I think I thrive with the right amount of chaos. It's in hairy situations when true personalities come out and you learn the most about yourself and others. If everything were organized, in their places and everything happened as expected; I would think life were so incredibly boring. I'd rather take things as they come and use the most of each situation. That is where life's little moments happen that keep you coming back for more.
This morning, I sat back with my breakfast and looked to the week ahead of me. Every single day of the coming week is absolutely crucial that it goes as planned (this is school I'm talking about) without a single patient cancellation, no-show, no-pay. I've been waiting for this week for weeks now. As I thought about it and proceeded to call every single one of my patients just to make sure they knew how important it was that they come this week, I could feel a ball of trepidation and anticipation rise in my throat. Knowing it will be busy and I would be spending hours in the lab, I decided to get ready for it. Laundry done, dishes cleaned, tidy hair-cut received; next came the most important question of every single week: Whatever shall I eat?
I have never before planned out menus for the week. I find it boring and unexciting knowing exactly what you are going to eat for every single meal ahead of time. At the most I might have one dish in mind when I head to the grocery store, but I prefer to see what I see and then let my creativity take a hold of the planning and meal put together once I'm back in the kitchen. Like I said, a bit of chaos is what I prefer.
Except this week.
I think if the week gets any more suspenseful I might have a heart attack. I decided to make a shopping list. Then I pulled out the cookbooks. Then I looked in the fridge. Oh, dear, Brigid just made a menu for the week.
The cookbooks are still strewn about the couch. The empty shopping bags still scattered on the kitchen floor. Fridge is packed and ready for the week. Three pots are a bubbling. New dirty dishes are piled waiting for their cleansing. Looks like this menu got me into a bit of chaos.
But really, I love it. Great radio station playing and I have no time limit for anything today. Plus, this menu idea might not be so horrible. I am so excited for the meals that are awaiting me that I almost want to cook them all right now.
Remember that holiday wish list cookbook I wanted so dearly? My current review of the recipes is nothing but praise! Tonight I cooked from the Armenian section and made Skewered Pork with Pomegranates and stuffed apples.
From The Silk Road Gourmet by Laura Kelley:
Skewered Pork with Pomegranates:
1 lb boneless lean pork, cut into cubes
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 Tb olive oil
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tb plain yogurt
1 large onion, cut into chunks
12 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
-In a small saucepan, heat pomegranate juice until it boils. Lower heat until the juice simmers. Cook uncovered for about 1 hours until it has reduced to about 3/4 cup. Stir occasionaly to make sure juice doesn't burn
-In a large bowl, combine half of each of the oregano, salt and black pepper with all of the yogurt and olive oil and 1/2 cup of pomegranate syrup. Add the pork, stir thoroughly, and pour into plastic bag or bowl. Marinate at room temp for 3-4 hrs, or overnight in refrigerator, turning pork in the marinade to keep it moistened.
-Remove pork from marinade and string the cubes on skewers. Season meat with remaining salt, pepper and oregano. String tomatoes and onions on separate skewers and season with garlic and onion powder. Broil 4-6 inches from heat source for 10-15 minutes, turning skewers frequently so that the pork browns well on all sides. The veggies may be done sooner and should be removed from oven when done.
-Briefly reheat leftover pomegranate syrup. Serve skewered meat and vegetables and spoon the extra syrup over meat
I added green bell peppers and instead of onion/garlic powder, marinaded the veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.
I have to say, the pomegranate marinade is delicious once the meat is browned! Soo good. And Ti liked it too =)
3-4 large tart apples, cored
1 cup uncooked rice
2.5 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
-Add salt and rice to boiling water and cook covered until rice has absorbed most of water - about 20 minutes. Add raisins to the cooking rice, cover, and cook until rice is done. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
-Prepare apples so that tops are removed and they are hollowed out to leave about 3/4 of an inch of apple around empty core. Sprinkle 2-3 Tb of sugar inside the cored apples, then combine remaining sugar and melted butter with the cinnamon and nutmeg and pour all over the rice and raisins and mix well.
-Fill the apples with the mixture and add a pinch of cinnamon to the top of each. Replace the apple tops and arrange on a baking dish. Add a small amount of water around the apples and bake in a preheated 350` oven until the apples are done - about 30-40 minutes. Baste occasionally as the apples cook.
I used less sugar and MUCH MORE cinnamon!
And what else is on tap for the rest of the week you ask? I just might have to show you later if any pictures come out of it. But after Armenia, I will be visiting Mexico and Spain, if you must know.