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September 9, 2001
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Serendipitous Cook Books

8:03 pm: I'm still feeling pretty muddle-headed today. It's not from lack of sleep, as Jet was only up twice last night, and they were only for twenty minutes instead of the usual thirty to fifty. He went to sleep pretty easily after eating every time after the difficult 10:30 rising. I'm not sure why but I won't argue it. He was probably pretty comfortable but for being hungry.

It was cold last night too. Fairly bitter cold. I actually added a doubled up blanket on my side of the bed because I was shivering every time I went back to sleep.

Today dawned bright and clear and 34. My. The low last night was 30, so there was a good, light freeze which should make the mosquitoes just go away. That proved to be very nice for our evening walk. We weren't plagued by the suckers, and after the very pleasant, sunny day the evening was cool but not too cold.

So Colorado proved, for once, that it could sustain a day's worth of human compatible weather and temperatures. It wasn't so hot we couldn't stay outside without getting burnt to a crisp nor was it so cold that we had to huddle in protective gear. It was very nice today. You won't hear me say that all that often.

Breakfast was Bagels McRostykus. John had fun cooking turkey bacon and eggs and putting them on toasted bagels. They were crisp and tasty and filling. They lasted us well as we all went shopping to get the things we'd forgotten yesterday. Things like a night light for Jet's room, dish washing soap, and denture cleaner for my night guard. I've had a night guard for umpteen years and if I hadn't I probably wouldn't have any teeth left. As it is, I've managed to grind a couple of molars into pieces already, and sharpened canines and bicuspids well past where they're supposed to be. So I'm glad of my night guard, but it really needs cleaning once a week with a good denture cleanser.

So, instead of going to a Safeway, we went to Target. I remembered that I just ran out of contact lens fluid and also that the batteries I'd been expecting to use for the digital camera had disappeared somewhere, so I bought a few more of the rechargables. We got the other things and Jet got restless as we were there, so I took him out of his car seat and he had fun watching people and reaching for candy.

After Target we went to Border's for John to find a Linix book. Dangerously, that gave me free time to wander about the cookbook aisle and pounce on a few things I've been wanting. One was the end-all Iron Chef book, written and compiled by Chairman Kaga. I had to get that and had been too lazy to order it directly from Food Network. I was delighted to find it on the shelves in the bookstore, so I got that. I went to find John and Jet to show it to them and found them both sitting on the floor in the computer section with Jet sucking on a Linix bible. After the incident with my Win2K machine I'm now totally convinced that Jet will love Unix.

I picked Jet up so that he wouldn't destroy the book and we both went back to the cookbook section. I wasn't expecting to get anything, but then I saw The Best Recipe, which is by the folks that do Cooks Illustrated, which is a no advertising cooking magazine where they do infinite variations on any recipe and tell everything about how those variations did or didn't work out. The Best Recipe is a composite of all the recipes they've published up to the time of the publication of the book. I'd been wanting it. The problem is that Cooks Illustrated offered the book only as part of a book of the month club kind of thing. I hate being sent unwanted books and having it be on my head to return them. So I couldn't buy it from them.

And here it was. No string attached. Hoorah!

Right next to it was Shirley O. Corriher's CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking. Shirley makes occasional appearances on Good Eats and various other shows on the Food Network and I've liked her chemistry geekdom in the kitchen, and I'd heard of her book, but hadn't seen it, yet. I looked through it. Chocolate chip cookies had a four column recipe with four different types and then another able of tweaks to change the consistency of the cookies. Wow. I have to get that.

So I had about twenty pounds of book and eighteen pounds of baby and a wrist with tendonitus. I staggered over to the information desk and asked for some weight relief and they said it would be fine to leave the books there until I wanted to buy them. So I did. I then found John browsing gently through the DVD selections and he decided not to buy any of those. He did have this Linix book, and my three books, and we made off. I had quite the haul for not intending to buy anything at all.

Home again home again. Lunch for Jet and lunch for us. The leftover chicken curry was good, and it was good to clear a little refrigerator space.

The three of us then headed for the yard. John had to dig up an apple tree and put it somewhere where it wouldn't get crushed by his new garage. It's just a little apple tree, but this year it produced a whole bunch of small, tart, delicious apples. John picked them all and brought them in before digging the tree a big hole, digging it out of its present spot, and then putting it in its new home with a huge dousing of water. He just filled it all with water and let it seep with a good sprinkling of MiracleGro to help establish the broken roots.

Jet and I set up the sprayer with MirAcid and went around to all the evergreens and sprayed them all with the stuff. They needed feeding, and with the previous rain and the upcoming rains they should do okay. If there isn't rain in the next few days I should probably water them all. The trees really need a good watering before winter really sets in. The freeze last night was an indicator that things were coming, though the last day of summer still hasn't even come, yet. Yeesh.

It was fun to just putter about outside in the sunshine and cool air. A guy drove by and yelled, "What's that?" The Green Monster was parked in front, out of the way of the garage construction as well, and the guy was talking about that. I told him it was a Land Rover. "Oh, I know that! Is it a Charmichael or a ---." I blinked. Okay, the guy knew his stuff, I recognized the second name, just couldn't remember it, "It's a Charmichael conversion... come take a look if you want." John appeared, magically, and the two of them talked Land Rovers. The guy said he had seven trucks! Though he had only one of them with him here in Colorado. They talked a while and John showed him Moby Dick and the Stoat and they pretty much passed over the more commonplace Baby Buggy.

After all that Jet and I came back in to nurse a bit and I tried to get him to nap and he just refused to. So I set him to play and I wrote a little. When John came in, he took care of Jet and fed him solids and I got to write some more, more catching up to do before I am up to today.

Then I started Alton Brown's Forty Cloves and a Chicken. It's just another take on forty clove chicken that's fairly straightforward. I started the bread first, and let it rise while I browned the chicken and peeled garlic. Then I stuffed the whole thing into the oven and forgot to shape the bread... oops. I went up to write, instead, and realized, a little too late that the bread I was making just wasn't going to be nearly in time. So, instead, John toasted bagels. I baked the bread after dinner.

The chicken was redolent with garlic, and the garlic was buttery and nutty and mild and perfect for a bread spread. We ate heartily as Jet alternated between playful and screetchingly unhappy from being so tired. Poor kid.

After dinner, John watched Jet while I wrote a bit more and then we gave Jet a bath in his bathtub. It was a leisurely bath and it was pretty warm upstairs as we'd left the house closed all day. It's supposed to be fairly chilly tonight, so we didn't open the whole house up. We'll see if that was a mistake or not.

After his bath, Jet continued the Baby Jeckle and Master Hyde act. With a bit of anti-gas stuff in him, a good massage, and a couple of switches while nursing he finally gave a great belch and settled in to nurse and to sleep. He was so dead asleep by the time he was done when John put a formula nipple between his lips the formula just dribbled out of his mouth. He was completely passed out. I have no clue what that means for tonight. I've given up guessing, which is something of a freedom in and of itself.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.