Monday rolled around and was much like Sunday – food, friends, computers, cameras and kids
Up early, I found that the there was no internet access. We’re not sure why, but the DSL modem gets screwed up as the day goes by and needs periodically rebooting. Problem is that it’s on the ground floor, and is a bit of an effort to get to. John found last year that it was on the same Ground Fault Circuit as the toaster oven was in the kitchen, so just popping that switch powers down and up the modem. Convenient, since I spend most of my time in the kitchen anyway…
Breakfast was late in the morning, and after a bit of menu adjusting, I presented a shopping list to Annette who was heading into town with the other two women for a bit of shopping. John and Steve went kayaking, and the au pair looked after the kids. I was left (mostly) alone to prepare lunch “for 2pm.”
I prepared the “mongolian marinade” for the beef we were having for dinner, finished the bread Annette had started, and made a red sauce for pasta – 4 onions sauteed in butter and olive oil for about an hour, to which I added finely-diced carrot, garlic scape (the flowering part), and two cans of peeled plum tomatoes. And then made pasta dough – eggs, flour, spinach. Also made some “british cookies” – not sure why they were called such, but they were tasty.
Sometime around 3:15, the guys came back from kayaking; 3:30 the women were back from shopping, and we commenced with the final preparations for lunch. 🙂 The kids ate outside on the deck, so it was fairly quiet inside except for the occasional screaming contest which prompted someone chuckling, “I think that one was mine.”
Lunch over, we commenced with dinner preparations. Steve made the pumpkin-seed brittle; Annette made the chocolate-almond shortbread cookies with the help of two of the youngsters; Cherene prepared the espresso-steeped dates for Tuesday, and Steve made the peppermint-candy gelato. Quite fun to watch everyone working.
The kids ate early, and were shuffled off to bed so the adults could eat in relative peace: appetizers of pumpkin-seed brittle along with pagnotta (bread) and the “standard” spreads of hummus, goat cheese, garlic & olive oil, and muhammara. Second course was the “grilled mongolian beef” (quite tasty), steamed vegetables with a honey-orange vinaigrette followed by salad with a champagne vinegar vinaigrette, and ending with the chocolate almond shortbread, peppermint-candy gelato, and the rest of the “british cookies.”
Quite well received so far, with the only complain being “not enough chocolate.” hmmm… I shall endeavor to remedy that…