Monday, November 8, 2010
All I can say is that I was asking for it.
Ben is in a phase where he loves opening and closing doors, flipping light switches on and off, climbing up and down the steps, anything that involves repetitive motion is his game. This little game includes taking lids off of things and replacing them. When he reached for the petroleum jelly jar out of the bathroom cabinet with its fun, clicking, easy-off lid the other day, I thought, 'Ok, I'll just watch him really, really closely.' And I did. I was a hawk eyeing its prey. A laser directed on its target. I did not waver.
Then I must have seen something shiny or something, since somehow I got distracted, only to stick my hand into a gooey mess on the arm of a recliner.
Yup. I was asking for it.
I resolved then and there to not let him play with things that would make a ridiculous mess, like tubes of toothpaste, bags of melty chocolate chips, or leaky bottles of used motor oil.
That lasted approximately 16 hours, when the next morning, the yogurt incident occurred. Let's just say the foil lid was closed when I let him hold it while I put the groceries in the trunk, then banana cream flavored yogurt covered the front seat and the steering wheel of my tidy little Nissan by the time I closed the trunk lid thirty seconds later.
I scraped off what I could with my grocery receipt, set a piece of paper with one of his crayon scribbles from daycare on the seat to protect my butt from any remnants of banana cream, and cruised home to make this dip.
Red peppers were on sale. I love me a roasted red pepper. I was a little irked that they were imported from El Salvador (me gustan mis amigos latinos, pero prefiero vegetables domésticos), but at $1/each, I bought a bag full. Roasting the peppers under the broiler set off the smoke alarm during Ben's nap (another addendum in my Mother of the Year nomination), so if your going to try this at home, I'd recommend a) using the grill to blacken the peppers, b) opening all the windows prior to roasting, or c) getting a life and buying a jar of salsa or hummus. Maybe I should've chosen C. But when I get roasted red peppers on the brain, nothing will deter me, including a shreiking smoke alarm.
But it was all worth it. We had an absolutely gorgeous 70 degree day here on Sunday. Ben and I played outside until we were played out, then sat on the back step in the late afternoon with crackers, carrots and this dip. He watched me dip a cracker in, then he would dip a cracker in. I sat quietly watching nothing in particular in the backyard, and he seemed to do the same. For one quiet, calm moment, we just sat next to each other, munching on this dip, and everything was perfect. And then I remembered, in my simple charmed life, everything is already perfect, yogurt messes and all.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine.
3 medium red bell peppers
1 medium clove garlic
1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 3 oz.)
2 Tbs. plain dry breadcrumbs
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried dill
Position a rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Put the peppers on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning every 5 minutes, until the skin is charred all around and the peppers have softened, about 20 minutes. Put the peppers in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins, seeds, and stems.
Peel and mince the garlic clove. With the side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt together to form a paste.
Put the peppers, feta, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the garlic paste and dill. Season to taste with salt and serve.
Posted by Rhubarb and Venison at 11:12 PM