Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's been awhile

Sorry it's been awhile for a new post. I've been tired. And oddly enough, the more I have to do, the less I feel like I have to write about. Like busyness drowns out the ability to think creatively...

I've been working on making fliers for piano teaching.

I finished yet another book by Orson Scott Card. Pastwatch the Redemption of Christopher Columbus. It was good. Very different from any other book of his. That's what I like so much about him.

I also finished a book by Michael Crichton called Prey. That was very good indeed. He's also a very great writer in my opinion. Science fiction that is often on the verge of real scientific discoveries. He's right up there with O.S.C.

We've found friends to play Settlers/Cities and Knights of Catan with. It's fun to have friends.

We're trying to figure out what fruit and nut trees we can plant in our large backyard and when we'd do that. One day I'd like to have nice big trees for shade and fruit, a nice little garden, and a swimming pool since we don't have a public one super close by. I think it's a nice dream. All American. Oh, and a sprinkler system would be magnificent as well. It's good to have goals.

I feel like I am rambling. And I'm pretty sure I am. This is how I feel when I try to talk to Matt just before we go to bed and I'm tired but want to talk anyway.

I guess that means you must feel like he does listening to me ramble...

Hey! Are you already asleep?! Just like you to always fall asleep before me even though I'm more tired than you. Humph. Ah well. Night night.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Svithe: What I learned in Conference

We had Stake Conference last night and this morning. How wonderful it was to go to church at 9 AM as opposed to 2:30 PM!

Here are a few things I learned:
  1. Our stake is HUGE. Not just huge. Massive. We have 16 wards and 1 branch. It is so large, in fact, we had to have two sessions of conference. Half of the Stake went in the morning and half went in the afternoon. We completely filled the chapel (choir seats and all) clear back through the cultural hall and onto the stage. We also had overflow rooms for people to watch on the TV. Parking was a out of control to say the least.
  2. Having said that, I thought we were going to have some boundary rearranging since we have the largest ward of the 16. That was a no-go. I guess we're not going to split wards or stakes until we have at least one more church house which could take up to two years.
  3. Husbands really need to listen to their wives.
  4. Wives need to give their husbands information in smaller chunks if possible. (This will help the husbands to listen better...)
  5. There is a time for talking and a time for sleeping. Don't confuse the two. (Take that how you will...)
  6. Our battle is not one of time, it's one of priorities.
  7. Once we start really living like we should (paying our tithing, honoring the Sabbath day, obeying commandments, praying specifically for rain, etc.) the drought will abate and we will receive rain.
  8. is a good site to give people who are interested in learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what we believe.
There was more, but those were the things that stuck out to me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Be careful what you pray for

We've been praying for rain for a long time now. It's an urgent matter here. We scoffed at the weather report that said there was a chance of rain. Yeah, like 15% chance of rain means we're going to get a drop. Slim chance.

But two days ago we actually did get about 1/2 hour of good hard rain. And with it came about 2 min. of gale force winds. We couldn't even see our fence from our kitchen because the wind was whipping the rain around so hard. It was crazy. And when it cleared up we saw this.

There are two more sections in the front that are close to coming up too. Matt's nailed up two sections in the front and our backdoor neighbors fixed the one in their yard. We have two sections in the back (that border a house that was just barely foreclosed on) that are still down. But I'm still glad we got some rain. I'll even still pray for rain. Maybe I'll just pray for less destructive rain.

