Friday, December 16, 2011

Food and Music

Braised cabbage by the braising expert Molly Stevens, thank you! When I announced my intention to braise cabbage, my husband made a face and asked whether this would stink up our house for the day. I said that he was free to leave if it did. But the dish cooks for two hours covered in the oven to start. Then goes under the broiler for the last bit when it's already mellow. So no stink at all and it was so good I had a hard time sharing.

I'd like to make ginger snaps. I've intended to all week long but there hasn't been a lot of extra time/energy. I can't quite get all the way to gingerbread people although my kids are ready to make some. Maybe next week.

"Oh my God! What is wrong with that apple!" Katy's heartfelt response to Lexi's apple pomander that she brought home recently. It is not a lovely object, studded with black cloves and sort of dented. I thought pomanders were made with oranges (that keep longer than apples). But it does smell good. We may re-purpose it to make cider soon.

I found a bird carcase in the freezer and made broth a week ago. Its size and perfume told me that it was last year's T'giving turkey. Thrifty! At least it got used in the end. The broth boiled quite vigorously and turned out cloudy so I'm not expecting anything great. JOC tells me (I consulted it after the fact, boo hiss) that the secret to lovely clear broth is keeping the heat down to a simmer. Okay, next time (scuffs toe). I'm hoping that sitting in the fridge has allowed some stuff to settle out anyway. I will use it to make this. More cabbage. It's a soup from Scotland but the cabbage theme makes me feel that the older I get the more eastern european I become.

Katy's 4th and 5th grade music program was last night. After last spring's waste of everyone's time I was a bit apprehensive. But I knew that Katy was accompanying one song on piano and that she'd worked very hard to get ready. The music teacher is new this year, a cute young person who plays flute in a rock band and has an easier time getting the kids' attention. (Honestly the retiring music teacher last year looked like she had one foot in the grave, poor woman.) And I was bowled over. It was delightful. The kids were tuned in and enjoyed the music -- almost everybody on almost every song. Katy had one performance under her belt because they sang for the school that afternoon. "I didn't make any mistakes," she bragged. "I felt hot and then I shivered before we started," she told me. We talked a little bit about adrenaline. You lived through it! I said. And she did great in the evening. The music teacher got choked up at the end and told the audience, You have the *best* kids! and she implored us to keep them involved in music. Aw. The electric bass soloist on Clapton's "If I Could", Olive, sort of stole the show for me. Aside from being terribly proud of Katy. I guess I'm allowed to leak a few tears at this sort of parent bait. I'm just a big squishy mom after all.

Neither food nor music: the war in Iraq is over. I heard that. Mostly I keep reading people who talk about knowing it was a bad idea to begin with. For me I had much more mixed emotions and opinions. I'm not proud of it but I wanted the USA to punish someone for 9-11. It was a common attitude that explains much of what happened. What I am glad about is that the US national mood does not seem so belligerent now. I'm sure there's plenty of ugliness in the storeroom should we need it. But we do seem to have worked that out of our system. Would it have been better to... Who are you kidding? There are no do overs. The decisions got made for good or ill. Here's to an abundance of caution when it comes to military action overseas. Did you know that the US Embassy in Bagdad is enormous and seems to be full of FBI and CIA operatives? I learned that today. Provocative and possibly unwise...


The Nag said...

I love cabbage in soups, stuffed or on its own. I make red cabbage braised in red wine with apples and the whole family likes it.

Nimble said...

Ooh, I haven't made red cabbage with apples in a long time. What a good idea.

My Scottish soup turned out to be very sweet with the carrots and parsnips. I wasn't expecting that. Also I rediscovered that brown rice takes a long time to cook and can't be tossed into soup in the last 40 minutes. And yet I liked the soup better than this report makes it sound.