Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kitchen mistakes--and successes

Tonight I decided to do some heavy duty cooking--make potato salad for tomorrow night, fix a lamb patty and beets and greens for my dinner. Central Market sells lamb patties that have mint and feta mixed in--delicious, but one patty is huge. I halve them and freeze, and sometimes even a half is too much. But tonight I ate the whole thing--I mean, the whole half. The beets on the other hand were a problem--not exactly a disaster, but...My habit it to boil them, then slide off the outer peel, slice, and reheat with the greens, which cook down quickly. Well, I boiled those beets and boiled them and boiled them some more and still couldn't stick a fork in them. Finally decided I'd let them simmer while I ate lamb and leftover summer squash casserole. When I finally went back to them, they peeled and sliced easily--at last.
Made a potato salad with lemon juice and oil, no mayo. The Bookish Frogs, a group of friends of TCU Press, had a potluck supper recently and my friend Sue Winter brought this--I loved it. Some of my friends don't like mayonnaise (which I consider a travesty, but there's no accounting for friends) and some are gluten free--this would be perfect for them. So now I have a head start on tomorrow's dinner, beets to nibble on all week--I may pickle some--and have had a good dinner.
Sophie and I marked a milestone of sorts today: I began to leave her out without being out there every minute. Freed both of us. I do small chores, then go back to check. Since I keep a leash on her--only way I can catch her until I can teach her to come, which she isn't inclined to learn yet--I have to check frequently to make sure she isn't hung up on something, but so far she's been fine. This morning I sat at the back room table reading the paper while she and Scooby played. I left the door open, and when Scoob tired of her he came in. I tried the same thing this evening, just before dark--but he came in right away, as if to say, "Enough is enough." Sophie has also--knock on wood since it's only nine--had an accident-free day. I think this makes four days. It may come from my not watching like a hawk to see if she pees and poops. Sort of the same principle that I'm doing better on my weight now that I'm not so focused on it.
Wywy is still with us. Sunned himself by the back door this afternoon and then yowled like he wanted food. In my excitement to get him food, I left the door open and panicked for fear he'd gone outside. But he moves so slowly I figured I'd find him if he did, and this evening, while I haven't seen him, I've noticed that he's eaten some, so I guess he's safely in his closet in the house.
Whew! In the midst of all that I actually did some work editing a young-adult manuscript, by another author, for my publisher. Got all mixed up with "Search and replace" in Word but the managing editor was able to guide me through it. I get along pretty well with Word, but someitmes it seems determined to make my life difficult. This time, if I center the chapter title, it goes back and centers the last lines of the previous chapter; if I fix that, it left justifies the chapter title. Go figure! And I searched for and replaced double spaces--many people still double space after a period as we were taught years ago in school, but it doesn't work today with new printing technology. Today it deleted two spaces from all the first-line indents--fixing that line by line would have taken forever and the thought had me tearing my hair, but that's what the editor showed me how to fix.

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