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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This Week at My House

It's exam week, which means lot of end-of-semester grading for me. Every. single. day. Here's what else I've got going on:

Today: graduate student conference I'm responsible for planning (my idea, my work...). This means last night I made two giant pans of brownies and one Fabulous Salmon Spread (more on that in a moment) -- and today I'm schlepping all of this to work along with hummus, carrots, chips, salsa, crusty bread, umpteen serving dishes, plates, napkins, cups, 6 liters of soda, and a partridge in a pear tree. Not to mention programs, door signs, and other boring but organizationally important things. I won't be home from work till after 10pm.

***Edited to add: I just got a $25 parking ticket for parking for five minutes with my flashing lights on to unload all of the above from my car and into my building at work. Because OF COURSE there is no assigned parking or faculty parking, so we have to troll all over the damn campus looking for a spot -- of which there are approximately 1/2 the necessary number. And the Parking Enforcement Robot REFUSED to void the ticket because I had "abused" (her word) the super-special paid-for parking space right in front of the building by parking in it. She told me what I should have done was park elsewhere on campus, then call parking enforcement to let them know I was planning to park illegally in front of my building to unload things. Then I would have a 15 minute window to unload. This would NOT guarantee me no ticket, but it would in theory mean that when I did get a ticket, they would then be able to void it. Of course, we have never been informed that this is the policy. That would be too easy. And un-Robotic. If I weren't so steaming mad, I might feel kind of dirty. Who knew you could abuse a parking space by parking in it??!?***

Wednesday: at home with the kids all day. [clean and vacuum upstairs, defeat The Pile, and conquer the laundry monster; fortunately, the kids adore changing sheets, so they'll be a big help]

Thursday: exam session in my last class. Must show up with one giant pan of brownies. [dust downstairs of house and clean bathrooms before I go to work]

Friday: BOSSY arrives! Yes, it's true. My house is a stop on Bossy's amazing road trip. Not only will she sleep in my guest room, the bloggers' bash for the evening will be taking place in my living room. Hence, today, I have to finish picking up random detritus and vacuum/mop the downstairs of my house. And if you think that could be done earlier in the week, you don't have a toddler and a preschooler capable of spilling, between them, 3.5 glasses of expensive organic milk in a single meal as they did on Monday night. Also, I have to make another Fabulous Salmon Spread. And grade nine research papers. THEN, party with Bossy!

Saturday morning: Farm Waffles. The kids love them. I hope Bossy's sense of humor extends to recalling what mealtime with preschoolers is like. If so, I'm sure she'll love eating waffles shaped like cows, barns, pigs, and roosters too.

Saturday afternoon: birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese (fortunately, we are only guests for this one, and the present is all set to go)

Saturday evening: relaxing home pedicure night with a few friends. Although I'd originally intended to serve Fabulous Salmon Spread and a giant pan of brownies, I'm thinking I might be sick of these. So I plan on figuring out something else. Say hunks of cheese, perhaps? Or anything, really, that doesn't involve dirtying another dish to create.

Sunday: do you suppose Husband will let me sleep till noon, eat lunch, and then have an afternoon nap while Daughter sleeps? Yeah, me either.

And if you are diligent enough to have read through my coming week without pounding your head on your keyboard in exhaustion, here is your reward: the recipe for Fabulous Salmon Spread. Trust me, if you are a great cook, this will delight you with its impressiveness-to-easiness ratio. And if you hardly cook at all, this can become your signature Wow! dish. You will probably want to start serving it at various parties and functions at least three times a week. Fair warning.

Fabulous Salmon Spread
(recipe comes from the Complete Book of Hors d'oeuvre, which is out of print)

1 T. butter to grease pan
4 oz. sesame crackers
one stick (1/2 cup) of butter, less whatever you used to grease pan, melted
2.5 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 pound smoked salmon (not lox but the smoked fillets that come vacuum sealed)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (including some green)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use approximately 1 T. of butter to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Crush crackers and dust some up the sides of the pan. Then mix the rest of the crackers with the melted butter, and press into bottom of the pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and eggs thoroughly until completely mixed and smooth. (It's okay if there are a few tiny bumps here and there.) Crumble salmon (without skin) into the cheese mixture, and add scallions and dill. Beat again until mixture becomes lighter and fluffy. Pour into pan, spreading and smoothing with a spatula.

Bake 5 minutes at 350, then reduce heat to 325 and bake 50 minutes more. If you don't trust your oven, check for doneness: cake should be just set in the middle. If you've opened the oven to check, give it a couple of minutes to heat back up to temperature again, and then turn it off. Do NOT open door. Allow salmon fabulosity to cool completely in oven with door closed. This will take several hours.

