Sunday, January 18, 2009

A cooking weekend

Sometimes, much as I welcome a three-day weekend, I look forward to it with apprehension, the same kind I felt about ten days away at Christmas. Will I get itchy for company? Will I be bored. I should learn not to worry--so far this has been a pleasand and lovely weekend. Having Jacob spend the night Friday started it off, and he woke Saturday in a delightful mood. We"hung out" in the living room talking for a long time--well, it was a one-way discussion on his part, though I tried valiantly to participate. When he watched me dress, he pointed to my breasts and said something about bumps. I thought at first he was talking about some large but nondangerous moles but it turns out he meant nipples. So I said, "You have nipples too" and pointed. He nodded, "I have apples."
After his parents came to get him, I went to the grocery (later than usual), came home and did two chores on my "must do" list--bagged up the pile of droppings in the backyard (I clean every night but just make a pile to the side of the yard) and it was past due time to get rid of it, and I crawled under the railing to turn the porch hose back on and give the plants a good watering--had to turn it off when it froze and yesterday was the first day nice enough to be out there. After lunch Jean came--she has been without internet for two weeks and, by her own admission, cranky about it. I fully understandd--I get cranky even I'm without it for a day. It did get me to thinking how it's changed our world and our habits. She worked at my computer for almost two hours while I read that novel I started while watching Jacob. Then last night I had eggplant parmegiana with Jay and Susan--I'm always serving them leftovers so they invited me to share theirs, and it was delicious. A pleasant, comfortable evening--good food and very good company, including the new dog Rio who wants so badly to get in everyone's lap. I finally said at almost nine that I had to come home to work, but of course I didn't--I read.
Today I've been cooking. Texas Monthly somehow has me on their list to send weekly recipes too. Sometimes I delete, sometimes I forward, and occasionally I cook one. This week it was lemon/garlic chicken with tomato basil sauce. Jordan and Christian are coming for dinner, with Jacob of course. I've made the marinade--soy, lemon, sugar, etc.--and the sauce--called for roasting Roma tomatoes on the grill. Washed the lettuce for dinner and did some other chores, and then decided it's time to sit for a while before I do my yoga and make some cheese grits for Jacob and Christian (Jordan and I probably will steal bit but it's not on the recommended eating list).
Things I did not do: go to church (I had good intentions but as I often do on Sunday mornings, I got busy cooking). I also didn't journal, although Susan sent me home with a blank notebook last night. Years ago, she read The Artist's Way, and it recommended jounraling for 30 minutes every morning first thing, writing without planning, whatever comes into your mind, whether it makes sense or not. To me, it sounds like a good plan, supposed to free your creativity from everyday worries. Jay maintained just thinking those random unorganized thoughts wouldn't do it--it's the act of putting them on paper. There ensued a discussion about creativity, because he said Susan and I (she's an artist) were creative, whereas he was not, and we argued that what he does--sales--is an art form at which he's very good and neither of us could do. Susan's been writing her journal entries for twenty years, and it's second nature to her now, but she admitted you have to do it for a while before you begin to feel any effect. Once again, I had good intentions, but I got into my morning routine almost without knowing it--and on Sundays, that's a cup of coffee, the morning paper, and the news. And I know at this point I'd never get up 30 minutes early on a work morning.
Tomorrow I'll make green noodles with mushrooms, scallions, artichoke hearts, lemon, pesto and Parmesan for Jeannie and Jim. He's going to take a look at my finances and tell me where he thinks I am. I also fix some tuna salad and tomato basil soup, combining some organic packaged soup with the leftover sauce from tonight. I'm going to unofficially close my office for a couple of hours and invite Susan and Melinda to lunch to watch the inauguration. So it's a cooking weekend--the kind I like. And I bet I finish that novel today!

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