I have, whether or not I’m working late, and if I have pre-planned dinner.

Identifying a bug in the field guide (it was a cicada)

Identifying a bug in the field guide (it was a cicada)

Over the past few months, I have gotten significantly better with that last one. I keep a dry erase board on the door of our pantry. After each grocery shopping trip, I list out what our options are for dinner, which helps tremendously. All I have to do is look at the list in the morning, and take out the specific item to defrost.

Having the options listed out greatly increases the likelihood that we will have a nutritious and balanced dinner, rather than me just rooting around and throwing together some concoction.

I’ve also become a collector of quick & easy meals for weeknights, and make ahead options. Yesterday I made make-ahead quesadillas from America’s Test Kitchen. It is my favorite freezer-friendly meal, and it is incredibly easy to prep. The other bonus is that I get three meals out of it, so it is definitely worth the prep time. After they’ve been made, they take 20 minutes in the oven, which give me time to get the rice cooked, and make a salad. Twenty minutes of prep work is my goal during the week. (It is not always achieved, but I’m getting better.)

Rescuing a worm from the middle of the trail

Rescuing a worm from the middle of the trail

Other than the quesadillas, I also made two recipes with boneless pork ribs that can stay in the freezer, be taken out to defrost overnight, and then left in the crock-pot all day. (We love crock-pot recipes in my house, and I cannot wait until the weather cools off and I can start making soups again!)

I also went ahead and prepped a big batch of eggplant Parmesan (thank you farmer’s market for the lovely and interestingly shaped eggplants). That is going to be dinner tonight, and I’m interested to see how it comes out. The eggplant is battered and then baked rather than sauteed, which should cut down on the greasiness, and also the cholesterol for my dear hubbie and his heart. We will see how it turns out.


August 2009 006

Eggplants in egg white wash

Apparently Shalet & I are thinking similar thoughts this week. On Friday she posted this about domesticity, and balancing work and motherhood. It is a precariously balance – at least in my house. But, it is always nice to see what other people love, loathe, and struggle with. It makes me feel better to know that maybe I’m not the only one who has been known to scrub the toilet with one hand, while brushing my teeth with the other, and trying to get a child dressed so that we can get out of the door and not be late. Ahhh…the joys of working outside of the home.


And, for the record, if you ever want to hear how dirty your floors are, just buy a bug scope for your child. Last week, while I was making breakfast for Seth, he crawled around on the floor of the kitchen, looking at all of the crumbs through his scope, and pointing out the things that he discovered.

Seth, “Oh, did you make rice?”

My mental response, “Uhhh…yeah, maybe last week…or was it two weeks ago? I am absolutely sure that it was this month…”

Seth, “Wow – what is this from?!”

Me, “Well, that would appear to be a small piece of a blueberry peel that got smashed, and has affixed itself to the floor with an insanely tight seal…yummy. Here – use this butter knife and see if you can get it up.”

Seth, “Look over here!”

Me, “Oh, no…he’s in the baking corner…this isn’t going to be pretty…” (My rule of thumb: egg spills absolutely get cleaned up. Flour and other powdery substances get a once over with the whisk broom. Anything else should get eaten by the dog.)

So, before we left the house, like a good wife and mother, I took the time to dutifully take care of my floors…

“Alan – please mop the floor when you get home – PLEASE!”


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