2012/04/05

Blog Therapy (FFwD: Asparagus & Bits of Bacon)

If you haven't figured it out by now, FFwD has kind of become my therapy space.

WARNING: The post you are about to read may contain whining and self-pity.

The price of admission - work through a recipe that may or may not be pleasing to my pallet. It's really a small price to pay for such a great outlet.

Since the rest of April's selections pretty much scare the living daylights out of me, it was a relief that this week's selection made me happy.

After a most miserable work week last week - that picked right back up Monday morning, I think the Universe must have known that an unpleasant item was going to push me right over the edge into insanity.

And it would not have been pretty. Not pretty at all.



So, I am going to put my nickel in the cup and declare the "doctor to be in" (not so subtle Peanuts reference).

Did you know that there is a truck capacity crunch going on right now in certain parts of the country? I don't mean to bore the world with nerdy transportation stuff (ok, I mean to bore you...), but pulling trucks out of thin air has been the bane of my existence for the past two weeks. Not just plain old boring trucks, but specialized equipment that requires drivers with special endorsements.

Why is it that when something isn't available, suddenly everyone wants one? Kind of like the newest i-phone... Or Cabbage Patch Kids (yes, I totally had one of those when I was a kid)... Or Tickle-Me Elmo (my girls had those -totally creepy toy - but not as creepy as the talking Teletubbies).

But at the end of the day, I can't complain. These are the things that keep work interesting. And interesting is what gets you up and out the door every morning.



Anyhoo, here's a short anectode that further puncutates the kind of week I was having. 

We were getting ready to leave for school/ work the other morning and my dear, sweet, darling youngest daughter took one look at me and asked me if I was going to work or staying home. I gave her a funny look. And she asked me "if I was wearing THAT" because it looked like pajamas (THAT being a pair of wool trousers and a cashmere v-neck sweater - totally not pajama like). Sigh. Nothing like a morning boost of confidence... Not.

I ran upstairs and did a quick mirror check to verify that it didn't look like I just rolled out of bed. I didn't. Sigh.

I guess I should take that all with a grain of salt - this is the same child who spent four years of her life wearing all black, chains and rainbow colored hair. Which made going out in public, um, interesting, to say the least... She's always been my outspoken one.

Parenting is definitely a lesson in humility. Or is it just me? (That was a rhetorical question, I know it isn't just me)


Between the work craziness and home craziness, all non-essential activities have kind of screeched to a halt. (And it is totally amazing what suddenly becomes "non-essential" when life is in over-drive.)

Translated: it is Tuesday evening & I hadn't cooked this week's FFwD yet. I considered skipping for the first time since I had started. I pulled out the book. I read the recipe. And thought to myself, "Seriously? That's it?"

I skimmed the recipe, pulled everything out and started cooking. Twenty minutes later, I was done. I will confess, that I kind of didn't totally read the instructions and just did what I thought I should do with each of the ingredients. Yes, I let my onions get color - for Pete's sake, I was cooking them in bacon fat, color was going to happen. And speaking of bacon, I found a bag of lardons leftover from my homemade bacon. Score. Total score.

This means we ended up with asparagus that has been tossed in lemon juice, sprinkled with bacon & onions cooked in bacon fat, dusted with crushed pink peppercorns and large flake salt, and finished with a light drizzle of walnut oil. Yeah, it was good. Which is a providential, because it is going to have to carry me through the rest of April.

I am putting myself in Dorie's hands and keeping an open mind about the sardine rillettes, coconut friands and navarin printanier. Okay, I am not keeping an open mind about the coconut friands. I don't do shredded coconut. I'll make them with joy, but someone else is going to have to eat those. Sorry, this girl has her limits. I think I would rather eat a chicken liver over the shredded coconut.

Thank you for sitting through my therapy session. If I had your address, I would send you a nickel.


This post participate in French Fridays with Dorie.

And if you are celebrating one of the holiday this weekend, I hope you have a nice Easter or Passover.

34 comments:

  1. Cher, I loved those crazy little teletubbies, come on... and what's wrong
    with chicken livers, they are delicious. Just kidding, loved your post.
    I, too, thought the asparagus was great and such a simple recipe. Enjoy
    your holiday.

