In Which Our Heroine Is A Good Cook Despite Ill Effects

11 November 2003

If only I knew what I was supposed to be discussing with last night's dinner. Maybe then its thorough disagreement with me would seem more reasonable.

The funny thing is, yesterday was the day I decided I was a good cook. I had gone to the grocery store (after buying a snow shovel, plant saucers, a pot for Porthos, birthday cards, and two Christmas presents), and I came home to find that I lacked sufficient molasses for the bread kind of gingerbread I was going to try. Drat. So I went to a closer, inferior grocery store and got a bottle of molasses and went on with making "stout Irish gingerbread." There is nothing that has ever made me feel witchier than boiling Guinness stout and molasses together. It's black and it smells slightly sulferous and the bubbles are an evil brownish. Double double. Thing is, I had not written down how much flour went in this bread recipe. I noticed this before I even started to preheat the oven, but it didn't occur to me not to make the bread. I know what bread looks like. I just threw in flour until it was enough, and it was enough, and it's lovely stuff.

Incidentally and sadly, it's handy that I baked a couple loaves, because now I can take one to a friend whose mother died this weekend. And also a lasagna. Thank God for lasagna. I would have no idea what to do about death if it wasn't for bread and lasagna. People my age are not supposed to have parents die. To everything there is a season, and this is not that season. (Not that I'm happy with people's grandparents, elderly aunties and uncles, mentors, neighbors, etc. dying, either. Death: not a fun thing. I know: you come here for the deep thoughts. But still.)

Anyway, I made Harvest Stuffed Squash, and it was moderately tasty, though probably not enough to be made frequently: it was a heck of a lot of work, many dishes dirtied, etc. But it had red and orange and yellow bell peppers and two kinds of mushrooms and pulverized walnuts and happy spices, and I realized that I am what people mean when they say someone is a good cook. I mess with recipes and make them my own. And when I do, they come out pretty tasty. I can make a nutritious, flavorful dinner in three hours or in fifteen minutes. I know how to do things by feel, whether it's the amount of flour in a bread recipe or the amount of garlic Hey. Good cook. Whaddaya know.

But I won't be making it again soon, as I did not feel good following; but I appear to be the only one who reacted that way, so I'm not going to denigrate my cooking for it, either.

Dear hearts, I am tired. I just got done with being sick and then was sick again in an entirely different and thankfully temporary way. I'm really hungry. Rachel is coming for lunch, and I told her we didn't mind feeding people or going out. But if I'm feeding her here, she's getting Campbell's tomato and a tunafish sandwich, or the complexity equivalent thereof. Because I am tired, and I have work to do, and I don't have enough green peppers for the soup. Despite going to the grocery store twice yesterday. Sigh. Good cook, but grocery incompetent, apparently. I am told this is genetic; I'm told that Great-Grandma was always sending Great-Grandpa to the store for just one more little thing she forgot.

Ceej and I talked a bit this morning about our family members and wars. I didn't mean it as, "Let us now have a Veteran's Day Conversation!" But it was a timely conversation anyway, about which veterans feel comfortable sharing war stories and why. I really like the links the Nielsens Hayden have about veterans, especially of the Great War; also, I wish I had time to reread Pat Barker's lovely WWI trilogy. If you haven't gotten to it yet and you're going to the bookstore or the library, it's a good Veterans' Day choice.

I still wish there was mail delivery, though.

Back to the articles, and Talking to Dragons, and so on.

Back to Novel Gazing.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.