I am not the only person cooking and baking. So much free time!
My first choice is always to be outdoors, but the West Wind is terrific. Our small house in downtown, metro Westcliffe is two blocks south of Main Street and two blocks north of open ranch land. Today, looking out the window, Tumbleweeds rip north on Second Street like a bowling balls thrown by Charles Atlas.
I could be reading a very good book, but the kitchen calls out. What is it about impending disaster and cooking or eating food? We’re not squirrels harvesting nuts, but food beckons from the pantry. I think our craving is less about calories and more about emotional sustenance. Lacking the touch of friends and strangers, we crave food to fill that cavernous cavity.
When I was shopping some weeks ago, hopefully buying everything I would need to sustain us if the food chain breaks, I chose long-life vegetables. Lots of squash, onions, potatoes, and cabbage for sure. Today, having already eaten one cabbage, I looked askance at the two remaining cabbages. What was I going to do with them? I had some leftover ground sausage but not enough, so I sautéed a pound of ground turkey and some onions and added that to the leftover sausage. Now what?
Cabbage rolls. I’d make cabbage rolls. But I didn’t have any string. How was I to tie the rolls? Referencing a cookbook, I read that if I brought a large pot of water to a boil, I could drop two leaves at a time into the boiling water. After blanching for one minute, I should scoop out the leaves and drop them in cold water. Two- by-two I did that, and when I rolled the leaves around the filling, I experienced no breakage AND no need for twine. I couldn’t have been happier.
Such a small triumph, but what a satisfying one! The motto to Dream Big is good, but maybe we’d all be happier if we took more pleasure in our small victories.
Some days ago, I mentioned a New York Times article promoting virtual Happy Hours. The article advised choosing a day and time; calling some friends; changing out of your soiled, laundry-ready clothing; pouring a beverage; and getting together at an assured-safe-distance by Skype.
So Mark and I joined another couple for Happy Hour Friday night. I chose to dress-up the Westcliffe way. Given that ‘our guests’ would only see me above my waist, I continued to wear my week-old, flannel-lined jeans. Cocktail wear and hair (which I combed for the first time in two days) was strictly above the waist.
It had been a long day, and I had eaten only an apple early that morning. Nothing thereafter. And all I can say that I will never again think of Gin without feeling queasy. The Happy Hour itself was virtual; the Gin was not. At first I was saying that I was ‘hungover.’ 36 hours later, I was using the term ‘alcohol poisoning.’
I’m recommending that readers avoid Happy Hour and choose to Skype during a coffee break or afternoon tea. Combing your hair or changing your clothes is optional. If you choose to wear jewelry, you are trying too hard.
I spent most of the day in bed. Oogie was quite concerned, and he kept checking on me. I was reminded of a friend whose mother had been bed-ridden for some time. Her dog was her constant companion, and when she died, the dog would not let anyone attend to her. The family’s only option was to call animal control.
Everyone should have a constant companion.
A little good news is never out of place, and yesterday I heard a wonderful piece on NBC News. With fewer cars and airplanes in motion, air pollution has decreased dramatically. Well, we know that already, but the core of the video reminds us that although we started late preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, we have picked up the pace. Likewise, we are late addressing global warming, but if we have the will (and realize the consequences of ignoring the issue) all is not lost: we can pick up the pace.
With so much chatter about fake news, I really liked the video, but those who were speaking were not identified. Just who were these people? Folks down at the local bar? Folks at the gym? I can assume from the content that those presenting were experts, but what was NBC thinking? Their obligation is to identify the ‘experts’ by name, affiliation, and expertise!
Watch the short video. What do you think?
Everyone is urged to be up-beat: reach out to friends, introduce ourselves to neighbors, take up watercolors, read a good book, take a hike, and look forward to the flattening of the coronavirus curve. We are also encouraged to find a photo which captures our future hopes. Below I’m inserting a series of photos taken last month of my grandson, Jackson.
Looking at that photo, can I not hope?