Saturday, July 30, 2005

Slack Day

It was a fairly gray, overcast day today. Nothing much happening; nothing much doing. I did get over to the tire place to have the flat on the T.R.U.C.K. fixed, and I picked up new windshield wipers for both vehicles, but other than that it was mostly non-eventful.

One bigish thing is that Celeste is running a fever and drooling like a mad woman. When she woke this morning, she was 102.2°F, but Infant Motrin knocked that down and she was feeling a lot better pretty quickly. Around noon, when the Motrin was starting to wear off, she was getting cranky again, and the fever was back up to 101.2°F. The drool, we figure, is teething-related and fevers can accompany teething (although 102.2°F is high for teething), so we're not too worried at this point, but we are monitoring her, giving her lots of fluids, and trying to keep her on the cool side. Hopefully, if it isn't teething-related, it's just a little bug helping to build her immune system and she'll be better tomorrow or Monday.

The other thing was that I saw a hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus) for the first time. I glanced out the window while washing dishes (new dishwasher is due to arrive on Tuesday) and he was just going to town on the flower stalk of one of our Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa) bushes. After he flew off, I went to look and he really did tear apart bits of the stalk; it was pretty neat.

Celeste and I tried to have a nap this afternoon; I was more into than she was. While she did eventually conk out for about an hour and a quarter, I was in and out of sleep for a few hours. I guess things are catching up with me. When we have a "nap buddy" afternoon, I usually spend the first 15 minutes or so pretending to sleep while Celeste wiggles around on the bed, kicks me in the face and chest, tries to force-feed me her pacifier, etc. Eventually, she settles down (sometimes after I'm no longer pretending to sleep) and goes to sleep, allowing me to either continue my nap or to read for a while. Today, I started reading, but was pretty soon back asleep.

For dinner, I made us a nice risotto. I had some zucchini leftover from Thursday's suzette pie, so I put together the following and it worked out pretty well:

Zucchini–Porcini Risotto
  • 12 ounce bag of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 toes garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 14 cup chardonnay
  • 134 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
Soak the mushrooms in two cups of hot water laced with 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar for about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter and reserve; rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit.

In a pressure cooker, heat olive oil and sauté onions, shallot, garlic, and zucchini over medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Add bay leaves, rice and wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add vegetable stock and 2 tablespoons of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid.

When it comes to a boil, close the pressure cooker and bring heat up to the first ring. Hold at that temperature for 8 to 10 minutes. Release pressure, remove the bay leaves, and stir in the cheese. Let continue to cook until the desired consistency is reached.

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