Friday, November 12, 2010

Love on the Rocks

For reasons that would be unkind for me to share, I had to make a spice and pepper free dinner for P tonight. I'm still a hot mess and couldn't take on anything too involved because I had to work late and since some bastuhd decided he wanted to steal my bike seat and all the pipes and fittings that connect to it, I had to take the shuttle bus all week. That tacks on an additional 45 minutes of travel time and another hundred dollars to find all these small parts. Thanks mother fucker, I was not having a hard enough time with my mother in the hospital and having to take emergency family leave during a major holiday. ASSHOLE!!!!

But I'm sure he really needed the money. Not like me who is making tons of extra income working a crap job at a retail store that keeps cutting my hours!

The bad thing about getting ripped off or robbed or taken here in the city is that it ends up being about how you yourself screwed up. Like I should have wrapped my chain around the seat bar like I always do, to avoid it being stolen. That night, I was off late, trying to get inside because it was rainin'. I had a plastic bag over the seat and figured, 'it'll be okay just this once'. It was my fault. If you screw up or show weakness here, someone is going to be there to prey on that. Someone crawled up the fire escape and into our living room and proceeded to fill P's bike bag like a shopping cart with our computers and that turned out to be our dumb fault too for thinking we could have a fire escape window without bars on it. Luckily P chased the guy down and got our stuff back.

It might not show but I'm a little disappointed with the human race right now. There are a lot of great people out there and I still believe that but damned if there aren't also a lot of stupid, mean, crooked little stealin' bitches out there too.

So to bring some calm into the night I bought some organic baby bok choy and portabella mushrooms to serve with some chicken breast and basmati rice. I added just a touch of oyster & soy sauce. This will provide some calm to my otherwise shitty disposition and hopefully bring back some love into my cold, cold heart.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What condition my condition is in

For as many reasons as I can think of, I'm a nervous wreck right now. I like to believe I can handle anything but I hope I never have to test that theory.

One soup that can soothe most that ails a person is pork posole. I had to conjure it up for this emergency week. I don't like to repeat dishes too often but this soup is more like medicine and sometimes you just gotta treat your condition. And my condition is a thing in question.

Pork posole starts with a layer of onions in a deep oven-proof pot, then adding good chili powder and cumin. Then adding pork (either country ribs or shoulder), I also add some hocks or necks. This time I added chicken thighs as well. Cover with about 5 cups of stock or water and braise for about 2 hours covered in the oven. Separate the meat from the stock and refrigerate overnight.

Next day skim all the fat from the top of the stock. Cut the meat into chunks and discard excess fat. Saute more onions, green or red bell peppers, lots of fresh garlic, add more cumin, chili powder, Mexican oregano and garlic powder. Then add the reserved stock, meat and plenty of hominy. Heat for about 30 minutes until all the flavors are nice and acquainted. Not just introduced to each other but downright cozy. Be sure to top with your favorite accoutrements like chopped onions, cool crisp radish slices, avocado, lemons, cilantro and dried oregano and even cabbage. But at the very least I big squirt of lemon juice and mexican oregano.

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin' out as I was crawlin' in
I got up so tight I couldn't unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

This soup can save a girl from her own life story. And it has this week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Who's to say what is normal? P and I celebrated and I use that term loosely, the 20th anniversary of our union on Halloween this year. Actually the real date is the 29th but we could never seem to remember it so we figured we could move it up a few days and that would make it easier. I know, but we are not good with remembering good things.

Anyway, twenty years? Really? Seems almost impossible. And you'd think you'd reach that plateau and want to go on a cruise or to some exotic place, something special. It is an accomplishment. But then that can become this big pressure and we're not good under unnecessary pressure either. I was getting over a cold and we were both tired that whole week. I figured, food - that would make a fun time. Snacks to be specific. I love making snacks and finger foods. I made a strong effort to get some items together although I'm not sure it was very successful and certainly not deserving of any accolades. There was football or baseball games on all day and I had to work anyway and so I rushed home and P was already in the game coma so it was what it was as they say.

It's funny because the real accomplishment is actually getting through twenty years of your life and living and loving this one person through all the screw ups and good times and the bad. We can 'do' twenty years of being together and working it out and all of that but give us a normal event to celebrate in a traditional manner and we're so lost. I think that's why we're so good together. We don't fit into normal molds. Not because we're so interesting or different or cool, but we're just odd that way.

We ate the snacks and chatted for awhile in between 'plays'.

The snack menu:
Basil pesto on toasted crusty bread

Chipotle-Garlic Shrimp

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

Pepperoni Mini-pizzas

Mother and Child Reunion

My dear sweet momma, little Sid fell down and broke her hip. She had surgery and is now recovering but its uncertain whether she will regain her ability to walk or do simple things. Its been a tough but beautiful past 10 years for LS. She has come back from the bowels of sickness and disease. In her dementia she has given me so many little gifts and pearls of wisdom. Yesterday she was groggy from the drugs and her speech was slurred. I didn't understand much of what she said but at one point she said 'All you can do in this world is keep scratching, scratching and scratching at it - you have to go out and keep lookin' for yourself'. Pretty cool.

I know she is safe. I know nothing bad can happen to her anymore. But it is still a sad time and one that you can't hide from. I've not felt like cooking or celebrating with food lately.

I'll need to travel soon to see her and be very strong. I'm hoping that food will help me during that visit with my dad and also my nieces and brother. I will rely on food to help communicate the caring and love, nurturing and comfort that I feel for them. Its a necessary part of every one's day whether they are the president or a stranger passing on the street. We all have to eat. Someone cooking for you can be very intimate or simply a kind gesture.

Eating here at home lately has felt like more of a task, like showering, cleaning up. It feels wrong to become too festive about anything. I'm worried and I feel my mother slipping away. But LS miraculously came out of a wrong diagnosis of Alzheimer's a few years ago, had a thyroid surgery and was suddenly able to walk again, make sandwiches, joke around and have some quality of life where before she was bedridden and lethargic. She has been full of surprises. So in her honor I will think positively and take each day as it comes.

We had a calm breakfast here of steak and eggs with potatoes and toast. Nothing creative, nothing out of the ordinary but good and satisfying.

This week I made a dozen baked pork chops and just put them in the fridge to serve along side a spinach & tomato salad whenever we needed to eat.