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Now We’re Cooking! (At last)

Harry Mose will be eleven weeks old on Tuesday, and we seem to be finding our footing. He’s sleeping better (though I hesitate to type that, since I’m probably jinxing us) and smiling all.the.time. He’s begun to find his chubby little hands, so perfect for sucking on, and to appreciate toys. He’s even picked up a food-related nickname—I call him “Sweet Pea,” though for the life of me I don’t know how or when it started. And as he becomes more predictable (well, sorta), I’m finding my way back into the kitchen. So far it’s been all easy stuff, things I can do with one hand tied behind my back—because let’s face it, Harry is like a pair of handcuffs. A very sweet, very lovable pair of handcuffs, but for the time being he still determines what I get to do.

Just a few days ago I broke out his Bumbo Chair—have you seen these? They’re specially designed, made of some sort of wonderfoam, so that any infant with head control can sit up comfortably. It’s a freaking miracle! I thought it would be worth a try—the box says he should be 3 months old so he’s a little young yet, but Harry’s doing great holding up his head (can’t resist bragging, just a bit—I’m so proud). At first he loved it:

But just a few seconds later, he loved it…slightly less:

We’re working on it. Yesterday he spent a good ten minutes in the Bumbo, happy as a clam. Uh, happy as a Sweet Pea?

So, cooking. In the last few weeks I’ve made Quick Tomato-Rice Soup, Lemony Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta, a frittata or two, Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Figs, and Rosemary (we didn’t have mint), Herb-Marinated Chicken, bison burgers, oodles of roasted vegetables (by far the easiest thing to cook—you don’t have to watch the pot), and a whole lot of simple sauces for tortellini and ravioli. But my biggest undertaking, and the one that gives me the most pride, was Little Gram’s Meatballs.

I’ve told you before about Stephen’s great-grandmother (Harry Mose’s great-great grandmother!). She’ll be 104 in December. When Harry was born she made a batch of these glorious meatballs for us, and sent them up with Stephen’s mom. Can you imagine, while dealing with our fussy newborn, we feasted on food prepared by a woman who was born in 1902? Before giving birth I’d made and frozen a batch myself, and I got such a kick out of comparing our results—hers were so tender they barely needed to be chewed. Made mine seem like lead balloons, I’m embarrassed to admit. But Little Gram can’t send us a batch of meatballs every week, much as we’d like her to, so I spent most of last Sunday making them my way.

The basic recipe is on my brother-in-law’s blog so I won’t repeat it here—I’ll just tell you that I used a slightly different mix of meats (ground turkey breast, ground bison, and ground veal) and three egg whites to every whole egg. They taste wonderful, and with the tweaks I made they’re pretty darn healthy—if I’d had the time (ha! Harry’s handcuffs, remember?) I’d have fried them gently in olive oil, since that’s how Little Gram does it. For the complete experience, serve them bathed in Little Gram’s Sauce.

Tomorrow we’re taking Harry Mose down to south Jersey, to meet Little Gram and the rest of his extended family. I can’t wait to see her holding him.

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