Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My husband's approaching birthday

I can't buy him anything. Although I am going to use the free tickets I get for bartending at a music event next week to take him out on a "date," it's not really something I had planned as a birthday present. Anyway, we be po' and have to use our extra cash to buy a present for the newest niece. Christenings are crazy around here, at least in my husband's father's family. The wish list is all kinds of über expensive, designed to developmentally enhance your child, anti-allergenic, organic, free-trade items that she'll outgrow in four months.

You know what is also free-trade, organic, anti-allergenic, guaren-freakin-teed to developmentally enhance your child for free?

A stick!

(To play with, you horrible people! One of my favorite toys growing up was a stick that I found in the back yard. Best damn toy evah!)

And it's biodegradable too!

But then, it's not really about how good for the environment or the economy of third world countries that an item is. It's the expense. Because the most environmentally friendly option is to use her cousin's hand-me-downs. But that is SO not going to happen here. This is all about keeping up appearances.

I mean, who the hell buys their infant Georg Jensen child silverware?? They don't eat solid food!! And when they do, they eat with their hands!! And when they finally master fine motor skills, you either have to train them up to full sized silverware, meaning you've only used their little child silverware for, like, three months, or you have to take the damn silverware everywhere. God forbid you lose one of the set, they're freakin' expensive!

Actually, I don't think they are ever taken out of the box, but shown around to guests and family, "see we love our child so much we only asked for the finest in designer silverware, we're keeping it as a memento of her childhood, so when she wonders if we loved her, because we left her out in the backyard in the snow in her barnevogen and told her to go play with her expensive toys rather than interact with her, she can just look at this and know that we did."

Sorry for being bitter, I'm just irked that I'm being asked to buy crazy expensive stuff for a person who will only be able to use if for a short time and who doesn't care who made it or if it's even new. I have to buy expensive crap for a person who poops her pants!! WHY???

Anyway, because of this, there is no way I'm going to be able to buy something for my husband or go out to dinner. So instead, I offered to cook him something special. Anything he wanted. Four recipe books to chose from. What did he chose? The same damn thing he choses ever year. Chicken with tarragon cream sauce. It's the one meal I think I can make in my sleep. He likes to have it with lots of extra sauce and then we spoon it over rice. But it's my go-to meat dish. We eat it quite frequently.

Anything else? I ask. Nope. Nada. He relented and said that if I was going to be insistent about having vegetables I can't use any that are non-organic or from outside of Denmark, because he doesn't want them. That's fine. That leaves me carrots and potatoes. I can do stuff with carrots and potatoes. (God I miss salad.) I've also noticed that almost all of the organic veg is now being trucked up from Spain. (I hate this time of year.) All the fruit and veg are a bit questionable, environmentally speaking. (That's alright, another damn niece or nephew turns up I won't be able to afford organic again.) So my grand plan is: cold potato salad with prociuttio as a starter, chicken with tarragon cream sauce, rice, and baked carrots for the main course, chocolate tart for dessert. I have four freakin' cookbooks! I'm not just making the one dish I can do from my head!!

I can make the chocolate tart tonight, I think, or tomorrow right after class. I'll then make the salad, but not assemble it until just before we eat. The carrots will take an hour, plus some time for prep, so I'll prep them first and then I'll prep the chicken tarragon. I'll start the carrots cooking half an hour before I begin cooking the chicken. Put salad together on plates and back in the fridge. I start the rice at the same time I start cooking the chicken. Half an hour and finito. Every item can hang out on the hot stove while we eat the salad.

Yeah, I think I can do that. And have it all on the table at 7:30? Oh yeah. I think I can do that indeed.


  1. If I could, I would mail you a salad...but since I'm pretty sure the lettuce would be nothing but mush by the time it got there, and let's be realistic...I've got something for you that I've been meaning to send for two freaking months now and it's still sitting here glaring at me with an accusatory stare. Maybe when my world isn't falling apart and I can stand upright for more than five minutes I'll get my ass to the post office and send it off.

    Yeah, I definitely think anything perishable would be a bad idea.

    And I hear ya about the crazy presents for tiny angry little people who have yet to learn the language or the culture. Thank god my family has come to their senses about the handmedown thing...

  2. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I think that a book is a brilliant Christening present for a baby as she or he can read and enjoy it for a long time to come...

  3. I agree with Lady Fi, go for a H.C Andersen classic. It goes well with your academic personality too. Of course the archaeology student would present a piece of literature..

  4. Update! No tart - the cost of chocolate made a rush decision had to be made and since his sister volunteered she's going to make a lagkage.

    Meanwhile, I think a book is our best option, we'll only be able to afford a small children's book though, not like the HC Andersen collection leather bound edition usually considered "the" book to buy on such an occasion.

    If I can find "The Very Hungry Catapillar" seen a few days ago on Google... I think I'd snatch that up.

  5. by the way, it would be nice to get that chicken tarragon recipe.. im always interested in what other people cook, especially food that comes right off the top of their heads.. i'll trade with with an asian chicken recipe that comes right the top of mine..

  6. I often wonder why people buy their children expensive crap when they will only outgrow it. A friend of mine was invited to a baby shower not too long ago, and on their gift registry were (I kid you not) things like $300 leather diaper bags and $600 chandeliers. And they only wanted 100% organic clothes.

    I read your last comment and had to laugh...I ALWAYS buy that book for babies. A friend got it for Emma when she was born, and now I keep up the tradition. It is adorable!

    Happy Birthday...I mean...Tillykke med Fø your husband!

  7. I love "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." I've also got a couple of other "go to" kids books that you'll be recieving should you ever present me with a tiny angry little person who doesn't speak the language or understand the culture to spoil. One is "My Monster Momma Loves Me So" by Laura Leuck. It's out of print so I have to order it, and I usually order two or three copies and I've given it to all my neices and nephews. The other is "I Love You, Stinky Face" by Lisa McCourt.

    And then, of course if you wanna get those tears a-flowing there's always "I'll Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. I've read it about a million times, and it still gets me all choked up.


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