Thanksgiving wind down

We had a bit of a restless patch in our weekend. The kids had been off school since last week Wednesday and while most of you can understand, there’s always a bit of tension around the Holidays with extended families, we weren’t exempt from that. But everyday we got outside to hike or walk or explore. Either downtown, around the neighborhood, or to some of our favorite dunes and parks.

Adventure: big boots

I ended up finishing THE BOOK that I couldn’t stop writing about (as seen here and here) while we were at the aquatic center with the kids. I took the last couple pages to the bleachers while Aaron and the kids swam around below me. I would get finished with a page and look up to see Aaron racing Oliver through the floating obstacle course, or to see Jessica bravely riding the zip-line into the pool. I would look up to see the reason I was so fired up about this book in the first place. I don’t even know why this specific one unleashed this in me, but it did. And I’m really happy.

And then on Saturday we hiked Mt. Pisgah counting stairs (203), taking every trail we came upon, and releasing the expectations of the weekend.

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

Mt. Pisgah hike: Thanksgiving hike

We ended our long weekend by hosting friends for dinner last night with this menu: Coconut-Ginger-Curry Clams, Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese Polenta, and Banana’s Foster Upside Down Cake. The polenta was a first for me as was the upside down cake and I learned how to flambé but the first time I made clams was last winter during a blizzard over Valentines Day. And I haven’t stopped thinking about them.

The broth has a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk but the salty, zingy flavor of the red curry paste/ginger/garlic and fresh lime juice with delicate clams that open just by steaming: it’s magic. And it’s the best when you dip a pan-toasted baguette into the broth and it runs down your arms.

Eating with my fingers is my favorite way to eat. When you have to lick your fingers and pools of sauces and drippings splatter your plate with each bite. That’s the kind of feast I want to have if given the choice: the one where you’re all in. Where there’s no question as to what you’re doing: you’re eating. You’re submerged in spices and scents and seconds and you just want more.

As we were cleaning up last night and putting the leftovers away Penelope (The Kitchen Beet) suggested I smash the left over polenta into a pan and store it in the fridge overnight: then this morning I should cut wedges and lightly pan-fry them with whatever toppings I wanted for a hearty breakfast.

That sounded pretty tasty.

But last night was a tough one. I was up every few hours with bottomed-out blood sugars pounding orange juice and chasing my lows back to my normals and trying (but failing) to sleep. By six when my alarm went off I was bottomed out again at 54 and falling. So I drank my juice and laid down again until I felt strong enough to get up (the really low numbers make me weak) but by the time the kids needed to get ready for school I wasn’t functioning any better and now dealing with a headache from all this madness. Point is: by the time breakfast rolled around for me I was already on a roller coaster and wanted nothing to do with delicious pan-friend polenta wedges. So Aaron got the kids to school and made sure I was ok, and I got my strength back, and went for coffee. (Priorities)

By lunchtime I was ready to try food: And here’s what worked:

Pan-fried Polenta Wedges with Runny Eggs and Tomato Jam

In other words, left-overs: remastered.

Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.
Pan-fried Polenta with runny eggs and tomato jam.

Do you have cast iron pans? Might I suggest that be one of the only things on your Christmas list if not. TJMaxx always has some for a good price, Target has some too. You can also find them used at thrift stores. A quick seasoning of the pan and it should be good as new. ANYWAY: Melt a slab of butter in your cast iron pan (or any pan, but I like to be specific). Measurements are suggestions – so just go with it. I would only use coconut oil here if there is no goat cheese in your polenta.

Flip them a few times – when you start to see a browning crust, they’re warm. Transfer to a plate and now crack your eggs. Fry those up, flip em, and toss them over your wedges on your plate when you’ve reached your preference of “runny” egg. I had left over roasted tomatoes/spinach/garlic so I tossed that in the pan to heat up next. When I was satisfied with the heat I poured it over my polenta and eggs and squeezed a lime over it. Then I went in.

And you guys, she was right: it was good.

It was great even, the whole weekend. The dinner, the left overs, the time.

I don’t want to scare you or anything with my new-found drive to write here, but I’ll be back. I have so much to share with you.

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