Wednesday day is my favorite day of the week primarily because my sons come back home. Their father and I share custody of them; the proper term is time sharing, like they are some biological form of a vacation beach rental. It all sounds absurd but it is the best and most balanced way. This way the boys get automatic equal time with both parents. Sure they have two houses and two rooms but for the most part the rules in each house hover close to what they always were. And it helps that their two houses are less than five miles from each other. Equal time means we avoid so much of the tug-o-war that befalls so many families after divorce. All in all, they know that their parents love them more than anything.
But nothing beats hugging you kid and hearing him laugh, listening to him jabber on about school and home work. And Wednesdays inspire me to cook. Both boys have promised to be more “adventurous” about food. Cam wants to eat healthy and “bulk up”. Mind you, he does not weight $1.10 yet. E is four years younger and weighs slightly more than his big brother…and eats alot of crap. Have I been guilty of feeding him crap? Yep! He is the pickiest eater I know. And if not for the presidential designation of ketchup as a veggie, Evan would not eat any veggies. I realize calling Heinz ketchup a vegetable is a grand embellishment. I don’t care. Condiments as a food group are genetic. He has an older cousin that subsisted on ranch dressing and Mrs Butterworth’s syrup when she was little, although not simultaneously. Evan has promised to try new things. And he has.
Tonight I made ricotta dumplings. I got the recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I have never made them and they were super easy. The best part of their willingness to try things is that they contribute their opinions. Both suggested less lemon the next time I make them. And they were serious about wanting them again. Yeah me! They smelled so good and we were so hungry, I missed taking a picture.
But knowing it is Wednesday motivates me in other ways too. I made blueberry swirls this morning for the office. I used a jar of my blueberry jam from last summer. You can’t go wrong with puff pastry dough, honestly.
I was worried over the weekend, because I truly finished my novel. I have done 3 rounds of edits. My first reader has read it through. My professor now has the book. He has listened to the book each week in class over the last two years, but having a final novel printed and in a box is a unique experience. And it is now out of my head. But….it is now out of my head. I miss my main character, Grace. I miss the space in which she materialized. I am sad over the novel being done. Except, in the wake, a second story that has rattled around in my brain for decades has queued up and wants freedom. Shall I start a new?
I like my simple life. Memorizing state’s capitals and doing algebra. Baking cookies and making dinner. Ironing shirts and riding bicycles around the neighborhood. And then I have to help the kids with their homework. :P
I really like making new things and having people to test them on….I am glad my boys are troopers.
1 1/2 c whole milk ricotta
1/3 c. grated romano or asiago
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup flour, sifted plus more for work surface
3 tbsp butter
Mix the ricotta, egg and cheese in bowl. Add salt and 1/2 c flour. Mix. Turn out onto floured counter and work the remaining 1/2 c flour in with fingers. Don’t overwork the dough. Divide dough into four sections. Roll each section into a 20 inch long rope that is 1 inch wide. Cut into segments. Heat the butter in a large pan until sputtering. Add the dumplings and turn down the heat. Toss the dumplings once but then let sit on medium low heat for 6 minutes.
I had to do the dumplings in two batches and I agreed with the boys….less lemon zest. Next time I will add minced garlic to the dough or seasoning to the butter in the pan….like rubbed sage or cumin. Yum!!!