Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trying to stay sane

I guess I should start off with the icky stuff because that's the kind of person I am. Give me the bad news first. My dad met with the oncologist yesterday. Surgery is not an option. She also does not think that they will be able to treat the new lesions. But there is a chance that they can -- more gamma knife. She suggested rehab -- to deal with the speech and walking problems -- and hospice care. Needless to say, my dad is freaked out. Thankfully I clicked over to his call from talking to Mommy Zombie and she had explained to me that hospice does not necessarily mean terminal. So I was able to share that with my dad. It helped a lot. Thank you so much.

I also did a great deal of insisting. I have two weeks of vacation and have not put in for any time as of yet this year. Yesterday when I arrived at work, I promptly went in to see my boss to explain what was going on and how I would probably need some time off in the future. Then the plan developed. I could work a half day on Friday and then head to Sacramento. So last night I told my dad, "I have time available. Would it help you if I came up Friday afternoon?" He said that it would. So now I just have to let them know at work today.

And now to the other stuff. After crying and napping on Monday, I realized that there wasn't much cooked food around here. And Poulet was closed for the holiday. So I headed out for the nearby grocery store (Berkeley Bowl was also closed for the holiday.) -- the major chain, not the expensive local one. Although I should have stopped at the local one because I need more wet food for the other residents here. After VD, I found that I was totally addicted to the sauce for the mussel appetizer. I found myself thinking, "Who needs the mussels? I just want more of that sauce." And then I thought that if I tweaked it some, it would be perfectly fine on chicken. Of course, next time I probably shouldn't cook the chicken so long as it was almost falling apart when I removed it from the pan.

The end result.

Both winter and being in a down mood can bring out the fatty food cravings. Thankfully I am genetically predisposed toward thinness. Because the foods that call to me? So not good. Oh, and I even have a recipe this time.

Saffron Cream Sauce

1/2 cup creme fraiche
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons brandy
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 generous pinch of saffron
White wine from braised chicken (The chicken was braised in about 1-1/2 cups of white wine. This would be the liquid that was left.)

Whip creme fraiche and egg yolks in a bowl.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute shallots and onions for approximately 3 minutes. Turn off heat and add brandy. Ignite and let flames burn down.

Whisk lemon and saffron into mixture in skillet. Add white wine "stock." Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Slowly add some of the shallot mixture to the creme fraiche mixture and whisk. Pour this mixture back into the skillet and whisk. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

And because I'm all about comfort foods at this point, of course I had to pick up dessert on Monday.

Nothing says happiness like Pepperidge Farm cookies with Ben & Jerry ice cream.

And just when you thought that the feel good stuff was over, I bring you this. Thanks to the lovely folks at SFist, I discovered this little gem. It might just take the place of Pearl as my fave video.

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