Perfected

I made perfect hard boiled eggs the other night.

For those of you who do not know me well, know this: making hard boiled eggs is a challenge for me.  I do not do well when I cook something and the only instructions are “1) Put the something in a pan.  2) Add water to the pan. 3) Put on stove. 4) Cook until done.”

I cannot cook foods boiled eggs or rice for several reasons.  I get impatient and I peek and poke and prod and stir.  I get distracted and let things boil dry.  I fail to add enough water.  I add too much water.  I add unnecessary ingredients.

I’m a lot better at “no cook” recipes and desserts, especially anything baked.  Which is weird as it seems to be the reverse for others – they can make staples but are intimidated by baking.

But last night, I did it.  I paid attention.  I sat back and waited for the boil.  I set a timer when I turned off the heat and remembered to use a lid.  And my eggs came out perfectly set.  I feel like I am the first person in history to perfect the process.  (Not even remotely, thanks Martha.)

I have perfected the fine art of making hard boiled eggs.

I’m learning attentiveness and patience.  That’s my goal for the new year.

That and to learn to make rice without a rice cooker.

I am so far from perfect… and it’s okay.  I am Ruth-at-this-moment.  Perfected.

So tell me, what did you perfect this week?  What will you perfect in the new year?

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Thanksgiving 2009

We’re keeping this Thanksgiving celebration low-key. My mother will be in town from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning so with her, I’m feeding a grand total of 3 adults.  I’ve worried over and over about what we should prepare for our meal.  Here’s what I’ve designed:

Turkey-free Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Pork Chops, seared then cooked in the slow-cooker with apples, brown sugar, peppercorns, spices.
  • Corn bread, possibly with cranberries stirred in.  I like Jiffy Corn Muffin mix for this; you should too.
  • Fresh “classic” cranberry sauce.  That’s right:  just sugar, water and cranberries.
  • Green bean casserole with frozen beans, bacon, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, generic condensed mushroom soup and the ever present fried onions in a can.
  • Roasted and whipped sweet potatoes – my secret is ground ginger and nutmeg with the basic honey, butter, milk/cream, salt and pepper.
  • Cranberry-Pomegranate Terrine (basically a gelatin mold with nuts and fruit) modified from this recipe on foodnetwork.com.  I believe this is supposed to be more of a side dish but I’m going to go a bit sweeter and play a bit loose with the ingredients and make it a dessert.

My husband was a little disappointed hearing that we were not going with a “traditional” Turkey dinner like the ones he’s had “all his life” (and we prepared Thanksgiving ’07).  Okay, to be perfectly honest, he was shocked and appalled when I broke it to him over lunch yesterday.  I thought I had told him beforehand…  Luckily, we went to a dinner party last night to have a turkey dinner amongst friends – the hostess even set out supplies to make “apple turkeys” and feather headbands.  It was fun and he got his fix: crisis avoided.  My lesson from this: include him more in meal decisions for celebrations like this so that he is not surprised or hurt.

Do you always have the “classic” turkey-dressing-cranberry sauce-veggies-rolls dinner?  Do you have your own traditional menu that you follow everytime or do you make something different every Thanksgiving?