Saturday, July 30, 2016

In Heaven Everything is Fine

This is a chicken thigh dressed up as an enchilada hanging with some sweet corn on the cob and leftover red rice and nectarine salsa.
These are my personal favorite everyday type dinners that only make sense to me.  I think someone else could enjoy it, like P.  And he does.  I see it.  He eats it up and says how good it tasted. But sometimes I wonder if my appreciation goes deeper because its all so particular.  I wonder if adding the emotional personal attachment to pleasure is a female thing all around.  Connecting premiums to gratification is like multi tasking, another lady invention.  This should be studied.  For a guy, maybe that would ruin it.
I do ponder these things.  Another reason I never wanted to work in food service.  I'm always terrified to learn someone hates something I find absolutely fabulous.  How could it be? The world is so harsh.  Like cold fresh salsa over hot rice.  The way my mom's enchilada sauce tastes mixed with cold chopped onions and iceberg lettuce sliced thin, some sharp cheddar. The sad feeling I get when I discover a buddy hates mushrooms or cilantro.  Some people hate when one food touches the other.  I say new flavor combinations are sometimes discovered this way. Some folks are into wild things but that never bothered me.  I'd often try them just to see if I could possibly get that same sensation.  Differences start early too and I was there to witness many.  I preferred salt on my rhubarb instead of sugar like the other kids.  Mustard was a must on my hamburger whereas ketchup won out for most.  But it didn't end there with me, I would do the ketchup but you have to swirl in the mustard and then add sour pickles on top to correct the order in the universe.  For me, anyway, that's how I saw it and it pretty much stays the same today.  I want people to have what they like but I can only speak to what I like, so....

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do You Remember the Time?

Stove top grilled pork chop with sloppy enchiladas. Too tired to wrap them all cute, I just made a layered casserole of sauce, cheese, corn torts and raw onion and put the chop on a bed of cold lettuce.  That's red rice with a nectarine salsa.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever really be able to appreciate the moment I'm living in. #goals.  Looking back now in November, I see this was in the heart of summer.  I've just made a fabulous meal that looked and tasted great and maybe I did enjoy it, who knows. But I have no recollection or happy memory of it other than I sent the picture to my sister who asked me what that stuff was on the right side of the plate.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sympathy for the Devil

Easily one of my favorite foods, any version of a taco bowl.  Like this one with brown rice and black beans, baby spinach and pico de gallo with lime as a dressing.  The tangy juice from the tomatoes saturates down into the rice for a tarty freshness.  Just a bit of sharp white cheddar and spiced ground turkey round it out for a complete meal.
Do you ever consider the devil?  As a side mental project this week, serving as a distraction from health matters, I'm loosely basing my pondering on the Antichrist.  The devil himself.  But as to make it manageable, I broke it down into considering the foundations of my understanding of him as child. Not as a general good versus evil concept but as an actual entity.  Just as with my understanding of math and science, my biblical Catholic teachings were not fully formed but I happily filled the gaps with my imagination along the way.  Surely we discussed the devil in class but mainly I recall speaking much more of hell, which I assumed was the Devil's home.  A fiery furnace that I could find myself in if I didn't mind my p's and q's.  But I remember being torn as there were also stories of his time as a strong powerful angel leader and one of God's favorites even.  He was cast down and fell from grace.  I just assumed it was at that time that he lost all his good looks.  That created a bizarre compassion and tenderness for him. In a way even a romanticism in my newly forming heart for the old goat as we were told he was once so beautiful and God adored him.  So in that sense, I even divided evil into two.  The ugly, mean, dark Lucifer who preys on the weak and takes delight in tricking you into following along with his hateful, vindictive work. And then the gorgeous angel man who seriously needed a hug after all he'd been through.  No doubt I would never want to run into him say walking home from school but I was pretty sure I saw glimpses of him in adults and kids having bad moments in my day to day. From what I knew to be true of people behaving badly so far was to acknowledge humans were very flawed and weak, sometimes seemingly not in control of their actions.  And after enough contemplation following a wrongdoing, I usually just felt sad for them. So I realize now that I certainly held fear as a young girl but also a defined sympathy for the devil.

The subject came up as someone mentioned the other day that the devil was tormented and it stuck with me all week.  What a concept.  What the hell is that asshole upset about, he's surely recruiting by the numbers.  I guess in my subconscious I always envision the devil to be quite happy in general. At least as his public persona. Someone who loved his work so to speak.  But the statement brought back thoughts of his inner pain and affliction, appealing to my small self.  Wait.  What the... No devil!...back!  Damn, he's good!!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Day Obama Socked it to the Harper Valley PTA