If serving the same day, do not refrigerate, as this tastes much better at room temperature. It tastes even better the next day, however, and keeps well for several days, so feel free to make ahead and refrigerate once it's cooled. (Cover tightly with plastic wrap first.) Just bring up to room temp before serving. Serve with lots of crusty bread for spreading.

This makes a large quantity, suitable for a party. On a buffet table with lots of other foods, this quantity would safely cover 30 people. It's quite rich and goes farther than you'd think.

If you have any leftovers (doubtful), they are astonishingly good as the filling in a simple omelette.

This is one of those recipes that seems too simple to be true. Take my advice: don't add salt or pepper. Don't use dilled salmon or peppered salmon. I speak from (disappointed) experience. Just stick to the simplicity, and your guests will think you are seriously gourmand.

Also, if you only make it once a year -- say, for a big holiday party -- people will be begging you to make it and deciding whether to come to your party or the other one they were invited to for that night simply on the basis of whether you're serving Salmon Fabulosity. So serve it. Enjoy!


angie said...

No Fair. I want salmon spread. :-( What, we are just chopped liver compared to bossy? :-)

I was going to offer to bring brownies, but I can bring something else...won't be bringing wine. Call me selfish.

Hang in there. Your hell is almost over.

MommyTime said...

Never fear, my dear, I am sure that between TWO of these giant things this week, there will be some leftovers to serve on Sat. But as for new things, I don't think I can bear to make a third in the same week. So there will have to be something else new. :)

MultiplesMommy said...

What I want to know is...1) with a week like THAT, how on earth did you find time to blog about it (you multi-tasking mama, you!)??...and 2) with that excess of brownies and salmon spread, I want you to know that I'm happy to sacrifice myself to the cause...send 'em on down!

((hugs)) for a good week!

MIQuilter said...

As owner of aforementioned out of print tome and guest at many a function that served said spread, I can attest to its greatness. It is the epitome of fabulousity.

Angie, if you're worried about not having any leftover salmon spread by this weekend, I suggest you crash one of MT's other events where she's serving it. I'm sure you can blend in with one of those crowds this week.

mommythe said...

that salmon spread sounds good! i might be linking that for my next linky love!

Kimmylyn said...

I am starving and reading that made it worse.. :)

PS. I am in need of a nap after reading your week. whew. good luck with it all!!

angie said...


Tempting, tempting to crash a party. But I don't think your sister is stupid--and she knows denying a pregnant woman salmon spread is a bad, bad idea. :-) I trust she will save me a least a little. I am pretty sure her dinner crew on Friday won't eat it all. It's a huge serving and a little goes a long way.So I am betting I'll get some.

Question: Did you go and see the His Holiness, The Dalai Lama this weekend? Damn, that man is funny and very wise.

LceeL said...

You are, I think, my new hero.

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh that salmon spread sounds so amazing. Am getting hungry now...

Sounds like a busy week for you. Hope all goes well.

Mr Lady said...

f ever single commenter sends $10, I could be in your living room with you and Bossy. ;)

I can't believe she gets a sleepover and I don't. Grrr.

amanda said...

sorry for your crazy week!! especially the parking ticket!!

but how cool that bossy is coming!! she drove through kansas earlier this week...will you tell her i waved!! she probably didn't see me :(

MamaGeek said...

*stomach pains*

That salmon spread sounds fantab. Have a fantastic time with Bossy - how fun is THAT!

Don Mills Diva said...

You better post lots of details and photos of Bossy's visit!

Tara R. said...

Seriously... I was tired after reading the first three paragraphs. Whew! Hope life slows down some for you now.

Betsy Bird said...

Do you sleep? Just wondering. If so, when?

MommyTime said...

Betsy, you are funny. I do sleep. But not enough.

Amanda, I will give her a hug from you. And DMD, I'll post a picture of me doing it. :) Along with a bunch of others and at least one good story, I hope.

Lceel, thanks. Seriously.

Mamageek, I know, huh? I'm so excited.

Darrin said...

Man this sounds awesome! I'm saving the recipe now...

MommyTime said...

Trust me, you will be so glad you saved this recipe. Seriously.

foolery said...

"2.5 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature"

This is one of the two key ingredients of Laurie's idea of The Hereafter. The other ingredient might push your blog into at least a PG13 rating.

MommyTime said...

Laurie, I am laughing out loud and cannot stop. Seriously, I just had to take a laughing break because I was laughing too hard to type. What I want to know is: is that Hereafter a Heavenly or Hellish one? It's hard to tell from your comment. ;)


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