During this sad time though, I have to say, I have spent more quality time with my daughter. Less attention in spurts of 15 minutes here and there between cleaning or checking my email and more hours spent doing crafts, baking together or taking her places. Really giving her one-on-one attention and we have both loved it and grown closer. Yes, in just a week! Just sitting with her while she watches cartoons makes her day. So that’s something I really need to keep in mind now that things are up and running again. It’s no joke how much time can escape when you’re sitting at a desk!
In other news, I’m even bigger right now than thought imaginable. Just getting up out of a chair is a big hassle. Let alone getting a big grocery shop done or all the organizing and cleaning I’d like to do before the baby arrives. I just have to do what I can and accept that not everything will be perfect. It’s hard and the nesting instinct is strong! But I think the hardest part of all is dealing with the backaches, which are practically 24/7 and incurable despite sleeping with about 8 pillows at night. I have to give Stephen credit, he has put up with non-stop complaints about it and lots of tears! He’s been patient and loving and tries hard to see that I’m comfortable wherever we go.
My new camera, that he bought me for Christmas, arrived the other day and I love it. It’s got lots of features my last didn’t have but it’s going to take a while to figure them out I think. As much as I love to take photos, I’m not very camera savvy I have to admit! It’s the same with computers, I know how to use them but I’m a looong way off from fixing them or anything to do with the hardware. Good job I married a computer guy ;) He has a real knack for anything technical.
Willow’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks (my baby is turning three!) and I am trying to decide what kind of birthday cake to make for her. I’ve tried asking her but she keeps changing her mind. One minute it’s a kitty cat cake and the next it’s a pony cake or some other cake. I’m not even entirely sure she knows I’m talking about cakes and not the real thing! I have quite a few books of children’s birthday cakes but I really like some of the Betty Crocker cakes on the website. We’re not going to be doing anything big. No party … just probably have some family over. Less than last year, our house just isn’t big enough. Maybe I’ll make dinner for everyone.
Speaking of which, I made beef brisket for dinner yesterday (and ate the leftovers today). It’s one of my favorite meals that I make for us. The meat just falls apart when done. Great served over mashed potatoes. I have made it with just plain onion soup mix when out of beefy onion and it’s good that way also.
Beef Brisket in Gravy
1 fresh beef brisket (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil3 cups water
2 envelope beefy onion soup mix
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
Brown gravy powder or other seasoning
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Wash and pat dry brisket. Rub with salt, pepper and brown gravy seasoning (generously!).
- Pour some oil in a dutch oven and get nice and hot. Sear brisket on both side then put in a 9x13 baking pan.
- Pour the three cups of water into dutch oven and heat to boiling, scraping up all stuck bits and juices, mix in soup mix and simmer for a little while to thicken slightly.
- Pour over the brisket in the pan. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake a 2lb brisket in oven for 1.5 hours. Then turn temp down to 300F and cook for 1 hour, 30 minutes. (This is the way I do it but I'm sure it'd be fine cooked at the same temperature).
- When the beef is cooked, remove to a platter and let sit for ten minutes or so with a tent of foil over it.
- Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; pour pan juices into a large saucepan and gradually stir the cornstarch mixture into pan juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Slice meat across the grain; serve with the gravy.