I want to share with you a neat little article on one of our recent favorite stews, the Polish national dish called Bigos. The New York Times article is a little light on history, but the photo is quite captivating, especially on an empty stomach.
Another Times article which caught my eye this week was entitled, Racket in the Kitchen, Ruckus in the Crib. The accompanying readers' comments are quite the read as well, fortifying one's sense that sifting through the avalanche (not a great image, I apologize) of parental advice is by definition futile. My cooking experiences thus far w/the babe (Senorita Pepita--Miss Pumpkinseed) have been quite peaceful. The clangour of the kitchen and the inconsistent jostling of being shuttled around the kitchen in my right arm have quite the somniferous effect. One-handed cookery has its challenges but occasional delights--I discovered a new stirring pattern for cornbread batter that prevents the mixing bowl from spinning out of control. Also, her swaddling serves well for many kitchen towel uses. Small fusses can be dealt with by occasional dancing breaks... Senorita Pepita prefers the head jiggling effects of the Charleston. When I need to dig deeper in the bag of tricks, a quick sit-down at the piano for a few bars of Chopin's Raindrop usually suffices. Thus far. Challenges abound, however... high-temperature pan frying can easily speckle the baby's face with burning grease--this is what's known as a "no-no" in the business. Tasting hot liquids while holding the baby also presents its hazards, though again the swaddling comes to the rescue, preventing nasty stains on the cook's clothing. The great challenge of course is timing dinner's presentation... one must prepare everything to a state of near-completion, waiting for the precious window of dining opportunity... plates warmed and ready! Here comes the starch! Tong the wilted greens! Sear the protein! Squeeze the lemon! Dash the parsley! To the table!