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Dept. of Getting Back on the Bike

Snowmageddon? Or Snowpocalypse? Hmmm ....

Not compared to the mugging Mother Nature performed on the East Coast just a few days ago, but Chicago and the rest of Illinois are making a valiant come-from-behind effort. We've got 13" 16" on the ground, with more than five hours to go before the blizzard warning is lifted, and we just hit white-out conditions in sections of Cook County. Chicago's apparently the center of this weather system. And also the epicenter. Yay, us!

I'm enjoying the second true day of vacation (my first days of vacation, Friday and Saturday morning, were spent trying to get one last story into my boss on the new NewsGate editorial platform we're using. I shouldn't do that, but I have a new editor - again - and I felt bad not getting as much in to him as possible for while I was gone. So, yeah, real vacation didn't start until Saturday afternoon, although I did escape from the house on Friday.)

And what did I do on the second true day of vacation? I made a tomato, chicken and vegetable stew. I am ridiculously pleased that I was able to adjust my Japanese beef curry recipe, and the recipe for the curry roux, and make a non-curry based roux (not as thick as the curry roux, because there aren't as many spices in it; I used 1.5 T of paprika, plus about 1/2 t of granulated garlic, instead of 1T of curry and 1T of garam masala) and use the curry stew process to make the chicken stew. Carrots, onions, potatoes, mushrooms and cut-up baby egg plants, and it was all extremely yummy. A quick bunch of biscuits to go with (I cheated and used Bisquik), and we had a proper Sunday night winter supper.

People asked me where I was going on my vacation *snort* ... I'm a Pioneer Press reporter, "going on vacation" is a limited activity. I told them I was heading to the kitchen. And it was more than a joke. Spending time in the kitchen is one of the most relaxing things I can think of doing. It's creation that people can eat; and when you cook for people, you usually end up around a table with those people, (and during the cooking process, I love having people around to talk to), so there's a social aspect to it. It requires a little imagination, and a willingness to think quickly - I don't think you can do anything but think quickly, when you realize that you don't have this or that ingredient, and you need to figure out how to substitute for it right now.

I told BB that I think the three places I'm happiest these days are lying in bed with my head on his chest, mucking about with fic or journaling online, and cooking or baking. I think cooking and baking slot in right between BB and online activity. It gives me a great deal of joy to make food. I'm not a chef; I have no patience for that, and I take shortcuts, and I'm not particularly interested in trying to go for specific textures or subtle tastes; I just want it to taste pretty darned good. The fact that I like making large amounts of Japanese or Indian-influenced comfort food doesn't change my essentially workmanlike results, and I'm perfectly satisfied with that. I also told BB that I'd probably make a decent lumber camp cook; large amounts that don't suck. Heh.

We have gotten through the first two seasons of Korra and the ending of the second season left me worried for the entire little Avatar universe. I'm hoping we can do a mini-binge of three or four episodes tonight. And perhaps some more Durarara, which we started watching again; we'd watched about five episodes, and really liked it, but we'd stopped watching for some reason. Now we're right back into it, and I can see why people loved it when it came out a few years ago. I've also become an unashamed fan of Akatsuke no Yona, partly because of its music. It's silly, and kind of shallow, but I love it. Historical drama melodrama, very chambara like, except with pseudo-Korean history and dragons. Yes, I am a cheap date; why do you ask?

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/344111.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2015 03:21 am (UTC)
If Boston were closer to Chicago, I would be inviting myself to your house for dinner. I love making friends with people who like to cook. ;)

I feel your pain on Snowpocalypse. We're in for another foot tomorrow.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain on Snowpocalypse. We're in for another foot tomorrow.

Yeah, from what I understand the weather system that hit us was barreling toward you post midnight our time, Sunday-Monday. Are you in the midst of it yet?

