Sunday, November 30, 2008

A new standard for evaluating the nutritiousness of relationships..

Tammy from , one of my favorite food bloggers mentioned today,

"So, I was reading along this morning, everything seemed to be going fine, my name was spelled correctly, both Tammys were fairly represented, all the facts appeared to be in good working order, when…wha? “Unnatural?” I had an “unnatural” fixation on someone? Hmmph. As if the USDA has a standard labeling system that categorizes the nutritiousness of our relationships. God. (Actually, that would come in pretty handy. Could someone get on that?)."

( )

Perhaps a food-pyramid-style set-up?

The base could be sound relationships, based on shared interests, mutual respect, and support and love. These could include family, friends, and boy/girlfriends. This would go where the breads/grains section is located. These would be the basis for fulfillment and stability and over-all good emotional health. However, that is awfully stodgy, just like that bowl of plain brown rice. You know in your heart of hearts it's good for you, but it's just not exciting unless laced with more troubling parts of the relationship pyramid.

The next segment which treats vegetables and fruit would mandate a more careful split. Vegetables/Legumes would be reserved for that guy or girl who would treat you right and take good care of you, but that you're not sure you want. This is the one who always returns your calls, and remembers your birthday. These are stalwarts, not exciting, thrill-filled relationships, but a great basis for long term sustainability.

Fruits with their sweet goodness are a bit more decadent. Perhaps this is the guy or girl you didn't think you could catch or deserve, the one you hope to keep. You read extensively about existentialism on wikipedia to know enough to chat him or her up at a cocktail party or at the coffee shop. You show up in public reading impressive, heavy books, or cook stupidly complicated meals to impress this potential significant other. They're good for you, because they cause you to strive to be a better version of yourself. After a while though, this can become exhausting.

The next level is the split between the meat/poultry/fish and dairy products. Meat/poultry I'd like to reserve for those relationships that are painfully destructive. The ones where a person loves without sense, even when friends and family discourage it. This is for the ill-fated stars of love like Romeo and Juliet or for those involved in potentially or seriously abusive relationships. i.e. "S/He only hurts me because s/he loves me" and other unfortunate residue of the patriarchy. This is for the relationships that send one sobbing to friends routinely, more than once a week, wishing for change but loving in spite of a failure to enact such change on the part of the other.

Dairy products will be replaced with unrequited love. This is for your best-friend's boyfriend or girlfriend, or that one room mate-love interest you never recovers from. This category is for boy and girls that leave you pining, leave you hanging, never return calls or break dates. These are the people that accidentally or on-purpose leave you alone, sobbing over chocolate ice cream with your cat. This is for the New Year's Eve kiss you hoped for with every fibre of your soul. By focusing on these relationships or possibilities of relationships, you may keep yourself from consuming more bread/grains supportive wonderful relations that may actually do you some good. You may also avoid commitment in order to be available in case the subject of your unrequited love becomes available.

The top for fats and sugars would definitely be reserved for unhealthy obsessions, such as those indicated by Tammy with respect to her favorite farmer. Also included could be swooning over Craig Daniel in the Bond films, that dreamy barista at the coffee shop, or one's favorite barkeep or classmate or office-cube-farm dweller. The entirely fantastical and hopeful relationships that we all dream and plea to fulfill... These relationships are characterized by a healthy disrespect for reality and a belief in Prince or Princess Charming style romance. The type which mandate these pronouncements: "One day, he/she will realize that my love is the most pure and will return it to me!"

I think this division should do the trick. Eat your grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. They're good for you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pirates on the move...

I'm headed to a wedding in south-central Indiana this weekend to celebrate the happy day for a dear friend from middle school and high school. I haven't seen her since she left the country to teach in Japan, about three years ago. I'm so thrilled to see someone I know so happy with someone so special.

Here's to you, Super-Suzo, and all those fun years. To costumes and dinner parties, to eating chocolate cake for breakfast. To endless chats online and long telephone calls. To believing in each other. Here's to a decade of friendship and celebrating finding that special someone. *chinchin*

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Domesticity, 2.0

I remember when I was first working after college. All of the sudden tasks like buying groceries, washing the dishes, doing laundry seemed impossible. What had previously been an escape, a convenient and practical way to procrastinate on that assignment or paper or research project was suddenly a leaden weight. When did people who worked 8, 9, 10 hours a day have time to do these things? After work I was deadened, only good to scrape together dinner and lounge. I didn't want to read or craft or do anything, especially no desire to leave the house. I'd been forced to interact all day long with people I didn't like and didn't want to see or talk to, but mandated by my work environment to do both.

