Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Two unrelated observations

Day 363

Day 88

I have to admit, I'm getting pretty good at making sauteed Brussels sprouts. Not that there's all that much to it, but they've quickly become one of my favorite side dishes, both to make and to eat. The basic method is pretty straightforward; cut sprouts in half, sautee in butter and a little bit of peanut oil, season with salt & pepper. Lately I've been mixing up the flavor profile a little bit. Last week, I first sauteed some mushrooms in soy sauce & sesame oil, and then used the same pan for the sprouts without washing it out first. I make one panful per person, and between the batches I deglazed the pan with some cooking sherry (since the sesame oil and soy sauce was starting to get kind of sticky). And then this week, since we were eating the sprouts with chicken chile lime burgers, I put some lime juice in the pan with the melted butter. So tasty! I know Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, but that's because most people tend to steam or boil them. I've had boiled Brussels sprouts, and they are not tasty. You might as well replace that T (in tasty) with an N.

Eleri's getting the whole self-soothing thing figured out; she's started sucking her thumb. This is something Soren never took up. Honestly, even though I know this has the potential to be a detrimental habit in the future, I'm pretty pleased about it now. Yes, in four or six months she'll be crawling all over the place and there will be the "Oh god, your hands are filthy, don't stick them in your mouth!" factor to contend with. And if the thumb sucking persists, we'll run into potential orthodontic issues when her teeth start coming in. But the ability to self-soothe is incredibly valuable right now, at this age, when I can't hold her or nurse her every moment of the day. What's interesting to me is that I didn't do anything different with her than I did with Soren. I just tried to clue them both into the fact that they had thumbs. Soren wanted nothing to do with his; Eleri decided after a few introductions that, hey, they were basically as good to suck on as our fingers. I think given the option, she'd still rather have an adult pinky finger to suck, but if I leave the room (frequently for the purpose of washing my hands in order to give her this option), by the time I return she'll be half-asleep with her own thumb in her mouth. Compare this with Soren's escalating cries and protestations. ;) That's not to say she arrives at this solution every single time, but that she does at all is pretty neat. Atta girl. :)


ml said...

we just made a really delicious brussel sprout recipe for our "easter dinner" at my ski share condo.

1) half sprouts
2) pour balsamic vinegar over sprouts and stir around
3) add salt, pepper, a few cloves of chopped garlic (and other spices if you want) and stir around
3.5) add 1/4-1/2 lb diced BACON
4) drizzle olive oil to taste
4.5) stir it all up
5) spread on baking pan and bake for ~35-46 min around 350+F

these are really f*ing good

it's important to add balsamic BEFORE oil 'cause otherwise the oil will block out the balsamic from being absorbed in the sprouts.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a winner.

MC Squared said...

Re: Thumbsucking

The differences you've observed are completely in line with what that "Raising Cain" documentary would have you believe. Girls just don't need as much constant attention (Side Bar).

I suspect not needing as much attention makes you more likely to take to self soothing.

Anonymous said...

I have been cooking garlic and onion first and halving the sprouts,browning them and then pan steaming with broth of choice, and when just al dente, wilting a big bag of freshly washed baby spinach and sprinkling with salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese. Delicious!

Gramma Carrie Ann

susan said...

That sounds like another winner. I could get behind pretty much any recipe that includes the words "sprinkle with grated parmasean cheese." ;)

MC^2 - I've known plenty of clingy/needy baby girls. I guess I'm just glad we seem to have had our higher maintenance kid (wrt sleep and soothing, anyway) first. Though I do have to wonder if part of it isn't that, just by virtue of being the firstborn, Soren never had the extra incentive to learn to self-soothe. We almost never had to just let him cry for some period of time while, say, changing another kid's diaper. I suppose more data is needed. Fortunately, you'll have a firstborn girl soon and can help add to the data pool. ;)