Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Lost Day, but with a dash of fun

A lost day. Yesterday I had what Jordan calls "stomach issues" all day but went on about my business. This morning I woke with a long list of errands but was dismayed to find the "issues" still there. By the time I read the paper, took care of the dog and cat, and got ready to leave, all I wanted to do was go back to bed. I slogged through the morning--library, hardware, grocery, optician, and Barnes & Noble. At that point I gave up, telling myself if I felt better in the late afternoon I'd do my Central Market run then. It didn't happen--I couldn't stay out of bed and have taken probably four naps today. My brother-the-doctor mentioned possibly an intestinal virus, and I realized that's how I feel--draggy and lethargic like you do with a virus.
I called Colin and Lisa and learned that two-year-old Morgan is sick, with a cold, high fever, and junky eyes. I told Lisa to tell her that Juju loves her, and Lisa said Morgan patted the chair next to her. Lisa asked if that was where she wanted Juju, and she nodded yes. Broke my heart!
I've done quite a bit of reading though today. Finished the mystery, Dead Days of Summer, one of Carolyn Hart's most riveting I thought--it had been keeping me from doing anything else. Then I read a chldren's book about Rigoberta Menchu who fought for human rights in Guatemala, had to leave for Mexico for safety, and continued to speak out. She won a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of thirty-three and is now back working and speaking in Guatemla. And then I started Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a native of Somalia who is now in exile in Europe but is an outspoken and prominent activist. I'm reading it for the women's rights book I'm doing, but it is a fascinating if grim picture of life for women in Africa's Muslim cultures and, briefly, in Saudi Arabia. Got almost a hundred pages into that, before I turned to The Texas You Expect, a history of Buffalo Gap Historic Village. I hope to write my next column tomorrow on the village, State House/McWhiney Foundation Press headquartered there, and some of their books. Then I'll go back to Infidel, but I'd really like to get all this behind me and go back to my Scotland book.
But to finish the day I picked up The Food Snob's Dictionary, An Essential Lexicon of Gastronomical Knowledge, by David Kamp and Marion Rosenfeld. I got an advance review copy, though I can't figure why, but I'll give it a brief "review" here. I recognized some of the terms and quite a few of the names, like Jacque Pepin, but did you know the truffle oil you get at the market is really overpriced vegetable oil augmented by synthetic compounds that smell like truffles? Or that Chilean sea bass is really Patagonian Toothfish, so fashionable that it was overfished and is now regulated--and sold on the black market?
Here's a test. Do you know
What a Newton Pippin is?
What an ortolan is?
What sous-vide means?
What a forager has to do with gourmet cooking?
What free range chicken really means and the USDA's attitude toward it?
Night, everyone. Time to go back to bed--again!

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