"The Killers - Nevada"
"Adam Haworth Stephens - The Cities That You've Burned (NEW 2010)"
A little quiet, a little hypnotic. I'm going to fall asleep before I finish my work, but it'll be a nice sleep.
Oh, doesn't that sound appealing? Unfortunately, that's about as accurate a description of the soup I made yesterday as I'm going to get. In the middle of the night, as I was cleaning the kitchen,* I decided to finally make the soup I had been thinking about. I needed to use up a bunch of spinach that was threatening to slimify (so not a word, I'm sure, but there it is). I sauteed several cloves of garlic in the bottom of the big soup pot. And, when I say saute here, I actually mean it. For once, I didn't burn the garlic. Then, I started adding spinach. I was afraid the garlic would turn on me and blacken, so I added some low-sodium vegetable broth also. I'm pretty sure I didn't let the spinach wilt enough before I added the rest of the broth. I also added a teakettle full of water and a can of black beans, a can of white beans and a can of butt peas (er, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, whatever).
That's it. Yes, I should have realized that the soup would be incredibly flavorless. Especially as I rinsed the beans. Perhaps I should have added that liquid. Hmm.
I thought I'd be extra fancy and blend some of the soup and pour it back in to thicken the soup, but it was still pretty watery. This morning, when I told Cardo, "Last night, I made soup! But, it's pretty tasteless," he responded, "Like usual?" Oy! I'd be more hurt, but he's right. I tend to seriously underflavor food, especially because I don't like a lot of salt.
I ate the soup, with some sourdough toast, for breakfast. I tried to make it better by adding a wedge of Laughing Cow garlic-something-or-other cheese as the soup was heating. As the cheese melted, it did make the soup cloudier. Overall, the soup is serviceable. I did get a decent serving of vegetables first thing today, and that's what I'm really focusing on. But, really, I'd like the food to taste more...tasty. Alluring, enticing, scrumdiddlyuptious. Something.
I shudder at the idea that I need a recipe to make soup. (Really, I just shuddered.) I feel like soup is simple and I should just be able to make it. So, what's the deal? Do I just need to be adding salt? I don't often cook with meat, so I don't have that to add, but I could try something with turkey bacon, perhaps, which I'll be using later this week anyhow.
Also, while I'm thinking about it: I was lamenting to Cardo this morning that eating well is difficult. I totally get why we can so easily overindulge on salty and fatty foods -- they've got flavor! I have to make a conscious effort to give my body much-deserved healthy foods, especially fruits and especially especially vegetables. About one second after I finished moaning over my breakfast, Pic walks out of the back of the condo and cheerfully says, "It's easy to be healthy! I'm eating a pear!" Oh, to be six and to not have funky food issues.
Related: I'd like to write about things I really shouldn't write about here. For now, though, I'll say that I'm tired of hearing things along the lines of "People are overweight/obese/fat/whathaveyou because they are lazy/they don't like to exercise/they don't eat well/they deserve it." I'm obviously paraphrasing here.
I don't eat as well as I should and I probably don't exercise in the most effective manner (but, damnit, I do exercise daily, even if that only means I've walked), and I still have a lot of excess me that I'm not always (or ever) comfortable with. I'm making small changes that I hope will help in the long run, because I am thinking "long run" here, but I've long since grown weary of the assumptions. I'd like to write more on this, and solicit kindly-phrased advice, later, but the topic is on my mind right now, so I thought I'd bring it up.
For now, I'm considering my ever-evolving relationship with my body to be an important part of my own life learning. I'm working on improving myself and I'm trying to patiently see what changes result. I know there are easier solutions, but I'm trying to do what is right for me and quick fixes and I don't get along in the long run.
I feel like I should end with some upbeat affirmation: I'm bettering myself every day in every way. Or something. I'm trying here, but, geez, can it be lonely.
* Oh, cleaning the kitchen. There's an argument right there for never eating at home. It's kind of like cleaning laundry: an argument for going bare.
I'm thinking this post has been brought to you by the punctuation mark the comma.
Finally!: send along soup recipes please! Heavy on the vegetables, light on the meat. Grazie mille.
[I buy gifts and cards and never actually give these things to their intended recipients. That's actually something I vowed to work on in my 101 in 1001. (Oh, yeah, I also write lists like that, and then eventually just set them aside. Oy.) Basically, I'm a planner, and I even occasionally start to realize* my plans, but, I'm really better about the planning than the follow-through. Another case?
A while back, I went on a writing spree. I had all these things I wanted to share in this space, but I wrote them elsewhere and have just let myself become overwhelmed by various bits of life. So, I have all of this writing waiting for me to do something with it. I'm finally getting around to sharing here. The following is something I wrote probably in early September. See, I'm working on improving myself; and, I figure that starting with the small stuff is at least starting.
* I can use 'realize' that way, right? As in 'make real.' I'm saying yes, because I just did it. And, yes, I'm off to look it up now. Yep, the use is legitimate. Also, another definition I didn't know is, according to my computer's handy built-in dictionary, "make (money or a profit) from a transaction)."]
A month or so ago, Pic asked me to play 'ladies' with her and I decided we could use the ladies to play out the Beauty and the Beast story (or, rather, a mishmash of Beauty and the Beast stories). I was tired of only ever playing restaurant and library with the dolls.
