Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One more down...

and only 2, twenty page research papers to go! The prolonged silence has been a direct result of me hunkering down and getting a paper done. I emailed it in yesterday afternoon and now I only have 2 more! Just 2 and then I'll be completely caught up and ready to start my public accounting and finance course in the first week of May. I'm hoping that I'll get the papers done by the end of the month, but I'm not optimistic. My friend T from Vancouver is coming to stay with us for the week after Easter, so that's definitely going to cut into my productivity time - but oh what fun it will be to have her here! Haven't seen her for 3 years? We keep meaning to go out there but it's expensive flying the whole crew out.

Here's what's been happening around these parts:

The Big Yam tried his first piece of gai lan! So far, his diet includes: brown rice cereal, yoghurt, avocado, broccoli, peas, and rutabaga. And his own toes:

Today I'm going to introduce zucchini and I also steamed off some carrot, which would be the first "sweet" root vegetable he's had in his diet. I'm playing fast and loose and going contrary to all conventional wisdom about when I'm introducing new foods. He's only been eating solids for a week and a half and generally, they tell you to wait 3-5 days after introducing a new food before you start another one, so you can watch for allergies. But I'm being all former-cook-irritated-with-fake-allergies about it and starting certain things under the auspices of "there's no such thing as a broccoli allergy!" I have some Benadryl on hand to flush him out if my logic (or lack thereof) goes awry. We've also been all mean mama and baba about it and haven't given him any fruits or anything remotely sweet. I really want him to get used to the full spectrum of flavour before introducing the sugary stuff. On that note, tomorrow I'm going to puree some rapini. LOL! Psycho!

The weekend was a blast. Swimming went rather well - he was more shocked and confused than anything else. We did a dunk which he was pretty unfazed about. But (big BUT!) I was an IDIOT and FORGOT TO BRING FLIP FLOPS FOR US. I'm getting the gaggy-shivers just thinking about walking on the change room floors. WHAT KIND OF PERSON WHO'S AFRAID OF PUBLIC CHANGE ROOMS FORGETS FOOTWEAR?!??? It was uber-traumatic.

The Dotytron yelled at me for overs-scheduling us so we axed seeing our friends R & P and baby D and instead loafed and napped and watched Uncle Buck at my parents' place. But we did see his aunt and uncle and had an AMAZING dinner with R & R. They fed us a giant charcuterie/cheese board thing and made us grilled smoked pork chops (I'm STILL thinking about the smoked, char-y fat on the bone) and a bean and potato salad and homemade bread, which has inspired me to try resuscitating my starter again (it's sitting on the counter as I write this, being slowly roused from its slumber like the rough beast in Yeats' The Second Coming - incidentally one of my favorite poems of all time.) R also made this hybiscus, lemongrass, ginger soda thing which was delicious and has also kick-started my own fervour to make my own sodas. I was going to ask for one of those carbonator things for my birthday, but it's really just easier to make your flavouring syrup and then add bubbly water, especially since that means it will feed the Dotytron's summer Pellegrino habit. The inspiration for homemade soda came from my dinner at Alinea, when I had a black cherry thyme pop that was made in house and was delicious.

ANYWAY, my contribution was the "almond joy tart" from the Baked: Explorations cookbook, which ended up looking all mangled because I thought the texture would be better served at room temperature, which meant the ganache got all messed up. It was pretty good, but I actually think this tart would be better served either warm or cold. The cold would make it more like the candy bar from which it is derived, but the warm would really bring out the flavours and textures of the coconut cream filling. Coming off that dinner, I was a little embarrassed about my contribution, but I'll just have to knock it out of the park next time - it's the inevitable trouble with trying something new for a dinner party.

Monday night's dinner was chicken tikka masala with sag paneer from our favorite Pakistani place, Makkah on the Danforth and naan from them as well, on top of brown rice. Last night's dinner was fried rice with bok choy, egg, and lap cheong.

The first of the televised leader's debates were on last night. I hate this federal election. It is PROFOUNDLY annoying, if only because all the potential candidates are THE WORST. I feel like I really missed my calling as a campaign manager. I think I would be really good in that role as a culmination of my interests/background in: style, cultural studies/media studies, project management, being charismatic. Ha! But seriously, Stephen Harper was doing his weird, soft-talking/bedtime story voice and was looking directly at the camera, with soothing gestures, and playing the audience like a pro. I'm pretty far from being a Conservative supporter, but at times, I found myself totally being swayed! And then I shook it off, but still! Imagine what average Canadian X is thinking! By contrast, the other candidates looked childish and grasping with their jabs sliding ineffectually off the blandly paternalistic calm façade Harper maintained. Brutes. Ignatieff couldn't even look at the camera 3/4 of the time. The thing with Harper is, he placates people, while simultaneously keying into hot-button annoyances (ie. the fact that we're going through another federal election.) And he sticks to the message. Politics today is all about repetition. I'm not optimistic.

Tonight we're having our buddy L over for low key midweek hangs (read: Popeye's fried chicken and Pabst Blue Ribbon). I think B & G might join in as well.

Tomorrow: expect a giant book review rundown.


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