Cute baby pic

Here's a link for a cute baby pic. of me. Well, at least I think it's cute. You people who think babies are ugly may not agree with me. =P


Monday, August 21, 2006

The Blame Game

This song by Jack Johnson is a bit on the extreme side of things, but I think it's a point well taken. We live in a society where no one is willing to accept responsibility. Why take the rap for something if you can just blame it on someone else? I mean, that would be completely ludicrous and stupid, right?
Well it wasn't me says the boy with the gun
sure i pulled the trigger but it needed to be done
because life's been killin' me ever since it begun
you cant blame me cause i'm too young

You cant blame me, sure the killer was my son
but I didn't teach him to pull the trigger of the gun
It's the killing on his TV screen
You can't blame me, it's those images he sees

Well, You can't blame me says the media man
Well I wasn't the one that came up with the plan
and I just point my camera what the people wanna see
man it's a two way mirror and you can't blame me

You can't blame me says the singer of the song
or the maker of the movie which he based his life on
It's only entertainment and as anyone can see
it's smoke machines and make-up, man, you can't fool me

He goes on to say that ultimately we all share a little of the responsibility, which I think to some extent is true. There is that old saying, "It takes a whole village to grow a child." But come on people. The blame shifting has got to stop somewhere. Someone has got to actually own up to their actions.

In 2004 there was a report by CNN that stated, "WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday to ban lawsuits by obese customers who say they became overweight by eating at fast-food restaurants." So why is this issue coming up yet again?

Friday night I watched a Dateline on "The Food War." McDonald's is up against its 3rd lawsuit where obese people are claiming McDonalds has made them that way. Not only that, but Kraft and other companies are being reamed for advertising "unhealthy" foods such as mac n' cheese, cookies, fruit snacks, sugar cereals, etc. to kids by using cartoon icons. Some of the lawyers are saying things like, "Parents can't really be expected to take on a billion dollar company's cartoon advertising and actually say "no" to their children. It gets tiring saying no time and time again."

Of course it does! But it gets tiring to go to work every day too! Should we stop doing that? It gets tiring to get your kids to brush their teeth or do their home work or clean up their toys. That's what parenting entails. I mean, I don't have kids so correct me if I'm wrong parents. I would imagine that parents who buy those "unhealthy" options would buy them regarless because they're easy and they taste good. I have a box of Mac n Cheese in my cupboard, and it's for those days that I truly can't bring myself to really cook. But I am not kidding myself about the nutritional value when I make it. And truly I didn't buy it for a cartoon character on front. Now if Dora was on a bag of spinach, would those same parents (you know, the ones who can't say no) rush out to buy it? I kind of doubt it.

One group they interviewed about McDonald's new exercizing campains and their salad options were saying that those things are incompatible with McD's and that you go for the French Fries, not the salads. Yet they're still blaming McD's for being known for their French Fries and for making them so darn good. Rubbish. Yes they're known for their fries and burgers. And it's A. O.K. to eat them on occasion. But if you're in a position where you have to eat out every day, make sensible choices. That's what I say.

Now, I might have a different opinion on the matter if McD's was advertising their batter fried chicken, their fries, and their Big Mac's as a healthy lunch choice. That would be blatant lying and/or misleading consumers. But they're not. They publish their nutition facts and if people are really so concerned, they can easily access those numbers. Their responsibility is to provide choices, and the consumer is then responsible for what choices they take and then consume. Fat people can't say that McD's is making them fat. Their choice to eat McD's every day, plus their lack of exercize, plus their other food ventures (ice cream, cookies, soda, juice, chips) high in calories contribute too.

Some were suggesting you put a lable on those foods saying "if eaten excessively this product could contribute to poor health and weight gain." To that I say, should we lable apples with
"if eaten excessively will give you diahrreah"? Or how about tagging our fingers, "if used improperly could be used to induce vomitting"? Common sense people. Common sense. Moderation in all things.

I think obesity really is going up, not just because junky food is so addictive, but because most people don't eat home cooked meals anymore. Parents don't take time for balanced meals. It's hard to muster up the desire to make anything after a long day at work. I can attest to that. But should we blame the restaurant for that? Should we sue the pants of people because we can't fit into our own?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A new addition to our household

And no, I'm not pregnant.

I'm talking about a piano. We found one (on Craig's list), and I'm committed to buying it even though it's an hour away and I haven't actually heard or played it yet. I'm going on faith here people. Good old fashioned faith. The pictures look great and the price is as right as you can get without being free. I quizzed the owner and am taking her for her word. She said she would have listed it as being in excellent condition, but felt like nothing over 100 years old could be listed as being in excellent condition.

