|One of three. 3 euro a piece. Not too shabby.|
Armed with my shanks, at the last minute, I decided to invite some friends over for dinner. It felt like a meal that needed to be shared. Much to my delight, two of our favorite families came on short notice, and we had a wonderful, relaxed evening. "Sunday dinner" with the extended family (closest friends, in the military) is one of the many ways that Italy has steeped into my blood. It's one of my favorite customs, and one that I hope to bring home with me.
This was a perfect recipe to cook for company because all the cooking is done ahead of time. There aren't any last-minute steps. Take it out of the oven, break the meat apart so it looks like a stew, and bring it to the table. Dorie said to skim fat off the top, but mine somehow didn't look greasy enough to bother. The meat was so tender. I didn't even care when I had a mouthful of fat, because it literally dissolved. Dorie's Orange Rice Pilaf paired perfectly with the stew. Three shanks fed six adults. The only problem was that there were no leftovers. At all.
Last night, I caught up on Rice Pudding and Caramel Apples. I love rice pudding. It's one of those desserts that takes me right back to my Mom's kitchen. She always put raisins and a bit of cinnamon in hers, and I have to say, I missed them in this.
I compulsively made the pudding, because it struck me as a decent way to keep myself busy, and hopefully distract myself from stressing about the fact that everyone else we know who is Matt's rank and scheduled to move next summer heard from the detailer last week, receiving their next assignment. We haven't heard a peep. We're exhausted from the stress of waiting. So, rice pudding.
As I stirred, the phrase, "The solace of stirring," popped into my head. For a few seconds, I marveled at how perfect that phrase felt right at that moment, and that clearly I'd missed my calling as a poet. Then I remembered that that is a section title in Nigella Kitchen. My bad. Nigella, you were spot-on with that description. There is much solace to be found in stirring.