A sharp knife teaches many lessons

I had hoped to put up my Christmas menu and pictures but we had a lot of events happen in our home that the menu changed to good old comfort food that our family needed after the loss of my husband’s father passed away. I’ve written before how he was a wonderful teacher to me in cooking and a wonderful cook himself. We are all really sad at this loss.

On Christmas eve I made a stupid mistake. One that is still honestly leaving me shaking and a bit scared. I use to find comfort in doing the prep work for meal. It was my relaxing thing to do at the end of a day. Chopping vegetables and herbs melted away stress.

I had spent the day in the kitchen. I baked cookies and a red velvet cake, made a glaze for my ham and shredded brussel spouts. I had all of my prep work done. I took a break to enjoy some time with my family and then went back to the kitchen to prep for dinner that night. I had gotten some herbs chopped and was just making the last cuts to some green onions when I cut a nice chunk off my finger tip. As my husband the doctors at the ER said it was good I keep my knives sharp. I felt nothing untill I saw the blood and went to rinse it off. Then I went into shock. I am normally not this shaken but this was bad. I am thankful my son received wonderful training in the Marines and took charged till his dad got in the room and took me to the ER so they could stop the bleeding for me. He even finished some prep work so when we got home the guys cooked up dinner.

I am currently typing painfully slow as my finger is banged and looks like a rocket of some sort. I also have developed a slight fear of my kitchen. Which is not like me at all. I know I will get over this and will be way more careful. What I did was stupid with my guide hand. Very stupid and highly preventable.

The funny part in all of this? I was in the hospital making jokes that I hoped there was nothing sharp under the tree. Oh there was. A 6″ cleaver. HA! Family debated removing it not to freak me out. Part of me is scared of it honestly. But then part of me looks forward to using it one day. Right now I am limited in the kitchen as I can’t get my hand wet and the bandage is cumbersome.

I do plan to use the new food processor I got in the mean time. Looking forward to it actually. My new safety chopper. Well as soon as I watch the dvd and read the books that came with it to make sure I safely operate it. Oh yeah I am going to even though I have had one before but it has been years.

This whole thing has sort of opened my eyes to things. One slow the hell down. I was rushing. I admit it. Two is to live in the moment and enjoy it. I was rushing and thinking of all I needed to get done and all I wanted to get done and what I hoped to get done. Had I just focused on the task I was doing I would not have cut myself. And lastly I am pretty blessed to have the family I do have. My guys pitched in and helped and took care of me. I know others who are not so lucky. So to my family, thank you and I love you and you inspire me daily.

I am going to leave you with the following website as there is some great info as well as videos on knife skills. Yeah you bet I am watching and learning and am going to not make the same mistake again.

Beer and Marriage

So my husband is a beer snob. I say that with love and respect. I just took longer to come around to this whole craft brew thing. Now I am enjoying all the lovely flavors and hunt for that special brew. I knew wine goes with certain foods but never ever thought about beer and food. My husband had mentioned it and I pondered it but never gave much thought to it. Never seen anyone honestly pair a beer to food. My step-father had his favorites and that was it. He has since got on the craft brew fun train. No the closest I got to pairing beer is having an Irish dish and a nice dry Irish stout with it. Irish dry stouts are my favorite. So why mess with perfection I thought.

My first issue of Bon Appetit showed up and I flipped threw it and picked a few recipes to try. Then one night I actually started reading and found an article about Belgium ales. Knowing my husband likes some “odd” (read that as I never heard of them) brews I thought the recipes in this article might be fun to cook for him. He also loves seafood. So this sounded perfect. Just happened that day I had driven by a local farm and they were having the “seafood guy” back for the season. So fresh seafood and beer would really make my man happy. So I started out on my adventure to cook Moules Fritas, or the updated version in the article.

This recipe is not hard but I am telling you getting mussels made this dish a challenge. First Saturday the seafood guy was at the farm we ended up coming home with scallops and wrapped those babies in bacon as he didn’t have mussels. My husband grilled those with BBQ sauce and they were very tasty. I was just upset we didn’t get the muscles.

This week we went up again hoping he had some fresh mussels but were saddened to find he didn’t. My other seafood place emails you what they have weekly and I knew that was a loss. So we went to the grocery store that I am fond of. I know the woman who runs the fish department and was praying she was there as if the grocery store didn’t have it I knew she would know a good place to get some. Happily they had mussels  and we asked for some fresh ones from the back. She was happy to get them for us. Next we ran over to our favorite package store and picked up some Belgium White Ale. I had wanted to get Hoegarden like the recipe said but the store didn’t have it so we got a 6 pack of Long Trail Belgium White. I have to add here that I am loving it just to drink. mmmm

This dish was easy to make and I was happy to have my hubby in the kitchen being my Sous Chef.  Most of my kids were out of the house and so it was just me, hubby and my 10 year old son. Wasn’t sure how he was going to take to this dish but to my surprise he cleaned his bowl!  There is nothing left for the teens who missed out. To bad. lol

You could taste the beer in the broth but man was it good! I am sold. That’s it. I am more than willing now to try all kinds of different  way to not only cook with beer but to pair with different foods. Which is a good thing when your married to a beer snob. Think he might be turning me into one too. Gotta love when your hobby and your hubby’s hobby can be meshed together to form a perfect union.

So here is a link and couple of pictures.

Bon Appetit

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/05/mussels_steamed_in_beer_with_creme_fraiche_herbs_and_parmesan_croutons

Hubby’s gift

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For my husband’s birthday I got him a home brewery kit. We went to a store to get the supplies needed to make his first brew. Then to a pub with a great selection of beer on draught.

Today he started the process of brewing . I am not so sure if each step he took but I was snapping pictures as he was cooking up his hoppy brew. It smelled really good.

So are here are some pictures of the brew getting started. It’s now sits in the bucket for the next week.