Monday, September 6, 2010

Saturday is an Asparagus

It's the perfect day. It's cradled by Friday, which is a great day because it's right before Saturday, and followed by Sunday, which is a great day in and of itself. But Sunday has a dark lining, when you're not in the moment. Sunday thinks about getting up early on Monday. But Saturday, has no such worries. It's perfect.

So we celebrate with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and we wear happy clothes. Laura goes to work and the kids and I go grocery shopping.

I love groceries. The endless possibilities of gourmet meals to come. Although I have the menu for the week somewhat lined out, I will sometimes stray in the presence of luscious, under appreciated vegetables. Brussel sprouts, for instance, don't always come to mind when planning the week's meals. If Brussel sprouts were a day, it would be Monday. Icky, by nature, through no fault of their own. But they look so cute, their tiny little cabbage selves just crying out to be loved, and smothered in bacon fat. Because who doesn't like cute cabbage sprinkled with bacon?

Well, I thought about you, brussel sprouts, but the asparagus looked so freaking good that I could not resist their allure. Asparagus do not need bacon. They are happy naked, steamed or baked. Plus, they are one of the ingredients in tonight's dinner.

Fiona could care less about produce, but she likes the bubble gum machine. She brought her purse with a million quarters in it.  She stood in front of the colorful machines for several hours and finally decided to spend one quarter on a bubble gum ball. And two quarters on a tacky temporary tattoo.

Cyd sat in the cart, saying "hi" to everyone who walked by. She was happy in produce, gleefully pointing at the bananas and mangos. She was happy in the cereal aisle and happy in the wine aisle. If I'd thought of bringing a cork screw, I may have stollen a sip in the frozen food aisle, which is where Cyd finally decided enough is enough.

With Cyd crying, I rushed through the dairy section and ignored the "oven thermometer" item on our list. We don't have that kind of time. Walnuts were on the list too, but really, walnuts are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Walnuts are a luxury. It isn't an ingredient in any of the meals I have planned. F*#ck the walnuts. We're checking out. Old ladies were staring at us, their smiles laced with a hint of disapproval.

We hurried home. The kids shared a mac and cheese bowl, which was redeemed with a few fresh blueberries and yogurt.

While the kids napped for two luxurious hours, I made the dough for dinner. I love the process of dough, the kneading, the rising, the baking, the silence. Tonight's menu: Flatbread with Arugula, Asparagus, Ricotta, and summer veggies.

Laura finally came home and built us a beautiful bonfire.  We roasted gigantic marshmallows, which mysteriously materialized in our cart this morning. And by mysteriously, I mean by Fiona. These marshmallows were the size of apples. Really.

We ate by the fire. We roasted. We entertained the neighbor children.

We are happy. Crazy happy.

(Note: the kid on the right is our neighbor.)

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