I've spent the better part of the last three days in the kitchen, and it has the sticky scars and crumb coated floors to prove it.
We hosted our bible study group at our house last night. As hostess, it is your job to fix dinner for however many show up. Other ladies make this look effortless. Somehow, when it is my turn, I manage to make it into a much bigger production. I'm not sure why. Probably because I'm a spastic freak. Oh yeah, I forgot about that...
Last time it was at our house, I made a full Indian dinner for the group. I like to think of myself as an ambassador for Indian food and introduce new people to it all the time. You know, kind of like the time we took L's sister and parents to an Indian restaurant in Tulsa and they tried one bite and then sat and watched us while we stuffed our faces. That was awesome.
What I'm trying to say is, I usually pick things that require at least a fair amount of preparation.
We have, besides L and myself, 6 other couples in our group. That's a lot of dinnerin! We knew several would be gone this time, and ended up only having 7 people, which is kind of nice because you get to really talk to everyone instead of just exchanging superficial pleasentries. It's also nice becuase everyone fit around our table, which makes it more fun. Otherwise we usually split into a men's table and a women's table.
The evening's menu consisted of my special hamburgers with homemade whole wheat buns, these
jalapeno things (don't worry, I wore my gloves
), two kinds of dip with chips, and these
brownies which I found on Bakerella's site, complete with ganache (a word I only learned a week ago on Celebrity Apprentice- who says reality TV has no value?)
. I did most of the work on Saturday, making the burgers so they could marinate in all their goodness in fridge, making the buns and brownies, and scooping all the insides out of those jalapenos. I wore my smashing apron and threw in a batch of homemade seasoned bread crumbs just for the heck of it. It was all yum, yum. yummy. I am pretty sure I gained 3.7 pounds yesterday, but we're not going to talk about that or the fact that I was noticeably absent from the gym this morning...
The OTHER thing that has been keeping me in the kitchen is my new VitaMix
. Oh sweet mother of all blending machines, have you ever seen one of these babies?
I had no idea they existed until about a week ago. L loves juice. Especially that Naked Mango juice. He would have a bottle every day if I let him. I've never been a fan of juice. It's all the goodness of fruit without the stuff that you actually need, like fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals. I don't let the kids have juice at home, and I've always refused to own a juicer for the same reason. You had no idea I was so mean, did you?
The other night, L asked me (after finishing off the two pack of mango juice we had picked up at Sam's) to look for a juicer that kept the good stuff. He had a good point in that he doesn't get nearly enough fruits or vegetables in his diet. After consulting the ladies on the Sonlight board (homeschoolers who seriously know everything, it's amazing)
, I found VitaMix. It's quite possibly the most expensive blender in the world. Possibly in other worlds, too. However, it's strong enough to chop up an avocado pit (why you would want to, I don't know, but by golly you could)
, and its blades spin at a whopping 249 miles an hour. That's got to come with some manly bragging rights, as I assured L as I sent him packing off to work so we could pay for it. It can also grind flour out of wheat berries (something I've been hankering to do for a while now, and grain mills are expensive) and it can even make butter out of cream. I need to figure out how to skim the cream off of my raw milk and make some butter. I'm such a pioneer. I'm wildly excited about the butter (in case you couldn't tell)
. Needless to say, after I started sounding like an infomercial, L knew we would be purchasing one. Being the sweetheart that he is, he manned up and had me order it right then. He believes in keeping the cook happy, and it's a pretty good stance to take as a man who wants his wife to make wholesome food and not ask to go out to eat all the time. He's a keeper, is what I'm saying.
The FedEx lady, wearing her sassy shorts, dropped it off on Friday afternoon and Hatchling and I opened it in awe. It is freakin' ginormous. It won't even sit under the cabinets with the short container on it. It has to sit there with the container next to it. It's a thing of beauty. Hatchling and I had spent the week contemplating all the things we could chop up (you can throw an apple in whole, no problem!)
, and we were excited for our first test run.
So far we've made tomato juice, orange juice, a multi- fruited concoction, and today I made this
green smoothie, which was awesome (except I drank all three servings, thinking 'man! this is only 149 calories? I'm going to be so skinny!' Ummm... not so much...)
. I also used it to chop up my bread crumbs the other day and to mix all the seasoning in for me. It's a wonder, that little machine. And yes, it's the most expensive thing in the kitchen that you wouldn't expect to leave with the house, but... hmmm... I feel sure that I had a reasonable sounding excuse for that sentence, but it's escaped me. We'll just move on, shall we?
Did you notice that with this post I've already outdone my postings for February? This because February is cold, and it makes me want to lay face down somewhere and just give up on life and love and liberty. OK, not so much liberty, but it felt right at the time. But March, March I can get on board with. There is sunshine, and warmth, and trees starting to bud and birds singing. Frankly, March brings out the Anne of Green Gables in me. I want to sing and dance through the forest and I feel like life might actually be worth living again. Thank you for coming March- you weren't a moment too soon. Now if I could just get over this time change, it might be a perfect world.