I spent 3 hours wandering aimlessly around my house yesterday afternoon.
As many of you know (you readers....) I have been outrageously busy lately, barely enough time to eat and sleep.
So what am doing, doing nothing?
The first thing I do in the morning, when I wake up, is a quick run through of my day: what I need to get done, what I hope to get done, and the order that I'm going to tackle it all in.
Thus, I found myself hoovering the floor at 1:35, in the middle of a desperately need, albeit cursory, house-cleaning, carefully scheduled for the afternoon, when the vacuum died.
I, immediately, went to
yell at ask mon mari what the problem was...
Before I found him, I remembered a letter I had received 2 weeks earlier from EDF (electric company). It was still sitting on my desk, buried in the clutter.
It was to inform me that there would be no electricity between the hours of 1:30 and 4:30 on this Monday.
Had I remembered, I could have vacuumed first, then done the none-electrical-requiring cleaning bits.
Had I remembered, I could have done the weekly shopping.
Had I remembered, I could have done any number of things differently.
Had it not been raining, I could have simply moved my cleaning urges into the garden.
As it was, I had nothing. There was so much to be done, I couldn't just settle down with a good book and take advantage of the situation. Besides, I hadn't planned on reading... It wasn't scheduled....
I seriously need to take a look at my life. There is something wrong when I can't take advantage of 3 hours free time to just do nothing, to play; have fun. Life is short, I know this.
I need a break....
I'll try to pencil one in.
Margot, of Coffee and Vanilla, was so sweet last week: She received the much-deserved 'Excellent' award and was kind enough to pass it along to me!
Thank you, thank you Margot!
It just what I have been needing lately: a pat on the back.
Maybe, once we have several successive days of sunshine, my world will suddenly right itself.
And we can get into some serious summer cooking.
In honor of yet another rainy day, I have the perfect comfort food and one last risotto for the season.
Be cheered: this is seriously healthy decadent!
Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese (Chevre) Risotto Serves 2
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto - Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 cups plus 2 tbs chicken or fish stock
5oz (150gr) smoked salmon
3oz (90gr) chevre, goat cheese (the creamy kind in the little square carton, in Europe it's Chevraux, in the U.S. Chavrie)
2oz (60gr) spinach
1/4 cup fresh, snipped chives
1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese - freshly grated This is important! Trust me on this. Don't be tempted.....
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Finely chop onion. Slice salmon into strips. Slice spinach into thick strips. In medium sauce pan heat oil; add onion and sauté 5 minutes, until starting to get tender. Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/2 cup of stock and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup and continue adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/4 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' - slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff - it will not hold it's shape on a plate. If you cook it until it's stiff it will be dry. Stir in the goat cheese and spinach, and heat through. Stir in the smoked salmon, herbs and Parmesan, pour into a platter and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and by the time you pour the wine will be perfect! The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon - not a fork.
Sorry folks - you can keep your 'mac and cheese'.
There were no leftovers.