Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You Asked, I Answer!

I knew this would be trouble.  G in fact laughed at med when I got Kaycee's question and set into a dead panic.  "They're going to hate me," I said.  I muttered something about maybe making something up, to which G reminded me that I am an honest person and started this thing to hold myself accountable.  I grumbled a bit and then thought about it and he was right.  

You see, I faced this question recently (at the wine tasting) and set into a dead panic then too.  As someone who spent 4 years in classes (sometimes even in the summer), taking on loads of work, then worked 2 jobs back to back sometimes, and then later went and worked at a bank while planning a wedding, I am used to having things to do.  Then I got married.  And with every intention of getting a job I got hit with reality.  Oh I could get one, but with G's ever changing schedule in England there would sometimes be days where I would never see him, so he asked me to stay home.  At first it was fun, a break, and then it got tedious.  I spent a lot of days in bed, doing nothing other than reading a book or watching a movie.  So the easy answer to Kaycee's question about what do I do with my day, asking me for a typical day is:  nothing, absolutely nothing.  I am totally the woman who lies in bed all day doing nothing more than read and perhaps eating a bon bon.

The more real answer is: more than I ever thought I would.  Let me state I do lie in bed all day, most every day.  I know I've got it good.  Most days I sleep the day away.  Today, for instance I woke up at 3:45 this afternoon (less than an hour ago).  However, what I should mention is I didn't go to bed until 7 this morning.  I am a night owl, and often no matter how hard I try get my days and nights mixed up.  G says it's because I hate to go to bed, and will fight sleep, so inevitably it has me going to bed later and later.  It doesn't bother him, I generally lay with him as he falls asleep, and such as this morning (which caused me to relax enough I dozed off) I crawl into bed so he wakes up with me.  G doesn't care too much about my schedule.  I'm awake when he's awake.  I sleep when he's gone.  It doesn't really affect him.

And as I was panicking last night G pointed all of this out.  That I may do absolutely nothing during the day (even on the days that I am awake) but that I do a whole ton in the evenings and at night.  It's my best time.  So, here is how my day went yesterday:

Slept all afternoon.
UPS guy came, we joked about hopefully this product being the right one.  I got excited when I took it out, but worried where to put it since it was whoa bigger than I thought it would be (more on that later).
Called G to tell him, he was on his way home.
G and I spent a couple glorious hours in bed, curled up watching t.v. and chatting about his day.  He also got his readings for class done then.
At 6:30 G made coffee in our stovetop percolator and we drank an entire pot.  Neither of us was hungry.
At 8 we went downstairs and picked at the potatoes, carrots and onion from the night before.  

Then my night began.  As G typed up a paper for class I roasted a spaghetti squash for his lunch today.  As that was roasting I mixed up a batch of cookies, and made some.  They were supposed to be for his class, but this oven heats differently and I was not liking how they turned out.  Still tasty, but less fluffy.  Hmmm, have to figure that out, I still have over half a bowl of cookie dough in the fridge.  

I had poured the pan drippings from the chicken the night before into a measuring cup and placed in the freezer to set up.  I pulled that out and painstakingly scraped off the chicken fat layer and then put the dark brown juicy part into a glass jar in the fridge to put into a soup later this week.  After kicking G off the computer for a sec to look up things about chicken fat, the chicken fat was put in the freezer again to use like duck fat at a later date.  (roasting potatoes and veggies) 

I had all those lovely kumquats from before, and had planned to make marmalade but couldn't find the recipe.  Instead found a recipe for candied kumquats and decided to give that a go.  I ended up doing a batch and a half of the recipe, cutting each one into thin slices was painful (my cuticles are still a little sore, note to self, next time wear gloves).  This was my first time canning anything so I called my FIL to ask about jars.  After sterilizing them, I was able to pour in 6 cups worth.  Only I had more, so I sterilized an old Bonne Maman jar and poured the rest in there, leaving just enough to pour over a couple of madeleines for G for a dessert.  He was grateful and said it was amazing.  My jars all popped, so we did a dance around the kitchen at our small success.  

As the candied kumquats were boiling I had been slicing up grapefruit peel we had saved from a couple days earlier.  G had eaten all his grapefruit candy, and so I was making a new batch.  After the canning was done, I blanched the peels 3 times, and then boiled them in the simple syrup mixture and left them for an hour to do their thing.  During that time I made up a batch of wheat bread, and left that to rise. 

