Friday, August 21, 2009

Reclaiming a Bit of Myself

This week, I broke down and ordered used copies of three cookbooks that I loaned to someone and never got back. I love this trio by Mollie Katzen. Finding the versions I previously owned -- the originals, before the author 'lightened' the recipes -- was a bit of a challenge, but I managed.

For several years, I tried looking for tried-and-true favorite recipes on-line, but I suspect many aren't the same. People base their versions on the original, but the changes they make aren't necessarily something TV or I would like. Example: cucumber salad with red onion, red wine vinegar, and honey. I found something very close on-line, but it called for dill and radishes. The radishes never played into the recipe I used to make, and I can't imagine using dill, because TV is seriously not a fan of dill.

And there was a mashed potato pie crust I used for a spinach-ricotta pie . . . Tuscan bean soup . . . lime marinated roasted red peppers . . . zucchini & tomato sandwiches . . .

I'll be haunting my mailbox this week, that's for sure!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Oh, My Aching Feet

Never tell a Pisces that her aching feet are all in her head. Ever. Go ahead: Google Pisces and feet and see what comes up. If you stop to think about it, it's not so very odd that fish would have feet problems.
But I'm getting sidetracked. My feet hurt for a very specific reason. I've been standing in the kitchen in a pair of flipflops making an Opera/Anniversary picnic. Tomorrow is TV & my wedding anniversary, and we're going to Glimmerglass. I'm not an opera fan, but Glimmerglass is just as much about the experience as it is the opera. There is a picnic area across the road from the theater. Last year, I dreamed a picnic lunch and threw together an impromptu meal. It was lovely. This year, as I mentioned, our Glimmerglass tickets happen to be for our anniversary.
I spent the week surfing the net looking for picnic ideas. I found several that I adapted to our particular tastes. We're having two kinds of "Mediterrean Turkey Wraps"; a rice, asparagas, and cucumber salad, and a medley of fresh berries. There are a couple of 187ml bottles of spumante chilling along with everything else. I just need to pack the dishes and tablecloth in the picnic basket and find a cooler. It's going to be a nice afternoon.
After the opera, we plan to eat dinner in a restaurant, then hit a silent movie festival, where a live orchestra will accompany the flicks. This is more TV's thing than mine. It could be worse. He could want to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame . . . again.
So now the washer is going, the dryer is going, the dishwasher is going, there's a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in my refrigerator calling my name, and my feet hurt.
Planning a relaxing day is exhausting . . . and rough on the feet.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Exhibiting Secrets

A few weeks ago, X-Chromo asked me to take her to the local art museum to see the Post Secrets exhibit. X-Chromo has been a Post Secret fan for several years . . . owns at least two of the books, checks the website every Sunday for the update. It was in town for several months, but I finally managed to put on the Good Mommy Hat and take her and one of her friends on the last day of the exhibit.
Post Secrets is an on-going 'art project' where people create 'postcards' containing their deepest secrets and mail them anonymously to the creator (whose name escapes me at the moment).
I saw many people crying at the museum as they read some of the confessions. A couple of secrets stayed with me, but none made me cry. I did choke up at the ballet slippers bearing the truth about why the owner gave up dance: her teacher told her she was no good at it. And I was amused at one or two others, which makes me sound callous, but really? They were amusing.
X-Chromo told me about a secret from one of the books: "No one who knew me before 9/11 knows I'm alive." I wrote a book based on this premise many years ago. Another writer friend says she periodically goes to the website searching for 'secrets' to use as creative inspiration.
It's interesting to read what some folks consider their deepest, darkest secrets. The museum played a taped-interview with the project creator, who claimed the most common secret he receives is, "I pee in the shower."
What's really interesting is the perspective one gains about one's own life and 'secrets'. Things could be a lot worse.