One of the goals I had set for last year was to explore vegetarian cooking and try to incorporate that into our lifestyle. I actually found that I really enjoy it. We have not switched to an entirely vegetarian diet, but we do make a point of having at least one meatless meal every week. And because it’s catchy (and I think something they did during WWII?) we go with Meatless Mondays. Tonight’s dinner will be an delish vegetarian chili made in the Instant Pot. It’s tasty, healthy, and really quite filling.
On Saturday Lancelot helped me with a project that’s really needed to be done, and especially not since I’m going to be trying to expand my recipe horizons. That mess spread all over the table was the contents of my recipe box, my mother’s recipe box, and my grandmother’s recipe box. It was hard to find anything because there were duplicates, cards with very sketchy info, and names that didn’t always make sense to us. So instead of filing things in alphabetical order we decided to group them by type, like “Appetizer” or “Drink” or “Breakfast.” It’s in much better shape now and should actually be useful. And yes, there is actually a recipe for BBQ squirrel. My mom said it was pretty tasty.
The cowl is gorgeous. I was a little concerned about doing lace with yarn that has so much color, but I think it looks amazing. I’ll be wearing it later this week. Right now I’m focusing my attention on getting the big mohair piece done. I’m envisioning a wide, long shoulder wrap type piece that will have three large buttons and multiple ways to fasten them. Yes, this is kind of a riff on Rectangulum but I have high hopes that it’s going to be amazing.
Honestly, were it not for the fact that I have a work commitment until noon I would not have gotten out of bed this morning. But if I hadn’t gotten out of bed I wouldn’t have realized that the water heater is playing games again. I’m really not sure when all of this FUN is going to end, but I’m hoping it’ll be soon.
I did get a plumber out to the house and he did something to it, in addition to getting the pilot light back on, and he said to see if that helps. While I appreciate that this only cost me $69 I can also read a calendar and see that we are dangerously close to a weekend, and not just any weekend but a Holiday Weekend. So if that fucking water heater goes out I have the potential to be well and truly FUCKED.
Anyway, we’re waiting to see what happens. I hate feeling like I don’t have any control, but it’s a damn appliance so truly, I have no control.
I’m supposed to go meet with a group of knitters tonight, friends, in a park not far from the campus. Our weather today is supposed to be lovely. Unfortunately my hip is bothering me, to the point where I’ve gotten out my TENS unit and have plugged myself in. Not sure sitting in a camp chair for several hours is a great idea at this point, but we’ll see.
Regardless of whether I go, I did start a new project just for the occasion. Does anyone else do that? Let me attempt to explain my madness…
I have several projects in the works at the same time. Some of them are much more complicated and require quiet or just music in order for me to keep up with the pattern. Some are just complicated enough that I keep the project and row count handy but I can still talk to someone or watch TV, providing there isn’t a hefty plot to follow. And then there are other projects that are so delightfully simple that I can almost do them in my sleep.
I didn’t have any projects on the needles that would be suitable to working on outside and while talking to people, so I had Lancelot help me wind up some yarn yesterday and I cast on a Feather & Fan scarf to work on. If you aren’t familiar it’s an old pattern that has a four row repeat and is quite easy to memorize. I am using a row counter on my phone just to help my feeble brains.
And of course it’s in another part of the house and I’m tied to my desk right now…
Currently on the needles in my house we have:
Sunset shawl – it’s just about to the lace section and needs to have the second skein of yarn wound so it’s in a pleasant time out
Fingerless Mitts for K – the pattern is fussy so they’re in time out until I find more patience
Niji vest – really just needs to be assembled, the knitting is done
Skewed Shawl – the pattern is interesting so it’s in the “front of the line” but it’s mohair so…
Ilo Shawl – gorgeous lace pattern that requires some attention, also in the “front of the line”
Feather & Fan scarf – this will likely stay within easy reach but since I don’t have any real plans for it I’m not worried about when it gets finished
I did go through my yarn inventory spreadsheet the other day and try to make notes of which yarns were being used for projects already, namely the ones above, and which I had purchased specifically for certain patterns. I was rather amazed to see how many yarns are already “spoken for” and I was equally impressed with myself when I went through my collection of patterns and was able to start matching patterns with yarns. Now I just need to remember to check that spreadsheet the next time I want to start a new project.
