So Far Away

Well, that vacation seems a lifetime ago.

So far, since we've gotten back, I've dealt with a bout of almost swine flu (my baby came down with a fever the day after we came back, so the dr. sent us right up to the swine flu clinic with masks. A few days later, we found out it wasn't.); we currently all have matching hacking coughs and the baby has an ear infection.

I'm also in full kita aleph shopping mode. Here in Israel, you have to buy all the books! So different from the US, where we always got books and workbooks from school on the first day.

And my husband has been away all week! But he's miserable too because he's only gotten to sleep in a bed on night out of the the last four.

Anyway, a few things that I've read that have caught my eye:

This excellent Modern Love column. A really amazing example of a woman's courage and strength while trying to keep her family together. It sounds trite, but really, it's true!

I cannot believe this news about that woman who killed 8 people on the Taconic Parkway in NY last week. I was truly horrified by all the miserable kid-related news that came out of the US last week, but this latest update really takes the cake. I really have no answer to Lisa Belkin's question how can a mother drive drunk. I have no idea how a mother can strap 5 kids into a car that drunk. :(

I was with Michael Pollan halfway through this article about how no one cooks in America anymore, until I started choking on all the pretension. Also, I really have to correct him when he includes frozen vegetables among other processed conveience foods that have replaced real foods used in cooking from scratch. Frozen vegetables are usually just veggies and they usually have more vitamins that old, worn out fresh veggies. But I did appreciate his remembering watching Julia Child on WNET in the afternoons with his mom because that's exactly what I did when I was a child! One of my first memories was sitting at the coffee table in our living room watching Julia Child and copying out Sesame Street picture books onto yellow legal paper. I was already protoblogging at the tender age of 4!

and, a recipe. Take that Michael Pollan! Some of us still like to cook:

Chard and Chicken Pilaf

2 Tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, washed and chopped
1 pack mushrooms, cleand and quartered
2-4 pargiot or 2 chicken breasts sliced
1 small container (2 Tbs) tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup rice (brown, white or I used a grain mix of pearl barley, buckwheat and brown rice)

Sweat the onions, add the garlic, saute about a minute (careful not to burn garlic). Add chard, saute until cooked down. Add mushrooms and chicken, saute another minute or two. Add tomato paste and wine and stir around some more. Add water or chicken stock, stir through and add rice. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cover. Cook about 15 minutes for white rice, about 30 for brown or mixed grains. Check after around 15 minutes and add water if it seems like it needs more.


Leora said...

Sounds delicious. You tell Michael Pollan! I'm always cooking. Or that's how it feels, anyway.

Welcome back, hope everyone will stay healthy.

Common Sense said...

You're an inspiration to us all Abbi - gonna share my homemade gefilte fish recipe one of these days, I promise!

Commenter Abbi said...

Leora- thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I always feel like I'm cooking myself. But it's a great release for me. I always feel more creative after making nice food.

CS: Yes, I'm waiting for that recipe!

Lion of Zion said...

i hate cooking. if i could afford to, i would eat takeout 3 times a day.

"Frozen vegetables are usually just veggies"

i eat a lot of frozen peas, and i've noticed that some brands add salt. i don't understand why and i don't detect any difference in taste (as opposed to canned vegetables, where non-salt tastes much blander; but i don't eat canned veggies in any case)

mother in israel said...

LOZ, I think you'd get tired of it after a while. Not to mention unhealthy and fat, although that can happen from home cooking too.
kitah aleph is annoying. But we've gotten gift pkgs of school supplies from three different sources, including "Bratz" acceesories.

Commenter Abbi said...

MII: Aaack, not Bratz! I'm trying my hardest to avoid these characters, and it's not easy.

LOZ: I've checked all my frozen veggies and I don't see any salt in mine. When I cook them, they usually taste bland to me.

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