14 February 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

The late husband and I had a tradition for V-Day that started when he was hospitalized after falling off a second story roof. He had broken his pelvis in 5 places and shattered his left elbow, so he wasn't going anywhere for a while. He'd been beefing about the lousy hospital food, so on the way to visit him, I stopped at a local grocery and bought a pair of 8" tapers, holders for the candles, and a bouquet of flowers. Then I went by our favorite Middle Eastern carryout and built a dinner for two. Quick like a bunny, I hied myself off to the hospital while dinner was still warm and surprised him with a full out Valentine dinner. The floor nurses loved it and left us alone all evening.

After that, we ALWAYS had Middle Eastern food for Valentines. Even in Seoul, we had Middle Eastern food for Valentine's Day. I may well find myself a Middle Eastern restaurant today. Then again, I may not.

I recently got myself a drop spindle after I was started down the road of fibery compulsion by a friend. I've been spinning at least a little bit every day. I even took the spindle to work the other day because I anticipated some downtime. I've taught myself to put spin on with my feet (which makes for a much longer yarn before you have to wind on). I've been looking at fiber online, trying to decide what I want to spin next. I love the feel of the fibers and I love that with no more than a simple twist, I can make that handful of fluffy stuff into strong, beautiful, useful yarn. Cool.

I am tempted by so much...silk caps and hankies that are already dyed or that I could dye myself (maybe should not consider using dyes in a rented home, yah?). Tussah silk top/roving that shines in the light. Silk/merino blends or BFL. Corriedale. Blends with other fibers...There's SO much to try. I'm also looking at spinning wheels because I would like to be able to make enough plied yarn for larger projects. I'm lucky in that I can afford these things.

I'm taking some time off work in the next few weeks and I will use that time to get my kitchen FINALLY in order. The urge to cook has become overwhelming. So much so that I've been reconsidering the cookbook library. It's kind of hard finding cookbooks that are NOT geared to the beginner or amateur home cook. I feel my skills are beyond that, so I look for specialized books. I may have to move on to the professional "text" books and learn to rely on myself to compose meals from the components I have already learned. Pick a protein and a starch. A nice vege, maybe a sauce to go with. Consider other parts of the meal and really think about the wine or other drink to go with. Don't forget dessert or SOUP! Appetizers.

I wonder if the occasional dinner party would be possible (after the house is organized and guest ready). I could invite friends from work like Sherry and Terry, or George and Cathy. Robert and Chioko, too. There would be times to pull out the grill and take the party to the back yard. Maybe once or twice a month. I just need to cook and there is so much lovely food here in Hawaii. Wonderful produce and the best tasting tomatoes I've EVER eaten. If I can score some tomorrow with some whole milk buffalo mozzarella, I feel a Caprese salad coming on.

I think I'll price some outdoor furniture...you know, a table and chairs, maybe a chaise or glider, too. Don't want the back to look redneck trashy, but would like a comfortable place to eat and handout outside. It would also require some potted plants and other container gardening.

May as well see if I can get the old bread process going again, although, if I can find a fine crusty french baguette or an Italian with "chew' I may stick to biscuits and "pastry". I'll bet I can still make a wicked scratch chokkie cake and creme brulee's are easy peasy.

I'm also going by the Wholepaycheck this weekend to try some fish maybe, a handful of fingerling potatoes. check the other meat sections...expand the cheese rep and maybe MAYBE get a bottle of wine and try again. A nice slab of grilled, slightly smoked, wild salmon with smashed potatoes, maybe something green with (need to look for fish compatible green veg. And a lovely bottle of Western Pacific (Wilamette valley etc.) Pinot Noir with lots of dark cherries and black raspberry. I like my wines Big Forward and fruity. I just need to find a way to keep the wine fresh so I don't have to try to drink the whole bottle myself. After all, If you're going to test the recipe, you've got to taste the whole thing. You wouldn't an otherwise well prepared dinner ruined because the wine is shit.

Well, I'm missing Michael again, but I will always miss Michael. There will always be a spot in my heart where Michael lives, for we gave our hearts to each other and I know he carries my heart still, even though he's gone on ahead to the Summerlands and waits near the bridge. Michael would be delighted at the idea of having people over for a dinner party. He loved entertaining. I may yet chicken out...the solitude is so comforting at times. I would still like some outdoor furniture to enjoy this Hawaii weather. Perhaps while I'm out I can stop by costco, or home depot and check out the Irish Furniture (at least an adjustable chaise and a side table.

No comments: