This weekend is all about hibernating and recharging. The last few weeks have been a bit ridiculous, and I am very very tired. Very. So many things in my life have been neglected lately, and one of these is my blog; I need to give it some TLC this weekend. With November coming, I have been thinking long and hard about doing National Blog Posting Month again. Even though it has one of the worst acronyms around, NaBloPoMo is a great way to reconnect with blogging and other bloggers. I loved doing it last year even though it was at times just one more thing that I had to add to my day. I am still mulling it over.

Another thing that I have neglected lately is my commitment to doing more cooking. Although I had one spectacular week a little while ago where I made both manicotti and apple cake (which both kids liked!), after that my cooking has either been either non-existent or mediocre, at best.

Manicotti deliciousness

Made from apples we picked ourselves. It doesn’t get more wholesome than this.

In the mediocre department, I made a salad for my book club last week. I had been itching to try this quinoa salad that Andrea posted a while ago. I stopped on my way home to pick up the ingredients at our local fresh food store. One of the things that I needed was cilantro, and if you are like me, you know that cilantro can be hard to distinguish from all of the other fresh herbs, especially if you are culinarily-challenged as I am. Seeing what I thought was cilantro, I picked off a leaf and rolled it between my fingers and gave it a sniff to be sure. Yup, cilantro. At home, I got the quinoa cooking, then started chopping my veggies. Everything was looking fresh and colourful. When I started to chop the cilantro, I knew right away that something was wrong. Parsley.

Since I was in the middle of making my salad and Tony was in the middle of making dinner for himself and the girls, we decided that it was the perfect opportunity to send 9-year-old N and 7-year-old B out on their very first errand. They beamed when we asked if they would walk down to the end of the street. We armed them with a cell phone and a Post-It with Cilantro written on it. I told the girls they would need to ask for help at the store, because buying cilantro isn’t easy, you know. They set off excitedly and we tracked their movement using Google Latitude. Yes, technology is wonderful.

The girls came back before too long, beaming, and I took the cilantro from them, snapped off a leaf, and guess what? Parsley.

Time was running out and it was getting dark. Tony dashed out to my rescue, coming back with…cilantro! But not only cilantro, he also came back to tell me that the young and apologetic woman at the store had raved about our girls. She told Tony they had been polite, sweet, and downright adorable in their quest for cilantro. Proud Mama here.

I finished making my salad with just a few minutes left before my ride was to pick me up for book club. I gave it a stir and then I tried it. Even though this salad has every ingredient in it that I love, it tasted only mediocre. What? How could I have gone wrong with quinoa, lime, cumin, avocado, tomato, red onion and cilantro? I know that it wasn’t the fault of the recipe, and now I am starting to think that I am just not meant to spend time in the kitchen. I do know that for my next book club meeting I am going back to bringing my usual store bought appetizert and a bottle of wine.

Those are things I am good at.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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12 Responses to Neglecting

  1. Sasha says:

    So can I just say that I am thrilled (thrilled!) to hear that it is possible to track one's children via GPS. Otherwise I might not let mine out of my sight until they're 21. And even I realize that that's probably not healthy.

    And if it's any consolation, I have never been able to make any recipe work involving quinoa. I don't know why. That salad sure did sound tasty, though. I'm sure it was better than you seem to think it was. I'd love to try the recipe – but I should probably make it with couscous 🙂

    Love the image of the girls off on their first errand. They must have been so pleased with themselves. And it sounds like you have every reason to be pleased with them, too. Good for you, mama 🙂

  2. Krista says:

    So lovely that your lils are all growing up and responsible!! Cute story about their first errand 🙂

    I know what you meant about the intimidation of the post a day in November. I'm thinking about it, tho 🙂

    I have missed your posts, btw.

  3. Finola says:

    Sasha, Thanks for the tip. I may just try again with couscous…if I ever go into my kitchen again.
    And yes, everyone around here was proud of my girls, including them!

    Krista, I really hope you will write every day. What better time than during your first full month in India? And thanks for saying, that, but I miss YOU.

  4. Laura says:

    Congratulations to your daughters, well done! The photos are wonderful and it looks like you are a good cook Finola. 🙂 I think I'm the only person who doesn't like cilantro.

  5. Sid. says:

    That salad sounds amazing. One tip I have learned from a few chef friends: amateurs tend to under-salt their cooking. Sometimes that is the little extra kick something needs.

    Or you could be just like me where nothing I ever cook/make to feed other people is good enough (for me).

  6. Kara says:

    We just finished the last of the Thanksgiving left-overs last night, which means I'm also going to have to start cooking real meals again *sigh*. As for NaBloPoMo, I'm also giving it a thought. I've never participated before and I'm a bit scared by the post-a-day commitment.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A homemade recipe wins hands down over any store bought appetizer. I'm sure your friends were very glad to have something wholesome and homemade to eat and were even more grateful that you took time to make it for them. I'd have eaten it!
    Way to go, N & B!

  8. wratwrds says:

    Thank you for this, Finola!
    You're a chef after my own heart.

    All that effort and work, for what? Sure there was an epic cilantro quest and a wonderful milestone for the girls (you must be so proud, mom) but in the end….? Cooking is highly overrated. : D


  9. Capital Mom says:

    I have to laugh. Sending kids with GPS to buy cilantro from the corner store. What happened to the days of “here's a quarter, go buy yourself some candy. Not go.”

    I feel old.

  10. alison says:

    I sent my two (11 and 8) to the store for hamburger buns recently. With my Blackberry. And I only called them once to find out where they were. Now about that GPS app…..

  11. Chantal says:

    I had no idea about the GPS app. Maybe my 10yo's request for a phone isn't such a bad idea 😉

    I make a quinoa salad that is really good but I cook the quinoa in chicken stock. Otherwise I don't like the plain taste of the quinoa. Even my 10yo will eat it when it's cooked in the stock. Also I find letting the salad sit for a few hours so that the flavours have time to blend helps.

    I have only posted to my blog twice in the last few months. maybe NaBloPoMo (that is a horrible acronym) is the trick to get me going. I think I'll go check it out.

  12. NaBlaPoMo? Seriously? I can’t stop laughing. I hope there are tshirts.

    So good to read your stuff – you’re such a great writer.

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