It's a been a big week.
I finally submitted my manuscript and application materials for the MFA in Creative Nonfiction. I FedExed it on Wednesday, two days before the deadline, just as I had planned not to do, of course. I had to tinker with things for a while, but mostly I procrastinated about editing the personal statement, which my writing group had suggested I revise because I was "selling myself short." In the end I didn't even change it that much, mainly because I just didn't think it was worth the agonizing. I wash my hands of the matter now. I'll hear in early April as to whether I got in. The day I turned it in I "celebrated" by going to bed at 9:30. Please, no one let me apply to any more graduate programs in my life.
Then the next day I had to prepare a dinner for nine: my immediate family and my Dad, his lady friend visiting from Seattle, my brother, his girlfriend, and her two-year-old. It was a school night, but it couldn't really be helped. This had been planned for a couple of months, and of course I thought I'd have the application turned in a week before, ha ha. Part of me just wanted to punt and buy prepared food, but another part of me wanted to experiment aggressively with a quirky menu.
So that's what I did. I made a goat stew from meat I had gotten months earlier from the CSA, on a whim. You can use goat in almost any recipe that calls for lamb, so I made a stew from my mother's Spanish cookbook Delicioso! by Penelope Casas. When I started to smell it cooking it seemed a little strong, and I had misgivings, but in the end it turned out delicioso indeed. The cubed meat was cooked in red wine and a little vinegar, and I crushed six cloves of garlic, onion, and red bell pepper to make a paste. That was added in the last 30 mins. of cooking. The stew looked really scant at the end so I served it on couscous. Thank God for couscous, the Divine Extender.
I also made a salad of my own devising from baby spinach, arugula, blood orange sections, and red onions, with a dressing of olive oil, lime juice, and cumin. I bought some Manchego cheese and a fresh ciabatta; that's a rectangular flat rustic bread. We had a red Spanish wine that had been recommended to us by the all-knowing wine guys at Moore Bros. in Wilmington, our new wine mecca. For dessert? Also from the Spanish cookbook, an almond potato cake. It had two cups of almonds and a potato in it, and no other fat other than the oil already in the almonds. Six eggs, though.
Although I didn't pander to anyone's tastes for this meal other than my own, almost to an obnoxious degree, the food received raves. I believe it awakened everyone from their gastronomic torpor. Even the kids seemed happy, with the carbs anyway, if nothing else. (Now I'm all about Spanish cooking, and even got a serious mortar and pestle for the pastes with garlic and herbs.)
Next post: After making hundred of loaves of bread, our 12-year-old bread machine committed suicide, and I have only myself to blame.