Our Church book group meets Saturday. We have lunch afterwards, I thought about turning the chicken cacciatore I made the other day into a casserole. I might need to add more mushrooms a package of thawed frozen spinach, more pasta, cover w cheese and bake in the oven til the cheese is melted.
But I keep wondering If I have enough (over a quart size container). Everybody is bringing something and there are Italians in the mix of participants, so I’m betting somebody else can cook. (Gratuitousethnicstereotype!) Well, I have now declared there is plenty. So I won’t worry.
Somebody at the AA meeting today celebrated five years of sobriety, This is significant for me because five years ago, 5 December 2014, is the day my brother died, the same day this guy got sober. My brother was not alcoholic, but he died too young (65). Maybe Charlie, my brother, has Neal’s back, or so I like to think.
Life is hard enough without people making trouble for no good reason at all. There is magic in keeping your mouth shut. Be gentle with each other and yourself.
I am screamingly tired right now. I have been on my feet, more or less continuously for eight hours, doing food prep mostly. I fixed chicken cacciatore for dinner, slicing shallots, garlic, onions, green pepper and mushrooms. Then I sautéd the chicken breast before putting the whole shebang in the slow cooker with some store bought red sauce for five hours. Meanwhile I roasted two chicken breasts for my roasted chicken Waldorf salad . After dinner I made the chicken salad and sliced J’s fruit for her fruit cup.
Add to the mix, a call from C around grocery shopping. I think he just wanted to talk while he walked up and down the aisles. Hey, I’m his Dad and retired. Why not call me. Truth is, it’s perfectly fine with me.
J finally gets home, around 4:00 PM. says she has to be at the store at 4:00 AM tomorrow, and has been in bed ever since, mostly sleeping, except to eat dinner. Cannot much blame her.
The chili was well -received. It involves the fine art of opening the right cans of pre-seasoned chili beans lean ground beef (sirloin 90/10), diced tomatoes, an onion, plus McCormick chili powder, cumin, turmeric, and smoky paprika. Then I slow-cook it.
A swim happened, 1750 meters. I swam faster than yesterday.
The recyclables went out. I encountered some nasty hip pain in the recycle take-out. Naproxen and heat put it back under control.
J’s lunch is made. She bought some Arby’s Zucchini Muffins and has one ready for breakfast mañana.
I accomplished the things I wanted and needed to do. I’m gaining my serenity back..
I am sufficiently challenged computer-wise that I have limited confidence when presenting this as a recipe. So here goes:
Pear & Sweet PotatoSlowCookerStuff.
2 sweet potatoes, 2 Bosc pears, 1/2 cup (or less) maple syrup, pumpkin pie spices (or just cinnamon). Some butter (a tablespoon). If you are a vegan, substitute some coconut oil.
Peel and section the sweet potatoes and pears. Seed the pears. Dump them in the slow cooker. Add the syrup, spices, butter,or vegan substitute. Let the stuff cook for about 3 hours on the low setting, till they’re soft. (Maybe longer, whatever)
See how it tastes. Adjust the seasoning. Make the dish with carrots, or apples instead of pears, if you wish. I’m not here to stifle your creativity. Far be it from me to spoil your fun in tbe kitchen.
You don’t have to use maple syrup. Brown sugar would work, honey also. Maybe even no extra sweetener at all, should you choose to do so. It is your f%&kin’ kitchen, for cryin’ out loud.
You could fiddle around with your own spicing ideas, maybe even use just cinnamon. Or ginger.
I don’t want to be oppressive and dictatorial and go all alpha male on you. Just do whatever the Hell you want. You probably will anyway.
I’m sorry I even brought it up. Good luck. If you don’t like the way it tastes, don’t blame me. It’s probably your mother’s fault. Blame her. Or your first lover from college. Or your first lover after you came out. Blame them.
About thirty-something years ago, an out and proud gay man called me a “drama queen”. He was, of course, right. It kind of went along with drinking or being on a dry drunk,which, until July, 1994, were my two operating modes.
I would say I acquired my penchant for adhoc theatrics from my mother, who could have given Vivien Leigh(Scarlett O’Hara. Blanche Dubois) a run for her money. Life was one drama after the other. I think God made her crazy to teach me empathy (once I got sober).
I don’t work that way much any more, except I am something of a hypochondriac in my dotage. Every quirk and anomaly means that TheBigOne is waiting in the wings. (Que Fred Sanford voice , clutch chest and say “I’mcoming Elizabeth.”)
I went swimming this evening, planned a dinner for tomorrow while I was swimming laps. Nothing odd there. I’m planning side dishes of baked sweet potatoes and fried apples, which always go well with pork. I thought a slow cooker barbeque would be nice. If a big pit of smoldering hickory logs (to cook an entire hog) is unavailable, cooking a pork shoulder in a slow cooker is an adequate substitute. In addition to menu planning, the swim went well, a minute and a half faster over the same distance than yesterday.
I was paying mild attention to the women playing T20 cricket in the Women’s Big Bash League, but switched to trainspotting in Ashland. I will switch back just to hear the voices of the commentators. Gotta love the Aussies.
I have an idea for chicken cooked in coconut milk served with those orange-y lentils and quinoa. I’m just thinking of a recipe idea, maybe use the slow cooker. At least I will roast the chicken breast, fix a rice curry with raisins, nuts and apple. That would be easier.
