Friday, July 14, 2017

More cooking experiments. And a clear look at myself

Tonight, I ran into more of the disadvantages of downsizing, mainly that you downsize yourself out of everything you’re used to having on hand. Who lives in a kitchen without baking soda? Apparently, I do and so does my daughter. I wanted to soak chickpeas overnight and cook them in the morning to make hummus. First problem with that was we couldn’t find chickpeas in the large dried bean section at Central Market. Duh! A foodie reminded us they’re garbanzos, and we bought twice as many as I needed for my initial experiment.

Then I didn’t think I had a pot big enough to cook them in 10 cups of water. Jordan unearthed one that works on my magic hotplate, so tonight the peas/gabanzos are soaking in salt water. But in the morning, I need to cook them with ¼ tsp. baking soda. My kingdom for a tsp. of baking soda.

Tomorrow I hope to cook the peas, make the hummus, and make homemade tabbouleh—a big order, since we only did the “exotic” shopping today and still have a long list for the “ordinary” grocery store, plus Jamie says he’ll be here at elevnish—read two or three, but it will be so good to see him and Eden. I hope to let the day unroll as it will. The cooking projects don’t have to be done until the next day or the next. I’m trying to learn that lesson—or unlearn all the compulsive lessons that I carry with me as baggage.

Today, after our trip to Central Market, we picked up Jacob at a friend’s house in a nearby neighborhood, one of seventies and eighties ranch style houses and huge trees, all lovely and comfortable. But people are tearing down original structures and building McMansions that stick out like sore thumbs. Apparently, no thought is given to fitting into the neighborhood. There are neighborhoods in this city where McMansions fit the general style, but not the one we visited this morning and certainly not mine. It distresses me.

But with Jacob in the back seat, monosyllabic as young boys can be, I listened to myself criticizing the big houses and realized how negative I sounded. I fear I do that about other things that don’t fit my standard of how things should be, from frozen hamburger to people (a big leap). I made myself then and there a promise to be more positive and less critical. I can keep those critical thoughts to myself.

I remembered something Colin said to me when I mentioned that the stream of visitors to the cottage had slowed down drastically. He suggested maybe I don’t always make people welcome. Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in my work that maybe I’m not fun. Another critical look at myself and another resolution.

Lord, I hope I can live up to all this. Meantime, I’m happy to report I had a wonderful and simple supper tonight. Fresh corn on the cob, steamed asparagus, and filet of sole. I used to have an awful time cooking sole because it fell apart. I dusted this with flour, and it browned perfectly and came out of the pan easily. Such a mild but good fish. Color me happy.

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