The best part about food is eating it with people, so if you were closer, you'd definitely get an invite!
Feb. 2nd, 2015 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, we're in the midst of another storm, though nothing like last week's corker. Work is closed again! :)
Feb. 3rd, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
Hope you enjoyed your day off!
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:23 am (UTC)
I love all of your reasons for loving cooking, and I agree! Cooking is creative and social and giving and fun; it's also great to be able to make something physical and functional (esp. when you do stuff like write code for a living).

ETA: I stopped at the same spot at Korra, and will wait to see if books 3 and 4 show up on the free Prime streaming list anytime soon. I think I'm gonna try Orphan Black next. :)

Edited at 2015-02-02 04:24 am (UTC)
Feb. 2nd, 2015 12:01 pm (UTC)
I really recommend Orphan Black. Love that show! TM rocks...
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
(esp. when you do stuff like write code for a living).

Heh. Or if you write about zoning board meetings and municipal budgets. Although, when you actually consider it, what we do in our day jobs is creative. It's just that it isn't as sensual a form of creation; we have taste, touch, sight and smell going for us in cooking, but not in creating code or stories.

I stopped at the same spot at Korra, and will wait to see if books 3 and 4 show up on the free Prime streaming list anytime soon.

Since we acquired the entirety of Korra via less than savory means, I have it all there, calling to me. BB and I watched the first three of the third season, but I think BB wants to ration it out so that it lasts longer than a pure binge-watch would let us.

I've seen a couple of Orphan Black episodes, and I think it's a very good show; I'm not yet moved enough to try to find all of them and catch up.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 07:06 am (UTC)
Nothing wrong with cheap dates.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
Not in the least. *grins*
Feb. 2nd, 2015 12:00 pm (UTC)
I love your food!! And I remember being encouraged to hang out and talk, lol!! Impossible to do in my kitchen. :D

Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
And I remember being encouraged to hang out and talk, lol!!

Despite its size, it works out well for people chatting, because the dining room table is right there, so folks can sit there and yak at me as I cook. It was fun having you there!

*hugs back*
Feb. 2nd, 2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
Aw, sounds nice so far, and you'd be making me hungry if I hadn't just eaten lunch myself. :-)

I hope you have a nice restful time off! ♥
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
And my time cooking is not yet over, since FB and Miss Emily are coming over tomorrow night for roast goose. (It's the goose I didn't cook at Christmas time; don't worry, it's been frozen solid in the back of my freezer, so it's still perfectly edible.)

The only problem is that I now have to dig my car out from under somewhere between 14" and 17.9" of snow, to get to the grocery store for some needed ingredients. Augh. I should actually be suiting up to take the shovel over to the car ow, but I'm in my jammies and somehow, mysteriously, can't bring myself to gt ready for the cold. Heh.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 08:29 pm (UTC)
Well, good luck with that! :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
With some help, I eventually got the car three quarters of the way dug out. I think I can get it actually out of the parking space maybe tomorrow, or the next day. I eventually walked to the grocery store, and cut back on what I was going to buy so that it wasn't such an awful trek back. Everyone was friendly, in that "we've just had a big old snowstorm and we're all dealing with the fallout!" way that happens, so it was surprisingly pleasant to make the journey on foot.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
Stay safe and warm despite the terrible weather! And I love everything you said about cooking. I can't cook at all myself, but it's a wonderful activity and so much of it is about sharing :)

Enjoy your vacation! Nothing like merry times at home with your loved ones, doing the things you love.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
I can't cook at all myself, but it's a wonderful activity and so much of it is about sharing.

My cooking skills were less that optimal when I was in my twenties. I had far too heavy a hand with the spices, and I didn't understand a lot of the way foods and the materials that make them up act under heat. I think that came with practice. So you may find yourself, much to your surprise, quite a decent cook a few years down the line!

Feb. 3rd, 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
Indeed :) It's all because I haven't learned, pretty much. I could be interested if I had somebody to teach me. My mother cannot cook at all, and we have a bit of family history with eating disorders, so it just never came naturally but I'd like to get past that if I got the chance.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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