Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wow…new record on the flaking out there…

I didn’t make dinner last night at all. Which is darned shame, because it would have been pretty darned good – chicken pot pie with a citrus-scented gravy instead of the usual “country hearty” style. (My lemon tree is really putting out the lemons right now – they’re so sweet you can actually eat them, right off the tree!)

But, one of the things that are going to happen from time to time happened last night: We hit Traffic. Not merely, you know, the ordinary bumper-to-bumper stall-in-go from the Dublin BART station over the Altamont Pass…or even the equally usual Fun Friday! points added.

Friday is the worst day of the week for the commute. The problem is that we don’t have enough ways for people to get to other places around here – the 580 freeway is about the only way for people from the Bay Area to get just about anywhere they want to go.

Whether they want to head up to the mountains (skiing, water sports, sitting in the lodge sipping rum toddies while other people do those crazy things) or down to the pleasures of Los Angeles, visiting family in Colorado, whatever – they pretty well must take 580, or travel way out of their way to take 80 instead.

But 80 is just as packed so, you know, what do you buy yourself – nothing.

So Friday is already a bad commute day…but last night, somebody ran into somebody else at a really rotten time. (Which would be any time after noon on 580 East.)

We left the office at 4:10, and didn’t get to the babysitter’s house until 6:30, precisely…which was a minor miracle, since at 6:10 when I called to tell her we were coming as fast as we could but stuck in an Uber Backup, we were still a good twenty miles away and the traffic was just barely thinking about starting to break up.

When we got there, we found the Denizens cheerfully chowing down on chicken nuggets and French fries.

There are times when you just want to hug people. The way we’re working things now, my husband will drop me off at the house to start dinner while he goes to get the kids – then, when they all get home, it’s less than twenty minutes until food is on the table.

That’s only twenty minutes of the kids yapping and yammering about how “starving” they are. I don’t know what’s up with that lately, but it seems like all four of them are constantly hungry – and when they sit down and start eating, they’re actually packing away the food. Usually I can get away with preparing a meal for four and we’ll have leftovers – these days, I actually have to plan for six “adult sized” portions of food if I want to have any leftovers…which I generally do, because that’s how I get lunch the next day.

Anyway, I’m sitting there in the car with a nasty head cold clamping down on my sinuses, thinking, Great. And we have to go straight to the sitter’s because we’re LATE, and then when we get home it’ll be an HOUR before dinner is ready, and then we’re eating at eight o’clock and maybe I’ll just order in a pizza…

(I love pizza. I truly love pizza. I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much forever and ever. And I don’t like my own homemade pizza that much – I like pizzeria pizza. I’ve never been able to replicate it at home. Oh, my pizza is OK, sure, but…the Real Deal, with that thin chewy crust, tangy sauce, double cheese, and…you know what? I’m going to shut up about it now, ‘kay?) (My parents got me hooked young, at a place then called Vince’s, now [watch out for sound on this link if you’re at work!] Gaspare’s…still there, still awesome the last time I went [which was WAY too long ago, and if I were a dutiful blogger I should totally go back and check them out again, you know, purely in the interest of science and accurate reviewing, because LORD FORBID, they might have gone way downhill in the couple years since I last went and I would hate to be passing along an inaccurate review…yeah…I totally need to arrange a trip to Gaspare’s, like, today, maybe…], if you’re in or around San Francisco, you should totally go.) (But don’t tell me about it. Especially if you get the one with the ground chicken, which I think was called Chicken Garibaldi?, because ohmygah, I can taste it right now, soooooo goooooooooood…) (Stop. Tama, seriously. STOP this madness, right now…)

ANYWAY. When I got home and the kids were sitting around the table making Happy Noises eating dinner, and she was all, “Wellll, I couldn’t very well feed my kids, but not them, too, you know? They were hungry and I knew you were in that traffic jam so…I hope you don’t mind that I…”

Do I mind? Seriously? Do I mind?

Honey, Angel, Best Choice In A Sitter EV-AH©, I could kiss you right now.

And if I didn’t have a nasty cold obviously starting its Reign of Terror in my system, I would have.

I’ll make the pot pie tonight instead. I’m kind of thinking “modified Hollandaise sauce” for the base gravy – something with that buttery-citrus flavor, but not quite as heavy as Hollandaise generally is. A little less butter, probably, and with the stock I just made adding more chicken punch to things.

It’ll either be awesome, or it will suck mightily. Kitchen adventures are often like that, you know? Something sounds good, but then between the idea and the end product there’s a…glitch or two.

Or there isn’t, and it’s perfect the very first time you try it.

We shall see how this one works out.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a 15 pound beef roast going into the oven.

Yes. Fifteen pounds. Our new Raley’s store had these beautiful beef sirloin roasts on sale for $1.77 a pound – the whole roast was only $26!

But actually, it cost me nothing, because I had a coupon from Raley’s where if you got a prescription filled they gave you a $50 gift card…thanks to Captain Adventure’s sinus infection, I had a new prescription!

So! I got the roast and some special treats for the family – crackers, yogurt and tortilla chips!

I was verrrrrrry popular around here for a while.

Anyway, tomorrow we’re having some folks over, so I’m going to roast most of it (and put what lean I do trim off to neaten the roast through the grinder for some fresh ground sirloin), and we’ll have a wonderful roast for lunch tomorrow…then I get to play with my new-to-me deli slicer and we’ll have roast beef sandwiches for lunch next week!

I’m so excited about that, I’m planning to make some crusty sandwich rolls to put it on.

(I also love roast beef sandwiches. Almost as much as I love pizza – and I get it almost as rarely, because I’m so danged cheap fiscally sensible (snort!) that whenever I see a $7-per-pound price tag on the raw ingredient, I get spooked and say, “What’s wrong with a nice slab of baloney, anyway?”)

I also may have to run back to Raley’s again this weekend, because I got another coupon from them where you get a free turkey with a $50 purchase – I could get two more of those big special-priced roasts and a free turkey! I wouldn’t try to freeze a roast that size as-is, but would slice one into smaller roasts and put the other through the grinder – at $1.77 a pound, it’s worth the effort.


Lydee said...

love reading about your adventures! the crusty rolls sound yummy.

Louiz said...

mmmmm, pizza sounds yummy - and for me it's a free invitation for a migraine. Cheese hates me. Haven't had a proper pizza for... 15 years? 20? My parents got me hooked early too. The coupon thing sounds good, I really need to look into coupons around here but somehow I don't think we have the same amount here in the UK though:(

Science PhD Mom said...

YUM! Great price on the beef roasts, I would totally go for 2 more and get the free turkey too! This November is so hectic though that I'm thinking we are not going to host Thanksgiving and instead will attend our friends' celebration and get by with just a massive side dish. Because I am tired, you know? Anyway, sounds delish, let us know how the lemony pot pie turns out. I'll bet yummy!

sadiekillmouski said...

Question: Do you brown the roast before putting it in the oven and, if so, what does one brown a 15lb (15lb!!) roast in?