I grew up on an upright grand, and there's something about seeing one that melts my little heart and makes me want to sing...or play. As I was playing my electric piano the other day I realized that I have lost a lot of my piano playing finess. My little digits are a bit rusty and my brain lags a bit more than it used to. Now that we've found a music store within 30 minutes of us, and I will have a real piano, I'm hoping to find some music that will really get me going again. I officially have one student and I'm going to seriously start recruiting once I have the piano in my possession (which will be Saturday). I'm hoping for 25-30, though 10 would suffice since that would pay for my piano the first month.

This morning I was super ecstatic when I got a hold of her and we "closed the deal". Now I'm a bit nervous. What if it doesn't have as good of a feel as I want? What if it doesn't have quite as good of a sound as I want?? I'm a little scared that it's so far of a drive. We're renting a U-haul trailer and we're borrowing my boss's/friend's truck. That's really what I am most nervous about. I hate driving other people's cars. I forgot to ask if it's a stick or an automatic. If it's stick, I'm the driver; if it's automatic, I'm sure as heck making Matt drive. That's just so much responsibility...

And did I tell you we got a ticket the other day? Horrible. Dang turn only lanes that look like it shouldn't be a turn only. That actually meant that I don't get a new hard drive yet. =( But I'd take a new piano over a new hard drive and that's what I'm doing... Too bad for that ticket or I'd have both rigth now.

This will be our new addition in two day from now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


GO BENJI! Here's to the zaney Mormon boy who almost didn't make the top 20! Way to win the "So You Think You Can Dance" show!

But, is working with Celine Dion for a year a reward? or punishment?

That's what I'd be asking myself.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Things you probably already knew about me but are going to hear again.

Most of you already went through the the "4 things about me" phase, but I decided to stave it off and wait until the rush died down so I wasn't just muddled in with the rest of you! (Well, ok. So I didn't consciously make that decision. I just wasn't going to do it at all, but I got an email not too long ago from a high school friend on this very subject. So it reminded me of it, and I decided I might as well jump on the band wagon even though it's come to a halt.)

4 Jobs I've had
  • Piano teacher (started 12 years ago!)
  • Chef
  • Laundry girl at the MTC (Missionary Training Center)
  • Sucker picker (tomato plants--worst job I ever had and I only lasted 2 or 3 weeks!)

4 Movies I could watch over and over
  • All Firefly DVD episodes.
  • Remember the Titans is a good one to have on when I'm scrapbooking because of the GREAT music soundtrack (and good script)
  • That's about it I think.

4 Places I've lived

  • Snowflake, AZ
  • Provo, UT
  • McKinney, Texas
  • Hefei, Anhui, China

4 TV shows I love to watch

  • So you think you can dance (but the final show is this week)
  • Law and Order SVU
  • Super Nanny
  • Any home decorating/ remodeling/ property flipping show (though I don't get TLC or HGtv, so I hardly ever get to watch these)

4 Places I've been on vacation

  • Navoo (5th Grade)
  • England (2002)
  • Guatemala (2005)
  • Guilin Mountains (Southern China) (2001)

4 Foods I love

  • Almost anything involving beans, rice, fresh tortillas, fresh salsa...ok, most everything Mexican as long as it's not menudo or tripe (or tons of meat or any gristly meat)
  • Hummus and something to dip in the hummus (pita bread, corn chips, potato chips, whatever's handy)
  • String Cheese (though I never really buy it because it always seems expensive)
  • My own chicken salad since I make it how I like it.

4 things I love about my family

  • My parents
  • My grandparents
  • My siblings (and in-laws)
  • My nieces and nephews

ok, ok, that was kind of a cop out. I like that we're numerous, boisterous, opinionated, and generally a happy kind of family.

