Tuesday, September 29, 2009

i'm going there.

Okay, Julia. I'm pretty close to done with you. My arteries just aren't up for this. Nor is my wallet.

So, here's the scoop. If you saw Julie and Julia, you might remember the scene toward the beginning where Amy Adams is having a little moment talking about butter. She's basically having a verbal love affair. And, I was buying it. I have purchased a lot of butter in the last few weeks. And today I weighed four pounds more than usual. I'm not saying they're connected, but they're probably connected.

Anyway. I've made Supremes de Volaille a Brun. Sounds fancy, huh? Not really. It's chicken breasts sauteed in butter. With a brown butter sauce. Served with buttered potatoes and buttered peas. I mean, come on. Are you sensing a theme here? Butter. Butter. Butter. So much butter. I am getting more than a little sick of it. When M took his first bite of the chicken, he bore a quizzical expression...one that said, "seriously, what are you feeding me?" He asked what was in the dish.

"Nothing really," I answered. "Just a little parsley and a squirt or two of lemon juice in butter."

The light bulb flashed on.

"Butter, that's it," he replied.

When the first thing that hits your palate is butter, there is too dang much butter. I mean, the chicken was good, but if I'm going to give myself a heart attack, I'm going to add some flavor and make fried chicken the way I always have. And I'll make mashed potatoes. Julia's buttered peas can stay.
I've also made another clafouti, and it was good, but it wasn't great, and those suckers do not keep well. That's a strike against in this house. We like to keep a dessert around for awhile.

So, Julia isn't faring well around here. I find myself looking over her recipes and consulting Ina Garten's versions. Then I remember that I love Alice Waters. And Orangette. And I've decided that, for the most part, I'll only plan on immersing myself in French cuisine if I'm in France. So, toodles, Julia. For now.

I'm going to make Orangette's tried and true chocolate cake.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

did you know?

Sunday is the beginning of Banned Books Week. I had never heard of it before, but A was telling me about it the other day on one of our many trips to Reading Rock last week. Now I feel like I should start a crusade on behalf of all the challenged books in America. I really don't understand banning books. Really. If someone could explain it to me?? Probably I still wouldn't get it because it's just not the kind of thing that I can understand. My brain doesn't wrap around things like banning books or art and hatred and all those things that I think are basically the same thing: a product of a lot of fear and a healthy dose of ignorance. Anyway, I'm planning to devour as many banned books as I can next week (though mostly classics that I've never read). I've already started Catch-22. It's not a terribly easy read, but I'm determined. And you know how stubborn I can be.

Anyway, here's a link to some information and some lists of books. I would love it if at least one of you devoted readers would pick up even one of those books next week. I don't know why it seems important, but it does. Maybe it seems extra important because of the ridiculousness happening in our beloved county right now.

That's it for me today, peeps. I'm going to go nurse my sore arm. Stupid flu shot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

quit buggin' me.

The Ouiser family has been victimized by the stomach bug. Well, not the whole family. I've been drinking Emergen-C like mad, so I've stayed well. S has been hit by what seems like two separate bugs...one that caused projectile vomit on Thursday and one that caused ED (explosive diarrhea) yesterday. M had something last weekend, and his stomach is still a little wonky. Anyway, there's been way too much belly-achin' round these parts. Otis even did some barfing yesterday to get in on the action. Peer pressure, you know?

Anyway, it's kept us on our toes.

Other than that, things have been pretty low key. I haven't been able to do too much cooking since there are sensitive tummies in the house, but I did manage a couple of Julia recipes last week, and I obviously think really highly of myself because I tinkered with her recipes. I will say that the results of one experiment were delicious, so I'm not sorry. I was making her potato and onion soup. Her recipe called for just simmering all the potatoes and onions in water before pureeing them. Then there was some salt. That sounded a little bland, so I cooked the onions in butter first, then I added a little garlic. Then the potatoes and some chicken broth. It was very yummy. Not bland. I also made her blueberry clafouti, and it was good, but my tinkering with that one did not end as well. I cut the sugar a little, and it needed it, so I added a little extra confectioner's sugar to the end product. So, right now ol' Julia and I are tied 1-1. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Okay, that's enough for now. I need me some coffee. Stat.

Friday, September 11, 2009

i'm going all emily dickinson

I know the Ouiser posts are kind of few and far between lately. Sorry, but it's only going to get worse. "Why?" you ask. My copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking came in today at Reading Rock, and I feel obligated to immerse myself in its saucy goodness. Also, I pinched my grandma's copy of The Joy of Cooking when I was at the farm yesterday. Now, I will say that I look forward to TJoC, but mostly because it's a little creepy. I was ruffling through the pages and passing things that involved canned tuna and potato chips, and it was freaking me out. I am almost certain that I will make few, if any, of the recipes within that tome, but I'll read it for its, um, historical value. Really it's just like watching Fear Factor for me...much like reading the instructions for making aspics in MtAoFC.

Just the same, I'll likely be a bit reclusive for awhile. Until next time...

Sight: clothes hanging on the line
Sound: S singing "You are My Sunshine."
Smell: basil. always.
Touch: dozens upon dozens of seed tick bites...this is not a good thing.
Taste: oh, dear Rigatoni with Gruyere and Brie, I will love you forever.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Sorry I've been missing. We've been busy peeps with trips to the park and cookouts and ballgames and whatnot. Of course, I've been horrible and not taken my camera to document any of the fun. I was too busy actually participating in the fun to take photos of it. I'm not really all that sorry.

Today, however, M is back at work, and life is back to normal. Sort of. S slept until 9 this morning. I guess we wore her out yesterday. She's eating breakfast on the couch and watching Cinderella. She has dance class in a few hours, and we've got a soccer game to attend this evening, but that is all we're doing today. That's it. A quiet day.

Here's a quick shot of our delicious breakfast, which you may have already seen on FB. Oh, and if I had the second at my house, I'd sit there all day, everyday sipping coffee and eating palmiers and reading cookbooks. Wouldn't you?