Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Diving into 52

Hi, it's January 5th. I figured if I was going to actually tackle 52 recipes, 52 books, and 52 somethings creative, then I probably need to get started. So I did just that. Joe is out at the KU Basketball game with his college roommate and our dear friend Michael tonight, so I have the house to myself. And what better way to begin, than, as my friend Wendy said, "running around the house in my underwear," cooking, writing book reports and getting all creaty, not a real word, but see how I can invent stuff all on my own? Just add a y.

January 5- Roasted Potatoes

So tonight, based on a recommendation from Bethany, I made roasted potatoes. Specifically these roasted potatoes. Combining three of my loves into one: little red potatoes, grainy mustard and rosemary. I have all required items on hand. Commence cooking. These were delicious and I could have eaten them all, but I showed restraint. Paired with a salad and a grilled chicken breast, they were perfecto. Crispy and flavorful on the outside and creamy and melty on the inside. See, more y's on the end of words. Really easy recipe, my potatoes were a little larger and took a touch longer to cook, consequently I should have boiled them a bit longer, since I had to leave them roasting and they got brown, quite brown, but I liked the browned bits. Yum, thanks for the recommendation, B. The next recipe that I'll probably tackle this weekend is Pasta e Fagioli. But now, the book report.

The first book I read in 2011 was As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. This was one of those totally random books that I heard about from the NPR Facebook feed. And it sounded dense and ravenous and violent, the perfect book to read at Christmas? Maybe not so much. Because even though I brought it on vacation with me up to Madison over the holiday, I just couldn't get into it. I was a little disappointed. Then I realized it was me, not the book. Because when I opened it over our New Years three day weekend, I felt compelled to devour it in about three sittings. The story is set in England during the Civil War of the 1640's, and the protagonist is the utterly unlikable, compelling former high born gentility, turned servant Jacob. From the very beginning pages, Jacob is quick to anger, aggressive and brooding. In short order he has committed rape, murder and violence upon his family. But I wanted to know what was going to happen next, I wanted to watch his struggles and feel his passions and pain and see if he could change, could he change as he so desperately wants to? His life in ruins, suddenly he is consigned to Cromwell's New Model Army almost against his will and then the action heats up. There are graphic and thunderous scenes of war, political intrigue, discussions of philosophy, agrarian colonies almost like 1960's communes, and dreams of freedom and rising above his servant class. These are all powerful and intriguing aspects of the book, but the escalating and doomed romantic and physical relationship between Jacob and his fellow solider Ferris, makes this book shockingly erotic and gives it it's soul. I loved it. I cried. I blushed. I felt slightly sweaty and nauseated. And I want a sequel. And I want to highly recommend it to you.

Next book that I'm reading: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, not as big a fan, I can tell you already. Turns out there's a reason I haven't read this one yet even though I've had it on my shelf for years.

January 5- Roasted Potatoes

Next up, the first of the 52 creative somethings. Now, I need to think of a better name for this portion of the 52. Ideas? For now just creative somethings. So tonight, while the potatoes are cooking, I've hauled out a large box of crap. What is in this large box of crap, you ask? Well, how about old Playbills from 2005, wedding invitations, vacation itineraries, birth announcement, photos of our dog as a puppy, old cards from Joe and other goodies. This box of crap is filled with memories and mementos and stuff I need to do something with. I'm not a stickers and hearts kind of scrapbooker, but I want to keep some of these things and keep the stories that go with them. So my first project is going to be kind of a mini paper version of this blog. This blog has essentially taken over as my an electronic life/scrapbook. But the past ten years are just floating out there. I want to tie them down before I forget them. I think this will probably count as more than just one of the 52 creative somethings, we'll see how long it takes.

So that's my update. Not bad progress for the first week of the new year! I'm going to go eat more potatoes now. How was your Wednesday?


Emily said...

This is all lovely...but what I really need to talk to you about is the Fiestaware! Are you a Fiesta gal? I LOVE IT.

I even have a spreadsheet documenting my collection.

Did I share too much? :)

kassie lou said...

Wow, a spreadsheet? That is impressive. Yes, totally a Fiesta girl, but I'm certain my collection is smaller than yours. We have 12 Kelly green, Scarlet and dark plum place settings, several serving pieces in sunflower, Kelly and that orange and then a crazy color mix of tea cups and saucers. Mostly primary colors. I love it so much. What colors do you collect? Any and all, mostly older or newer?

Emily said...

All new. I appreciate the old stuff, but want to feel completely comfortable using my dishes on a daily basis. We are a family of scarlet, peacock, tangerine and shamrock. I'd love to branch out and add some new colors, but my too-safe, type-A nature won't yet allow it. There is a great store in Seattle called Kitchen Basics...they have every piece in every color. The clerk there once told me that people come in with speadsheets to keep track of their collections. I stole that idea immediately! I've already drafted a blog post about sad is that? :)

kassie lou said...

Shamrock here too, not Kelly, clearly I need a spreadsheet! I keep trying to push Joe to let me buy other colored place settings but he's stuck on three place setting colors and I'm free to go crazy with the other pieces. So I do. Can't wait to read your blog post and see photos of this vast collection!

Emily said...

Tell Joe I understand. :)

Because I can't help myself, I'm going to put together a Fiesta organizational system for you...just a spreadsheet and a PDF or two. Watch your email...

Clearly, this has reached clinical proportions...