Monday, May 31, 2010

Thyme For Summer

This Memorial Day began with a sweet start as I dusted off one of my first ever kitchen items (and one of my favorite wedding presents) a Villa Ware heart shaped waffle maker. I don't typically do a lot of waffles (shocking since I'm such a fan of both breakfast and anything that can be made from batter), because I have a memory of them being a slight pain in the ass. With batter spilling out of the iron, having to scrub off the the burnt on pieces conveniently lodged in the little crevices, having to be careful not to actually submerge any part in water (nearly impossible), it was always tricky stuff. Luckily, none of that was an issue, and I turned out some really swell waffles! The key is to thoroughly grease the iron and not put more than about 1/3 of a cup of batter in there at once. This is a good lesson to learn... always try, try, again and never let past disaters prevent you from future successes, especially in the kitchen. The only mishap was that, true to form, I forgot to make my compote the night before, and since it really needs a couple of hours to allow the fruit to break down, my mango, strawberry compote wasn't very compote-y, and was more like fruit tossed in sugar- still super yummy of course, but not quite the same.

The children and I took our morning sugar high off to the swimming pool where we did what all good Americans do on warm whether holidays- have BBQ. Samuel had his very first swim, in the buff, and regrettably I wasn't able to take photos to embarrass him with later. Isabella and Josephine, I am proud to say, have taken to swimming this year like little fishes which made it all the more enjoyable. Once we were all sufficiently pink I brought the troops home and began working on dinner.

First things first, roast chicken. This bird was well taken care of, dressed in wonderfully aromatic fresh herbs an lemon, after going through the requisite anatomy lesson with the girls- they always like to ask "So where was his little head?", "Where were his wings?". Funny how chickens in our house are called 'little guys', when, really, they are all female. Anyway, he/she went into the oven and I made the rolls while Isabella worked on 'veg-prep', cutting the squash for the casserole (I score the squash with the tip of my sharp knife, so that she sees where to chop and can use a simple butter knife to cut through it). I decided to whip up some apple butter to go with our rolls for dessert, and Isabella was happy to help, as she loves to get to use the peeler. So with minimal complaining as to how this would all be SO much easier if I had double ovens, I managed to turn everything out, on time, and at the same temperature (relatively), to the table. And so, we had an All-American meal to end this Memorial day, and to begin the start of our summer, which I hope, will be a delicious one.

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