Here’s the deal:
Meatloaf, FANCY rice, Brussels sprouts
Not bad for a meal I threw together at the last minute, somehow having not realized until 5:00 that I would be making dinner that day. I more or less used Fannie Farmer’s meatloaf recipe, but I cook it on broiler pans, not in loaf pans, so the grease drains off.
The fanciness of the rice is just chicken broth instead of water. The kids think this is the best best best, which makes me feel kind of like I felt when the upstairs neighbor’s ice machine broke and flooded the duplex, and the kids woke up to see pots and bowls all over the place to catch the drips, and they said, “Mama . . . is it a party?” No, children. You really can expect more than this out of life.
Grilled ham and cheese, chips or something, broccoli
I feel like we were busy doing something on Sunday, but I don’t know what. There was some of this:
which set the tone for the week.
Homemade pasta! Homemade sauce!
My mother-in-law ordered something from a catalogue, but they sent her a pasta maker in error, and they said to just keep it, so she gave it to us. Good thing, because this was vacation week and we ended up being sick all week and the van was (still is) in the shop, and we didn’t do an-y-thing. So turning the crank was pretty much the peak of our excitement.
I chose a pasta dough recipe from a site that sounded authentically Italian. But I’ve been to Italy, and I don’t remember the spaghetti being a bunch of scaly, greasy chunks. So we scrapped it and started over with this more reasonable recipe. The secret ingredient is enthusiasm:
plus rapt attention:
a hearty helping of anticipation:
and then Benny needs a turn:
Gosh, I’m enormous.
Note: when you turn the crank slowly, you get a sheet of pasta with lines on it, rather than actual separate spaghettis. Just shoo the kid out and run it through the machine again.
Since we made a recipe times twelve and I had forgotten that it was a radio day, we were rushing like anything, so I didn’t run the dough through the machine 6-9 times as recommended. So the final product was a little less compact then it might have been. Still, homemade pasta!
Clara made the sauce from scratch, too.
The pasta-making was fun, time-consuming but not hard, and we’ll definitely be making ravioli one of these days when we have more time. It’s probably only worth using the machine if you’re planning to make some special recipe, like mushroom-stuffed ravioli with basil-infused dough or something, or if you’re hoping to build happy kitchen memories. It is a lot of work, and spaghetti is spaghetti.
Chicken pesto pasta, garlic knots
I briefly considered transferring my food to a real plate for the photo, but decided life is too short.
We used up the rest of that miraculously cheap chicken from last week. This isn’t real pesto, just chopped up basil and garlic and olive oil, with a little salt and pepper and lots of Parmesan cheese. Mix together with chunks of poached chicken and farfalle. Not thrilling, but pretty good.
Garlic knots because pizza dough was on sale.
Halmonee chicken thighs, rice
I’m not even going to include the recipe, since I screwed it up so bad. I didn’t have all the ingredients and messed up the proportions. The taste was great, but the overall effect was . . . drippy. Also, I burned the rice. Then my husband got home late, so I reheated the chicken by frying it, which improved the texture somewhat. I also fried the rice, and re-burned it. Not an improvement.
But the flavor was good! I think I’ll try again next week.
Hot dogs, veg and hummus, baked beans, birthday cake
Thursday was sweet Corrie’s birthday. I haven’t made a cake from scratch in a million years, so I thought I’d give it a shot. This one-bowl recipe turned out just fine. A nice, rich flavor, and you really can make it all in one bowl. Really only minimally harder than using a mix. The only thing was that, as the reviewers warned, the layers in glass and metal stuck in the pan, but the silicone pan layer came out easily.
Corrie helped me clean the bowl:
Oh, happy birthday, you sweetheart.
I used this recipe for chocolate frosting, and realized with nanoseconds to spare that that is not cocoa powder, that is your daughter’s cappuccino mix!!!!! That would have been a birthday to remember: a fully caffeinated cake for a one-year-old at 7 PM. So I just used the little bit of cocoa powder I had left, plus almond extract, and it had a pleasant flavor, if not super chocolatey. Whew.
When I piled the light brown frosting on top of the cake to spread it, Benny asked with interest, “Is that tuna?” Okay, that would have been a birthday to remember.
Just tuna, I reckon. Maybe popcorn.
Not having a vehicle all week made me realize that I stop at the store to pick up food really often. There’s hardly anything left in the house! This meal planning stuff is all a sham.