It seemed a task of epic proportions to run laundry down the stairs or to the laundromat. Finding the energy to run to the neighborhood Kroger to buy soy milk, peanut butter, bread, it seemed seldom likely. I opted for a least-possible route, only washing dishes or doing laundry when there was nothing left to wear or use. I would scrape by on bread ends and cracker crumbs and scavenged food, just to have more time to spend alone, at home, freed from the constraints of other people's expectations.

Now that I'm underemployed, like a vast number of other Americans, I've become domestic-tastic. I cook, I clean, I bake, I scrub, I do laundry routinely. I arrange recycling. Admittedly some of the baking is trial-and-error testing for the bakery that's opening in the next few weeks. However, it is not unusual to spend a day buried under an avalanche of flour, dishwater, and cleaning products. I haven't yet alphabetized my bookcases, but I don't doubt that day is coming soon. Clothing is folded, or hung on hangers. The kitchen is approaching OCD orderly. I've been introduced to the power of the Swiffer and I chase dust bunnies of cat fur across the laminate floors.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. Is there another reaction to under-employ? I can't imagine just resting on the sofa with the television or the internet or a book. It's unfathomable.

Here's! To Domesticity! *clink clink* Now I'm going to eat home-made chili with home-baked whole wheat focaccia. *salut!*

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some will be pardoned, and some punished...

After a solid 24 hours of meows, morose looks, and direct glares, the cat populace has won. After heartily nomming their way through the delicious Purina One cat chow, the kittehs proceeded to snub the cheap food, (an emergency bag purchased by the roomie a few weeks back). They've be growing hongrier and hongrier and hongrier.
Fussier and fussier and fussier.
Since I want to be able to sleep sweetly all day tomorrow (I work the night shift tonight) I caved. Now there is Meow Mix, the cat chow prefere of Bitey and George. Olivia will have to cope. The men of the house have spoken. Seafood flavor, not original. I haven't heard a single complaint since I walked in the door, bearing gifts.
Time to tinfoil my window. NO SUN NO!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventures in Rum Consumption...

Trader Vic's ( ) Rum is currently up for analysis/taste testing.

As a proper rum wench, I took the first swig directly from the opened bottle, gasped, choked and noted, "Well, we got what we paid for." A sweet smell, a spicy initial flavor, with a bitter and biting ouch at the end. It does indeed taste like booze, and is not so syrupy as to disguise that fact.

So, I bring you, the Second Choice Cocktail:

2 oz dark rum
1 oz raspberry liquer
2 oz orange or other citrus juice

Throw some ice in there because.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Progress in America.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Victorious Baking!

I'm doing trials for some baked items I'll be making in a professional capacity. Yesterday I made homemade half-whole-wheat focaccia with sage, two flat rounds, and also pistachio-chocolate chip biscotti. The focaccia was great yesterday -- fresh and soft and wonderful, but this morning it's a little lackluster. It's rather dry. I think I need to look into making it with more olive oil or possibly some ground flax seed to increase the moisture content I'm not adverse to baking it fresh every day, but I'd like to have it have a 2-day shelf life, since it's going to be pannini grilled anyway. I do want to keep it vegan, and to continue making it with at least half-whole-grain. I might make a white-flour batch next time too. Either way, fresh bread homemade is just damned satisfying. I was dragging mine through olive oil and balsamic.

The biscotti were perfect though; the recipe only made one log, and I sliced them a little too thick, but they have received rave reviews. The fact that there are almost none left speaks well enough; my room mate and Mainsheet Meric were devouring them. Biscotti are on my new list of stoooopidly easy baked goods -- I just need to start baking everything because so much is shockingly easy -- why did I ever let anyone else make this for me/why do I pay x amount for this. They're also made without butter, which is nice since dairy products are increasingly expensive. I'm not sure if that makes them healthy, but even these weren't too sugary, the flavor was all in the nuts and chocolate. I want to dip the next batch half in melted chocolate.

As soon as I get the camera operational, there will be pictures, and also, recipes!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pirates voted for Obama today!

Pirates are awfully happy right now. Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who contributed time, money, energy, sweat and tears to his campaign.