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October 6, 2002
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Chile Dishes and Baby Bubblebath

5:55 pm: A quieter day today. I was up until about 1, last night, trying to get something finished for work. I am most of the way there, but I will have a little time on Monday, I think, to finish it off and do something else as well. The two hours in the morning will be quite full.

Jet was up twice before midnight. Yet again, when Joan says that Jet will sleep well, he has a very restless night. I think that when Jet gets overstimulated he really does have a hard time settling down at night. Moreso than usual. But he then didn't get up until 3 and then again at 6:15. So he napped twice today, which was actually quite nice.

I didn't get up until 9:30, though I nursed Jet when he got up both times, the second time he did so in our bed and both John and I slept while he did so. John was great and took care of Jet during the morning hours, and when I got up he announced that he was going to go to the Longmont Clinic. He felt like he was having sinus and ear problems as well as the cold after effects. He also asked if I wanted to go to the Coffee Urn for breakfast.

Sure! I had said that I wanted to go there sometime this weekend, and we did it this morning. First thing. We just bundled Jet into some clothes, into his car seat, and then we were out the door. The Coffee Urn was busy as usual on a Sunday morning. They have a buffet that seems to draw huge crowds every weekend. We got lucky, or else we were just late enough, but there was one table open in the non-smoking area and we got it.

Jet was happy. He'd eaten one of my Cocoa Puff and Milk bars. The ads on TV had amused me sufficiently that I got them for the mornings when I get up far too late to eat a real breakfast and I am running for the door to get to work. It's something, and there are enough vitamin supplements in the thing to put most vitamin pills to shame. It's not great nutrition, but it's mildly better than a candy bar and an espresso for breakfast. Jet had eaten one of them and was flying happily on the sugar.

He drew with crayons while we ordered and then John fed him a couple cream cups, which he enjoyed. Jet liked the orange juice, and then dove into a pancake, a small bit of bacon, some hash browns, and plenty of syrup on it all. He ate a surprising amount given his previous breakfast. I had my usual corned beef hash with over medium eggs, hash, and pancakes. I also had a nice, big diner mug of coffee with cream and most of Jet's glass of orange juice when he gave up on drinking it.

John tucked into a regular breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash, and whole wheat toast. He shared the bacon with Jet, and I shared my pancakes with him, and we all ate quite well. We then headed into Longmont and as we hit the long, straight roads on the way there, Jet fell asleep. So John headed into the clinic while I sat in the car with a sleeping Jet ad contemplated this small corner of Colorado in fall and listened to Prairie Home Companion.

It is pretty out here in the Fall. The trees blaze bright colors when the temperatures drop so abruptly. There were trees right in front of me that were brilliantly yellow, gold, and that dark, deep red of maples. The wind was ruffling everything and causing the aspens to tremble and glitter in the afternoon sun. It was really pretty. It was also cool enough that I didn't have to worry about Jet and I baking in the car. It helped that we were in the shade of a big tree.

I liked looking straight up into the black branches that were half bare and half clothed in fluttering gold. Pretty.

Jet slept for half an hour, and then nursed for another half an hour and then John was done and ready to go get a prescription, somewhere. I really wanted more of the bread flour from King Arthur, ad the only local grocery store that carries the stuff is Albertson's. So we went there and hoped that they had both a pharmacy and that it was open on a Sunday. It turned out to be both, so we bought a whole bunch of groceries while waiting (I had an extensive list beyond the bread flour).

It was fun to go shopping, since John and Jet had taken care of the mid-week needs ore of the days that I had to work while they were done for the day. I like being able to respond to what's on sale, what's looking good, and what my mood dictates as well as just the list of stuff we have to get. John really likes having a list and following it. I really like getting stuff beyond the list. I guess I could just say that it's impulse buying.

One of the things I impulse bought was a big pork shoulder roast. It was only a buck fifty a pound, and they looked good, too. They also had colossal shrimp o sale. Four were about half a pound, so they were a less than 10 count. I was pretty impressed, that they were less than ten bucks a pound and they had the good 16-20 count shrimp for only eight bucks a pound, so I got those as well. Dinners for a few days, at least.

