Sonya found a friend on the mountain. Sophie the Snail was frequently serenaded with “Petit escargot” while she lived in our kitchen for a couple of days. Sophie was a surprisingly loud eater. In the middle of the night, I’d hear a crunch crunch crunch crunch sound after the girls fell asleep. Turns out, snails like Sophie have a “toothed tongue” called a radula (which is really not a tongue and really has no teeth— see diagram). I’m filing this little tidbit away for some future trivia night.
On Wednesday, Sophie was released back into the wild to munch on more decaying leaves with her awesome radula.
The weather is cold. The landlord turned on the heat. We’re cozy around the dining table eating salted, dry roasted pistachios.
And oh, check out my shellacked vegetables. It’s decorative gourd season again.
Life is pretty fantastic. Full of snails and pistachios and weird squash. And really excellent food. This month, we’ve had (uh-uh-uh-hem):
- breaded organic chicken cutlets with dipping sauce + sauteed green beans + baked root vegetables
- organic meatball soup with rice vermicelli + pumpkin-squash salad with fresh herbs
- baked beans in spiced maple sauce + baked potatoes + coleslaw
- potato and spinach-cheese raviolis with tomato sauce + green salad
- pumpkin and squash soup + sauteed green vegetables
- tajine of organic chicken with carrots and organic dried plums + rice pilaf + cucumber-mint salad
- squash and sage risotto with pine nuts + lemon-garlic greens
- homemade pierogies filled with squash, spinach, and cheese + cabbage-apple kraut + sour cream with fresh dill
- chicken biryani + curried green beans + chutney
- Peruvian quinoa stew + lime & pepper corn chips + homemade salsa
- split pea and pumpkin soup + beet salad + Egyptian bread roll (semit)
One of the many, many reasons I initially didn’t want to go back to work was that I felt I wouldn’t be able to prepare fresh, wholesome meals. Somehow, I really can’t believe how well everything has worked out. My job is fantastic. And my family gets home cooked meals lovingly made with fresh, local, organic ingredients from the market.
My amazing, wonderful, talented friend Pamela, who we’ve known since we first moved to Montreal, has been spoiling me this October. She spends the weekend hard at work in her kitchen. Sunday evening, we get a delivery of five homemade organic meals to get us through the workweek. I am SO lucky. Pamela’s meals have been amazing with all of Derek’s travel (to New York and Dartmouth and Seattle). I am now thoroughly, officially spoiled. And so I think Pamela will continue stocking our fridge through the winter (I give Pamela some money, of course, but STILL, I know I’m getting a ridiculous, ridiculous deal).
The girls also keep Pamela well-informed of what they like and don’t like. And they get to try all kinds of things I never would have made. Like semit!
This drawing shows Sonya and Leena at daycare + Mommy and Daddy at work. It’s a happy, insightful picture. I feel that I’ve made some smart compromises to find the work-life balance that makes sense for us.
It takes a real village to make this full, creative, amazing life possible. And we are so very fortunate to belong to such a fantastic village.