I was so smug. I got what I deserved.
The kitchen smells like chorizo, there's something wrong with the dishwasher, and it's really, really hot. My mother came over the other night after a rotten few days (biopsies, new chemo starts tomorrow) and I wanted to treat her to an evening of domestic tranquility, but instead I was a glowering witch in a soiled apron and she ended up on worksheet duty. Which, I must say, she is very good at.
She's nice, my mom. She's the most enthusiastic and grateful person I cook for. She only mentions the situation in my kitchen window box every few months.
Anyway, I made a tinga Poblana -- it was sort of a stir-fried stew -- that included pork shoulder, chorizo, potatoes, and canned chipotle chiles, using a recipe out of Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican Cooking. (I am focusing on a single book by Kennedy and Bayless each night, so I can determine their best work.) I've been picking dishes that look easy, and this was that. We ate the tinga (I feel inexplicably creepy every time I type that word) with the incredible fresh tortillas from the Azteca Market which are soft and puffy and chewy. You can buy these tortillas by the dozen still warm in plastic bags and I can't get home from the store without eating one in the car.
Homework remains a minefield, but we seem to have come to an end of the food fights. Owen ate seconds of the tinga -- rich, spicy, brick-red, delicious -- a dish he would have cried over just three months ago.
As I type, macho boy is eating leftover tinga for breakfast with scrambled eggs.
I also made a jamaica cooler from the same Bayless book. See photo at top. Ha! I bet you thought it was sangria, but we're cleaning up our act. I saw the dried jamaica flowers ($3 for a giant bag) at Azteca and bought them because I knew they'd be good for something, and I was right. You steep the petals in boiling water, add sugar, strain, chill. There's an astringency to this drink, like cranberry juice, that we liked a lot. You can find a recipe here, though it is slightly different from the one in the book.
Score for dinner: 9.5.
In other news, there's a rooster in the neighborhood, I heard him crowing yesterday and again today. He is not ours. I had no idea there were any chickens at all in the vicinity, and I really want to meet the person who owns this rooster. Maybe she is a female with medium-sized children who is also losing it. We can become best friends.
Also, Owen started 4H yesterday. He loves it. At the 4H host's house we saw our first "frizzle" hen and I am posting an internet photograph of a frizzle chicken because it's one of the funniest animals I have ever seen.