January 19th, 2004

Dancing Thru

Zen cooking and room makeovers

Despite most of Sunday being taken up with a meeting of my Civil War artillery unit (and making food for the associated potluck), I think I got a lot done. (Okay, yes, and socializing and watching the last installment of Fuji TV's "Musashi" on Saturday night, too.)

I got a big box with super-deep discount closeout sale stuff from a catalog---my new cotton batted quilt in a Japanese fan motif, and my new "Diner" theme curtains and valences. ($25 total for the curtains!) So I hung new curtains in the dining room, and cleared things up there. The change in atmosphere is remarkable! It's so light and cheery. I took down the original side curtains and valences (many incarnations of actual window curtains were framed by these) and found they were marked "machine wash," so I did. They are now replacing the front livingroom curtains, which aren't washable, and really, really need cleaning. They block too much light to leave for too long, but they're good for now.

I retyped and edited a few more pages on the novel (alas, still a few pages short of the end of the first chapter). I read more on "The Golden Compass" from the His Dark Materials trilogy. I dug up the potato patch and sorted into new fingerling potatos for the kitchen and baby seed potatos. I did some weeding, and got Chris to help me prune back the tall branches on the apple trees. (It was definitely a two person job, getting the branches down, and he's also taller!) I made pork chops diavolo and cauliflower and (home grown) carrots in white wine cheese sauce for Chris for dinner, as payback. Everything totally from scratch, of course. There's something very Zen about cooking, creating a form of art that is immediately consumed...

Rosemary had asked me to do dressing to go with her turkey, for the unit meeting, so I got very Martha Stewart and not only made my own bread, which I turned into toasted cubes and crumbs, but I even made my own broth, using leftover water from the cauliflower/carrot dish as a base. I got this idea of cooking it in the crock pot, then taking the whole pot to the potluck. It got rave reviews, and folks said it was some of the best stuffing they ever had. Grin. Everything from shredded chicken to wild rice, to carmelized onions to custom-blended herbs and spices (no poultry seasoning, here). One of the best I've done, and extremely light and fluffy, too. But it was a Zen thing, cooking meditation again. Become one with the soul of the food, grasshopper.

Still, they just don't put enough time into weekends. I wanted another day.
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