Persistence Cooking

Baguette has a cold, which makes her both snuggly and querulous, sometimes in the same moment. Which means that it’s not necessarily easy to cook. But since I’m making an effort to use what I have, I’m soldiering on (not right now–clearly I’m typing right now, and also we’re curled up together in front of Sesame Street).

Sick weekend aside, I am managing to cook. Last night I made tortellini soup, and this morning I made multi-grain blueberry pancakes. I know, I’m fancy–but not really, because I used a mix. However, that means that in addition to today’s breakfast, Baguette will have pancakes to go with her eggs on school days. I just made small pancakes and packaged them into Baguette-sized servings for freezing.

My own breakfast is in the slow-cooker; I’m making more oatmeal, this time with regular milk instead of almond or coconut. Why? Because that’s what I had.

It’s not that I’m refusing to buy food until I’ve used everything up. That’s just crazy talk. Also, I need more Parmesan cheese. So we’ll probably be going to the store later this afternoon.

Oscars? What Oscars?

Day Care is Important

We’ve always known we love Baguette’s day care center. It’s like paying a second mortgage, but totally worth it–we miss her, but we don’t worry about her. And when she’s there all day, that’s important. The teachers balance structure, creativity, and affection, and she loves every one of them. She also has friends, including a BFF who adores her. Really, can you put a price on all of that? We’re glad that we can (barely) afford it–although we are looking forward to the tuition drop when she turns 2.

But for the past two days I’ve had another reason to be grateful for day care: I’m sick. I have a nasty cold, and have taken two days off of work. And I don’t know what I’d do if I were a stay-at-home mom right now, because I don’t have the energy to get off the couch, much less manage an energetic 21-month-old.

Thank you, day care!

Holiday Traditions: Roundup

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas–unless you don’t celebrate it, in which case I hope you had a very nice day. We can all use nice days.

When I was a child (and a teen, and an adult), I was famous in my family for what we called my “Christmas nap.” I’ve never been one for naps, unless I’m sick. Or it’s Christmas. Apparently this dates back to my infancy, when I got tired partway through opening presents and decided to take a nap. This happened. I’ve seen a photo.

So yesterday we woke up for what was our first Christmas morning in our own home (normally we alternate between Mr. Sandwich’s parents, who are local, and traveling to my side of the family, who are not. We had prepared by pulling out the sofa bed; we already have a developing tradition called “Saturday Night Sofa Bed,” and we decided to extend it to “Christmas Morning Sofa Bed.” I got up a little ahead of everyone to cut up ham (I had made a ham on Friday) for scrambled eggs, and we ate eggs with ham, and apple bread. Then we piled onto the sofa bed to open presents.

Next up: Elmo. A lot of Elmo. Baguette has a cold and clearly feels terrible, so we’re letting her watch more TV than usual. Maybe this isn’t perfect, but, hey, what do you want to do when you have a cold? Curl up in bed and watch TV. She’s no different.

After a while, though, it became clear that she was exhausted and sad (she would cry at the end of each “Elmo’s World”), so we bundled her into the car and drove about 10 feet before she fell asleep. We kept driving for a couple of miles in the hope that it would help her stay asleep. And it worked! When we got home, I piled up sofa cushions and laid her down between me and them. The dog snuggled up on my other side, and we all had a nice, relaxing afternoon as she slept for several hours and I read The Hunger Games.

It’s worth noting here that what this means is that Baguette stole my Christmas nap. But when was the last time I got to read for two hours straight? I don’t know, either.

Once she was up and fed and bathed and changed (into another fleecy sleeper–sick babies don’t have to dress for dinner, IMO), we headed over to Mr. Sandwich’s parents’ house for dinner. After a meal of tri-tip, mashed potatoes, carrots, and brussels sprouts, we opened more gifts and watched a renewed (if still fussy) Baguette run around the house.

I’d like to keep the family, food, and Sofa Bed. Baguette and I both vote to skip the colds next time. But to wind everything up, here are a couple of holiday exchanges from the House of Sandwich:

When Mr. Sandwich got home from his bike ride, I told him how crazy the process of undoing the Fisher Price Noah’s Ark packaging was making me. A moment later, he’s tossing plastic zebras over to me.

Me: How did you do that?

Mr. Sandwich: I think three-dimensionally.

Me: Thanks, Captain Kirk. Now, HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

#ThisIsWhatHappensWhenTrekkersMarry

On whether or not it’s worth making another trip out for gifts on Christmas Eve:

Me: You know I’m very materialistic and not all about the love.

Mr. Sandwich: I give you my love.

Me: I want the thing, dammit.

Yep, It’s a Cold

I’m glad that I bought a really comfortable couch when I moved to New Jersey, and that I brought it with me to California when J and I got married, because I’ve spent a lot of time on it over the past two days. Both days I went to work in the morning, and then came home. Yesterday I spent all afternoon on the couch with a book, and I don’t think today shows signs of being any different.

Sadly, my weekend isn’t going to be a chance to recover. Tomorrow I have a fundraising benefit for my alumni club, and I can’t skip it because I’m the president. That ought to teach me to agree to run for office. After that we’re getting together for my sister-in-law’s birthday dinner. She and my brother are in town, and we’ll be joining them and her dad and stepmom. All of this is good, of course, but I wish I felt healthier so that I could enjoy it more! Plus I’m not entirely sure why people would want to be around me in the condition I’m in. Blech.

By the way, if anyone is looking for the old blogs (Cake Batter and the previous incarnation of Tragic Sandwich), they’re still out there. But rather than reconceive them, I decided to start fresh. But “Tragic Sandwich”? That’s a keeper regardless of blog hosting site.

Viral Marketing

All kinds of bugs have been floating around my office. I know people who have stayed home sick for days on end, more than once, with flu and stomach yucks. So far I’ve managed to avoid being sick, with the exception of one sinus infection back in late December and early January. But it looks like my run of luck is coming to an end, because I have definitely got a cold.

And of course, the weather is bizarre. I know that weather doesn’t cause illness, but it’s sure hard to feel that weather doesn’t cause illness when the highs are bouncing around the way they are. 70s today, 80 tomorrow, low 60s over the weekend. What the heck is that?

I’m not sure who sold me this virus, but it was a lousy deal.

Nesting

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking over the past week, in spite of (because of?) being sick. I made homemade chicken soup, although I used boxed vegetable stock, and I made slow-cooker BBQ pork, although it also relied on a store-bought ingredient–the BBQ sauce. (Big fan of KC Masterpiece, BTW)

Last night was our usual grilled salmon–marinated briefly in Worcestershire sauce and topped with Old Bay or the generic equivalent–cheesy mashed potato casserole, and broccoli.

Tonight will be a bit of a cop-out, because although I want to cook, I’m still getting over this sinus infection and couldn’t think of anything I specifically wanted to make after getting home from work. Therefore we will be having spaghetti, with our usual array of jarred sauces.

I’d like to use the slow-cooker more during the week, but mine runs hot, which would result in burned dinner by the time we got home. People have suggested leaving it on a timer, but I keep hearing horror stories about houses burning down because of slow-cookers. And why would it be good to leave the food sitting out for several hours before the timer kicks on? I guess it would be less bad this time of year than in the summer, but it doesn’t seem like a great plan.

Oh well. At least there’s spaghetti and jarred sauce.

Interruption

There’s a cold going around that hits you, and then hits you again about two weeks later. I seem to be recovering from part 2 of this particular double-whammy. It’s been frustrating, because first of all it’s no fun to be sick and secondly because I haven’t gotten any exercise at all for the past week. Hopefully this week I’ll get back in gear.