Friday, November 17, 2006

Not that I’m counting, but…

In eight minutes, I will be done working for the week. Let the rakish, devil-may-care, how wild and crazy am I?! drinking of two, COUNT THEM! TWO!!!, hard ciders each evening begin!!

Oooooh yeah. I’m a wild one. Rrowr.

Also, because I am so proud of myself for finally remembering to do it: I’ve updated my links. Check ‘em out.

I got six rows in on the shawl, and lived to tell about it. Two more rows, and then I start decreasing – four stitches come off every other row for quite a while. Pretty soon, the thing starts positively flying. Instead of taking just shy of half an hour per row.

Which is tedium-SQUARED.

I have temporarily set aside Eldest’s sweater while I work on this. Because I am suffering a sudden bout of panic brought on by the sudden realization that Thanksgiving is next week and I am never in a million years going to finish all the Christmas knitting I thought I was going to do. So I am appeasing my panic by pretending I can still get it all done by casting on the shawl. And also, Eldest told me she isn’t planning to actually wear the sweater because, and I quote, “It is too hot and I don’t think I actually like the star.”

So I’m sulking, and refusing to work on it until she takes it back.

Maturity personified, that’s me.

About that new HVAC system – they’re out there pounding away right now. We’re getting a new air conditioning unit, a new furnace, some new duct work (yay), a boss thermostat (which is requiring new wiring, naturally). Cabinets were removed to make room. And oddly, the thing that makes me happiest: the old yellow fuzzy insulation will be replaced with gleaming chrome NASA-space-blanket material.

I’ve always loathed that yellow fuzzy stuff. It makes me feel as though mice have been peeing in my garage. Seriously. I look at that yellow fuzzy stuff, and I think Mice + Pee.


In other news, I just had a conversation about leftovers. Which seems an odd thing to be having an actual discussion about, but there you are. These things happen in my reality with shocking frequency; it’s like the way that somehow, your religious relatives manage to bring a conversation about auto parts around to $DEITY. It started off innocently enough…

“Hey, whole chicken is $0.69 a pound at SavMart!” I enthused.

“Yes, but what would I do with a whole chicken?” she demanded. “Billy and I would only eat maybe half of it and then we’d have to throw the rest away! I can buy two chicken breasts for the same price and not have to throw any away!”

After I picked my brain up off the sidewalk and blew the germs off it, I asked her if she had never heard of ‘leftovers’. To which she replied that she just couldn’t come up with anything to do with them.


Brain on the sidewalk again.

Because man, I am all about strategic leftover usage. And pre-cooking. And all manner of devious ways to have homey meals on the table without actually spending two hours in the kitchen that very day.

I know it fell out of favor, but for a while the ‘cook monthly and freeze’ thing was all the rage. And also, when I was working the 50-60 hour weeks with the four hour daily commute, it saved my bacon. We never would have eaten anything that wasn’t shoved through my car window in a greasy paper bag if it hadn’t been for the monthly cooking thing.

The idea was, you’d find one weekend – just one weekend a month! – and cook like a fiend. You made casseroles and whatnot, popped them into the freezer and viola! “On demand” dinners! I have the Sabbath feature on my oven (yes, even non-Jews can get these ovens, they don’t check your credentials – only your credit rating), so I’d even put the frozen thing in there in the morning and set the oven to come on at, say, 4:00. By 6:00 when we got home, dinner was ready.

Although I don’t do the monthly thing any more, I do still cook with an eye to planned leftovers. Day 1, some big hunk of meat is roasted. Pot roast, whole chicken, pork loin, something like that. (Pauses to daydream about a standing rib roast…which I am too cheap to buy but lust after regularly because I love it so…)

On Day 2, I do something sneaky with the meat – but not sneaky enough that nobody will notice it’s the same thing. Like, I’ll take slices of pork, mix up the sides and whip up a quick orange sauce or something to put over it. Or make sandwiches or salads or something like that.

Day 3 I’ll do ‘something else’, because even the Denizens will protest pork three nights in a row. Ground beef or previously-frozen chicken breasts are frequently seen on Day 3.

But on Day 4, it becomes a casserole or soup.

Whatever is leftover on Day 4 goes into the freezer in individual-sized take-n-toss containers for lunches or emergency dinners. Because I am not a bit above putting six individual containers of soup into the crockpot and pretending I meant to be serving that for dinner the whole time!

She promises she’ll try it.

I think she was just trying to shut me up.

But in any case, I have witnessed to an unbeliever today and therefore my work is done.

Have a great weekend, y’all. I’m off to put away laundry and stir the crockpot, after which I will pretend that I am positively exhausted by all those hours I spent cooking and cooking and cooking…


Anonymous said...

I am so about the leftovers as well. I love to roast a chicken on Sunday and then make up a chicken casserole that I shove in the fridge. Whomever gets home first pops it in the oven and whamo, more leftovers.

KMK said...

Hee.. "they don't check your credentials, just your credit rating."

NeedleTart said...

Darling Husband won't even let me use the crock pot, get this, "unless you are home to watch it, just in case the house burns down." We have a stove with the Sabbeth setting, we are Jewish, and he would never let me use it, you know, just in case. Hanukkah is a real trip, all those candles!

NeedleTart said...

Refering to your post: You could (cough, cough) tell your family you need to go to PA for the quilting lesson! That would give you some alone time (at least 2 days worth, not including airport security time)

Anonymous said...

My family object to leftovers, green vegetables, sweet potato, red meat, white meat, beans, you name it. The first night it's served they'll eat it. The second night(even with a decent intervening period in the freezer) there's no chance.

I have a magic remedy: Pie. We have Wotsit Pie about once a week. Any leftovers get put (unnoticed) into the freezer. I make pastry, line the pie dish, tip in the frozen things and cover it up (be sure to freeze gravy/sauce with the leftovers). Never ever name your pie (eg. 'chicken' pie, 'steak and mushroom' pie, otherwise they will get the idea that pies should include a clue as to content. Bake the next day (this is a night-before preparation, refridgerate - the pie filling will defrost overnight in the fridge) - cook about 40 mins in a medium hot oven.

My children have never known that pies come in different varieties. They just know they taste nice and cannot identify the ingredients. Voila, leftovers du jour, and everyone gets a surprise in their slice (if you don't mix up the ingredients - makes life exciting!) like Russian Roulette Pie!

Now there's an idea... I could hide the brussel sprouts in a single wedge...