Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's pretty much like this.

Except now I have a credit card.

Granted, I've been using a debit/check card for ages now, so hopefully the habit of spending less then I earn will stick around, but we all know the horror stories.

It's a strange feeling, another small shock as a voice in my head says, "Yikes. I'm an adult now. When did this happen?" Or, at least, I am less of a child dependent on others and more dependent upon myself, my own good sense and reasoning.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kitchen gadget love

Well, I bit the bullet and got a mandoline. Oh. My. Gravy. Best twenty bucks I've ever spent!

So we don't usually do potato dishes around here, but now that I have a super slice-o-matic, believe you me I'll be making just about everything au gratin.
It begins with potatoes.
Of course I'm using potatoes--it's Passover and we have more than I know what to do with.

~snick snick snick~

A sharp blade is a wonderful thing. Much safer and easier to use than a dull one--don't let them fool you with cheap serrated blades. Those things from the dollar store may work for a little while, but eventually they rip and tear your food rather than slicing it neatly. Far better to spend the money on equipment that will last with good care.

Granted, the model I got was something very basic from a lower-end big box store (brought to you by the letter K), but there are 3 thinness settings and a nice plastic gripper to prevent you from flaying your hand on that last little bit of vegetable. In all, it works and I'm amazed. I sliced four spuds in about a minute, each as nice and thin as can be.
Refrigerator pickles are also on the list. Gosh. Home-made coleslaw and kimchee.
Bring it, summer. I'm ready.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

oh. my. wallet.

so I may have mentioned that my dude is Jewish. Well, it's that time of year again--clean out the fridge, toss anything leavened that'll go bad soon, and plan a week's worth of food.
Hi Passover.

I think so far this is the most we've spent on kosher-for-Passover food yet... that's what I get for wanting a pot roast. Yeah, it'll be dinner and at least a couple more lunches for the guy through the week, but any way you cut it, kosher meat is expensive.

The good news is multifold. Firstly, we already have a set of special cookware saved aside for this particular week of no leavened anything. I get paid soon. This only happens once a year. And I get to make all kinds of things that normally we don't have, like baked chicken, beef stir-fry, and the aforementioned pot roast. I don't think the guy has ever had pot roast. (Yes, his childhood was wanting in several departments.)
Addendum: it's not that we can't have these things during the rest of the year, it's that we eat milky most of the time and every so often have burgers or steak when we get a craving for meat. Fake meat works just as well for burritos or a quick sandwich, and it's cheaper.

For a more thorough explanation of kosher laws, check this out:

And Passover:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So I'm looking into a coven.

(does this sound weird to you? Typing about it certainly sounds weird to me.)
(says the former Episcopalian :P)

Anyway, thanks to the wonderful folks running WitchVox, and the fact that I live in Paganistan, there's loads to choose from in the Metro area. Here's hoping the group elder I've contacted and I can get our schedules clear for coffee soon!

 In other news, the fiance and I are sick unto death of our current jobs--he much more so than I--and applications to new ones are in the works. I would love nothing more than to work somewhere wild, if I could; yet we must balance one to the other, and find new things that will work for us both.
He wants to get into gunsmithing, which normally isn't really a job-job (something you can make a living from) unless you get hired by a big company. In all honesty, I hope that's what happens, even though it's not entirely likely. Good thing there's a reputedly awesome school for it in Colorado, which has lots of awesome parks nearby for me to work in.
We just have to live through this autumn where we are, as father-in-law-to-be has surgery in October. I just hope fiance can find another gig locally before then so he doesn't go crazy.

Ding Ding Ding!

You just won a super-simple recipe! Get it here!

Swiss Chard, The Good Way
(also works for kale and other leafy greens)

Heat a big saute pan, and melt a generous pat of butter. Add a clove or three of freshly crushed garlic, stir to brown VERY gently.
As this is cooking, chop a big bunch of greens into strips, and chop those in half or thirds. (Use about three times as much raw greens as you think you need--they cook down a lot!)
Dump greens into pan, stir for a minute. Lower heat and place lid on pan, leave for a minute or three to steam. Stir greens, steam a couple minutes. Repeat until greens are done to your liking.
Eat hot!
Makes a great base for meat, fish, leftover taco filling, anything savory. Or add to pastas and casseroles as a side dish.
Seriously, I've eaten this for three days now. Sure beats taking a vitamin!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

here's the answer, what was the question again?

All my life there’s been this pull to forget everything human. I feel like if I don’t drop everything and wander into the wilderness and don’t look back I’ll have wasted my entire life, no matter what I do.

Yet the mundane realities of life, needing food and shelter and companionship, have kept me here so far. Needing to learn things and meet people and to love and be loved, yes, all are important. So is keeping my commitments—job, lover, pets, family, friends. But I’m sliding more and more, and it seems like when I do go crazy I’ll finally be at peace, because no one else will understand but that’s ok, I’ll just be gone and that’ll be it.

I have no plan. I just need to get out there and wander and see the world and just be, and somehow survive while I do it.

Why do I need to survive? Technically I’m doing it just fine as is—I have a solid home and way to support myself, I have a little bitty community to support me; we’re still not sure about the babies thing. In any case…

Why do I have to do it the old way? Why do I need to learn for myself how to stalk a turkey or deer and skin it and smoke the meat and make my own clothes and learn what to forage and what to avoid and how to hole up for the winter, to make snowshoes and thick fur everything to survive those nights far below zero. Why endure storms and heat when I can be comfortable inside?