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  2. Yes, a does of humility, indeed. I've been there quite a bit this week, so I can sympathize. Glad that you feel better. Blogging is my therapy also - funny how cathartic writing it down can feel.

    Loved that you loved the asparagus.

    Peggy (Necessity is the ....)

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  3. Glad that you enjoyed your asparagus, since April is going to be rough for all of us. I was supposed to make this for dinner tonight, and then we decided to order tacos instead. Woops. I may have it with some eggs for breakfast. Hey, there's bacon, right? Hope life settles down for you soon!

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  4. I am so with you on the craziness, though mine is not truck related. It is kiddo related. We are working our way through the college acceptances, denials, waitlists....and younger brother who is now spending the next school year in Italy (did I mention he is ONLY a high school sophomore...or that he does NOT speak Italian...)and booking a Chicago birthday trip for said Italy boy to spend a week at the Lalapalooza concert. Suffice it to say that Nana is keeping me sane and in the blogging business. I am horribly behind on comments but you a huge thanks for all the lovely ones you have left and traded with Nana. So we are sending a huge "the Dr is in" back at you for always keeping it together and being so organized. I think you outfit sounded fab, but am glad that your daughter hasn't seen me either. The only problem I have with cashmere is when my teenage sons want it. Yup. I have created 2 monsters but at least they have good taste- evidenced every FFriday as they wait with their forks :) Have a super weekend !

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  5. I always smile when I come here reading what you have to say :) I am addicted to Dorie's but at times , I dont have the ingredients so I have missed out a few of FFWD . So glad to be back and had this wonderful asparagus with bacon bits and onions...whoa such an awesome side dish and I paired them with pan seared salmon...so what do you think...excellent meal ! Oh btw I added in coarsely ground almond to it for a nutty taste. It was so good that I am going to make them more often. Yummy!

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  6. Oh, man. I'm glad my dog can't speak or he would probably make snide remarks about my work outfits. I'm glad you had an easy recipe this week, it sounds like you needed it.

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  7. Awww Cher, what a trying week you had! When it rains, it pours. Expressing your frustration through written words can really be therapeutic and I'm glad you found this outlet. Your asparagus dish looks tasty and I'm relieved that it can be done in 20 (I haven't cooked mine yet, much less write about it!). Keep your chin up. I promise the sardine rillete is a good one. And quick too.

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  8. Unfortunately, even when the kidos are grown and on their own the worries and troubles continue...just different kinds of problems. But the joy is there to and has the biggest share. The only thing the matter with your outfit is that it makes me sweat...We'll have a beautiful 90^ day on Easter and I don't think we will put chocolate in our eggs for our hunt...but something like this asparagus dish would make a perfect side to our dinner...and the caramelized onions sound really good too.

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  9. I liked this too - simple but good. I didn't make it until Wednesday night.

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  10. Cher I look forward to your posts each week - they're kinda like MY therapy too ;) Thank goodness for this dish in this month's lineup, huh?

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  11. Bahaha! :) Well, it looks like you survived and this worked out for you,...! How nice! Love your use of lardons, I wish I would have thought of that, they stock them RIGHT NEXT TO THE BACON!! ... UGH! Jealous!! :) Hope next week looks better for you!

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

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  12. I tend to think of FFwD as group therapy. I had one of those weeks as well (actually, it has been more of a month now) and I can say without even slight exaggeration that this is the ONLY food to have emerged from my kitchen this week. Like you, I was thanking my lucky stars that it was an easy one.

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  13. Thanks Cher, reading your post was great! We are just beginning our journey into the wonderful world of hair colour and it's amazing that pinks blues and purples are normal these days! And I totally agree with you about the Teletubbies, they were kinda freaky!
    It really is funny how things that seemed totally important and essential become a non-issue when we are focused on surviving! Hope you have a relaxing Easter!

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  14. You are so funny! OK, you "found" your homemade lardons!?! Lucky you.

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  15. Your post certainly is very entertaining. I loved reading it. And I really like the pictures that you took of your finished dish and the green asparagus.
    I also wish you and your family a wonderful Easter Weekend!

