Saturday too, arrived too quickly for a morning on holiday.
The day was mostly centered around local production of Cindarella, for which John & Annette’s oldest child was the associate director in charge of lighting. We had to drop her off at 11am, and later leave the house at 2:15 to all be at the first show at 3pm. It was a short drive, but herding children is much like herding programmers … which is usually compared to the impossible task of herding cats, so it was best to leave a lot of time.
Unlike years past, the youngsters were up rather early 5:30 or so, and running around just above my bedroom. By the time I was up, they’d disappeared to the playroom leaving me alone to prepare a cup of espresso, and start working on menus for the week.
That lasted about 2 minutes as Ian – the youngest – popped his head out of his parents’ bedroom, looked at me, screamed, then slammed the door. He tired of this after 3 or 4 more times.
The other kids reappeared, and were able to more-or-less prepare a more-or-less normal breakfast for themselves. In years past I had the rather difficult task of explaining that M & Ms were not an appropriate breakfast, or that no, I didn’t think Mommy let them have huge gobs of Nutella on their toast.
The rest of the adults slowly appeared, and breakfast for the rest of us was made, as I was trying to prepare menus for the next few days. Not entirely sure where all the time went, but shopping list in hand, I went with Annette to drop off her daughter at the theater in town, and do some shopping.
I left John in charge of making lunch – specifically shaping and baking the bread I’d already started, making pasta, and making a sauce.
First stop was a small farmer’s market, where it seemed that 80% of the stands sold exactly the same produce, which is perhaps not surprising since they’re small farms in the same environment. We picked up a box of fairly random produce which they’d won at an auction and stopped so Annette could chat about knitting. Some years ago, I bought some wool in Iceland, since she’d volunteered to make me a sweater. So far, I think there’s a basic design, but hey, I’m patient.
After a couple of brief stops, we ended up at a pretty decent grocery store whose selection has been improving each year. 40 minutes and 6 large bags later, we were done. Only, Annette had misplaced her keys. Turns out she’d left them on the back seat of the car, with the windows down… and they were just as safe as if they’d been in Montgomery.
Back at the house, the bread was about ready to come out of the oven, the sauce was simmering but a bit too watery, and the pasta was being rolled to perfection by John. So I turned up the heat a bit, looked around for some herbs (I’m not fond of dried ones, generally, but they can help in a pinch) and added a bit more olive oil (since that helps everything).
The pasta rolled, we cut it into papparaelle since that was fastest, and I made a modified insalata caprese – rather than layering tomatoes, buffalo-milk mozzarella and basil, I just chopped it all, and tossed. Lunch over, we hopped into several cars and headed off to the theater.
The program warned against flash photography and required “battery operated” cameras. We pondered if manual film SLRs would be confiscated, but did conclude we could shoot without flash, as long as we turned off the autofocus assist lamp. The kids were cute, as you can see in the flickr set, and energetic. It was quite the enjoyable production.
Back at the house, I had a video chat with Nik, while watching the John and Michael put together a new Weber grill. The old one had sort of died after staying out too long in the salty air.
By 6:30 or so, it was time to start preparing dinner, so I baked some figs for dessert, and rummaged around the over-stocked refrigerator to figure out what to have to vegetables and salad. While a couple of us cooked, the others kept the kids occupied, and then fed.
Dinner was a fairly simple affair: grilled salmon with a lime/cilantro/garlic scape sauce, and steamed vegetables with covered with a mix of onions, garlic scape, and shredded carrot I’d sauteed in some olive oil. Then a salad of mixed greens with a fresh raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a selection of fine french, italian and spanish cheeses along with the bread we’d made earlier in the day. Last was freshly-made strawberry gelato, and baked figs in a lemon syrup… which turned out pretty well considering that the lemon was dry and the figs were a wee bit moldy.
Then everyone else cleaned up, and I went to bed 🙂