Because it’s the right way to do it. It’s the way we always used to do it, and it was good enough. Now I obsess over things that don’t matter at all, like smartphones and what I’m wearing. How is how I look going to save my ass from a bear? Dear gravy am I wired strangely.

Or maybe not. I don’t know. I just know that I need to wander off into the wild and survive… and then somehow life will be better? I’ll finally know what the fuck I’m looking for? This came on before third grade too, before fourth grade and our Native American unit in class and reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This was here, in my head, ever since I betrayed my first-grade friend because she was moving away anyway, what’s the point of sticking with someone who’s just going to be gone forever. I’ve always been lonely since then, I don’t even remember her name.

What crazy spirit bopped me on the head and said, “Tag you’re it”? Why did those pine woods just by our elementary school feel like the place where I should have stayed, and wandered into a forest that doesn’t exist anymore? Crows were always there, sandy soil and red pines and trails among the almost dunes in that far part.

I almost did it too. Slowly wandered away after school with a walking stick and then Dad finally saw me going down the sidewalk towards home because I thought I’d better pick the lock on the house so I can pack up what I’ll need to survive. I was very ashamed and couldn’t speak. No wonder I can’t leave now.

Of course I’m a good little human. Well-trained and well-bred, quiet mostly, tries to be the smart kid they tagged me for when I was little and out-reading everyone else (even the other kids in Junior Achievement lagged behind me, I still don’t understand why the teachers didn’t approve of me reading so fast and well if I was so good at it).

Seems I don’t stick with anything for long. Either I wasn’t trained enough in diligence or I just don’t have the knack for it, rather be out wandering and staring at pretty sunsets.

Maybe I’ll find somewhere to homestead, and we’ll have acres and acres to roam freely. I can go camping in my own backyard. I really doubt that though, it’s not the same. It would be a prettier sort of cage rather than the freedom to wander as I will.

how to fuck do I reconcile all this?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quiet persistence

Blog, what blog? Hah.

No really, I finally have something to write about! ...strangely enough, it *wasn't* the fact that a certain Guy surprised me and I now rock a shiny, shiny ring on a regular basis. ;)

At the moment:
Said Guy is completely absorbed with repairs which aren't going so well, so the mood here is that quiet expectancy with a tinge of apprehension, just waiting for another curse to fly out from down the hall. Occasionally he'll rush in, grab a needed tool or consult the online tutorial, and head back to mutter and poke at his machinery some more. In short, he's busy and I'm bored. So it was back to my regular list of food blogs to see if anyone had updated recently--and one of them did.

I love Just Hungry and its sister site, Just Bento. I love Japanese food, I love the neat way things are arranged just so, I love learning about new cooking techniques and ingredients I can hardly pronounce.

About halfway down in today's most recent post in Just Bento, Maki shares with us the blog of a Japanese salaryman. Instead of painstakingly created charaben (showing, perhaps, an entire cast of Hello Kitty characters on a picnic) or the latest in haute bento cuisine, it's the simple tale told by one picture a day, every day, for seven years. Every day his wife makes him a bento for lunch. He takes a picture, writes down what's in his box that day, and that's it.

Seven years!

I can only hope that S. and I can have a connection like that. Part of me thinks that it's the kind of story you'd hear about a grandparent or great-aunt-somebody, with that quiet persistence you hardly notice until they're gone. I am glad there are still people out there who can do that. In a world that seems to get faster and more disjointed all the time, it's good to see that there are those of us who, day in and day out, do what we do, and it is enough.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

locked in a cage of my own making

I think all this big-city living is taking its toll.

Like my last post indicated, I'm at somewhat of a lull in life. Well, looking for a job is busy work enough, but after a young lifetime that centers around school and having been provided this structure, I'm floating a bit, getting used to life outside of this system.

Imbolc is a strange time of year. I mean, spring in general is just weird, what with the melting and refreezing and the mud and struggling for a hint of sunshine, but February is always a drag. Bright, and still ice cold and burning all at once. Yet this year I look forward to the holiday, for it means seeing my Protogrove again. It means getting out of a landscape dominated by buildings and car exhaust and roadside trees struggling to live ten years; my spiritual side needs resuscitation. Combined with *finally* having my room at my new apartment cleaned up and furnished enough to live in (and I moved in at the beginning of the month--ugh), things may hopefully settle into some kind of order.

I need to be outside more. Love him though I do I find it unfortunate that my boyfriend doesn't much care for outdoors activities, so that really hampers my ability to get away into the country or woods. Closest I get nowadays is when my Protogrove meets for a holiday, and even then it's inside during the cold months. I haven't been to the local foam-fighting practice these past few Sundays and I really wanted to today, but the guy who organizes them is out of town for the weekend.

sometimes I think I should just head out to some lonely place by a river with only a knife and some clothes and live that way for a summer. Forget this life dominated by bright screens and doors with locks, I need the sun.

though if I could, I'd bring my recorder. A little music would be nice, and I could practice all I'd like with no one to complain about the noise. I'd sing more too.