I drop T off at pre-school and chat to one of my mom friends there about the current state of the European economy and how it is affecting the Stock Market. I silently thank whoever it is up there, that I have no investments and so have nothing to lose. I guess there has to be at least a bit of a silver lining to the fact that M’s company got royally sued by a greedy, would be friend a few years back, putting us firmly back to square one. That and the stream of cancer-related medical bills (I paid my last one last week – a huge sigh of relief), hasn’t left much room for investment. I never thought that would make me feel lucky, but right now I definitely see the upside of that whole nightmare.
In my yoga class, my intentions are ‘health’ and ‘wellness’. I have no concept of pertinent those words are until I get home to my email and read that there is a possibility that C is incubating whooping cough from school. Not another ‘thing’. Not this time. Not us, I tell myself.
I take Milo for a quick walk, post yoga and pre-coffee catch up with friends at La Boulange (http://laboulangebakery.com/) in Strawberry Village. Not a good recommendation for a gluten-free meal, by the way. It looks like I’m just missing the rain and he is delighted to be heading in the direction of the dog park. He actually looks as if he has a smile on his face. I love my dog!
The first thing I get asked as I rush into the bakery late (always late), is whether I am about to go gluten mad. The answer is an undoubted ‘yes’. There is no way the I’m going to abstain in solidarity with C when I’ve just walked in to gluten lovers’ paradise (sorry C). I love the coffee here. It’s served in big bowls, French style. My favorite food is the granola with yoghurt and fruit. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wonder whether I should be feeling guilty, but quickly dismiss that thought.
The time flies by chatting about all sorts of things. I pick up a few tips on Kid friendly things to do in London. My trip there with the kids will be upon me in less than a month. I leave very enthused about the thought of Double Decker buses, playing in the park and going on the London Eye, amongst other things. We talk about how gluten-free is apparently easier in the UK and that the supermarkets stock quite a few products. Is that really true, or is it that the gluten-free labeling laws are less stringent in the UK than the US (which I have read since)? We talk about eating at Wagamamas and how it’s the best place ever to go and eat with kids, now that they have a kids menu. I wonder, though, what on the menu will be gluten free other than the endamame. Am determined to go find out.
Somehow the day has flown and it’s already time to pick up C. We have a little down time together at home before picking up T from pre-school and a quick trip to Trader Joe’s.
I make a pumpkin risotto for dinner while watching the clock, as I’m set to go out on a girls night to the Mark Pitta comedy night at the Throckmorton Theater. M has promised that he’ll make it home on time to allow me to go. However, he calls me just after 6 to announce that he’s trying to get home as fast as he can, but is stuck in a roadblock due the fact that President Obama has just flown into SFO. Thanks Obama! Do you have any idea that this is the first girls night out I’ve made it to in probably a year and a half. Do you have any idea what havoc you are causing Mr President?
The risotto is delicious. Everyone agrees. Here is the recipe:
10oz/300g squash (pumpkin). I used a pre-cut bag from Trader Joe’s for simplicity
1 clove of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons butter (I use Earth Balance organic buttery spread – it’s gluten free)
11oz /350g arborio rice
1.5 pints/ 1l Vegetable or chicken stock (I use the Wholefoods 365 organic chicken or vegetable stock)
Salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley to garnish.
- Sauté the squash with the garlic, oil and half the butter (or spread) over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Add the stock gradually. Stir often. The trick is to keep stirring and add the stock bit by bit as it is soaked up by the rice.
- The rice will be cooked in 18-20 mins and the risotto should be creamy when ready.
- Stir in the rest of the butter, add salt and pepper to taste if desired and sprinkle on parsley to garnish if you have some handy.
I get a call from one of the friends also joining the crew at the comedy club tonight. Her bus broke down on the way home from S.F. and so she’s also running late. She offers to come by and give me a ride. Perfect timing. M arrives just as she gets here. We have a quick tipple in Café Balboa and then head to the Throckmorton. Everyone is in good spirits and it’s great to catch up. The comedy night peaks pretty soon with one great comedian from NYC whose name completely escapes me, but after one good laugh, the quality of acts goes steadily downhill. I come to the conclusion that there is nothing worse than bad comedy. We heckle and boo – apparently not the done thing in Mill Valley. The people in the row behind us tell us to be quiet. The appalling comedian ignores us and doesn’t respond to the heckle. We leave in protest and get slow clapped out from the people behind us as we leave. Funny. Quite nice to have a little rebellious moment – even if only a tiny rebellious moment.
We all head home late. It’s after 1am when my head finally hits the pillow. When was I last up past 1am? Obama, you are forgiven – I had a great night after all.