Ponder this:

Saturday, January 26, 2013


When I was in my twenties or thirties a woman who had been my friend for years and years said to me, in a conversation about a mutual acquaintance, "He's like you."
"How so?" I asked.
"You know... Needy," she said.
I was offended, hurt. 
I think being insulted by being called "emotionally needy" is a result of being emotionally needy. There is the chance, too, that my friend was simply indulging in one of the opportunities that long friendship offers, that opportunity being bitchiness in the guise of neutral conversation.

One morning in the last month, the sky, with the sun peeking askance through the dense slivers of clouds, looked just like artfully layered mourning dove feathers. Taupe and pale gray and peachy-creamish and dark gray. It was beautiful. The colors were so gentle and soft, dense rather than wispy, that a photograph would have looked like nothing, would not have conveyed the peace of the light.

When my mother died, I was so relieved that I could finally cut myself free of Family. Now the nephew and niece-in-law have mucked that up with their spring delivery.  If I want a piece of Baby Girl, I'll need to be in touch with my parents' other child. It has been my experience that particular life issues recur until I've dealt with them. I think this is one of those issues. 

And the cold goes on and on. I took a nap this afternoon and I wouldn't have minded if I stayed asleep, or at least in bed, all covered up, until tomorrow morning. Supposed to be all the way up to 21F tomorrow.
And sunny.

Tried to do laundry today. I've been saving it up all week. The drain pipe must have frozen because as the cycle reached the first "drain," it dripped down through the ceiling into the downstairs hallway and down into the cellar. I took the rest of the stuff to the laundromat where they will wash it and fold it for me and hand it back in plastic bags. Every time I have occasion to use that service, I think, "Why don't I do this all the time?????" Drop it off, pay some money, have the whole day free of laundry!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Clothing the grandniece

I have been knitting small things for the incoming grandniece. 
She isn't due until April, you will remember, so I have time to make lots of things. 

When I retrieved my knitting tools from the attic, I found a dozen or more skeins of yarn 
that I bought about eighteen years ago!
I've been using those sherbet colors . . . lime, lemon, raspberry . . . 
for the sweater, the hat, the booties, the fumless mittens

It's the finishing I don't like. Tucking in the tails from the beginning, pulling the edges to find the stitches to tie parts together... I get impatient with those details unless I settle my mind first and consciously stay exactly where I am in the work. 

Good advice for general life, eh?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

For my friends outside the Triscuit range

Nobody paid me or gave me anything to publish this post. I just like the things. 
My favorite is the Low Sodium; they still have enough salt, especially since I usually put hummus or cheese on top. 

How Triscuits Work

Varieties of Triscuits

  • Deli-Style Rye
  • Garden Herb
  • Thin Crisps
  • Rosemary & Olive Oil
  • Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil
  • Reduced Fat
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Fire Roasted Tomato
  • Cheddar
  • Original
  • Low Sodium
Production of the Triscuit wafer began in 1903 at the Niagara Falls, New York plant with the Triscuit packaging proclaiming “Baked by Electricity.” The wafer measured 2-1/4 inches by 4 inches and remained that size for twenty-one years. At that point, the ovens were altered and improved and the cracker size changed to 2 inches square.
To make Triscuits today, the wheat is first cooked in water until its moisture content reaches about 50%. It is then tempered, allowing moisture to diffuse evenly into the grain. The grain then passes through a set of rollers with grooves in one side, yielding a web of shredded wheat strands.

Many webs are stacked together, and this moist stack of strands is crimped at regular intervals to produce individual pieces of cereal with the strands attached at each end. These then go into an oven, where they are baked until their moisture content is reduced to five percent.
In 1935, in order to better address consumer taste preferences, Triscuit crackers were sprayed with oil and lightly salted. The flavors remained the same until 1984 when popular tastes changed again. The public wanted nutritious wafers, but they also demanded more out of those wafers, including additional choices, “crunch” appeal, and flavor varieties. There are now eleven Triscuit varieties on store shelves.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Different food

Husband and I have been married for a long time. The only thing we get excited about anymore is food. 

I have my mental Rolodex of dishes, things that require no recipe reading, things that are easy to put together when I get home from work. An additional requirement is that the meal be able to stay Prepared-And-Tasty for a couple of hours because neither of us ever knows when he'll get home after his workday. Husband is tired of all of my old standbys. Additionally, he's tired of food in general because he eats lunch in restaurants every single day. Me, I'm off to the office daily with my Tupperware container of leftovers or my hummus and Triscuits. It's a big day for me when we order pizza delivery for a group lunch.

"Different! I want something different!" he said early last week.
He consulted one of his Jacques Pepin cookbooks and made, two nights in a row because it was so good, Mustard Crusted Chicken. I loved it! It was delicious. I was glad there were only four pieces of chicken so I didn't embarrass myself. The following night he made a different chicken recipe. That one wasn't such a hit with either of us. Yesterday I phoned him and said, "If you aren't already planning it, don't make anything fancy tonight."
"Why not?"
"Oh, I'd just as soon have some Triscuits or a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich."

Early this morning I woke up and mentally cast about for some kind of different food to prepare for him. The internet offers me recipes for which he has already expressed distaste.

  • I'm not really a soup kind of guy.
  • I'm not really big on salad.
  • I'm not crazy about chili.
  • I really don't like Feta cheese.
  • I'm not big on wraps. This last one is a big disappointment to me because wraps are like thIndo-European language family with a million offshoots. To my mind, you can put anything in a wrap and it becomes Different and Delicious.

Many of the recipes call for ingredients I've never heard of . . . one-eighth teaspoon of some spice that I'd have to order online or drive three and a half hours to Brooklyn to get. If I make the dish without that particular spice, I fear, all the rest of my efforts will have been in vain. The finished product will be met with a gimlet eye, and a quiet, polite, and cheerful "It isn't my favorite." It's hard to take for a woman who breathes a little faster at the thrill of goulash made with ground beef, or macaroni and cheese. "Fancy" to me is macaroni and cheese made with Swiss cheese in addition to cheddar.

Several weeks ago, Phyllis brought sweet potato lasagna for lunch. It was left over from her family's dinner the night before. This morning I got up early to search for a recipe. I found one. It calls for:

  • sweet potato (slice and bake first)
  • kale (cut up and blanch first)
  • zucchini (slice and bake first)
  • two or three kinds of cheese
  • red onion (slice and bake first)
  • broccoli (cut up and blanch first)
  • God knows what-all else.
It also calls for four cups of good marinara sauce. I have a freezer full of tomatoes that I harvested, skinned, and bagged last summer. I can't use jar sauce! So that means making the sauce first...

Suddenly I'm thinking of the relatively exotic meals that I find "in my grocer's freezer case." Sure, they're expensive, but what's the cost of the leftover spice for which I paid $6 and which I'll never use again? I think my shopping list just got a lot shorter.