Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 01/31/17: The Ana Hour, Squeeze Bottles, Fish Stew

1. Hiram had a job to go to in Alexandria and Molly was taking David and Olivia to the dentist and Molly asked me if I could watch Ana for an hour or so.  What delightful hour! Ana, like her sister and brother, is an independently happy child -- she entertained herself for almost the whole hour playing with a doll, spending an especially long time putting two cheap plastic necklaces on and off the doll, on and off, on and off, about 850 times, each time with full concentration, delighting in each putting on and taking off as if she'd never done it before. Sometimes she took a break from the doll and put the necklace on me. I loved how locked in she was and I loved listening to her constant string of nonsense sounds. She was speaking in the rhythms and intonations of sentences, but in her own language -- and, sometimes, she switched from speaking to singing. A few times, I thought she was putting the nonsense sounds to "Rock a Bye Baby".

2. I'm reorganizing the kitchen and as I was putting groceries from Costco and MOM's Organic away, a box came from Amazon with the seven plastic squeeze bottles I ordered. So I took the olive oil, canola oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar out of the cupboard and filled squeeze bottles. I freed up cupboard space and I'm hoping I enjoy shooting oil and vinegar and soy sauce out of these bottles when cooking instead of pouring stuff out of bottles. We'll see . . . .

3.  Later in the evening, the Deke and I arrived home after a couple of beers. I'd been to Staples and bought masking tape and Sharpies to create labels and I marked my new squeeze bottles.I also fixed a superb Brazilian Fish Stew. I had earlier marinated bite-sized chunks of tilapia in lime juice, paprika, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper and then I sauteed chopped onion, added in chopped red, yellow, and orange peppers, the marinated talapia, and a can of diced tomatoes. Over this mixture, I poured a can of coconut milk and let it all simmer for 20-30 minutes and topped it off with cilantro -- I added more cilantro and lime juice to my bowl. I hadn't fixed this stew for nearly two years and the Deke and I both forgot how good it is. Next time, I might add potatoes to it and I've also thought that sweet potato bits would taste good in this stew.  If you'd like the recipe, it's one click away, right here.

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