Today started out a bit rough and it’s been a sort of mixed-bag day. But I have to start with yesterday first, as that was a different sort of day altogether and it sets the stage for today, too.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Ikea with Rachael, Jamie, and Chris, and then we returned to my house for a grand dinner party featuring coq au vin. I had let Marshall rest in the fridge for several days, and chose to prep him in this manner as it is a traditional one for roosters (hence the name, of course, since coq means rooster in French.)
I consulted a few recipes online, and ended up mostly following Alton Brown’s recipe from Food Network. I say mostly because after the initial prep of ingredients, I put it in the slow cooker instead of finishing up in a big ‘ol stew pot. And since my slow cooker could not hold all the liquid called for I only used the equivalent of one bottle of Pinot Noir, not two. (Really, that seems like an excessive amount of liquid!)
So, this cooked away while we were out running around Ikea getting furniture for Rachael’s new apartment. While I do need some new bookcases and such, I spent quite a bit last month so I’m holding off for now and just putting up with keeping my books in boxes for now.
When we returned, I let Marshall stew a bit more and then turned to prepping the sauce into a gravy. I hate making gravy. It’s tricky and I always seem to end up using cornstarch as thickener, which to me is a cheap trick. But I managed OK, even if I did have to use a *little* corn starch. And I had to make 2 separate batches of gravy, as some of the diners didn’t want the pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon which are supposed to be added to it.
Steamy Coq au Vin
As you can see in the steamy photo above, it turned out wonderfully. The meat was not falling off the bone, but it was very tender and tasty. I had read the comments on several recipes that the end product tasted almost beef-life, and I found that true here. I think it’s all the rich, red wine that gives it such a flavor.
There are quite a few leftovers, and I also saved and froze the neck and tail portions to make into a soup later. Thank you, Marshall. You were a mediocre rooster to the flock, but ended up being a good bird nonetheless.
Valerie came by, too, just as we were ready to eat. While she is a vegetarian and didn’t partake of the main course, she had some noodles and the dessert. We finished our dinner with some tea and a lovely almond tart that Jamie made, served up with some cherry sauce. Yum!
The ladies stayed quite late last night and we had a great time chatting and knitting. I went to bed shortly therafter and woke this morning to wreteched weather.
While it had started raining last night, it turned to snow over night and was coating most of the surfaces with a wet, gloppy mess. I let the chickens out at dawn (about 6:30 AM these days), and just couldn’t get back to sleep, so I tackled the washing up from last night’s feast. The coffee pot had just finished gurgling and I was booting up my laptop when the power went out.
Power outages are rare around here, but a special inconvenience to me as my garage has no service door. The *only* way to get in and out of my garage is through the overhead door, which is connected to an electric garage door opener. While there is an emergency way to disconnect it so the door can be raised manually, this requires a special little key that I don’t have. Mark had always kept it and couldn’t find it when he moved. So for now, I just hope there are no power outages when I need to go out.
And I did have to go out today. I had an appointment this morning at Abt to look at kitchen appliances, so I was hoping the power was restored in time as I called in the report. Thank goodness it was, so I was able to drive through the messy weather to my appointment and pick out lovely new appliances that I can hopefully be using in about 3-4 months. It will be quite a pleasure to have a nice dinner party and NOT have to tackle a mound of dirty dishes by hand.
I ran a few more errands on my way home, ate something, and then lay down for a nap. Now the weather is pretty: sunny, clear, although it is cool and we expect a cold night. But here I sit, feeling incredibly sad.
You see, the past few days I’ve been struggling with the feeling that I just suck at choosing men to love. And this makes me very sad.
I’m trying to be constructive about it and tell myself that there are better things ahead. I’ve also been reading The Rules and He’s Just Not that Into You, which may seem sort of hokey and ridiculous, but are surprisingly similar. A colleague at work told me to read The Rules, and although it is focused on finding a guy to marry (which I’m NOT wanting right now), the advice in both books that guys love the chase is something I’m trying to internalize.
I’m not sure if I just have poor impulse control or if I truly have a sucky approach with men I like, but whatever I’ve been doing doesn’t work. So I need to figure some stuff out for when I am ready to start dating again.
And as much as I had a great time in Nassau a few weeks ago, I’m sort of paying the price for that, too. I don’t know why I think I can just visit with Ian as a friend (and one with “benefits,” at that) and walk away from the experience untouched emotionally. I just can’t be with him without triggering a whole bunch of unrequited love stuff.
Well, at least as I sit here crying I can get some doggy hugs from Sadie. That’s something, and for now will just have to be enough.
I guess my iPod has picked up on my mood as it just started playing C’est la fucking vie by Ginny Clee. *sigh*
I know, life *will* get better. I will adjust. The transition time just really sucks.