This sweet little dish was made back in July but I'm writing this in October, just 23 days from the November Election.  Something serious has just gone down in Yemen but it will take days before I understand it. Instead on my day off I feel the need to bleed out my thoughts on Trumps bus leak transcripts and finally put this thing to rest (in my head). You never know what you're going to spend time thinking about and it's hard to truly understand why a particular action or event might bother you as opposed to another.
Initially when I listened to the audio from the bus footage I was totally disgusted but it came as no surprise to me that Donald Trump from what we now know about him, spoke like this.  The beginning was repulsive but then he went that much further than say the drunkest biggest asshole at the bar in describing and being specific about actions.  And this was key in the words and his past words actually, suddenly becoming so much more powerful. It didn't change anything politically for me except to increase my deep dread of living in a post winning Trump world.  In the back of my mind I was kind of excited to at least see the few people I know that have held onto him as a candidate finally concede enough is enough.  It wasn't until more thinking people brought up that he was describing actual sexual assault did I really understand how big this was for our country in a weird way.   A very high profile man had just done the unthinkable and it was caught on tape for all to replay lest he try to deny it.  Joy, Joy!
And then, I read just a few too many defenders.  'These are just words'.   'Tell me you haven't said things like this before or worse'.  (* btw side note: my husband and I pride ourselves on out-cruding each other on a regular basis but our grossest humor never crosses into that hateful, dark world of wrongness that Trump so eloquently laid down on Bush). Someone's meme read:  'People are afraid of words but will let a man in the same bathroom with their daughter'. I felt all sick for a day.  Wow, was I over reacting?  I stopped reading all the backlash and thought it was time to go onto more important issues. Then Trump defended himself.  And to this day he digs even deeper into this huge ugly hole by claiming 'those women' who are accusing him are 'not attractive' and would never be his first choice....for assault mind you.  This is his response to sexual allegations!!!??  People that I know and love are okay with this???  Talk about alternate universes.  What is happening right now?

First of all, I woke up and realized. I know this man very well.  I am unfortunately super aware of this mindset.  But this isn't about me or me having to deal with past abuse.  This was about acknowledging just how many men and women know this man and continue to allow him to carry on decade after decade, every reincarnation of this asshole that lurks and we generally don't try to stop them because it's uncomfortable. We are all Billy Bush in some respects.  How many women had to deal with a Trump in their life intimately?  How many guys did you suspect thought this way but couldn't even bring yourself to believe it.  How many times because of exactly the reaction of a huge portion of the country have so many of us women just gritted our teeth and shoved various forms of sexual assault under the rug because we didn't want to bum anyone out?  And for me personally it's even more sad and disturbing for women to ignore or play down the power of those words especially in 2016.

But then this week, Michelle Obama gave a speech and I don't know if I took one breathe for the first five minutes. I felt her words so strongly one because she was serving them up them with a conviction I had not seen before.  But two because she was fucking reading my mail all week!  I couldn't stop thinking about this. I was feeling this personally, this is not acceptable!  Her words were screaming in my head all week dying to come out.  The whole of America was hearing this speech from the most powerful woman I can think of at the moment.  She was not only calling major bullshit, she was sorting and organizing my week of disparaging thoughts.  The foundation, the history, the deep contrast of the world right now..beautiful progressive movements celebrating women and this crazy train thinking that too much of the country is supporting.  It's not a regular election.  This is not normal!  This is right versus wrong.  No woman deserves to be treated this way and let's be honest, a non reaction is a slap in the face to all women. These human decency rules apply for either candidate, man or woman.  But like she said, this wasn't necessarily about politics at that moment.  And even if she wasn't the president she was our First Lady, the mom-in-chief doing what needed to be done at that very moment as a voice for all thinking women and men.  She finally said the words I wanted to hear,  Enough is Enough!  And then she said 'This has got to stop, right now!' like in the most epic mom voice ever and for all of America to hear.  Talk about the power of words!
Cauliflower Steak Pizzas with mushrooms, onions and turkey sausage.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Leftovers with a Side Salad

Leftover Chicken and Mexican Brown Rice with a side spinach salad with red cabbage.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Feeling Better Now That We're Through

Another great summer corn salad with zucchini and tomatoes jalapenos, lots of herbs and lemon juice.  The burger was a thick grass fed patty with bacon from the Green Grape.  Once in a while, I treat us to real beef in the form of a big juicy cheeseburger or steak.  But to prevent from eating too much beef, we only buy two portions from the butcher at a time.  Even occasional treats go through your system like you're digesting a hammer sometimes.  My body feels better not eating beef and pork but I do miss it so more than I thought I would.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Inspiration is What You are to Me, Inspiration, Look See

Summer Chicken & Rice Soup with Zucchini and Corn.  In so many ways this soup is such a page out of my personal history.  The ingredients are borrowed from my mom's Mexican casserole she used to make at home before the family restaurant.  Those recipes were the secret stash, the real deal she learned from her mother in law, the good stuff. That dish had silky goodness and the melding of the flavors straight into the rice and small chunks of corn on the cob.  Too good!  I have never come in contact with any Mexican food like my mother made at home.  There was not one taco or burrito in the joint.  
Corn always brings me back to my Indiana roots too and all the endless fields.  Driving through them, parking in them, tucked into a little spot or getting stoned and just driving in endless giant squares on the dark two lanes while sipping beers with friends.  The giant corn stalks were these natural walls to isolate us.  We were left only with our thoughts, ideas, jokes and each other.  That nothingness was a place you could go and I loved going there often.  So heavenly on a cold winter's night.  Crank the heat and drive.  So many nights we just drove until the sun came up
Zucchini, tomatoes and cilantro together are so perfect in a summer soup too.  I wonder if parts of my mother's and grandmother's history was in her soups and stews as well?