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Entries in aancient civilizations (1)

Wednesday
Mar072012

Mesopotamian feast

Spring visited today. Temperatures reached almost seventy degrees and the sun was out for much of the day. Even after a winter as weak as the one we just had, a day like today still makes me long for the freshness of spring. Along with the warmer weather, another cold is visiting our house, complete with snuffles and the glassy-eyed stares of the slightly infirm. We've been fortunate on the illness front, though, so we won't begrudge the season a few snuffles and we're trudging right along.

A couple of days ago I read My Father's Dragon to Calvin. It's a short book, and only took about three days of bedtime reading to get through it, but he was so impatient for the next two books that he read them on his own yesterday, and read them again this morning. Today he declared a strong desire for a Boris the Dragon, and he's sure this is something I can produce with fabric and a sewing machine. Unfortunately my ability is limited to items of two dimensions only. A stuffed dragon may be beyond my skill.

We have swimming lessons on Wednesdays and I figured that the warm, moist pool would be good for snuffles, and since he wasn't coughing or sneezing, and the chlorine to boot, we kept to our obligation. Lunch with Gram and Grampa after, and a romp in the sunlit park. As my father pushed him in the what Calvin calls the "big comfortable swing", Calvin closed his eyes and actually rested. He swore, again and again, that he was busy dreaming of his dragon, but I think he was actually tired. Colds will do that.

A day like today just calls for outside play. Calvin turned our driveway into a map of Boris the Dragon's world, and our neighbors came over to meet Iris. The only thing less than perfect about today, then, was our dinner, and that was something I'd expected. As we explore the world around us we like to try ethnic recipes, and being in ancient Mesopotamia right now, it was there that we ate. Tough beef with about a million different kinds of onion (shallots, scallions, chives, garlic, leeks, and white cooking onions) in the slow cooker (since I don't have an ancient stone fire pit), turnips stewed in beef broth (it called for blood, but I couldn't find that) with more onions, and some couscous I threw in on the side.

We had a good time researching the menu, making a shopping list, collecting the ingredients, and cooking the meal, and it was fun, edible even, but not at all thrilling. Jon and I tried two ancient brew beers with dinner, but even those didn't help much. We had dates and apples for dessert, and we're glad we tried it out, but thankfully there aren't many leftovers.