I watched the Australian and Sri Lankan Women play an ODI limited overs (50) game last night. I can’t really tell how good the Aussie Women Batswomen are, or if the Sri Lankan bowlers just are not that good. Didn’t many balls where they were asking for lbw’s. Help me out cricket fans!
I will drink some decaf and watch trains for a while.
1 September is a special day. In 1939, after a fabricated border incursion, the Wehrmacht of The Third Reich invaded Poland. The World has never been the same since that day eighty years ago. For your homework, read the W H Auden poem, September1, 1939. He summarizes that time better than anyone else.
Rather than a post about World War II, I will move on to today. I went to Mass at 830 AM. I was awake then. I could make no promises for later. The Mass is about The True Presence of Our Lord. Father JDR made the point that Christ accepts us as we are, that we are made for eternity with God. We are neither as bad nor as good as we think ourselves to be. End of Homily, or at least my take on it.
After Mass I went to the newly opened Publix in a shopping center about midway between Church and home. The Publix people tore down an existing grocery store structure and built exactly what they wanted. It is a nice store. I bought the makings for ratatouille which I did not have on hand, egg plant, onion. green pepper, some nice canned tomatoes from Italy. I had mushrooms, garlic and zucchini at home.
They were very nice and helpful, as they always are. The young woman who helped take my groceries to my vehicle was one of several staff members who made me feel welcome. I told her this store is built on the site of an A & P,(remember them?) that operated here sixty years ago, near the house where we lived from 1962 to 1974. On balance, fond memories.
I prepped the vegetables and the ratatouille cooks as I write. I am awash with powerful sexual feelings. When I cook I feel creative and therefore sexual. I await J’s return from work, with her bronchitis, need to rest, and her repressed sexuality. But, I will be glad to see her. No matter the circumstances.
Frank Discussion Of Sexual Topics In Last Paragraphs.
Well I was up early. No surprise there. Then I went back to bed and slept til maybe 7:45. Then I went about doing stuff I had been planning on doing since Wednesday
I started with changing the sheets, taking the old ones off, putting new ones on, laundering the dirty sheets. That job is no big deal. Then came the set of tasks I said I would do Wednesday, shirts, khakis, and neckties to the cleaners, trousers to be hemmed and cuffed, haircut, purchase salmon for tonight, gasoline for the tank.
Mrs Trinh is a sweet Vietnamese lady who runs an alterations shop near the Thrift Shop operated by the Little Sisters Of The Poor. I don’t know how her prices compare with the alteration shop run by the dry cleaners, but I don’t care. I figure she’s gone through enough crap in her life so she has earned and deserves whatever she charges.
Over to the laundry for the clothes. When I’m set up to iron again, I will iron my own shirts and khakis, but for now, Puritan Laundry & Dry Cleaners can do them.
Next stop: haircut. I wanted it short. My stylist and I discuss length. She cut the sides short, for that sidewall look. Then cut the top short with scissors, so I would have something to work with. Was nice
BJ’s came next. I just bought salmon for tonight, and some produce, bananas and mushrooms. I bought my gas there, regular unleaded at $2.189/gal.
During this going about, I realized I forgot the videos due back at the library. Once they were returned, I came home for good put the old mattress cover in the wash, took the clean sheets from the dryer, folded them and put them away.
J came home. I took a nap.
Dinner was poached salmon, a chopped tomato, cucumber and hearts of palm salad in Ken’s Steakhouse Greek Salad Dressing. Nice dinner, fairly light because the heat is creeping back in. Fresh fruit for dessert.
Now I am tired. However BenditaTentacion, the Mexican lingerie store is on YouTube where the women are modeling the World’s Trashiest Lingerie and showing off some sex toys like vibrators, that look cheap too. (Note to self: learnSpanish). But I love these uninhibited women, having a good old time talking dildoes .
After getting J’s lunch together, I was feeling sleepy and went back to bed. But I did something different. I took everything off, my clothes, boxer shorts, tee shirt, even my brown scapular. And it felt totally different from sleeping in pyjamas. It felt more comfortable, more sensual, more satisfying in a tactile sense. Big change is coming. I used to sleep nude all the time. I guess I stopped when the boys were little. Time to go back. J will notice. Let’s see what ensues.
I woke up after a two hour nap. I prepared our lunch/dinner J should be home soon. She has a medical coding continuing education class tonight from Five to Eight PM.
The other day, we bought some of those tiny potatoes, a little bigger than marbles at a local farm stand. I needed to use them. I decided to fix Mom’s Potato Salad.
I washed and cut the little potatoes in half, leaving the peel on. I cooked them for about 10 minutes til they were soft, but not mushy. I have Mother’s old recipe in my head, not written down. She used mayonnaise, “wet” yellow mustard (French’s), dry mustard (Colman’s), dill seed, celery seed, and chopped celery, adding them to the boiled potatoes. I “guesstimated” the measurements. I added some fresh dill weed that I needed to use in something.
I coated two chicken breasts with herb-infused olive oil and roasted them at 375°F (191°C). Let them cook for 45 minutes. Dinner is ready. No wife is home. No word from her. 3:40PMsheisheadedhome.
Time for some trainspotting and a cup of coffee. Swimming later.
Details at a later post. More satisfying activity..