Friday, September 01, 2006

Catch Up

I'm feeling a lot better today and it's time to get out of my funk and move on. First a little catch up on what's been going on this past week or so.

Cooking Project

Since the "Easy Lemon Chicken" I snuck in a few more recipes. Saturday I baked some other things, not from the book. Like Aunt Marcia's peach cake. I almost called it "Aunt Marcia's Amazing Peach Cake". In this case I think the adjective is justified. I woke up craving it, dreaming of it, that taste of summer. She used to make it for us at the lake. I found the recipe, in her hand, embedded in a letter she sent me about ten years ago.
Her version made enough for one 9x9 pan. That seemed impossibly skimpy to me. I knew half of that would disappear for breakfast and so if I wanted enough to be around when my in-laws came for a visit in the afternoon, I'd have to double it. Which I did. Adi woke just in time to enjoy it fresh out of the oven.
I should explain that this cake is half way to pie crust. It's got a lot of shortening. In this case, BUTTER. The peaches sit on top in all their glory, covered in more butter, and what seemed like too much but was just enough cinnamon and sugar.
It was a hit with the in-laws too and I felt like a good daughter-in-law for making it and for inviting them.
I also made Bizza Balls (check out the author if you follow that link ;-), a delicious appetizer I learned from my friend Ahlass. I'd been thinking about making this for a long time but it took me a while to assemble the ingredients and I was finally ready. Er, so I thought. Here, I should have halved the recipe. It makes sooooo many. And I didn't actually have enough of all the ingredients. Like, I ran out of flour. What to do? I added corn meal, thinking the grittiness would be nice. Still not enough. I had some bread flour. How different could it be? Turned out to be a lot different. Too gummy. Or maybe that was because I'd freaked out at the amount of oil and had skimped on it. I should have pitched it all but there were a lot of ingredients in there by now. No one of them particulary expensive, but collectively a non-insignificant little grocery bill. Grr. I threw in a whole package of zaatar to make the flavor more interesting. Now I had a huge mass of green sticky dough. I made a sample batch. Anyway I didn't have enough sesame seeds to coat the whole bowl's worth of balls. I thought to test the batch and pitch the rest if it was a no-go.
I didn't think they were that inspiring. I offered some to Adi to taste, with the warning that I'd botched the recipe.
"They're fine," he said, not knowing how heavenly they're supposed to be. "You're tunring into my mother," he added in reference to my warnings. His mother always prefaces each and every serving with a list of what she did wrong, making it absolutly impossible to enjoy any of the food she cooks which as a rule is perfectly fine.
I glared at him.
"That's not a bad thing," he teased.

Well some of the green un-yummy balls were on the table when his parents came and they seemed to like them. Still, they are no match for the cake, trust me. Moral of the story: when it comes to baking, stick to the recipe.

Saturday night I thought we'd keep it simple but I thought I could squeeze in one little Faye item. That item was a zuccini frittata. Not bad at all. Again Faye expected me to do a lot of container switching. I humored her this time and thought that yes, it really did seem to make sense to dry the frying pan after removing the sauteed little zuccini rounds. But I didn't see the point in adding back more oil. It's a non-stick pan afterall. No need.

Eggs with zuccini may seem boring and true it wouldn't win any great originality prizes but it was simple, satisfying, light, easy, and nice. Oh, I also jazzed it up by adding some parsely to the mix.

Cholent's Development

I definitly have a belly now. It's been easy to forget spending the week in a generous nightgown I bought on our honeymoon in Rome. It was big when I bought it. Now it's "comfortable" and still pretty. I can see why women in "traditional societies" (example: ones where they're pretty much expected to be pregnant or nursing during all their child-bearing years) favor generous, flowy, modest cuts in clothing(example: tent-like attire).

This week she is, according to the books, "the size of a banana". She sort of feels like one too. She is kicking more and it is no longer a goldfishy flutter I feel but more like a solid, sudden WHAP as though a banana is straightening out its curve for a moment then bouncing back to its natural shape.

My Health

Having a cold always stinks but having one pregnant proved to be really un-fun. The only upside was that when I felt it coming on, there was NO doubt in my mind that I would be staying home from work the next day.

I also realize that I must, must, must take it easy. I thought I was but I guess there are higher levels of relaxation I have not yet achieved that I must learn to explore.

Well that and it could be the subtle change in weather. It's getting cooler. Ever so slightly, but I'm sensitive to degree changes now.


Rebekah said...

We printed the Bizza Balls recipe to experiment with but now I am thoroughly confused with the "grams" and "kilograms" as well as the "packages" of baking powder and vanilla sugar. I will make the Israeli half do the math and give me the American version of the amounts. At the top of the printout I noted to "half the recipe". Thanks!

Rebekah said...

Apparently the link for conversions (metric) is