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December 23, 2001
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three years ago
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Cooking and Cleaning

Today was cooking day. It started, however, with breakfast out at Fort Lupton. Jet had gotten up really early, and we were hoping he'd take a nap on the way out, but he didn't go to sleep at all. We'd been thinking it would be fun to have breakfast out, so we went out to the Wagonwheel at Fort Lupton, which has the best thick-cut pepper coated bacon ever, and we had breakfast out there.

They had a Brown Betty breakfast that said, on the menu, 'a petit portion of potatoes, ham, onions and sweet pepper, with one egg, any style, covered in cheddar cheese.' Petit, the last time I looked, meant small. I got what, at Denny's, would be called 'a skillet' filled with the mixture. It was really good, though. John got an ordinary bacon, eggs, and hash browns breakfast. Jet got all the attention, as always.

The waitress fell in love with him, and she gave him crackers, would probably have fed him Jell-O, and when I went off to use the rest rooms, John let her take Jet with her on her rounds. Jet got to meet everyone in the restaurant, deliver a couple of orders, and basically have a good time on her hip. They had a blast, and Jet played cheerfully on the floor while John went to pay the bill and take a break himself.

I will never cease to be amazed at the social abilities of our kid.

Home again home again, and when I nursed Jet this time, he fell fast asleep. I used the two hours to do the cabbage salad and get all the hard parts of the chocolate cake setup. The cabbage salad mostly involves chopping a huge amount of cabbage and red onion. I took the little food processor into the bathroom off the laundry room, closed both sets of doors, and did all the processing in there so that Jet wouldn't be bothered by all the racket. That worked out really well.

It took a little longer, though. but I mixed up all the cabbage and onion, added the dressing and found that I was lacking a few dried cranberries. The salad is much better with a bit of aging, so it wouldn't hurt at all to add the cranberries later.

The chocolate cake is actually a torte. I ground almonds, chopped butter and chocolate and had the eggs separated when Jet woke up. I took an hour to change him, feed him solids, and play with him until he could play by himself, and then I went back to putting the rest of the cake together. Jet eventually came into the kitchen and played with stuff in there while I cooked and he watched as I did stuff and managed to stay away from the hot oven. That was very nice indeed.

In the midst of all that I had to grind some almonds, and I found bugs in the almonds in the pantry. I then went to the freezer and used the almonds I had there; but I now knew that there were bugs in the pantry. I finished off the cake, and John and I then tackled the whole pantry.

It was pretty sad. We threw out a whole lot of stuff. Including a lot of preserves that were more than five years old, and a bunch of things we just never were going to eat. We also, however, had to throw out a lot of stuff that was either insecurely packaged, or had been opened and the bugs had gotten into them. It included a lot of Asian noodles, dried fruit, and all the nuts that were in the pantry. Then we had to do exactly the same thing to the baking pantry as well.

It was pretty sad to have to throw all that stuff away. It was good, however, to have a completely clean pantry for the new year. It was good to do it while we had the time, but it was just kind of sad. I'm glad we took care of it, though, and we now have a lot more room in the pantry. I don't think I'm going to be in any hurry to fill it up again, though. We're looking at getting more sliding shelves for the side that had stuff go bad in. So I'll be able to see what we have.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.