Wednesday, November 26, 2008

20081125 Welcome Baby Dinner with Side Plate of Baby Cauliflowers!!!

I'm so excited to report that our baby arrived this past Friday!!! My wife's water broke Thursday at around 11:30a and she was in labor by about 3a Friday morning. My lovely daughter, Anuragini (Anu for short), was born just before 8a. She was 4 pounds 7 ounces and 18" long. We were not prepared -- she came three-plus weeks early!
We were in the hospital till Monday evening. Today was my first day of cooking in my kitchen after the construction - and what an auspicious occasion, the day after Anu's homecoming!
I made a candelit dinner for my wife to celebrate the new (oh so cute!) baby, and featured baby vegetables, including a saute of baby bok choy with tempeh and onion, plus a little soy tamari sauce; baby corn on baby lettuces; baby carrots; quinoa with turmeric; and a side plate that we shared of three different raw baby cauliflowers. It was a nice meal for a fabulous time!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News that Our First Baby is Due!!; Polenta-Shiitake Scramble with Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

It's sad that I have not done any substantial cooking over the past month. Our home construction is finally almost at an end; the kitchen really was only being worked on for a week or two, but I was very disappointed that painters moved things out of my family room into the still-messy just done kitchen, prematurely before family room painting was scheduled. Though the kitchen is ready (just crown molding put in, textured ceiling replaced by flat, and ceiling painted), I've had so many other items to attend to that I've not been able to quell the monster of a mess that was created, and to clean the kitchen. Hence, we're eating out a lot and eating at my parents'.

One other item that I realize I've not yet blogged about is - my wife and I are expecting our first baby in just a month, mid-December!! We've temporarily named him/her "Spring Onion". I wish we didn't have the stress of remodeling that started in April and was to have ended in early or mid-July lingering.

Yesterday, I noticed that my shiitake log bore two large shiitake mushrooms. Working in my Mom's kitchen, I prepared a meal that my wife and I both loved.

I cut a half onion into half moons and started sauteeing in olive oil. My Mom has an electric and not a gas stove, and I was surprised how hot it gets even on medium. After just a minute or two, the onion was getting clear in color, and I added a package of seitan, sliced into thin 3/4" 1 1/2" pieces, as well as about half of a hot green chili pepper cut into four or five large chunks (so the pepper would impart flavor and heat, but could itself be omitted when eating the meal). After maybe five minutes, I added a half tube of prepared polenta that I had cut into 1/2" cubes. Four minutes later, I added the two large shiitakes, cut into pieces maybe 1/2" x 3/4" x 3/4".

I cooked for maybe another four minutes and served, along with some wild rice. (I had brought a ratio of 1 part rice to 4 parts water, along with a vegan bouillon cube, to a boil, then simmered for about twenty-five to thirty minutes. I let the rice then sit for another ten minutes, and added a little salt before serving it.) I also served some spinach and parsnip. I can't wait to be cooking in my kitchen again!