4 places I'd rather be

  • Moss Beach, CA
  • Snowflake
  • Laughing it up with good friends somewhere
  • Camping with the Bras(s) Clan (soo sad we're missing it this year)

4 things I'd love to learn

  • How to paint
  • How to program JavaScript and html
  • How to take smashing pictures
  • How to laugh at myself more often rather than feeling self conscious about looking stupid

THE END: You are now experts on me. It will take you far in life and in the work force. I promise.*

*This is merely a figure of speech. No guarantees intended. And no, you can't have your money back, suckers!*

DIY update

I haven't had a chance to catch you up on the projects I've done since I refinished my coffee table. Since then I painted my craft room green (goodbye yellow and pink!) and made 3 new curtains (all for just $1/yard of fabric...such a bargain!). I'll just link pictures because that's cooler than just explaining.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Why I should never be allowed to stay up late when I'm beyond tired and have a headache

Last night I was almost asleep at 10:30 because I just felt so exhausted and I had a head ache. But Matt started watching some TV and I hate going to bed without him. So I got up and watched one of the stupidest shows ever with him (which made me get angrier and angrier), and the outcome wasn't pleasant.

When we finally went to bed at midnight, I was beyond tired and exhausted. I felt like I'd just completely wasted a portion of my life that I'd never be able to regain, and of course, I started to cry because that's what I always do when I'm tired beyond tired.

Then I started thinking many irrational thoughts and babbling incoherently to Matt who told me I wasn't making sense and to go to bed and I'd feel better in the morning. All of these horrible thoughts kept filling my brain and the tears kept coming even though I knew those things couldn't possibly be true. By the time I calmed myself down I couldn't breath through my nose and therefore I couldn't go to sleep. I had to go listen to yoga music while I tried some pranayama breathing. That helped after about 15 minutes, but by that time it was 1:30 AM.

Has it really been a month since my last post about crying and babbling incoherently? Yep. I guess it has. I did feel better in the morning, but that didn't make my eyes any less puffy.

Svithe: Lighten Up

There are two ways I think we can lighten the load of life that sometimes seems a bit heavy.

When I was in High School there was a phrase that completely infiltrated the LDS religious sphere. I'm sure most of you have heard it, and some may still have an old journal or something with it imprinted on it. It's a messianic phrase, obviously meant for you to think Christ was talking to you. I seriously heard people quote it as though it were a scripture. It is quite unfortunate because it is a completely false statement. What is this phrase? "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

It seems harmless, and at face value it feels very true. Life is supposed to be hard, right? It's supposed to be full of trials and tests, right? Oftentimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. It can be quite frustrating, and I think that phrase came about to help people through those low points in their lives. But it misses the mark, and the mark is Christ.

I was lucky enough to have a great seminary teacher who pointed out the fallacy of this statement by reading in Matthew 11:28-30.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
It's true that we will have times of hardship, frustration, and anger. It's true that sometimes we'll feel that we've been give more than we can handle. But right here we are told that we don't have to be burdened and feel weighed down. We don't have to do anything alone. We do have to be pro-active. We must yoke ourselves with Christ; if we do that, He will provide us with relief by helping us carry our load.

Sometimes our loads are artificially weighed down (though it feels very real). It's easy to fret about situations and burdens that aren't even our own. We take on other people's problems as though they were ours to begin with. I know I do it sometimes.

One of the best religous books I've ever read is Lighten Up by Chieko Okazaki. In it she talks about this very thing.

We have two sons. One son is married and has two children...Our other son is unmarried. I was astounded to hear a mother fret about a son over twenty-five who had not married, wondering what she had done wrong in raising him. My son's marital status is his business, not mine. He is a responsible individual who is contributing to society. He is a clear thinker and a loving human being. One of the things I like most about him is that he instantly identifies and summarily rejects attempts to make him feel guilty about not being married. How foolish I would be to pick up the guilt my son has properly rejected and bind it on my own shoulders, to create a burden where none exists!

