Archive for May, 2011
Six-week-old craving for a hand-dipped ice cream bar from Costco: satisfied.
Posted in Eats, Home, Photographs, tagged cilantro, Earth Fare, green lettuce, kitchen gadgets, mesclun mix, OXO, OXO salad spinner, postaday2011, red lettuce, salad spinner, washing lettuce on May 26, 2011 | 3 Comments »
I never thought I would own one salad spinner, much less two.
The OXO spinner that I purchased last summer, however, has seen more action in the kitchen than literally any other gadget I own.
Every week, more or less, I purchase a head of red or green lettuce, and often toss in a few ounces of the mesclun mix that Earth Fare sells by the pound. Sometimes, though, the shopping days are off, and I need to wash the mesclun a couple of days after I’ve already washed the regular lettuce, meaning I either have to wash it again or dump it out while I wash the mix.
I also usually keep a bunch of cilantro wrapped in moist paper towel in the crisper. It needed a better home.
The obvious answer was a second spinner. A smaller spinner that wouldn’t take up nearly an entire shelf in my poorly designed side-by-side refrigerator.
I had it up and spinning without two hours of bringing it home today. When you bring home a gadget that you actually use the same day, you’ve picked a winner.
Yang heads to the vet tomorrow to have a small growth removed from the back of his neck. He’ll be 15 years old in about two weeks, so I would like to just leave it alone, but he keeps scratching it open. Eventually, it’s going to get infected.
He’s a terrible rider, so the worst part about the whole day is likely to be the drive to the vet’s office, not counting the hour or so we’ll be in the house with him in the morning without being able to feed him. He’s quite crotchety, you know, even when he’s not hungry.
Ah, the eternal question: Robin or Tom?
Robin Zander is still working the rock-star look, especially with a light layer of chin stubble (which I can make note of only because the husband got us awesome front-row tickets earlier this month), but Tom Petersson is rocking some eclectic bass player style, complete with a black velvet ensemble and thick black glasses.
How could a girl ever choose? Looks like I’ll have to go see them again.
I had a total “ah-ha” moment this weekend. (OK, “ah-ha” wasn’t the phrase running through my head when the moment occurred, but let’s keep this family-friendly.)
My mom was showing me a vase that she had gotten from my grandmother’s house. It had belonged to my grandmother’s sister (or sister-in-law, maybe) and had been in my grandmother’s possession for decades after the original owner’s death. I had never seen this vase before, and it struck me as meh, valuable or not. I told my mom I wasn’t interested in it, and she was good with that — she’s learned the freedom of owning less stuff over the years, and respects my right to reject heirlooms.
The thought that ran through my head during the interchange, however, was, “Your treasure is not my treasure.” The thought wasn’t really aimed at my mom, since she’s not one to try to convince me to take things that I don’t want or need. I think it was aimed at the whole mindset people have that there are certain items that MUST be passed from generation to generation for eternity.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pass things down or treasure things from long ago. But we can’t keep everything.
It’s not a personal affront if I don’t want your collection of glass cake plates; it’s just that my favorite cake plate happens to be a weathered old aluminum model with more character than elegance. (Autobiographical cake plate FTW.)
Back to the vase in question: I had never seen it before. Meaning that my grandmother kept it, but didn’t treasure it enough to display it. Therefore, I have no memories associated with this vase. It’s simply an object that I don’t find that attractive. I feel no urge to take it home simply because it belonged to someone I’m related to.
I have plenty of things from my grandparents’ home that mean A LOT to me. A collapsible aluminum cup that my grandfather brought back from World War II. A pair of funky cat bookends from the middle bedroom. An old, golden glass piggy bank that my brother and I spent dozens of hours playing with, poking coins in and then shaking them out.
These things are my treasures.
There are people who would have their children fill their closets and attics with heirlooms, simply to keep those items “in the family.” Don’t do that. Let your children choose their treasures. To facilitate that, choose YOUR treasures. The things you value, not the things you stuff into the attic and the basement, will be the things they actually want later.
When you know you’re not going to have electricity for five days or so, you get creative with the freezer triage process.
We’ve got an ice chest that can be powered via vehicle battery through the cigarette lighter; as long as we run the husband’s truck for about 40 minutes twice a day to recharge the battery, we can be assured of a cold ice chest.
Unfortunately, space was limited in said ice chest, meaning only the best, most essential items could be rescued from the fridge and freezing unit in the days after Alabama’s late April tornado outbreak.
Knowing that it wouldn’t fit in the ice chest, we grilled a frozen pizza instead of letting it thaw. Burnt bottom aside, it was delicious. We also grilled a couple of Trader Joe’s chicken burritos; again, they were blackened in a few spots, but their interiors were warm and delicious.
We pan-seared a couple of pieces of tuna from the freezing unit, and I stir-fried a small bag of shrimp. We ate like kings, really, until the four-day safety window ran out. Luckily, the day after we busted out the PBJ sandwiches in earnest, the power came back on.
Losses included a couple of small stuffed flounders, which we couldn’t figure out how to grill without burning, and two Nestle Drumsticks (we ate two that were half-melted out of sugary desperation). Also lost were several freezer bags filled with blanched greens; admittedly, no one was sorry to see them go.
Overall, we discovered we’re pretty good at camp-style cooking, although we’re not camping people. And don’t think that five days of electricity-free living is luring us in.
So now my recurring weird anxiety dream features a hurricane embedded with huge tornadoes. If I can work the dream about dozens of snakes coiled under the clothesline in the yard of my childhood home in Collins, Mississippi, back into the nightly lineup, I’m pretty sure I can get a discount on therapy.
I am at a loss as to what to say about the recent tornadoes that carved a path of destruction throughout north Alabama. Our home is fine, but I have the same feeling that I had after multiple hurricanes took aim at Mobile, Alabama, when we lived there: It’s as if Mother Nature has drawn a bead on me and the people I care about.
But whining and worrying don’t do anybody any good, and they’re both really just luxuries when my own home remains standing. There are entire communities of people and animals that need help, and helping others can be so exhausting that you don’t have the energy to wallow in your own fears.