James Beard rocks

Before I went to Ikea to get a replacement cabinet side, I put dinner in the oven. We had some brisket that I needed to cook, so looking over my newly unpacked cookbooks, I found a recipe idea from one of our James Beard cookbooks that looked good.

I put a long piece of aluminum foil in a roasting pan, sliced an onion and a half thinly and put half down in the foil, laid the brisket on top, put the rest of the onion on top with salt, pepper, a little olive oil, and a splash of red wine. Then I sealed the aluminum foil over the meat, put the whole thing in a 250° F oven, and forgot it for the next four hours. As I was putting rice on the stove, I just peeked into the foil after verifying the meat was up to temperature: it’s swimming in juices and smelling heavenly. Pot roast in a pan. This James Beard guy knows what he’s on about. (Surprising I don’t have a “food” category—I guess I’ll need to start one.)

Ikea revisited

Customer service this afternoon at Ikea was pretty good, though it did take about half an hour to get me the right part from the other warehouse and bring it over. Bringing it home, I proceeded to start assembly. I managed to go for about two hours during which I assembled the bulk of the cabinet proper, except the butcher block countertop piece which tops the cabinet—I started the screws but was unable to finish screwing them in owing to poor upper body strength (the holes weren’t pre-drilled). I’ll have to dig out my electric screwdriver and see if I can make any progress.

By way of contrast, Lisa and I purchased an inexpensive small buffet at Crate and Barrel yesterday. I brought it home and had it out of the box and assembled in about ten minutes. I think Crate and Barrel could do a pretty good job of eating Ikea’s lunch if it really wanted to—and if it could get the capital to ramp up to that level of production and that big a product line.

(Later) Holy cow…

…how in God’s name did I accumulate so many books? Every time I think I’ve found the last box another turns up. I think the Kirkland library is going to be getting a hefty gift from us. Even so, I’m going to run out of shelves soon. Thank goodness the room I’m working in has some built in shelves; I’m going to need them.

When I was single, I accumulated books like no one’s business. Lisa helped me to curb my bibliomania, but between us we’ve got 21 three-foot shelves just about filled and there are more that I don’t know what to do with yet.

The good news? In school I was complaining that I didn’t have any time to do leisure reading. Now I’ll have quite a few old friends to catch up with—even if house-buying finances don’t permit purchasing any more.

Congrats are in order…

… to our friends Kristen and Greg, who were married yesterday on the Cape. (George was there—look forward to the update on Monday.) Greg is one of those b-school students who got shafted by the bear economy and was still looking for the right opportunity at graduation; hopefully things will turn around for him soon. (If anyone reading this blog has a startup who needs someone to work connections with VCs, Greg is your man.)

Update: George writes about the wedding.

Waking up slow

Looks like it will be a good house day today. We got much of the dining room/“sitting room” set up last night, finally moving the dining room table to its correct place and installing a new inexpensive china cabinet (now we just have to find the good china). Today: lawn mowing and garden maintenance, unpack my books, and trek to Ikea to replace that shattered part so I can assemble the CD cabinet and unpack my CDs. We’ll see how much gets done.

I’ll be flying solo today; Lisa will land in Boston sometime in the next few hours. I guess I’d better get to it; with just one pair of hands this could take all day.