Holiday Week Hindsight

So this past week has been one for the ages as far as I’m concerned. Not only is Jon still recovering from knee reconstruction surgery (quite well, but still, he’s got a limited range of available activities) but I managed to do some fun damage over the course of the week:

  • I somehow managed to fuck up my hips and back where moving and walking is painful
  • then tripped and fell so badly (while walking the dog, poor Kizu) I ripped the palms of both hands and my right knee and foot
  • then dropped a cast iron griddle on that same foot
  • then wrenched my back *again* trying not to fall down the basement stairs

So while actual Gluttony Day worked out okay, the following days? Not so much. I’m sporting some pretty decorative bruises, and the muscle soreness from the fall and the wrench is something else. My back is hurting badly enough that I didn’t dare drive the two hours to see one of my favorite living writers read from what is probably my favorite SFF world.

Which was extra depressing.

But here we are, Monday monday, and the week is done. I know that in a year’s time what I will really remember about this past week is that Jon and I, together, figured out how to manage both our weesmall kitchen and our physical limitations to deliver a damn good Gluttony Day feast – duck! amazing mashed potatoes! sauteed mushrooms and onions! and we did PIES this year! I did a pear custard tart with almond crust and Jon did a pumpkin pie with graham crust. Plenty of homemade whipped cream to go with it.

We were also able to figure out how to share a table rather than eating side by side on the couch with our plates on our laps. If we’d had to eat like that it’s not the worst thing in the world, but the thing I like the most about sharing a well-composed meal is the face-to-face aspect.

I might still be in pain, but I do count both of those as big wins. Wins I’m grateful for.

 

Being Prepared – The “Oh Crap” Version

Soooooo

Turns out that it doesn’t really matter how prepared you are if you don’t have a table big enough to put all your planned food on, and neither your kitchen counters nor your refrigerator have enough space to hold the food either.

Time to switch mental processing hats from “foresight” to “seat-of-pants ingenuity” :x

Being Prepared – The Low Spoons Version

Knowing myself and my energy level these days, I’ve started prepping for Gluttony Day (so called because Thanksgiving has a racist history, but I still love food) WAY early. Did you know that mashed potatoes actually freeze really well? Therefore, mashed potatoes for Jon made and frozen! 
For tomorrow, I’ve got some plans for the carrots I keep getting in my “ugly produce” boxes. *rubs hands together gleefully*

Excellent Whisky (Plug)

If you are a fan of peaty whiskeys, The Balvenie’s 14 Y.O. Peat Week (2002 vintage) is extraordinary.

(As a comparison, my favorite “buy regularly” whiskey is Laphraoig’s Quarter Cask, with Ardbeg’s Uigeadial as a close 2nd. I often buy The Balvenie’s Carribean Cask because of its sweeter flavors. If I have the option, I’ll sit at a place like Angel Share in NYC and sip things like Bunnahabhain 25 or Mortlach 18, but I won’t buy those bottles on my own. This Peat Week, though, I think might have dislodged the Ardbeg for the close 2nd.)

This Is a Post About Lentils

Yes, lentils.

Y’ever have that experience where a food you thought you hated ends up becoming a favorite? If you have, you know the kind of “is that really me” sensation that goes with it. That’s me with lentils. Annnnd I kind of feel like a dufus about it. To give some credit to Past Risa, I still don’t care for one kind of lentil unless it’s with sausage, so it’s not that PR was *wrong* – more, uh, misinformed.

Seriously, I always used to think I hated lentils. I even thought I’d given them a few different tries, in case it was the recipe. After all, when I was a kid, my mom adored Progresso lentil soup. I tried it but ugh – never liked the stuff. As an adult I sampled other versions of lentil soup but the only time I could stomach it was when it included sausage.

So what changed things? Well, much to my embarrassment, I only discovered there is more than one kind of lentil a few years ago. This is particularly surprising to me given I used to be vegan.

Therefore, armed with the knowledge that the three kinds taste quite different, I determined that green lentils are the offender, and decided to try red and black lentils.

*insert cookcookcook montage*

And oh mai are red lentils GOOOOD. I’ve tried them in several recipes and so far, cooking them in coconut milk is the big winner. They’re still awesome with simple cumin and cardamom seasoning, though, and they make a hell of a croquette.

Black lentils are all right – at least, the urad dal I tried are all right. A bit too mealy for my preference, but fine for dinner with lots of seasoning. I am going to try another brand and see if there might be a difference.

So yeah! Now I’m a big lentil fan. Who knew? Maybe it’s time for me to revisit kidney beans and coffee…