For the past week or so I've had the Pogue's song "London Girl" stuck in my head. It has been especially popping up in moments of happiness (which have been on the increase as of late) and moments of exhilaration. For example, today I was walking across campus feeling all happy and suddenly found myself singing the song. Didn't even realize I had started doing it. Luckily no one was around. And just yesterday as I was correcting some papers while students did their writing I started to hum it. A student laughed at me. But that's okay. I get a lot of that.
But I first noticed it last week at the Snowy Owl Resort (formerly Brodie--yes, where people named Kelly skiied for free on St. Patrick's Day) where I was snow tubing. First of all, if like me you haven't been to many ski-type resorts you're probably not used to cute signs everywhere that say things like: Snow tubing involves risks and dangers. These may include but are not limited to collisions that are man made or natural, within lanes or other areas of snow tubing. Injury or death may result. And to top that off, I had to sign a waiver that said essentially that if I died it wasn't their damned fault. I'm the frickin idiot who went snow tubing.
So, you can see where I was ready for anything. On my first run down the hill, as I was picking up more and more speed than I had anticipated (ahh, that's why they made me sign the waiver!) and as I was going down the hill backwards wondering if a small child had wandered across my path (ahh, that's why they had their parents sign a waiver too!!), suddenly the song burst into my head louder than bombs. This could be our final dance. This could be our very last chance... and yet it all felt so good. The sun in my eyes, the spray of the snow. The 80% chance I would survive. Great stuff.
Out of the Blue
"Hey dad, " Packy says to me just now out of the blue. I'm thinking of a new band name."
"What is it, Packy?"
"The Atomic Sombreros!"
Well, yesterday Packy and I had lunch together. And of course, since it was Packy's choice, it HAD to be Taco Bell. Ok, ok, I'll admit that Taco Bell is one of my first choices too.
As always, the conversations were priceless ('What would I love more than anything if there weren't tacos to love?' 'I'm going to get a job at Taco Bell so that I can eat there everyday.' and so many more). And here was one particularly Packiesque observation:
Packy: Three and four years olds don't know how easy they got it. I mean, their biggest decision in life is 'What ball do I want to play with?' They only have little crisises to deal deal with.
I just love the wisdom of Packy. I wish I only had 'little crisises' to deal with myself, but at least I'm doing my best to get better at managing them. So, anyway, here's to you Packy! May all your crises be little ones.
A Recipe for You
Well, this is my chicken with pear sauce recipe. I think you will get some insight into how I think when you read this....and, yes, you'll probably be a bit frightened.
Chicken w/ a Pear Sauce (with Rice and Brussel Sprouts)
chicken (thighs or breasts w/ bone)
salt n peppah
veggie (usually brussels sprouts for me)
let's see... In a sauce pan, put in a can of beef broth and an equal amount of red wine. Set at simmer or a little higher. This will give it a chance to start reducing while you're prepping. Every once in a while, it's a good idea to stir this and to scrape any residue off of the sides of the pan. Though it can come to a slow boil, it shouldn't boil too much and does well at a heavy simmer.
Put on the water for the rice (3 cups), but at this point just put it on somewhere between low and simmer. (if it starts to boil before you get to the rice step, be sure to turn it down so that it doesn't start to evaporate).
I usually set up the veggie steamer at this point, though I don't turn it on yet...
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees
Dredge the chicken in flour, set aside.
Peel and chop up the pears into small pieces.
Chop a shallot or two (if small) as finely as possible.
Put some olive oil (not too too much) in the frying pan and heat up fairly hot. Put the chicken in and fry for a minute or two or three on each side.
If the rice is far from boiling at this point, kick up the heat.
Remove the chicken from the frying pan (and lower the heat on the pan) and put into the oven pan. Put in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
Using the wooden spoon, stir the roux in the frying pan, try to scrape up any bits of chicken stuck to the pan. Season with some salt and pepper. Adjust the heat to a moderate level and then saute the shallots for a minute or so. Add the pears and saute those for a few minutes. The more saute-ing the better.
At the 22 minute point, put in the rice and do the rice thang. Also, start heating the water for the veggie. Turn off the wine/broth pan.
When the pears have softened a bit (the more the better) turn up the heat and add the wine/broth sauce. If it has reduced too much, add a bit more wine. Stir regularly.
Be sure to get the veggie steamer up to boiling by the 10 minute point. At the 10 minute point (for sprouts) put the veggie on.
Check the chicken occasionally to see what it's up to.
Add a little honey to the sauce.
At the 4 or 5 minute point, take the chicken out of the oven and add to the sauce. Try to avoid adding any of the grease in your pan to the sauce. Everything should finish up at the same time.
******** And that's it. If you try to make this recipe and find I'm missing a step or three, please let me know.
Happy Birthday to MeWell, I'm 43 now. Time to look back and assess my life... ... Maybe I'll wait until after my birthday. I want to enjoy the day. UPDATE: I just got a Happy Birthday email from Pepsi! Now I'm happy!!
Well, it hasn't been TOO long since I last posted. And, to be honest, I'm only posting now because last night I realized that I'm paying good money for this little blog and I had better start getting a little use out of it.
So, dear reader, here's a brief anecdote:
One night I was hanging out with Dee and Packy. It was getting near bedtime and Packy and I had just finished playing a Monkey Ball race (I won, boo-yah!). So I told Packy it was time to go to bed.
"Dad, can we play a game of chess?"
"Sorry, Packy, maybe next time. It's bed time."
"Aww, dad, we never have a chance to play chess and I know you love playing it." And then he gave me the biggest, saddestg look in the world.
"Okay Packy, we can play one quick game."
Smiling, Packy says: "Thanks, dad. I can't believe the puppy dog eyes worked."
And, that's all I have for you today. I probably have forgotten five or six even cuter anecdotes, but they're not coming to me at the moment...
See you next month.