Archive | August, 2010

Kicking, or maybe gas

30 Aug

A couple nights ago I felt the first bit of movement against my partner’s belly. We’re assuming it was the baby, but I think it was entirely possible that we were feeling just a muscle spasm or something. Then I fell asleep. At least at this point, wife is not really feeling one with Gaia or any deep spiritual connection with her baby. And I am not either. So obviously this makes us shitty parents. I’m probably a little worse, since I’ve taken to pretending to use wife’s belly as a boxing ‘heavy bag’ (body blow! body blow!).

We did end up seeing Eat Pray Love this past weekend, which I found oh, a little self-indulgent. The food in Italy looked good. Wife thinks Fiji looks nice. Nice to have a book deal. It wasn’t really understandable why the two women spent time squeezing into too-small jeans after ‘accepting’ that they would eat and not feel bad about gaining weight. And there was nothing about the Liz character that seemed any more self-directed at the end than at the beginning. But whatevs. The food looked good. Fiji looks nice. A big fat book deal certainly seems great. Live life like you’re Gwenyth Paltrow!

Reminded me a bit of the (terrible) Russell Crowe movie, A Good Year. The secret to life is to take the shitload of money you’ve made as a heartless financial trader, cash in on a big fat severance payment, inherit a French vineyard/estate from your wealthy uncle, and have sex with the hot French woman. I mean, what the hell are the rest of you even doing?

Bad movies

28 Aug

I’m off to see Eat, Pray, Love. Not sure if I’m going to be making a Monday cake this coming week, so I’m hoping this gesture will still make up for the stupid for a while. Also, this official makes me a movie slut.

3 peanut sauces

27 Aug

I’m kind of the domestic one in my household. Certainly I am the cook – the most food preparation I see in my partner’s future is, well, maybe breast feeding if that works out. And I’m trying to get a little organized with this, or at least routinized. So this past week I downloaded the awesome Just Bento’s weekly food planner, and tried Fresh Direct. One of the successes, I think, was the pasta with peanut sauce, made Monday, leftovers the rest of the week. Here’s how something like that goes.

If you have a big pile of pasta, here are some ways to dress it – the end results will vary a bit, and please do not think of these recipes as hard and fast. In each case, cook some pasta (Orangette uses soba noodles, mom uses linguine, I like corkscrews myself), drain it a bit, keep back some of the pasta water in case the whole thing is too heavy/sticky. Then add some of the sauce, stir it about, see if it needs more or less. The first recipe is for 3/4 lb. pasta, the second I mostly use on a pound of pasta, the third is probably a bit much for even 1 lb. pasta.

And taste the sauce. If it is not pea-nutty enough, add another spoon or 2 of peanut butter. If it needs more zing, add some mustard or sriracha. If it doesn’t have a ‘smooth’ enough flavor, you probably need a bit more oil. Need more salt? Add some salt (or soy sauce, which is salty). Feels bland or too unctuous – like oily or slickery – add some citrus to make it pop a bit. If you like garlic, jeez, add more minced garlic. The only people you have to please are you and who you are cooking for. There is no ‘getting the recipe right’ award here.

The pasta by itself is good, but you might want to add some vegetables or protein. Mom adds broiled chicken, which marinates in soy sauce/sesame oil mixture for a bit, then gets broiled for 10 minutes in the broiler. She also adds scallions and cucumber, cold and diced. I like to add sauteed onions and summer squash (which I cook separately, then add in), but wife doesn’t often love that. Orangette (actually her partner) adds bok choy and thinly sliced carrots. Do how you feel!

Peanut-citrus sauce (from Orangette):
½ cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
¼ tsp. pressed garlic (about 1 small clove)
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ tsp. sriracha or a similar hot sauce, or more to taste
½ tsp. chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek, or more to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. water

Peanut mustard sauce (mostly made up ‘recipe’)
2 T chunky peanut butter (I like how the peanut bits add crunch to the pasta)
2 T Dijon Mustard
1 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1½ T olive oil
1½ T Balsamic vinegar

Mom’s Spicy Peanut Noodle Sauce (Bonnie’s recipe)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T dark brown sugar
3/4 Cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 Cup soy sauce
3/4 Cup sesame oil
6 T hot chile oil
Put all minus the oils in a food processor, process until smooth, add the oils slowly and process until smooth

Easy peasy, lemon breezy. Bon Appetit.

Baby aces its first test

25 Aug

An obvious harbinger of things to come, the amniocentesis results came back with no findings. This is a good thing, meaning that the anatomical issue found during the early sonogram was likely, well, an anatomical issue. Something that can be fixed, early, with little lasting problem (or at least we think so now). But the worry – that the early issue was not idiopathic and idiosyncratic, but linked to a systemic chromosomal abnormality – seems to not be a worry. This is fancy-talk for saying that we thought a turned-in foot meant the kid may have Down’s or something, and it almost certainly does not. Instead, it just means a turned-in foot.

So, with that first test aced, I thought I might share the sonogram. Obviously, our baby looks so much cuter than the other alien sonogram pictures you see of other peoples’ kids. Also, we went for the think-o-gram, which gave us not only profile but baby’s first ruminations:

Clearly taking after its father. Actually, it’s probably something more like ‘Why am I hearing so much about clearing client complaints over platform issues?’ or ‘This amniotic fluid tastes like chocolate!’ And ‘if you had already joined the Park Slope Food Co-op, I wouldn’t have to suffer through these obviously inferior red peppers. Don’t you care about me at all?’

Anyhow, on to the next thing to fret about to the point of distraction! Wife votes for finances!

Dressy Monday cake

23 Aug

It’s Monday, and we’re getting fatter, so it’s time again for Monday Cake. Last week’s was ugly but tasty. This week’s cake is pretty at least, maybe not quite so delicious. It’s a chocolate cake with mocha buttercream. Yay!

Monday cake is like a stupid sponge. It soaks up all the indecent and insensitive commentary during the coming week. And the mocha makes my wife easy.

Current State of Emotional Play

22 Aug

I showed this picture to my wife the other day, and she started crying:

So you can see that the world is sitting on a knife’s edge round my house these days. When I worked on a trading floor in my early 20s, a guy there was talking about his wife who was pregnant at the time. He said he offered her a glass of wine and said “either you drink it, or you’re wearing it.” He was funny, but a total asshole. Nonetheless I have often thought about that line and what domestic life he had lurking behind it.

For myself, there is not much to be said for a lack of patience on my part (and on the non-birthing partners’ parts in general). After all, stress, changes to body, hormones, all are happening to her-not-me. And it is surprising how poignant this photo is, you wouldn’t expect Kermit to be so expressive. And yet, I am definitely living in a fragile emotional ecosystem.

The image is from nerd boyfriend, a totally sticky site, with pictures of actors and artists and authors and people, and where to buy their wardrobe.

By the way, she also kind of cried over this one.

Father of the Bride

22 Aug

Actually Father of the Bride 2. Yeah, it’s not making me love this whole on-the-cusp-of-fatherhood thing. Plus, we don’t even have a fake-accented quasi-gay designer for our baby room yet. Though it’s possible Martin Short is available.