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  16. I also took some artistic license with the recipe and I am right there with you on the coconut issue. I'm hoping I can substitute something because the day I willingly eat coconut is the day I lay down and die. Hope your weekend is relaxing and that next week is better at work!

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  17. Teletubbies were the worst. I hope the person who invented them has found the help he so desperately needs. And there you go again with your lardons, swinging them about, all, "oh, my, wherever could my homemade lardons be?" (I'm glad that I'm so in control of my own writing voice that my envy of your homemade lardons will not slip through, not one little bit. :) ). As for FFwD ... the late-April schedule sent me right over the edge. I would rather eat Teletubbies than shredded coconut. The only thing that could make the friands less appetizing would be to dot them with raisins. At which point I'd never. eat. again. ever.

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  18. Great post. It's always so interesting to read about other people's lives. Glad you enjoyed the asparagus - I'm nervous for the rest of April too!

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  19. Agreed. The rest of the recipes this month are scary.

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  20. This sounds really good. I am new to your blog, so I've spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  21. Cher, you're a riot! But, I love that through it all, you keep a positive attitude! I LOVE coconut, but am going to take a pass on the Sardine Rillettes - that just sounds like a fish disease to me!

    Still so impressed that you made your own bacon!

    wishing your family & you a lovely Easter! xoxo

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  22. I totally gave the friands away, too. Shredded coconut and I are not friends. :) Your asparagus looks beautiful; homemade bacon and all! Happy Easter to you!

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  23. What a GREAT post! Sorry you had "a week" - hoping you arte able to enjoy the holiday a bit more:)

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  24. You're so funny, hang in there. I'm a bit scared of the sardine thing too... one that I'll be making at work. The asparagus looks great, have a happy Easter!

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  25. Cher, Once again, you are a gem and I thank you for using FFWD as your therapy. First, it gets worse. With girls, I mean. They ONLY appreciate their Mothers after they grow up and have female children who can rock their boat with an eyeroll, sarcastic comment, or being totally embarrassed to be with you in public. Secondly, your asparagus came out well. It was good. Thirdly, homemade bacon? I'm still not over the almond milk. Fourth, truckers daughter here. I understand your pain. Fifth, the rest of the month of cooking - yuck! Sixth, send me a nickel. Lastly, Happy Easter. Mary

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  26. Oh, Cher, I was hoping this week would be better for you! But I had to laugh at your daughter's comments...I made the mistake of asking my kids for some adjectives to describe me tonight...oh, boy...but they did make me laugh. Anyway, your asparagus looks perfect...and lucky you with the lardons! I actually like sardines and coconut...but I will get groans from the rest of the family. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, my friend~

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  27. It does seem like everything happens at once sometimes and isn't it weird when the roles get somehow reversed with your children?! I'm glad this recipe was a good one for you and I am also a little apprehensive about the sardine rillettes. And the coconut friands? Skip a little bit of that coconut, Cher, so you can enjoy a few of them. You deserve it. I hope you have a Happy Easter!

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  28. Hi Cher! Nothing wrong with a little homemade therapy now and again! I didn't make the asparagus yet but plan to make on Sunday for Easter, it looks real good covered with the bacon.
    All I can say is that children mellow with age, like a fine wine-they are developing;-)

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  29. After two hellish weeks, I really hope that next week is more sane at work. At least this recipe was an easy one AND made you very happy. Gotta love that. And it looks delicious. I hope you and your family have a happy Easter.

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  30. Happy to hear you out! Hope next week is better even if it comes with sardines (yuck)!

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  31. This looks delicious! I need to pick up some asparagus soon. I will happily accept delivery of any and all coconut recipes. I LOVE shredded coconut!

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  32. I am so sorry that last week was one of THOSE weeks. I hate them, makes me want to stay in bed the whole week! Hope this week is better! I am also a little nervous about the sardines, just went and bought them today! Loved the asparagus and bacon!

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  33. I wholeheartedly concur, this is therapy and I missed a month of it - I'm a wreck! And the sardine rillette for tomorrow is really stressing me out. Sous chef also makes comments like your daughter did - drives me nuts! Glad this worked out and that the dr is in!

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  34. This was the perfect dish for a hectic week!

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