How have you been? Recently, I’ve been…
Thinking… a lot about this next stage of life. We’re on the tail end of active-duty parenting but a good few years away from slowing down and/or wanting to be available to any grandkids who might pop onto the scene. So for now, what do I want? Where should I put my energy? Who needs me?
Listening (twice)… to this Freakonomics podcast interview with conservative think-tank guy Arthur Brooks. Love is a verb, not a feeling. What will I die for? Contempt kills. I’ve been itching for more radical counter-mainstream viewpoints and, since our library doesn’t carry his most recent book (and since it takes me forever to read books like this anyway), I need to track down someone who’s already bought it and borrow it from them.
Purchasing… supplies to make brie cheeses: two white powder molds, two plastic molds (that didn’t work…yet). Except now I’m bumping up against my eternal cheesemaking problem: proper aging conditions. In brief, my cheese fridge would work but it’s too full so now I need to get another fridge that I can set at 55 degrees to longterm age all my cheeses while I drop a section of the wine cheese fridge down to 45 degrees to age the Bries and Camemberts. And yes, I do feel mildly ridiculous typing out that saga.
Mulling over… why I find cheesemaking so satisfying. Three reasons, I think. One, I’m not eating what I make (when I make it) so I’m not feeling overstuffed and sick of it. Two, the variations are endless. And three, with each new wheel of cheese I pull out of the press, I get a buzz of happiness mixed with delight and satisfaction and wonderment and curiosity. Oh, boy! That’s so cool. I JUST MADE CHEESE. What will it taste like?
Watching… The Comey Rule (Netflix), gave me twinges of PTSD. The Morning Show (Apple TV), first season was fun but the second season was so over-the-top, I quit almost immediately. Schitt’s Creek (Netflix), with my younger son. The British Baking Show, season 9 (Netflix), go Guiseppe! Alone, season 7 (Netflix), the whole family’s hooked.
Considering… ordering a made-to-fit dress from eShakti, but I’m scared because what if I don’t like how it looks on me? Is it unethical to order three dresses and then send two back?
Burning… this woodwick candle that my older son and his fiancé got me for my birthday. The flickering sound drives my husband (hilariously) batty but it smells absolutely incredible. (The bigger one they gave me, for outside (similar), makes a more soothing, crackling burning sound.)
Laughing… over this piano guy’s sketches. Guy’s got talent.
Wondering… if you’ve ever looked at your library account’s payment history? I did. Since January 29, 2001, I’ve paid — [drumroll] — $770.74. Our library is no longer charging overdue fines, which makes the whole place seem soooo much more accessible and friendly, and it makes me actually want to donate to them on occasion — their generosity inspires mine. Also! Our library does not keep record of our checkouts or holds (due to legal reasons, I think) which has always bugged me because it’d be an awesome way to keep track of the books I’ve read or, more accurately, the checkout books I hoped to read and then never got around to. BUT: I just now discovered that they do keep a running list of all the book titles that accrued fines which means I can see which books I probably checked out hoping to read but never got around to, yay!
Researching… how long one can continue to milk a cow. I don’t think we’ll breed Daisy again (I want a Jersey next), but there will probably be a long wait until we get another milk cow, so can we just continue to milk her indefinitely? Like, for another year? Another two years?
Planning… a pop-up pie shop at my place this Sunday (weather permitting). I’ve been testing a ton of pies (right now, I’ve got three cooling on the table: Dragon’s Milk, S’mores, and Bourbon Ginger Pecan) and since we can’t possibly eat them all, I figured I might as well widen the circle. Maybe it will become A Thing.
(Also planning… a wedding. More on that later!)
Thinking… about how I’ve never tried kimchi and that I probably should, but I don’t want to actually invest in making any without trying it first (says the woman who makes cheese), so: does anyone have a good commercial kimchi to recommend?
Bracing… for several rainy days so I just went on a walk to help keep the inevitable cabin fever at bay.
Craving… meat and potatoes. I have no meat thawed, though, and no potatoes cooked. Probably should quick pop a few tubers in the oven so we’ll have at least something for supper. As for meat, I don’t know. I’ve got a freezer full of beef and zero inspiration. Good news: this problem is fixable.
Speaking… of meat and potatoes: we gave our older daughter an ippy for her birthday and she’s been raving about it so much — this week she cooked a pot of potatoes in mere minutes — that now I think I might get one for myself.
Rolling my eyes over… my latest injury: a weird knee thing. Playing Ultimate a couple weeks ago, my knee suddenly hurt so badly that I could hardly walk. I hadn’t been doing anything, either — just walk-trotting; no one was even near me — so I had no idea what happened. It’s getting better, but running and Ultimate are still out of the question. The pain is located in the center front of the kneecap and hurts most when walking up hill or extending my leg. Feel free to dianose me.
Getting… a kick out of Kate. She’s gutsy, energetic, and opinionated, and she’s got lots of good ideas. Also, she kinda makes me want to move to Canada.
Munching… Shirley’s popcorn. My younger daughter gave me an empty (ha!) refillable popcorn container for my birthday, so yesterday when I was out running errands, I splurged on a refill: Buckeye and Chocolate Almond. I thought the chocolate almond would have actual almonds but so far I only taste almond extract (meh), but the Buckeye — chocolate and peanut butter — is wildly addictive. (Aaaand … now I switched to pretzels.)
Drinking… lots of chai tea. I made a gallon of concentrate by simmering the spices and tea, adding sugar, and then hot packing it in jars. Daily I’m fixing mugs of tea: mixing the syrup into milk, heating it up, and then savoring a frothy cup of spicy milky sweetness. Once I make a few recipe tweaks (less sugar, more spice), I’ll post the recipe.
This same time, years previous: brisket in sweet-and-sour sauce, the quotidian (10.28.19), the young adult child, cilantro lime rice, reading-and-ice cream evenings, the quotidian (10.28.13), the details, under the grape arbor, applesauce spice cake.