What a wise person. In this book she also talks about allowing ourselves to have imperfections. The Lord expects it. The only real expectation we can set for ourselves is that we do our best. Whatever that may be. My best is not your best, and thank heavens for that!

Friday, August 11, 2006

A different world

I've decided Texas is just a different world than I'm used to. It's a place where the majority of the traffic drives 5 miles under the speed limit (EVEN IN THE FAST LANE!! *shake my fist at the three lanes of traffic that went 5 under and blocked anyone from passing for about 10 miles*).

It's also almost completely devoid of anything relating to pianos. That's just so odd to me. I've been searching and searching to find a piano dealer in the area, and it's slim pickings my friends. There's not even 1 store within 40 miles of me that sells piano music. There's only one store that sells any kind of music books and that's guitar.

I'm trying to get my piano teaching going again. Problems are I only have a touch sensitive keyboard (rather than a piano) and I don't have any beginner piano music in my posession. My eyes are shot from staring at the computer screen for hours trying to find something. anything. but nothing appears. how very, very sad.

I almost bought this piano off craigs list, but it was way too beat up when I actually saw it. It was a 1927 Baldwin upright, but it just wan't that pretty and a few of the keys were messed up. Too much work and I doubted I could find someone who could fix and tune it since I can't find anyone who sells pianos around here.

Oh well. I guess I'll keep looking.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The little bugger bit me

Luckily my title was not in reference to the dog that attacked me this morning on my run. Do you all know I'm incredibly frightened of dogs? Especially big dogs that are not on leashes? Well, I am. I always have been, as long as I can remember. I'm not particularly fond of any animals; Matt says I'm an animal hater. I dispute that statement. I'm just not fond of them. I don't like them licking my toes, jumping up on me, or rubbing up against me. When he says I hate animals I feel like I've been lumped in with all those psychopathic killers that torture animals. I don't ever hurt animals. I just don't want to own any. Please don't hold it against me. I think I had traumatic experiences with dogs when I was little.

Anyway, as I was jogging this morning I had my first unwanted run in with a large dog. As I turned a corner he bolted out of his owner's door and made a bee-line for me. I screamed bloody murder as he jumped up on me. Standing on his hind legs he was just a little shorter than me. I stopped jogging and tried to get it to go away. It just kept jumping on me and I was having a little trouble breathing because I was scared. After what seemed like a very long time (probably only a minute, but still) the owner came to reclaim her dog. I breathlessly said, "Sorry I'm just so afraid of dogs." She replied, "Oh honey, he ain't going to bite you. He's a nice dog. Sorry he scared you." She kept telling him to stay and to stop, but as I tried to leave he kept following me. She ended up having to hold him down while I jogged off with a little tear running down my face, camouflaged by my sweat. It took me about two blocks to be able to breath normally again. I was freaked.

But that's not what bit me. As I was reading on the couch I felt something moving on my neck. Usually I am quite paranoid though it's usually a hair that's brushing up against me. But all of a sudden I see this jumping spider leap off me and onto the couch. I quickly got a kleenex and killed it straightaway. It wasn't until I went to pick Matt up about 10 minutes later that I realized my arm was bleeding and had a little raised mark. odd. I figure it had to be that spider. I can't imagine what else it could have come from. Now I'll just have to watch to make sure no skin starts dying on me. Texas has been known to harbor brown recluses. I don't think it was one, but I'll be monitoring my arm all the same.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just so odd

This morning started out like a normal morning. I got up at 6:30 and ran, got Matt's lunch together, took him to work and went grocery shopping. After I got back with my groceries, I put them all away and tried to read scriptures (though I ended up falling asleep...)

When I woke up I realized I needed to go work right then. I look and look for my keys and I couldn't find them anywhere. I know I had them because I drove home from the store and unlocked the house. I knew we had a spare key somewhere so I called Matt to help me. He forgot we had a spare key, but knew where he would put a spare key if we had one. Luckily we did, in fact, have a spare key stored in his hypothetical key hiding place. Odd.

