Thursday, February 21, 2013

Red-Wine-and-Maple-Glazed Carrots (Page 585)

  • Date: Sunday, July 1, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Book: Gourmet Today
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C-

I am a vegetable person. Much to the confusion of my special gentleman, I prefer vegetables even to fruit. And when it comes to vegetables, carrots are near the top of my list. I love them. So imagine my delight when I saw this recipe. Carrots! Red Wine! Maple Syrup! Shallots! Butter! It seemed absolutely guaranteed to be awesome. In reality though, not so much.

I started by cooking some shallots in butter. I added chili powder, salt, and pepper, then carrot pieces, red wine, and maple syrup. I covered the carrots and simmered until they were cooked. Then I added cider vinegar and boiled until the carrots were glazed. I finished the dish by stirring in some chopped dill. It sounds delicious, no? I have no idea what went wrong but the dish had a terrible textural issue. The outside of the carrots became inexplicably tough. In every bite you had to get through a nasty tough skin before reaching a normal cooked carrot texture. It was extraordinarily unpleasant. The flavor was also disappointing. The dill was too overpowering, and the dish was sweeter than it needed to be. These carrots were so bad that we ended up throwing them away. Heart-breaking.

The recipe is here.

 33 down, 1073 to go!

I'm not going to lie -- carrying twins is tough! 22 weeks into this pregnancy I have gained about as much weight as people typically do in 40 weeks with one baby. And I have (hopefully!) quite a few weeks to go! Given my level of discomfort and impaired mobility right now I am having trouble imagining what this is going to feel like 10 weeks from now. I turned to the internet for some guidance about twin pregnancy in the third trimester, but it was a little scary. People made a lot of comments like, "Oh, I could still grocery shop in the third trimester. Starting at 30 weeks I had to use one of those motorized carts, but I could totally still shop!" Hahaha. I promise that if I start riding around in a motorized cart, I will post a picture!

Of course, the thing that is most on my mind is just making it to the third trimester. Twin pregnancy may not be super pleasant, but nonetheless I want it to continue as long as possible! Twins arrive on average about 5-6 weeks early, and it's not terribly uncommon for them to arrive much, much earlier. This period right now is particularly stressful. The edge of viability is somewhere around 24 weeks, which means if something terrible happened and I went into labor in the next couple of weeks, likely they wouldn't survive. By 28 weeks the chances of the babies living is something like 90%. So these next six weeks are crucial. My high risk maternal-fetal medicine doctor says making it to 28 weeks is the bronze medal of twin pregnancy (32 weeks for the silver, 36 for the gold!). And the closer to 38 weeks you get, the better the babies will do!

Because of the risks of premature labor, twin pregnancy comes with a lot more restrictions than singleton pregnancy. Travel restrictions, activity restrictions, and often, bed rest. Luckily, things so far are going well, and while I can't escape the travel and activity restrictions, I have so far avoided bed rest!

Our little girls look healthy on the ultrasound. During a particularly lengthy ultrasound one day we watched Baby A consistently kick Baby B in the head! Poor girl. Baby B has since moved her head out of the way -- a smart choice! There are no indications of trouble with the babies at this point, and the doctors keep telling me that I am an ideal candidate to carry twins because I am unusually tall. I am hopeful that things will continue to go smoothly, and that the babies will stay in there for quite a while longer!