I don’t know about any of the rest of you but sometimes when I get good and pissed off I need to do something that’s kind of destructive but in reality is very productive. And, sick and this is, I often find that to be cleaning. Or making a plan for something. Or purging things from the house that we don’t need. You get the gist.
So last night after my work holiday Zoom party cocktail wore off I got to work. I had told Lancelot earlier in the week that I want the grocery run this morning to be the last we make until after the first of the year. (might have to go for milk but that’s a really quick trip)
With the upcoming holiday turning stores into battlefields in a normal year, and the rising positivity rates with Rona, and the fact that this is December in the Midwest so we could have major snow any fucking day now, I just want to have a well stocked arsenal of snacks and booze pantry and freezer.
As such I’ve been working on a rather massive undertaking to see what we have on hand already, what recipes I have most of the stuff for, and what other bits do I need to complete those. Lists are how I function.
I now have a list of THIRTY meals, just dinners, and I’ve split them into things I can make during the week and a few that would have to be done when L is home to eat at the same time with me. My grocery list (which is organized by what stuff is geographically close to what other stuff so hopefully I don’t fucking forget anything this time!) is kind of massive but a lot of it is either canned goods or things that start as frozen or things that will go in the freezer until I need them.
I’m not planning to do a ton of prep ahead of time but I know if I have my plan and I have all of the necessary components on hand I’m much more likely to actually make dinner.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I get to feeling down one of the very first self-care type things that goes out my window is cooking for myself. And I know that’s not healthy, so here I am trying to solve that problem. I feel good about this.
Not that I’m going to assume anyone is really all that interested, but in case you find yourself needing some kitchen inspiration, here’s my list.
CP tortellini w/ Alfredo
CP penne w/ Italian sausage and marinara
roasted veggies and sausage
CP roast w/ potatoes and carrots
spaghetti w/ meat sauce
CP chicken enchilada casserole
chicken noodle bake
CP pork tenderloin w/ pineapple
CP sweet and sour chicken
spam fried rice
veg fried rice
CP chicken curry
CP shrimp curry
CP pork chops w/ apples and kraut
cheddar sausages w/ mac and cheese
barley and beef soup
quick skillet lasagna
cranberry chipotle pork ribs
italian pork w/ sweet potatoes
tempura shrimp w/ rice pilaf
chicken legs in the air fryer w/ veggies
chicken sandwiches w/ chips
burgers w/ tater tots
CP is my abbreviation for crock pot, just FYI. Some of these I have actual recipes for and some of them are things I’ve been making for so long I just do it. I will happily share my chicken curry recipe with you. The original recipe came with my pressure cooker thing but then I modified the hell out of it.
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
Small onion, diced
Assorted veggies – we commonly use diced bell pepper, sliced zucchini, frozen green beans, and baby carrots – whatever suits your mood
Toss all of that in a slow cooker.
The sauce is:
2 cans of coconut milk
1 Tbs dried basil
¾ tsp grated ginger (I often use the fresh stuff in a tube, either works)
Yesterday was ridiculously slow for me. I’m going to assume that had something to do with the election, not sure what else to attribute it to. So I took advantage of it and managed to finish a few office-based projects, like the file cabinet. I was basically at my desk and able to hear when the computer demanded my attention so I decided that made it a legit activity. I can’t say as I threw out much stuff, but I definitely got it more organized and that’s always a good thing. Let’s be honest, I’m not really done yet. The file cabinet, yes. The other storage spots, not so much.
It’s a sickness maybe.
Anyway, I’ve started the holiday knitting which has, of course, resulted in the realization that there are more people who need knit things.
I can do all of this, right?
Part of it is I’m trying to distract myself from more medical appointments. I’m still feeling confident that everything is going to turn out to be nothing, but it’s still stressful.