When we got home, I ate Chinese leftovers, actually finishing the eggplant, while John had a pepper jack and salami sandwich. Jet didn't like what he saw, so he didn't eat anything. He and John went outside to rake leaves while I started my pork projects. I cut the shoulder off the bone, sliced it up into pieces and then browned all the pieces, really well, on my cast iron griddle. I took half the pieces and put them in the slow cooker and the other half and put them into a normal pot, and the started building a green chile stew in the slow cooker. I also de-seeded, de-stemmed ad cleaned a small bag of New Mexican red chile pods and started them soaking in hot water. They were for the other pot.

The red chilies smelled fruity, and they made my hands sting a little while I was cleaning them. Though I did remove all the seeds and all the inner membranes, so they are probably not going to be too hot. I can hope. They smelled sweet, though, and fruity and just a little sharp. I also toasted them on the same cast iron griddle before soaking them, and they lent a little of their fruity sharpness to the pork when I browned it.

The onions and garlic got browned, next, and some beer hit the griddle and got all the good stuff up and into the pot. Yay!

The kitchen now smells wonderful.

Jet dragged the Boppie into the kitchen when I was finished with the green chile stew. So I nursed him and he fell asleep and is sleeping still. John took a nap, too, and I finished the red chile pork by blending the red chilies with some pan-roasted garlic, pouring that sauce through a sieve and then adding the rest of the browned pork to it. It's slow-cooking, now, in a pot o the slow burner of the stove. Yes, it's making the kitchen smell even better.

I have a recipe for flour tortillas that I want to do a fluffy, hot from the griddle flour tortillas with these chile based dishes should be very good indeed. I'll hope. I've learned a few things watching Rick Bayless in his Mexico: One Plate At A Time about authentic Mexican cooking, but I'll still have to see if that authentic cooking style really makes my taste buds happy or not.

It's pretty peaceful having the house to myself at the moment. I love watching playoff baseball. without interruptions.


10:24 pm: Both dishes turned out well. If anything, they weren't quite spicy enough compared to my expectations. Both tasted very good, though, and were yummy according to my taste buds and according to John's. I'm glad. Jet slept for an hour and a half. John slept for two. By the time they were both up, the pork in both dishes was fork tender, and I had dough for flour tortillas.

They puffed up more than I was expecting, and they were softer than the ones I used to make in San Diego, at a Mexican cooking class. But they were tasty and they held stuff just fine and they were tough enough to wrap well. I liked them better than store bought, by far.

Best of all, Jet decided he had to help me make them. He got up o a chair to look at what I was doing. First he helped me spread a whole lot of flour on the counter. Then he stole my rolling pin and a chop stick I was using to stir things. Finally, he reached into the bowl where I was keeping the dough rounds and he pulled out a ball and started kneading it, patting it, and then smashing it with the rolling pin and the chop stick. He loved doing that. John got some good video of it, and I think that in a year or so, Jet probably could actually help make tortillas.

It was a good dinner.

Afterwards we gave Jet a bubblebath, with the Aveeno calming baby bath. I was a little afraid that he might be afraid of bubblebath the way he was afraid of the bath bomb, but he was utterly fascinated. I think that he's very used to the foaming cleanser, so a lot more foam was pretty cool. He really liked it. He actually climbed into the tub to get to it. We had a great time playing with the foam, and stayed in pretty long.

And on getting out, he came down the stairs, happily, and then sat with me on the couch. He noticed that the TV was off, so he cheerfully climbed down, turned on the TV, commenting on everything in his own language, and then climbed back up onto the couch and smiled proudly at me when I said thank you. Hee. He's just doing things. I'm very glad of it. About ten minutes later, he climbed down, got the Boppie and climbed back up after it to nurse.

He went right to sleep. Looks like the bubble bath might have worked. Yay!

I made s'mores with marshmallow fluff on Hershey's chocolate and grahams. It was okay, but the fluff doesn't hold up the way real marshmallows do and it tastes a lot more of vanilla. I liked it anyway and John ate one, too. Comfortable to just eat something small like that with a mug of herbal tea and get ready to go to sleep. We're a little phase shifted: me, 'cause of my late waking, John, 'cause of the late nap. It's nice having a little time after Jet goes to sleep.

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