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May 18, 2001
two years ago
three years ago

Pho

12:28 pm: Pho soup day.

Jet didn't get up until after 4 last night, and then slept in until 7! Hoorah! John took Jet with him as planed, and I got up to an empty house. I really wanted to make the soup first thing, so it would be finished, so I pulled out all the oxtail and trimmed off all the fat and dumped it into the stock pot with a couple gallons of water. Then I started it up and washed all the things that had come into contact with raw meat.

Then I pumped myself empty as I was hurting mildly. It was a good four ounces, which was nice. John and Jet came back while I was pumping, and John had gone to Winchell's and bought donuts! Yay! John's noticed that Jet really seems to like their morning outings. So when he actually sleeps through the night, I migth be going on some of them with the two of them, but in the meantime, John can do a lot of errands early which is really nice for both of them.

I frantically broiled a red onion, popped a piece of sliced in half ginger into the pot, and then toasted star anise, cinnamon, and whole cloves. The recipe said to put it all into a large coffee filter and tie it off before popping it into the soup. I found that I didn't have any large coffee filters, so I cut the toe out of a pair of nylons and put all the toasted spices, a teaspoon of fennel seed and three bay leaves into the clean nylon toe. I tied the foot off with a bit of string and tied the other end of the string to the handle of the stock pot and popped the spices into the broth.

The red onion got all caramelized and a little burnt on the outside, so I peeled off the black layers and put the yummy halves into the soup as well. All the time while I'm adding things I'm also scooping off all the scum, or cooked blood, that's risen to the surface to keep the broth clear. Lots of skimming to do, and I was well steamed in the steam coming up off the broth. Finally I added a third of a cup of fish sauce, stirred it and set it back on the back burner.

By this time Jet was pretty hungry and I was pretty hungry too, as I hadn't eaten breakfast, yet. I did down a grapefruit in between skimming sessions, so all I had left were the donuts and a big glass of milk. Luckily, that's easily one-handed food, so I set Jet in my lap and let him nurse while I ate.

Jet is so much bigger, now. He can actually sit in my lap while he eats. I used to have to really hold him, but now I can just support his head and most of his body weight rests on my lap. Much nicer than when I had to hold all of him.

At 10, John went up to work, and Jet and I had fun for a while going through Jet's gift clothing. Jet's actually growing out of a few of his newborn things, so I was looking for more clothes for him to wear. There were a fwe things in his changing table's drawer that were too big for him and we have two huge plastic boses filled with other clothing. I put him on the bed and tried things up against him.

Jet loved it. He smiled and wiggled and tried to suck every piece of clothing I laid on top of him. We were playing, I think, to him, and I was admiring him a lot and talking with him quite a lot, which I think he really likes. It was fun to go through everything and realize that he probably had enough to last out the year if he only doubled again by the end of the year. He also has a bunch of 1 and 2 year old clothing including something like three or four sets of jeans!

I can't imagine him in jeans or needing pants, but I guess once he starts crawling or even walking, it'll be good for him to have some jeans to wear and protect his knees.

I came out of that with a nice pile of clothing for right now, and a whole pile that would be good in a few more months. Wow. The gifts we got were pretty extensive. I think that the only clothing we've bought for Jet so far are the two Osch Cosh t-shirts and three Gerber utility t-shirts for when he was completely newborn and couldn't wear onsies until his umbilical had fallen off. He can still, just barely, wear those on the really hot days with just his diaper.

8:20 pm: Lunch was pretty fun. John came down and made Reubens for the two of us from leftover corned beef, leftover sourkraut, and some of the dark pumpernickle from a week or so ago. So it was pretty much an all leftover lunch, which is always a good thing. Sometimes I think of leftovers as being 'free' food in some odd way.

John went back to work after lunch, and Jet and I had a pretty good afternoon. I read a bunch of documentation on internal processes as I intended to use them for the project I'm doing. It's nice to be completely uninterrupted for reading while Jet's nursing. Simple stuff. I also got through a bunch of email when Jet decided that the mobile was entertaining enough for him for a while.

I put a few rattles into his bassinet with him and the mobile and I heard rattling while I was working. I looked down and saw him bashing the rattles with one hand and making them make sound that way.

It's interesting to realize that Jet's really smart. He's a really smart human being in a brand new body he hasn't learned how to use yet and which he can't control all that well. But he's really smart and learns fast eventhough his body learns kind of slowly. The control he has he uses when and how he wants to. It's amazing to see him use his arm to very gently roll the roller on his Symphony thing to get it to change tunes when just a few days ago he was hitting it hard enough to make a resounding thunk.

I got a little time while John was finishing work and Jet decided that playing with the Symphony thing was cool and I pulled all the stuff out of the pho soup and pulled all the meat off the oxtails and put the bones back into the soup to let it gain a bit more protein from them. I them seperated the meat from the fat, and put all the meat in a Tupperware box. It would go into the soup when it was time to eat.

When I was done I had half an hour until Jet needed to eat again, so I went upstairs and did more process research, email, and status updating. John and Jet played happily while I did that, and then I fed him again. While I fed him I asked John to soak some of the rice noodles in cold water. They had to soak for 20 minutes before they could be cooked and that was what would take the longest of the things that had to be done.

When Jet was finished, I sliced still frozen filet mignon extra thin, snapped roots and black beans from soy bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and cut some cilantro. Then I filled my Hobbe's kettle with water and set it to boil. I got a pan out and when the water boiled (in the time it took me to slice the steak) I dumped the boiling water into the pan, brought it back up to a boil and then dumped the noodles in for just two minutes.

I cleared the bones out of the broth, and brought it to a boil as well. When the noodles were done, I put the sprouts and some of the cooked oxtail meat into the bottom of the bowl, put the noodles on that, and then layered the raw filet and scallions on the very top. Then I opened the lid to the soup and poured boiling hot water on everything. The meat cooked instantly, and the vegitables soaked in the boiling broth. I sprinkled the fresh cilantro on top to lend its perfume to it all and we could eat.

Yay! It was really good, too. We were both really happy with how it turned out, savory but not too salty, the noodles perfectly firm, and the vegitables were all nice and crisp.

After dinner we watched the Ave's game and this time the overtime turned out in their favor. All the while Jet was pretty fussy from heat and tiredness, so I hope he'll do well tonight. John got the time to put the new universal joints into the Baby Buggy and the drive train looks like it's all set. That's pretty impressive to me. We were talking about the day when Jet would go out to 'help' John with his smaller hands that could fit into places John's couldn't and then the day when Jet would come in the house covered with grease announcing proudly that he's 'fixed' the car, and I'd note that Dad was no where to be found...

That'll be interesting.

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