Aha! Moment

A couple of weeks ago, the Mutual of Omaha “Aha Moment” truck came through town.  It was parked in front of my favorite bakery, but at 7:30 in the morning, nothing was happening.  My Aha! moment came a few years ago, and unlike other moments that I thought were Aha! moments, this one really was.  I decided I was not going to argue with my mother again.  Ever.  And suddenly, life on that front became so much easier.  What did it mean?  My mother is 81; if she doesn’t know by now what my stance is on x, y, or z, she is never going to know.  And quite simply, it doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know — my fundamental relationship with her will not change.  Helen Hull (unjustly neglected writer) put it wonderfully in her 1932 novel Heat Lightning:

She meets him where he stands, not where she is, herself.  She doesn’t care about justifying herself to him . . . .  When Geoffrey yells at me, I holler back.  Always.  But why should I do all the work?  I want Geoffrey to know where am.  Maybe you can’t both know, at once, can’t both see what’s pinching the other into such unreasonableness.  

I am working on doing the same thing with DH.  It is a lot harder, no doubt about it; it’s because I am, of course, always right.  And I want him to know it!

CSA Week 9:  squash blossoms, pickling cucumber, summer squash, hakurei turnips, carrots, grilling onions, green beans, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants20130720_095905

Week 9 Recipes:  baked squash blossoms stuffed with herbed ricotta; cucumber salad; curried quinoa with squash, scapes, and toasted pine nuts; glazed hakurei turnips with turnip greens; roasted carrots, onions, green beans, and scallions

CSA Week 10:  squash blossoms, harkurei turnips (last of the season!), strawberries, rainbow chard, carrots, summer squash, Walla Walla sweet onion, eggs

Week 10 Recipes: baked squash blossoms stuffed with herbed ricotta (because they were so good last week!); sausage, apple, and sage quiche; roasted carrots; cous cous with squash/eggplant/scapes/pine nuts/raisins; glazed hakurei turnips with turnip greens; chard and new potato curry, recipe from River Cottage Veg: 200 inspired vegetable recipes, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (note to self: next time, feel free to leave some jalapeño seeds in the mix!)

Those Damn Liberals!

While snooping through The Teenager’s Facebook page, this gem of an exchange (and I am not responsible for grammar problems):

SEH:  Always check Snopes before posting.

KLS: Yes and no.  Snopes is run by a liberal husband and wife team, so you have to be careful what issue you are checking with them. In addition, they are a “.com”, FactCheck.org is a more reliable source and they are a “.org” non-profit.

Yup, .org confers sainthood — or at the very least, the holy trinity of truth, justice and the American Way.  Like AynRand.org, I suppose.

Opie “I’m a non-profit” Pig, wondering about those “.net” groups . . . .

CSA Share Week 18:  cucumber (gave away), green onions (gave away), parsley (gave away), garlic, onion, spinach, potatoes, kohlrabi, kale, Yugoslavian finger squash (that is one goofy-looking squash), carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs

Recipes:  broccoli and cauliflower casserole, green chile-cheese-corn-cornbread (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), spinach and basmati rice casserole (Vegetarian Planet), roasted root vegetables

CSA Share Week 17:  cucumber (gave away), spinach, lettuce, potatoes, bell pepper (gave away), garlic, cauliflower, green onions, celeriac (gave away)

Recipes:  karnabeet (from Greene on Greens), spinach and potato casserole

CSA Share Week 16:  cucumber (gave away), spinach, kale, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes, kohlrabi, eggs

Recipes:  pico de gallo, eggplant and potato curry, kohlrabi/potato/carrot stew, spinach pie


A very dignified Romney ram

. . . .  not to be confused with:

romneyn.  1.  One who demonstrates incompetence, lack of social conscience, and general disregard of at least 47% of the American population.  2.  One who is affronted by reality checks (see also, palinn.)

In other news . . . .  I am not sure what it means to be a “brainiac cheerleader” — from a breathless introduction by some news announcer, brainiac cheerleaders are “required” to have “advanced science degrees.”  And indeed, some do have these advanced science degrees: A dentist!  A Ph.D. in cellular molecular medicine!  A Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering!  But then, there’s the phlebotomist, and the financial analyst . . . .  A group of brainiac cheerleaders goes around the country performing cheerleading routines to “encourage” girls to study science.  Really?  If I were a young girl, I’m not sure what sort of message I am meant to be receiving, but as a woman with one of those “advanced science degrees” and mother of a teenage girl, I know what message am getting.  These women are  great examples of very smart women who think being smart and beautiful means also pandering to male fantasies.  I suppose that’s why  “mommy porn” along the line of Fifty Shades of Grey has been so depressingly popular.

CSA Share Week 15:  lettuce, cucumbers, green onion, onions, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, chard, spinach, parsley (gave away), bell pepper, kohlrabi, broccoli, eggs

Recipes:  kohlrabi hash (kohlrabi, potatoes, green onions, onions), broccoli with polenta (from Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen), spinach with raisins and pine nuts, chard tian (from Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen)

Knitting for the Fall: Wingspan

About 25 years ago, I knitted a multicolored jewel-toned sweater for DH (this was the 1980s, and Bill Cosby was popularizing really colorful men’s sweaters on The Cosby Show).  I think the pattern was from Calvin Klein, and used DK-weight Reynolds yarn held double.  It was my first time knitting a sweater from sleeve to sleeve: the entire pullover was made up of vertical cable panels, each one a different pattern.  Anyway, DH never wore the sweater because it was too small, although a school friend of mine borrowed it once to wear on a date — and it looked great on her 🙂

Fast forward to last summer, when I dug the sweater out of the “couldn’t bear to part with it” pile and painstakingly took it apart, separating all the doubled strands with The Teenager’s help.  A week ago, I found “Wingspan” — and all its variations — on Ravelry:

The Jewel Wingspan

Pattern:  “Wingspan,” by Maylin of Tri’Coterie Designs, lace variation by Helena Forde.  A wonderful example of a complex-looking pattern that is actually a cinch to knit.  I had no problems with Helena Forde’s pattern, probably because I ignored the lace charts and just followed her written instructions.