So, over the weeks, the story has evolved into a merchant father with three daughters (two kind and one obnoxious). The father has to go out to sell merchandise, because that's what he does, you see. He goets lost and ends up at a mysteriously open, yet empty palace. He goes in and calls out repeatedly but no one answers. The merchant enjoys dinner, a dry night's sleep and then breakfast before he takes a book from the castle's library and a rose from the castle's garden and gets caught by the beast ('Um, excuse me, I'm a beast,' Pic narrates) who wants two daughters in return for the merchant's life. The father returns home, retrieves his two daughters who go to the palace. One marries the beast. ('I would like to marry you,' Pic voices for the beast as soon as he meets the youngest daughter.) The father and the other two daughters live with them, too. Not too long after, the youngest daughter has a child who is not at all furry because her mom is 'not a beast-woman.'
Pic is often upset when I try to change the story up a bit -- although she doesn't seem to mind when she alters it. She was going by the story I was telling her and by what she remembered from the Disney movie. Finally, we watched the Disney movie (it's been on pretty constantly for the past several days) and read a version of the story. I keep trying to show her how there are different versions of the story and how we can really make up whatever we want, and yet, I continue to hear, 'Mamma! That's not how it is in the movie!' (Um, what's that again child who insists there are three daughters, only one of whom is greedy and mean?)
Today we broke out one of our many, many story collections and read a version of the story in which the merchant had been rich but has lost his ships and cargo at sea. After a year of living meagerly, he sets off to retrieve cargo from one of his ships that has suddenly come ashore, only to find out that his goods have been promptly stolen. The prince/beast in this story has been turned into a beast by an evil fairy. That same fairy has made his parents invisible. They reappear when Beauty falls in love with Beast. Oh, and there's a silver ring as instant transportation device in this story.
This time, I read through the story as Pic and I acted it out with her dolls. We ran through the show twice, adding our own flair along the way.
Now, we're (once again) watching the Disney movie. (Okay, so it's on while I compose and while Pic skates around the living room.)
Some observations on this movie:
* Why does Mrs Potts have such a young child? How old was she when she stopped having kids? Or, does she just look older because of the caricatured older-woman features: matronly build and grey hair.
* Why does 'Beast' not get a real name? Because, seriously, if his parents named him Beast, what did they expect out of him in life?
* What happened to Beast's parents?
* What's up with the timeline? At the beginning, Beast is turned into a beast when he refuses shelter to an elderly-seeming woman. He has until his twenty-first birthday to get someone to fall in love with him. It's been a decade when we get to the story. So, Beast was ten when he refused to let the woman in? And, then, she set him the task of getting someone to fall in love with him...at age ten?
* Were there not teapots and candlesticks and clocks and feather dusters and armoires and stoves and all the rest before the enchantment? Because all those animate objects are presumably people (we see them back in their human selves and we see a lot of other people in the castle at the end), so is there a whole set of inanimate household objects stuffed in a cupboard somewhere?
* How does the bookstore owner stay in business? The one transaction we see is him giving Belle a book and everyone else seems to think reading is strange.
* There's a part in the opening song when a woman with an armload of babies apparently says, 'I need six eggs,' and a guy sings, 'That's too expensive.' For the very longest time (like until yesterday), I thought she was saying, 'I made success' in her frantic voice and he was telling her that her procreational success was too expensive.
* I love Angela Lansbury.
That is all.
Actually, I could probably ask a million more questions, and I do have more, but I'll stop here...for now.
A couple of things I'm currently reading...
"By the time the shade had reached the river, Augustus would have mellowed with the evening and be ready for some intelligent conversation, which usually involved talking to himself." -- Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
"Bully has nothing to do with a bull: it comes from the Dutch for 'lover,' boel." -- The Joy of Lex, Gyles Brandreth
I'm not really sure what to do with the information in that second quotation. Is there some kind of a tough love mindset going on? Actually, I doubt it; I figure someone thought the word sounded appropriate in a situation when one person was pushing another person around, and, although the word didn't really fit the situation, it stuck, despite the cruel irony.
I was listening to an old episode of The Splendid Table when this song came on:
"Stickshifts and Safetybelts"
I'm liking Cake's sound more than I did when I owned this album oh so long ago. I'm definitely liking the sound of this song, although I'm a big proponent of paying attention to the road while driving.
"With A Little Help From My Friends - Beatles"
A bit ago, I finally made a purchase I've been thinking about for over a year. That's how I shop: I think about buying something, I read around a bit, I think some more, I share my thoughts with others, then I sometimes actually make the purchase. I even actually saved for this purchase.
So, meet Babs:
Yes, I named my blender. We haven't had a working blender in a very long time. Since we got this blender, we've been deep into the smoothies again. This evening, Pic and I had the above (juice, apple, pear, spinach, ice).
I thought I could handle pear in the smoothie, but I could still feel that weird beadiness. As soon as I use up these pears, I might skip them in my smoothies. Or, I'll try to get used to it. Who knows.
We have not come anywhere close to doing all we can with the blender. I look forward to making my way through the cookbook that came with it. (Yes, I like to read through cookbooks and mark recipes for future use. I know I'm not alone, but I still feel kind of strange admitting that.)
We've also made sorbets and ice cream. Behold some very tasty strawberry ice cream: