Saturday, May 24, 2008

Well, darn.

So I was just about to sit down to write this blog post boasting my culinary prowess when the fire alarm went off. Why, do you ask? Because just before I left the kitchen, I put the wet cast iron skillet on the burner (turned on high, of course) to dry. Normally I am doing other kitchen tasks and then take it off and turn off the burner when it's dry. But today I wandered away, leaving the burner on and causing something underneath the burner to smoke and eventually, flame. Sigh.

Eh, I'll write the blog post anyway. James and I have decided to call it the joy of un-cooking. At the farmer's market today, I fell in love with baby white Japanese turnips with green tops still attached, 10 for $2. We brought them home, sliced them up a bit, and doused them with my very own creation: a combination of about a tablespoon of olive oil, several drizzles of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon or so of spicy brown mustard, and hefty sprinkles of thyme and pepper, with a tiny bit of salt. We coated them and roasted them at 400 degrees until they were slightly wrinkly and tender when poked with a fork.

My other creation of the evening? Take the remainder of a can of pinto beans from the fridge. Add canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (also found in the fridge) until you are pleased with the concentration of each ingredient. Add a few sloshes of lime juice, and mix coriander and cumin in your hand until it looks like the proper amount and add. Stir, and heat in the microwave. Grate sharp chedder cheese on top. Lament the lack of tortillas in your life. Boyfriend remembers large container of leftover spaghetti. You think it's weird, but he assures you it is not. Serve bean mixture over heated spaghetti with extra grated cheese and little crumbles of tortilla chips from the bottom of the bag. A little cilantro would've been ideal, but the week's grocery shopping still hadn't been done.

After creating this masterpiece from a small conglomeration of random things, I wonder why my high school cafeteria couldn't do a more impressive job on clean out the freezer day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gray day thoughts

I have become a dull and uninteresting blogger. I don't know when this happened...I used to think about blogging in my head, deciding on opening sentences for my posts, ending them with funny quotes that people I loved had said in the past few days, wondering how people would react to my more serious topics. But suddenly I'm just not doing it. And it shows. The amount of blogging I've done this year is significantly less than before--and I am certainly less busy than I was when I was in college. What's going on? Does life become an uninteresting blur of sameness after college? Am I just noticing and observing less? Am I stuck in a rut? I'm not sure. (Well, ok, I am here to tell you that life is not an uninteresting blur of sameness--that's just Northern Indiana.)

It's not that things aren't happening to me. Today I woke naturally without an alarm intruding on my dreams. I biked downtown when it was sunny this morning to run errands. A book I've been wanting to read for awhile (Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo) was innocently waiting on the new books shelf for me at the library. Organic strawberries, bulk walnuts, and free expired hummus awaited me at the co-op. I returned home and whipped up some killer chocolate chip and walnut banana bread in honour of my lovely housemate Kirsten's day of birth. I biked down the mill race a bit for a picnic with James under a bland, gray sky. He pointed out birds that I could not see without my glasses. We consumed an entire carton of organic strawberries, the last of a bar of quality dark chocolate, and homemade bread with smoked gouda cheese. We saw our cousins who go to Bethany walking on the millrace with their biology class--they are freshmen in high school mind you--and both acknowledged our presence, one yelling hello to James and one waving with quite large hand motions. This is big news, my friends, publicly demonstrative freshmen boys are few and hard to find. We came home and drank tea while completing crossword puzzles as housemate Kimberly groaned at our obsession, but still pitched in to complete a few clues. An afternoon of errand running turned nostalgic when I bought the children's book George and Martha at the library for 25 cents. I eagerly anticipate a homemade dinner by Alana, and The Office season finale on NBC this evening.

Earlier this week I played fashion consultant with two other women in order to clothe my clothing-challenged boyfriend in suitable clothes for wearing outside the Goshen world. I often regret that this Goshen world is not universal. Today I went out to run errands in my Merry Lea pants, a pair covered with mysterious stains gained from a worm classification/soil research project and a stream classification/identification project two May terms ago, and didn't even blink an eye. A wedding etiquette book told us (The Spain) today that it is a faux pas to spend less than $50 for a wedding gift. For all the weddings of friends that I have attended, I have split a $50 gift between several people. Goshen culture is good, but not readily accepted in all parts of our society. Thus, I own "professional" or "teacher" clothes for work that I rarely wear outside of that setting. These clothes are often a little less "me" than I would like. So I take my current opportunities to look grungy seriously.

Hm. Perhaps my problem is that I do not allow myself the time to sit down and ramble in text in the new post box. It reminds me of a chain of stream of consciousness emails that Veloris, Drew Herstam, and I sent to each other during my second year of college. Giving yourself the space and time to ramble allows you to end up with surprising things.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5 things about today (or yesterday)

1. I finally saw the pictures of my poor sad little blue car (which got in an accident on a quick trip to Columbus that I was not a part of). Luckily, no one got hurt, it was the other driver's fault (and she had insurance), and did I mention that no one got hurt?

2. It is rainy. The sky is gray. But Tuesday, Tuesday was glorious. So spring really is here, it's just that these two dismally gray days have not done much for my spirits.

3. I started working on a new recipe project...aka transforming all the tiny random slips of paper with recipes tried and untried on them into a shiny new binder of easy to use-ness (decidedly not a word).

4. The Office and 30 Rock are on tonight. Yeah, Thursday night pretty much rocks my world.

5. Alana is making supper right now. She's definitely using sesame oil, which makes me happy.

6. (oops, I cheated) A group of housemates and other friends are doing a mix CD exchange in which we all made a CD and are passing it around to all members of the group. A pretty sweet way to hear some new music, if you ask me.

7. (yeah, really cheated) I think you, my dedicated readers, may now subscribe to my blog so that it will send you an email when I have posted. Quite helpful for all you busy May Termers out there (check out the right side bar to subscribe).