Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cooking my way back to happiness

As I mentioned, I have been in a rotten mood. And when I am in a funk, I tend to become very very self-indulgent in order to get over it. So I've not been doing any exercise or healthy eating lately (although sometimes that is that way I indulge). I have been lying around and reading, cooking up a storm, and shopping (both internet and old-fashioned style). I have also stocked the liquor cabinet with champagne, including the pink kind and the kind that comes in little individual bottles. Its to the point where Ella, she of few words, has started to shout out "Buba Juice!" whenever she sees me with a champagne glass, "juice" being her generic word for liquids and "buba" being her word for bubbles. She will spend a half hour staring at my glass, watching the bubbles fizz away. The only other two word phrase she uses is "Baby Toutou", for her stuffed puppydog. She may look like Bruno, but clearly her tastes were inherited from me.

This weekend, we could not find a babysitter for love or money and ended up spending both Friday and Saturday on the sofa. BUT the upside was that I discovered that our favorite Thai restaurant, Baan Boran, has opened a shop on rue St Honoré for carry-out. B stopped by afterwork on Saturday night and brought us home an absolute feast. I had whipped up a lemon tart that was to die for (the only complaint being that it technically was not enough filling for my tart pan. Although, since it was so thin we felt quite guilt free cutting enormous slices). Sunday, I tried out a new recipe for veal stew and it ended up being just the thing for a nice lazy family dinner. With some mushroom risotto and a glass of red wine, we were set. Because B works so late, its the only day that we can all eat dinner together and Ella is just big enough that it is starting to be fun to all sit down at the table. I wish we could do it every night. Its so nice to have someone else to help shout at Ella about not eating with fingers.

Of course, a nice family meal is always worth the effort in the kitchen but I have to admit that my ambitious menu was mainly the result of my desire to try out all the new dishes I bought that afternoon at Bon Marche, which was open for the Spring Sales. I picked up a new Le Creuset 16 in pot, which I had been eyeing up for ages. The pot I already had was far too big for stews or things like pork loin and this smaller pot proved to be just the right size for our dinner. I also bought some new frying pans to replace the one I had received on our wedding list. It was a nice pan but the handle broke off way back in December and every since then I had been making do with a oven mitt and a long handled spoon for moving it around the cooker. Finally B got fed up with my gypsy camp antics and insisted that I just buy a replacement. I had been going on for ages about how I was going to take the pan to the service center and have the handle reattached for free and it was such a waste to throw out a good pan, etc etc. I don't know where this frugal streak came from, but it actually never went further than that and not only did I get a replacement pan but also a smaller version.

Well, you know where this goes, don't you? It took about 25 minutes to figure out how to shuffle around all the pots and pans in order to fit the new ones in. There is just not enough room. Since we aren't probably moving any time soon, we are back to talking about renovating the kitchen, a project we abandoned because it was going to be such a major hassle that moving house seemed easier. Don't hold your breathe waiting to hear any more plans. We also found out on Saturday that the building needs a new roof and they are thinking it is going to cost 20,000 euro per apartment to repair. So there goes our kitchen budget, unless I cave in and agree to the cheapy model B had picked out. Why oh why is my life such a trial?

Oh- I almost forgot. The biggest excitement we had this weekend was a visit with the pompier. While at the Bon Marche, we were struggling desperately to keep Ella in her stroller, only to cave in at the first shrieks of discontent (we are such lazy parents on Sundays when we are trying to enjoy relaxing family time. If thats not an oxymoron...) and she went shooting off in the opposite direction the first chance she got. I started after her and while she did a little victory dance in the middle of the aisle, her boot sort of stuck to the parquet and she fell over, flat on her face. And when I say face, I mean, quite literally, her feet flew in the air and she landed on her nose. She started to scream, blood started to spray, saleswomen gripped their desks in fright, old people gaped in horror, and Bruno and I shook our heads in disbelief that yet again a simple plan turns to chaos. I grabbed Ella and tried to look in her mouth while simultaneously trying to avoid getting her anywhere near my cream trenchcoat (total failure. There are bloody handprints gruesomely decorating the shoulders and back). The saleswoman handed me some towels while dialing for the pompier to come, despite my pleas to hold off until I had had a look. The saleswoman was more shook up than Ella, I think, and kept insisting that we needed to have them look at Ella's teeth. So I gave in and let her call. By the time they actually arrived, Ella had stopped crying, the blood was mopped up, and we could see it was nothing more than a split lip but she was still examined and we filled out an accident report all the same. Fun times.

But finally we have had a few sunny days, enough to make me believe that just maybe Spring has arrived. Lets hope so. This has been a very long winter.


Mississippi Songbird said...

Enjoyed your blog.
Happy Spring

Nicole said...

Thanks! Promise to be a bit better about updating now that Spring is here.