G had gone to bed by this point, and I was alone in the kitchen with my thoughts, still panicking about doing nothing during the day.  I put together a lunch for G of the spaghetti squash with roasted chicken shredded and mixed in.  The grapefruit peel finished so I took it out, sugared it and laid it on the drying racks to dry.  Then I sliced a carrot into sticks, steamed them over the simple syrup from the grapefruit peel so it would have a mild citrus infusion, and then added them to the container with his squash.  I then poured the simple syrup into a sterilized jar and let it seal (good on cakes, ice cream, etc and we already had a big bottle in the fridge).  I sliced up a few radishes and then softened butter in my fingers to apply to the top of each half, then sprinkled on some sea salt.  I had made a tiny mini Bonne Maman jar (they were what were served with croissants at Cafe Rouge and I always took them with us rather than have them throw them out) full of the syrup from the kumquats and that with a couple madeleines was G's dessert to his lunch today.  I made up a new little menu for him, and then ran upstairs to take a shower.  I still needed to make the bread, but it was close to G waking up, so I curled up with him (there may have been some making out, lol). 

Unfortunately I fell asleep so G followed my half asleep instructions as to his lunch, he punched down the wheat bread and wrapped it in plastic wrap, put it in the fridge and I will be making that this evening.  So, the real answer to how I spend my days is: part housewife eating bon bons and part busy busy chef.  That was a typical day for me (well, I don't usually can, but I revel in looking for things to make in the kitchen).  Today I will finish making the bread, I will saute up the brussels sprouts to roast to accompany some roasted chicken (from the other night) and roasted potatoes and steamed carrots (both fresh).  I also need to make some more caramels and attempt to make the old school way of doing Turkish Delight (G loves sweets), but don't know if I'll get to that tonight.  

My nights are filled with cooking.  Often not even for that night, I am the ultimate prep ahead person. The chicken was roasted night before we ate it (although it would have been delicious hot out of the oven!).  The spaghetti squash got the same treatment.  I usually chop veggies for a soup the night before. And I will be making pancakes soon with the buttermilk from making butter to freeze for a later date (to be eaten with candied kumquats).  During the day I lie about and relax.  I'm enjoying it for now, knowing that when we start our family it will never be the same! (actually just went down to grab the camera for the pics, and saw the bread needed to be dealt with, so it's now in 2 bread pans rising)

Madame Stephanie asked a question as well, but that will have to be a whole other post!


  1. Sounds like a busy life. I miss those days of being able to set your own schedule, you are right when you have a family it all changes. Sorry I have been so quiet, we have been sick here in the Gregory house.

  2. Sorry I sent you into a panic! Didn't mean to. :)

    That's actually quite close to what I expected from trying to piece it together myself through things you say on the blog. You are a seriously amazing cook! I think it's perfect for you to do whatever you want. I would personally love to sleep on pretty much the schedule you are describing! (unfortunately I am a teacher and I teach a zero hour class, so my alarm goes off at 4:50am)

    And don't feel bad or apologize for being the woman who lies in bed and does nothing! (though you do plenty of something with all that cooking at night) Honestly it sounds lovely to me. I am a lot like you and have always worked, gone to school, etc, etc. You're right, once you start a family you won't be able to set your own schedule like this. Staying home so you could see G with his crazy schedule seems like a smart choice for your family. I think it's great that you are enjoying this phase in your life and making it work for you!

  3. I really want to stay home and be a wife to my husband. I get funny looks when I say that but I do. The list of things to do is endless around here and it's so hard to pack it all in when I'm working. Being pulled as a couple on both ends of the work/life situation is not fun at all. I think you made a good choice.

  4. Yes, I'm very excited that Jesse and I have discussed and agree and want me to stay at home. He is a work a holic and will most likely have long hours. But there are always plenty of projects to keep one busy! Good job Kalee. :)

  5. I'm very envious! Your life at the moment sounds like exactly what I would love....I too work better at night and on weekends I am always staying up late to get things done, and then enjoy decadent lie ins. If only I didn't have my pesky job I would make it a full time switch!

    Am loving hearing of all your cooking too at the moment (it's too hot here to even think of cooking, so I am living vicariously through you.....) - and I'm in awe of your preserving skills!!