Yarn:  DK weight wool/acrylic blend yarn from Reynolds.  I bought the yarn from Nancy Bush’s yarn shop in Salt Lake City, The Wooly West, sadly no longer in business.

Modifications:  I used a different lace pattern in one of the panels, knitted 9 big triangles instead of 8, and used a DK instead of fingering weight yarn.

Thoughts:  Loved the pattern — and I am not a shawl/wrap/scarf -knitting kind of person 🙂  I love being able to reuse all the jewel-toned yarn now in the stash.  It is such a great pattern that I may break the unwritten rule of not knitting anything twice . . .  I am wearing it right now as I type — it is a late summer morning, and I can finally feel the autumn briskness in the air.


CSA Share Week 13:  spinach, collard greens, green onions (gave away), zucchini (gave away), yellow squash, carrots, cucumber (gave away), parsley (gave away), green leaf lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, corn (gave away), eggs

Recipes:  greens and tomatoes with cumin, roasted carrots/potatoes/squash, creamy tomato pasta sauce, spinach with garlic and raisins

CSA Share Week 12:  spinach, radishes (gave away), green onions, zucchini (gave away), cucumber, yellow squash, carrots, eggplant (gave away), heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeño peppers, corn, Romaine lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  Awendaw bread (from Greene on Greens), roasted carrots, tater tomater pie (from Greene on Greens), roasted fingerling potatoes with spinach/parsley/oregano pesto

Becoming Vegetarian: Eggplant

On the CD player:

40 years . . . .  really?  I remember buying this album in the mid-70s with money from one of the first paychecks I ever earned.  It was a double LP, I had sticker shock when I bought it, and I had it for years until it went missing during one of our many moves.  I still have Neil Diamond’s A Beautiful Noise, a Christmas present from then-BF Tina.

We were shopping at Whole Foods today, and there it was, at the checkout stand.  DH was so shocked by my impulse buy — because he can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, let alone make an impulse purchase that cost more than a couple of bucks — that he didn’t give me a hard time about it.

I am having a really good nostalgia moment 🙂

CSA Share Week 11:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, crookneck squash, cucumber, green onions, spinach, carrots, Romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, cilantro (gave away), eggs

CSA Share Week 10:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini (gave away), cucumber, green pepper, green onions (gave away), collard greens, kale salad, spinach, baby carrots, Romaine lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  crustless ratatouille and shrimp (wild-caught Louisiana white shrimp!) pie, adapted from Greene on Greens; greens (collard greens, kale, beet greens) with Hopi black beans; roasted carrots; eggs Florentine; spinach and cheese strata; cucumber salad

About 25 years ago, I tried my hand at ratatouille — I believe it was a recipe from Mollie Katzen.  It was an abysmal failure, but I don’t think it was the fault of the recipe itself; I just did not understand eggplants.  So, for 25 years I have avoided eggplants — just as well, because DH does not like eggplants.  Or squash.  Or zucchini.

Today, I made ratatouille, using a recipe from Greene on Greens, and it had eggplants, and squash, and zucchini . . .  and DH liked it enough to have seconds 🙂  I love Bert Greene’s rambling expositions on vegetable lore, but the best parts of his book are his tips on what to look for in vegetables, how to store them, and how to do basic preparations.  His recipes, like those of Deborah Madison, have not failed me yet.

I altered the ratatouille recipe to take advantage of what I had from the boxes last week and this week:  zucchini, squash, onion, green bell pepper, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, corn.  I threw in the corn because it wasn’t particularly sweet on its own, but I figured it would be OK baked with all the other veggies.  Not traditional at all, but pretty tasty nevertheless!

The Junior Innkeeper

That would be me this past week, when our friend who runs a B & B in Estes Park went off to music camp.  Annoying things guests do:

1.  If you tell me you are going to show up around noon, you really should show up around noon.  4 PM is nowhere near “noon-ish.”

2.  “No Shoes” policy means exactly that — the sandals that you showed up in are in fact “outside” shoes, and no, you can’t wear them inside the B & B just because you “hate going around in bare feet.”

3.  You chose to come to Colorado, and I assumed you did some research ahead of time and followed the news . . . .  you know, the news that had to do with DROUGHT conditions?  But no, you insisted on having ALL your towels changed everyday you were here, because by golly, you paid good money to stay at the B & B, and you expected SERVICE.

4.  Yes, you paid for service . . . .  but I am not your servant.

5.  Oh, and did you forget that batteries don’t just get tossed in the trash?

All good reasons why I could never be a full-time innkeeper.

CSA Share Week 9: beets, green onions, onions, Romaine lettuce, squash, cucumber, zucchini, Swiss chard, baby carrots, eggs

Recipes: roasted beets and carrots sauteed with beet greens and green onions (surprisingly good given that it has beets in it); squash and zucchini baked ziti (surprisingly good given that it has zucchini in it); soy sauce stewed eggs with green onions; chard/scapes/green onions/beet greens quiche