Sunday, March 3, 2013

Three (Dog) Nights

In my usual fashion, one thought led to another, and I found myself humming "Mama told me not to come" by Three Dog Night.  So, you can listen to it to and if you are of a certain age, you will think you know the words (I probably made up most of them back in the day) and sing along.  Now, back in the day, we rarely knew what the singers actually looked like, unless their album cover art included pictures.  No, MTV had not been invented yet nor any of the other seemingly hundreds of music channels.  Nope, TV consisted of three channels (if you were lucky).  And I was also lucky if I could get Wolfman Jack on the radio at night.  (I actually met him once in DC at Planet Hollywood.  Groovy, huh?)
Anyway, needless to say, I digress.  What I started out blogging about is the fact that I leave for France in three nights.  I have this weird way of counting the days before my trips by counting nights.  Three more nights in my own bed before I trade it for one night in the plane (attempting to sleep while the 17 kids sitting around me tell me that they can't sleep), six nights in Paris, and then six nights chez Mme P.
(We found these placemats last March in St. Rémy, I think...)

This one is waiting for me!

I am just confessing this counting the nights thing.  Boy, do I feel better now that that weird secret has come to light.  By the way, only a couple of years ago did I discover what a "three dog night" is.  That means it is really, really cold and you need three dogs to keep you warm.  Not sure what country that comes from.  It could come from my Appalachian Mountains.  But I am not THAT curious this morning or I would google it.  Isn't language interesting, though?  Most nights are my house are two cat nights.  The silly critters have taken to sleeping on our legs and/or feet.  They are not lap cats.  The sit near us in the evenings, but never on us.  Oh well.  Go figure.
Back to the upcoming trip...  I have not packed, of course.  I have washed everything I intend to pack except my pajamas.  I have made two packing lists (I lost the first one).  I even found a pad of lists called Pack This! at Barnes and Noble and gave one to each of the kids, along with a packing list I made up.

My mantra each and every time I go to France is "I will not over pack.  I will not over pack.  I will not over pack."  I would even put on red shoes and click my heels like Dorothy if I thought it would help.  I am terrible at packing.  How silly.  I mean, I am not a fashionista so what's my problem?  I start out well and, invariably, at the last minute, think "What if I need...?" and throw in more.   Maybe I will break the cycle this year.  Here's hoping.
I bought two new books and have read up on the markets in Paris so I can choose one for next Sunday morning.

I am leaning towards the organic market at Raspail.  It's been a couple of years since I was there and I think the kiddies would like it.  I remember musicians and "chocolat chaud à l'ancienne."  I've emailed the Best Guide in Paris and will get his input, too, of course.
I've been told that my big outing while at Mme P's house will be a trip to the Ardèche to visit the new baby goats at La Cambriole and sample some cheese, bien sûr.  Am I excited?  Oh yes.  Très.  I look forward to just hanging out with Mme P's family (she has hinted at recipes we are going to try).

Will the amandiers be in bloom this year, too, I wonder?  I hope so...

Since I am about to up and leave the Ex-Ex for two weeks, I decided to bake something yummy for breakfast.  This is from Stephanie Parker at Plain Chicken.  I saw the recipe on her blog and realized it would be a great way to use up the buttermilk in my refrigerator that was nearing its expiration date!  Into the oven it goes!  Hope the Ex-Ex sleeps for another 45 minutes or so....

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350. 

Lightly spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and oil; stir  just until moistened.

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.

Pour half of the batter into bread pan; sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar. Spread with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar; cut through batter with a knife to swirl. I go back and forth both ways in the pan to really mix it up.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack.  Cool completely. 

 Combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency; drizzle over loaf.

Bon appétit and happy packing!


Anonymous said...

3 Dog night came from Cowboys and Ranchers while out on the range sharing body heat on cold nights. 3 Dog being an extremely cold night

Anonymous said...

Sharing body heat with the dogs of course

The Sabbatical Chef said...

Well, I can just hear the Ex-Ex's cattle rancher ancestors saying "Boys, it's gonna be a three dog night tonight out here on the prairie. Better keep warm as you can."

Or my mountain ancestors (probably out stealing cattle): "Boys, we are about to have us a three dawg night. Gimme a slug of that 'shine and let's get them hound dawgs over here to keep us warm."