Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004
In Da House
Ah the joys of the holidays! I did the domestic thing tonight, among other things. Thanksgiving in the US is this Thursday, and I ostensibly have the day off. I probably actually won't work - as in, work for a pittance of a paycheck.
Nope, this time I'll be working for free!
I'm invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my former in-laws' home. They've planned an intimate get-together of about 45 people, including out-of-state relatives. I've been cooking my heine off tonight, only to discover that my oven is not sitting level and my gingerbread cooked very unevenly. It's about 3" thick on one end and 1" thick on the other. And since Youngest Daughter has something (I don't even remember what) in my only real cake pan, I ended up using a blue granite roasting pan to bake the gingerbread in.
Yes, for those non-cooking Philistines out there, it makes a difference. A dark pan will make a dark crust, which is pretty much not a good idea for gingerbread. By that point I was stuck, though. The batter was ready to be poured and the oven was sort of preheated. If I'd known ahead of time I'd at least have bought some of those cheap foil pans, but nooo...
It's not the end of the world. Youngest Daughter assured me, after sampling about an eighth of a very large pan, that it's good despite the browned-and-nearly-burned bottom, it's good stuff. I will freeze it, slice off the bottom, and sprinkle that side with powdered sugar.
Hey, I raised four kids. I learned long ago to improvise.
I also made one batch of fudge tonight. Tomorrow I'll make the other batch and the brownies, and Wednesday I'll make the mashed potatoes and the potato salad. I begged to make something I'm allowed to have on my diet, but my former mother-in-law is particularly aversive to anything that might be considered healthy. I swear she'd deep fry chicken noodle soup if she could.
That's not to say she can't cook. Just the opposite, in fact. While we've had our ups and downs, there's no disputing the cooking abilities for either of us. That seems to be a consistent neutral ground. There are things she makes that I can't touch - among them, her buttermilk biscuits, which melt in your mouth. I can make decent yeast bread but no matter what I do, no matter how carefully I follow her recipe, my biscuits NEVER turn out like hers.
But I have my specialties, too. I make a mean sour cream brownie and to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only one who knows how to make a german chocolate torte. (It isn't really a torte, but that's what I call it. It's German chocolate cake sliced into thin layers, with bitter chocolate between the layers and a bitter chocolate glaze, and coconut-pecan icing over that.) I get requests for my lasagna, chicken and dumplings, homemade pizza, or enchiladas. I love to cook, but the time factor generally keeps me out of the kitchen. Tonight I just decided to cook anyway. Unfortunately that's why I'm posting to my diary at nearly 1:30am, hehe.
While we'll be having Thanksgiving with the relatives, I am also going to cook a turkey for home. It's purely pragmatic reasons. This time of year, turkeys are dirt cheap, and you can make a heck of a lot of meals out of one bird. I'll probably cook it Saturday or Sunday and put some of it in the freezer. I'll make some of it into curry, slice some for sandwiches, cube some for soup, and reserve a fair amount just for unadorned leftovers.
I haven't had a lot of time online the past couple of weeks, and especially not the past few days. I finally signed on tonight to check on a friend and I guess she's decided she would rather shut me out again. This is the same repetitive pattern of self-destruction I've seen with this person again and again. At least I recognize it. God help the woman if she drinks, because she has an addict's personality. Everything is everyone else's fault but her own. I really do care about her, consider her a friend. But I've run across this scenario so often over the years that I know it's time to let go. She won't change until she recognizes the problem and decides she wants to change. And that hasn't happened yet. I also know all too well that I can't help her. I've tried time and time and time again, and she gives it lip service but nothing changes.
I mourn for her. I will miss her. I hope that eventually she learns to accept herself and to love herself. She said she's getting counseling. I hope that she does.
I didn't get any photos of snow on the mountains today, darn it. There was only a dusting of snow at the top, for one thing. My camera apparently developed some sort of electronic tic, ever since 00 borrowed it to take some photos for work. One of our sponsors is an antique shop called The Pickle Barrel. (Fair warning about that page - while I am not sure why, it's very, very slow downloading. I need to find a way to optimize it so it doesn't take so long. It takes several seconds even with my high-speed connection, and it should definitely NOT take that long.) When 00 went to snap those photos, she managed to get ninety-six pictures saved to my memory chip. Normally its capacity is about thirty less than that.
I deleted all of the files off of the memory chip and will try again tomorrow, hopefully. Youngest Daughter just came in and is talking my ear off over something when I've already told her, "I don't know." Doncha love kids?
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )