Photo: Dinner preparations tonight!
The birthday marathon is over! My house is recovered! My child is happy! I am really excited about some sleep but… that’s gonna have to wait. Craft night with the girls tonight, another school visit tomorrow night… your humble blogger mama isn’t going to get an early bedtime until Wednesday! And that’s if I decide not to catch up on American Crime (which you should totally be watching if you’re not)!
But I’m not really trying to write about television today. I’ve got more important things to write about. Let’s start with what’s just outside of my window. Seems that the animals decided to dance under the full moon last night:
Anyone know what makes these tracks? I think it might be a bunny? My neighbor says squirrel… but the feet are too big, right?
My neighbor also said he thought it was a pack of deer who came through. I’m not so certain. There wasn’t any scatt anywhere in the snow.
I’m taking the time to post these pictures (new readers are probably like “what in the world?”) because this is my first evidence this season the Fox has returned to her winter residence. We hadn’t seen any prints after the previous snow and I hadn’t heard her (or her mate) in a while. I wondered if she’d moved on. It’s exciting to have her back! Hopefully she’ll reward us with kits in the Spring again. I’ll also note that there was no blood in the snow, either–so the rabbit got away or it was a really clean kill…
The other thing I’m excited about is that I’ve cooked my second Meatless Monday meal of the month! One month down, eleven more to go!
Tonight’s dinner: Ribollita soup and portobello mushrooms topped with tomato and cheese!
My friend posted that New York Times recipe for the soup and the picture looked heavenly. The ingredients looked accessible and the instructions were easy! It was too easy to pass up. I embellished with some sage and mushrooms. Commenters suggested fennel instead of the celery and I now understand why. I didn’t put the soup in the oven for the toasting of the bread and instead opted to toast the bread with some infused olive oil and cheese. The result was a fantastic bowl of soup that really did only take an hour. I’d do it again in a heart beat! I’d do it again next week! The Husband ate it, even the boys ate it! Minor took a little time to warm up to it, but once he did, he was golden.
The mushroom… I dunno, Dear Reader. My feelings are mixed. I didn’t love the texture as much as I thought I would. I’m not sure which element bothered me, the tomato or the mushroom itself. I prepped the mushroom by removing the stem and the gills, and that’s it. Is there a better way of preparing it? If I can’t figure out how to properly prep portobellos or tofu, this Meatless Monday is going to go down in flames pretty quickly. Can’t make soup in the summer. Haven’t found a substantial “meat alternative” yet. I suppose practice will make perfect.
I know that it looks perfect in the photo, but that’s because of the magic of purposeful selection. Here is how the other ones turned out:
Soggy mess. 😦 I don’t even… it’s the tomato? I know that mushrooms eventually let down their water… did I cook them too long? Tomato and mushroom just not a good mix?
I have a lot of learning to do, Dear Reader. Good thing there is a lot more opportunity to do so!
Finally, this made me laugh today. I told you The Modern Idiot has me reading poetry and I found a stanza that almost perfectly summarizes my life:
I’ve been giggling about that all day. “We should get together for coffee!” Me, always, in my head: “why?”
In all seriousness, saying “yes” to reading poetry and learning to love it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I don’t love everything I read, but what I do love, I get a lot out of. I’m continually surprised and always come away seeings the world a little differently. It’s been deep, yet light and airy, if that makes any sense. I highly recommend it.
Dear Mid-Atlantic Readers, are you ok? All of my family in Maryland kept their power (I heard Pepco did a good job for once?) and everyone is ok. Nobody went to work today and I hear nobody is going to work tomorrow! Don’t get cabin fever, ya’ll. Go out and get some fresh air!
School visit post on Wednesday, probably. I have no idea what I’m going to find. Hopefully it will be a better experience this time around. No matter what, it will be an eye-opening experience for you and me both!
Until then, stay warm, stay safe and take care.