Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I want a lazy Sunday

posted Sun, 17 Oct 2004

I had such great plans for today but I ended up being too tired to do much. I think Friday night and Saturday wore me out. I did finish moving the crape myrtle this morning using the new junk shop shovel, but I learned an important thing about shovel shopping. Not only do you need to make sure that the shovel handle is connected to the blade (although in this case, the handle was wedged in well enough that that was not an issue), but you need to make sure that the top of the handle has been treated to be kind to your lead hand.

What do I mean by that? I mean that if the top of the handle has just been cut across straight with no smoothing or rounding, it is going to feel very harsh against your hand when you brace it there for digging. Sometimes it is better to go straight to Sears and pay the extra. Buy nice or buy twice.

My secret shame. I like the entire genre -- People, Us, Star.

Then I tried this polenta/prosciutto/garlic/cheese recipe in the latest edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine. I didn’t have any prosciutto, but I did have some turkey bacon, so used that. I didn’t have the cheese they wanted, but threw in what I had. It turned out really tasty anyhow. While I was stirring the cornmeal, I read another recipe in the magazine for sweet potato–persimmon dressing.

I love persimmons. They are one of those rare things you get only when they are in season in the US. We are so lucky here – we can get almost anything any time if we are willing to pay for it. In Chile, I got only what was in season. Did you know that celery is in season only six months of the year? The rest of the year, you can’t have it. Doesn’t matter how much you want it; you can’t have it.

Anyhow, persimmons are in season. The little Vietnamese grocery near my house, which reeks of fish sauce, so I always have to run in and get what I want really fast so I don’t have to breathe that nasty smell, has a huge bin of persimmons for 69 cents a pound. My regular grocery store charges about a dollar apiece. It’s worth smelling some fish sauce to save that kind of money.

I already had the persimmons and the sweet potatoes, but I lacked the “dried plums.” “Dried plums” is the fancy new name for prunes. The California Prune Board (yes, they actually exist) decided that the prune’s image needed an upgrade. They had to go through all sorts of maneuvering to get the name changed. I watched this in the produce and grocery trade magazines. This was all happening when I was still in my division’s marketing group (a vendor to the produce industry).

I had to go to the grocery store for the prunes and for an orange for the orange zest. My usual strategy at the grocery store is to pick the longest line so I can read People magazine, but I had already spent an hour at the frame shop picking out frames for some watercolors I got in Rome. The artist who works there had done the real work, but I still had to figure out what I might like. That’s a lot of work, especially when you’re trying to figure out what you might like that is going to cost a couple of hundred dollars.

Back to People. Am I the only one who does this? Am I the only one who is ashamed of being so fascinated with this magazine? And despite my shame, I find myself asking the same question the rest of America is asking, “Just how stupid is Britney Spears to become involved with a man who abandoned the mother of his child while he was pregnant with their second baby? Is this a man of integrity? No! Does she think they really have a future together?”

The magazine does make me really grateful that I don’t have a TV, though.

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