Friday, September 18, 2009

Fishes and Loaves and the Lessons Therein

Thursday dinner
The first real cooking in this journey was successful but not without issues. I was interrupted when I was about to load the bread machine and then completely forgot about it until I was away from the house a couple of hours later. By the time I returned home, it was too late to start it. Fortunately the bread was not critical to the plan, and I keep various crackers on hand. Not a big deal.

The soup was OK. David and I enjoyed it, but Andrew wasn't so sure.

As for the Fish en Papillote, it was delish. I used halibut filets with carrots, broccoli, Yukon gold potatoes, summer squash, and capers. The recipe used foil to make the packets, so I followed the instructions. I have used parchment paper previously with good results, and if preparing it for company, I'll use parchment again. It presents better. For everyday cooking, the foil worked great and presented fine. I'm not trying to be too foo-foo about the presentation, but food has to look appetizing.

Fish en Papillote (or feuille d'aluminium in this case)

David loves fish and was very complimentary of this preparation. We don't eat fish often enough, and I was concerned that Andrew would balk and ask for PB&J, but he cleaned his plate with no prompting, veggies, fish and all! We deemed it a definite repeater.

We have a rating system here using "repeater" as our highest designation, and we've rated many a dish with that term, but the problem is, I often forget it later. Then when I come across recipes that sound familiar, I can't remember if we liked it or how closely I followed the recipe. So, I've decided to keep a notebook of recipes that we like so that I can peruse them when working up menus and avoid reinventing the wheel. Yah, the notebook is a no-brainer, but sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake.

What a busy day. Breakfast of eggs and tortillas. Simple, easy.

Andrew went to school, David worked from home, and I had appointments and dates all day. David happily munched on leftovers, Andrew ate with Mimi and Granddad, and I lunched with a great group of women I am fortunate enough to call my friends. For dinner, David went to football and ate with the crew, and Andrew and I ate with Mimi and Graddad since we were there and were having a great visit.

The day brought a range of emotions, many related back to food somehow.

I am a member of a volunteer organization that is involved in the local Partners in Education program (PIE - fittingly sounds food-related), and we have adopted a couple of elementary schools. I met with Sheri (not her real name), the Assistant Principal of one of the schools, which is in a very low-income neighborhood school. 85% of its student population is on free or reduced cost ($.40/day) lunch. We met to discuss some of the school's needs that our organization could assist in meeting through volunteer hours, monetary donation, and organizational skills. The information she provided was encouraging - they had a 90% pass rate last year, uplifting - the teachers are dedicated and give of themselves above and beyond the call, concerning - many children are chronically hungry (meaning they don't have food at home), and heart-wrenching - a couple of children each lost a parent recently.

I left this meeting to go to my lunch date at a lovely restaurant with some fabulous women who work very hard to make a difference in our community. They are all a joy to be with and the food was great. We talked business, family, friends, events, and food.

I went to Mimi and Granddad's and spent the rest of the day with three of my favorite people. We talked about Andrew's school, "my" school, preserving family pictures, house repairs, family events, and food.

What I gained from the day was a reminder that I have much and take too much for granted. I am blessed to be a full-time mom with a wonderful husband, a loving family, and a safe home. I know where our next meal is coming from. I know my child won't go to bed hungry. I know there are many people who would love to have just the portion about which I have been careless. That is shameful, and I must be more mindful of the blessings I am given.

On an uplifting note, our group is packing food to send home with the students who are identified to be chronically hungry in "my" school. This food goes home with them in an unmarked bag in their own backpacks every Friday. It is enough to get them through the weekend. Our local food bank organizes and provides the food for this terrific program.

Suddenly, the daily count seems less important, but Day 4 and counting...

1 comment:

  1. How cool about sending home the food for the students!