Holy smokes what a day! After 12 days of vacation it was hard to drag my butt out of bed this morning, thanks the gods I only had to shuffle across the hall. Work was manic buy at least it went by swiftly. I managed to make turkey soup, apple sauce, dehydrated apple rings, and pumpkin puree. I squeezed in a MUCH needed Aimee date and topped the evening off with the best of George Jones and some Jonny Walker double black. Pretty awesome for a dark and stormy Tuesday.
Gil and I had the most amazing date tonight. We went to a cooking class at Eats urban lunch counter! Chefs Richard and Mark were so awesome, they were funny and gracious and excellent teachers! The food was fantastic, I laughed my ass off, We had such a great time we signed up for another one before we even left!!
So the first two days of June have been a big success. To be fair I put a lot of effort into planning this weeks meals, every meal is planned and the groceries already shopped. I would have been a great Boy Scout… Be Prepared!
Tonight on the way home I realized I needed to pick up a pie crust to my quiche. I make a MEAN quiche but I can’t for the life of me get pie crust down so I am content to cheat with a TenderCrust. I was in a hurry to get home so I flew into the store and grabbed the box I always do and just as I was turning away from the freezer a different box caught my eye, it said “All Vegetable Shortening”.
Sure enough the box I was going to buy had Lard listed a the second ingredient. It never would have occurred to me to check the label of a pie crust, NEVER.
So when I got home I started to do some research on products that have animal in them, what there super secret sneaky names are and then I made a list (oh yeah baby!)
It turns out my yogurt also has gelatin in it. Next time ’round I will try and find one without but for now I paid the money for what I have an I am not going to waste it. So it turns out that that grocery shopping is not as straight forward as steering clear of the butcher shop. This isn’t really a surprise but I am going to have to decide where my line in the sand is and then start reading before I buy.
I am sitting on the deck in the dark writing and drinking a beer. Normally I would be at the dining room table but the house is full acrid black smoke and I just need a breath of fresh air. I love cooking but dammit why does it always turn into such a damn mess. Why is there always so much clean up, burnt on sticky shit, insanity. Well actually that is a rhetorical question, I know the answer, my attention span, first… last … always. I am not actually ADD/ADHD but… oh look SHINY. I never give anything 100% of my focus, I am always doing a whole bunch of things at once even when, ESPECIALLY when, I am cooking. Making the sauce, peeling potatoes, reading a book, checking Facebook, making the salad, watching an episode of something, feeding the dogs, all at the same time. No one 80% of the time I cook the alarm goes off. Even as I write this I have been stopping to respond to a thread in Facebook. We are programmed now to multitask I know I am not alone in this. Where ever we are we are connected to so many things at once, we are expected to split our attention often times if we don’t we are chastised, if we don’t get enough done in the run of the day we beat our selves up endlessly. I know I am not the only one who goes to bed thinking of all the things I didn’t get done in the day and figuring out how I can fit them into the over packed tomorrow. I think I am going to make a concerted effort to do less from now on. Okay not LESS but maybe BETTER. Maybe I will turn the radio on while I am cooking and shut down the laptop. Maybe I will stay IN the kitchen and focus on the task at hand cleaning as I go so I don’t have to spend half the night scouring burnt sauce off the cooker rather than reading my book and having a beer.
Or I could give up on cooking and just order everything in. I kid, I kid.
Tell me, what do you think you should slow down and focus on? How many things are you doing while you are chopping veg or hanging out with your family? I know I am not the only one, fess up folks!
Of course I am grateful for all the big things, what kind of asshole would I be if I weren’t?
Today want to give thanks for some of the smaller things.
Brown paper and Crayons
A husband who turns the car around to go back to the restaurant where I left my camera, without complaint
Touch up paint
A brother who never fails to ask me if I want a coffee before he comes over
This soup …
So I have been having trouble sleeping lately. I have been waking in the middle of the night with my mind racing too much get get back to sleep. Add to that when I do finally nod off I have been having these chaotic, manic dreams that leave me feeling anything but rested. They are my least favorite dreams, they are like GIF’s online ; just a never ending loop of the same fifteen second clip of something frantic happening. Anyway, maybe you don’t know what I mean, maybe I am the only one who dreams these crazy glitch dreams that is just one snip-it of a conversation that is skipping over and over. These dreams making me feel like I am going insane and in some ways are a barometer for my mental health and often pop up after a few nights of bad sleep or when I have taken night-time cold medication.
What I am trying to get at is that I woke up feeling exhausted and grim. At 7am it was still too dark out and I could hear the rain coming down. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for the rest of the day. But I am good so I dragged my ass out of bed and dragged the mister along with me. The whole day was grey and wet and looked like this…
And because I was so tired things like THIS kept happening to me…
But as I was slopping home in the rain my sweet husband came and drove me the last few blocks (most of which were up hill) god bless him. His generosity put me in a grateful kind of mood so I decided that I was going to treat him to not one but TWO new recipes. I set up my laptop in the kitchen so I could watch an episode of Drop Dead Diva while I cut and chopped and stirred. What’s funny is that while I was focusing on getting dinner on the table all my fatigue just dropped away.
The first thing I made was a delightful new salmon recipe which you can find here. It was SO easy but I did modify it a bit to fit with some alternate ingredients. It was quick, easy and delicious, I think we are looking at a new staple!
I also made this gorgeous mushroom and cashew dish that you can find here. I am so happy with how easy this was and how well it turned out.
I paired the whole thing with an asian green salad to tie things together. The only words that were spoken were “Holy god this is good!” That is always a good sign in this chatty house.
So now the dishes are done, the pets all taken care of and another basket of laundry folded and put away. I am relaxing in bed listening to Bach and I am hopeful for a restful night of sleep. I think in the end this was a pretty decent day, and guess what? The sun is supposed to come out tomorrow. 🙂
I must say I *LOVE* getting things done! I have been so good for the last few days. The house is looking good, but god how do two grown adults and one teenager who is never home create SO much laundry? I am washing, drying, folding and putting away load after load and it just never seems to end! But everything else is really just clicking.
Last night I mentioned that I had done the prep-work to make some soup. This morning I got up and threw it all together and tonight when I came home I was greeted by the smell of the most amazing meal, all ready to be served up! Honest to god, it was SO damn good! I am actually very proud of myself for this… check it out!
I have noticed that all these things are really helping with my mood. Work, though stressful has been more enjoyable. It helps that I have such great coworkers. Today I laughed so hard I almost wet myself at my desk.
It is the small joys that matter, small joy like…