Friday, December 06, 2013

Bits of Friday drivel

Drivel, people, not dribble.

Then again...

At the request of the lovely Melissa, a fresh batch of stream-of-consciousness randomosity for a bitter cold, snowy in places Friday.

The Canasta Chicks are playing tonight, warm fellowship on a cold and blustery night. Fulfilling my role as "designated loser" will be easy, as Friday night is the nadir of my weekly cycle of intelligence. Doesn't everyone mentally let go at the start of your weekend, whichever days of the week it may encompass?

The garage door rolling up on its tracks is a glorious sight, one that I did not see when coming home from work Wednesday night. We've had issues with the sensors for the door in the past; could this be the same problem?

Thinking a bit, I decided not to call the management company, but to try my other opener the next day. Maybe it was just a battery issue.

Thankfully, it was. No need to park outside overnight in the bitter cold.

A young friend has asked me to teach her to cook. I'm incredibly flattered (she's eaten my food often, so she actually knows what she is getting into) and delighted to design a couple of lessons. She's asked for a pantry staples list. I know what I like to have on hand, I have several different lists from different chefs, but I'd like to know what essentials you need to have on hand. Answer in the comments; you have until after the holidays.

Loading the new computer with software is going well. Office is in (yay, I can work at home (sense the sarcasm?)), Quicken is up and running (I need to figure out where the money is going) and Mastercook is in.

I've said it before, but I have a long, wonderful history with Mastercook. It's probably ten or twelve years ago I first started using it for recipe storage and meal planning. The current version comes with twenty cookbooks, in addition to providing you the chance to design your own. There's a lot more to it - a culinary glossary, text and video tips, equivalent charts, pantry inventories, shopping lists, menu and meal plans and nutrition information.

As with any database-type program, it takes a while to get the information (your personal recipes) loaded and organized, but once the initial work is done, the software features make managing the kitchen a breeze.

Commercial over.

Much ado lately about the horrors of inequality. I've a pip of a post in my head on this subject, just waiting for the time to get it in pixels in a way that does it justice.

Not much looks like Christmas at my place. I fear that if the house doesn't get decorated this weekend, it may not be done at all. I'm already leaning toward not having a tree, though there is a live pine bough that would fit nicely on the mantle as a substitute. Maybe if the house just smells like Christmas - ? I do need to bake cookies this week for an exchange.

Struggling a bit with my health. The cold aggravates the already not-too-well-controlled asthma, I've pulled some abdominal muscles heartily enough to be in a fair amount of pain off and on, and the stress on my body from that has put my blood sugar all out of whack. The thought of crawling into bed to sleep until I'm healthy is incredibly appealing.

While we are avoiding the snow, at least for now, the mercury is rapidly dropping. Though we aren't going to get as cold as the upper Midwest, we are talking highs in the middle teens for most of the next week. I am incredibly grateful for underground parking, wonky sensors, dead batteries and all.

The cold does, however, rather emphasize the difference in temperature between the ground and second floors of the condo. I'd a vague thought of getting a small ceramic heater to use in the living room, but now (ironically) I'm not willing to go out in the cold to buy one.

Besides, that's what quilts are for, right?

I'd better get back to work, or I'll end up taking some home this weekend (maybe I should have put off that install of Office).


Sarah said...

My staples are flour, sugar (brown and granulated), pasta, rice, canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, and whole San Marzano), jarred pasta sauce when I'm lazy/rushed, yeast, vanilla, chocolate chips (three kinds because I'm a crazy baker), garlic (whole heads), soy sauce, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, vinegar (balsamic, white wine, and distilled white), olive oil (regular and extra virgin), canola oil, corn starch, tuna fish, and way too many spices to list.

Diane said...

I'd add apple cider vinegar and canned mushrooms, but I love your list.

You are so right about the spices, though on those it took me a while to build up a full pantry, buying them as I needed them. On the Christmas vacation list is a trip to Penzey's.