So off I went to work. I was late and I hit every red light possible. The meeting I was going to was a half hour drive from here and I made it just on time. Well, not really. I was late but they hadn't officially started the meeting. But then again, they never officially started the meeting. It was quite unorganized and very, very fruitless. When I left, I went to start my car. It started just fine, but I noticed that the clock wasn't working. Nor the windows. Nor the air conditioning. Nor the blinkers. Odd. Let me tell you, Dallas in August at noon is quite an unpleasant place to be with no air conditioning or even working windows. I tried turning it off and back on again, but the problem persisted. I figured I'd press my luck and hope that I got home without further incident. About a mile down the road I remembered the back windows were manual so I rolled those down, though they didn't help much because they're child proof. They only rolled down about 1/3 of the way. But it was a little tiny bit of flowing air, so I was grateful for that.

The electrical outage in my car lasted until I got to the Public Library (a 1/2 hour and a very sweaty forehead and back later). Just after I parked, I turned the car off and on again to see what would happen. Everything came on like normal. I don't know what was wrong but it freaked me out a bit. I was quite afraid our car was dying on us. It is 10 years old and a NEON for heavens sake. I'm surprised it's lasted this long, frankly.

Inside the library as I was checking out, there was an odd fellow (about 20 something I'm guessing) standing in the foyer. He had a cane and an odd rumpled outfit and some sort of top hat, and he didn't quite seem to be "all there" if you will. Just as I was leaving he came over to me and says, "I have a question for you. Are you young or just short?" I smiled and said, "Short." He then asks, "Are you single?" "Married." I replied. "Really? You look (mumble mumble mumble)" he said as I walked away. Hmmm...I didn't know what to make of that little encounter. Odd.

I was just happy that when I left my car was working properly again and I had A/C coming home.

When I got home there was an odd message on my machine. "Hi this is Miss Evans. I'm looking for some possible neighbors of yours. Patrick and Jane Simmons. They live at [our address]. I have a message for them I'm hoping to pass on through you. If you could call me back on my direct line [1800-555-5555] I'd appreciate it." So I called. I got the lady and I said, "well, we live at that address and I don't know anyone by that name. I know that the owners before us had that last name, but I'm quite certain that wasn't their first name." "Oh," she replied. "That's too bad. Thanks for the little information you did have. It's been helpful." And she hung up.

Weird. Do you ever feel like you're living in some sort of sci-fi book? (Maybe I'm just feeling that way because I just read Magic Street by O.S.C. and I just finished Prey by Michael Criton.)

I did find my keys, by the way.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Computer Crash

Well, my hard drive crashed and burned yesterday. Matt's got off the majority of my info. before it completely crashed, so that's good. If it's not one thing, it's another.

So, I'm writing this post at work. my posts will be a little less frequent until I can get a new hard drive. Luckily we have a Frys Electronics just down the road.

My svithe yesteday should have been about faith and stress and how the two interact with each other. Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Experimental Food

Now, this phrase can have different meanings to different people.

The scrimper: This person would take "experimental food" to mean combining all the leftovers in the fridge and creating some casserole or goulash or what have you.

Of this experimental food, I'm not a fan. I've never been one for leftovers and I generally only make what will be eaten in one sitting. When I was home in May I found a bowl of half eaten oatmeal in the fridge. OAT-MEAL! First of all, oatmeal is pretty cheap. Second of all, I can't in my right mind imagine it reheating well. This also goes for meat. The only meat I can stand heated in the microwave is that which is in lasagna. I can handle shredded pork or beef reheated on the stove top with a little water to keep it from burning. But chicken....forget it! And then to combine things that have no place going together in the first place...unimaginable to me.

Yes, some of you are exclaiming in horror at my lack of adventure with leftovers, I know. Waste not want not. I understand all that. That's why I really do try to make only what we eat the first time around. One of my cousins hates cooking so much she'll make one or two giant meals in the week and then eat the left overs the rest of the time. I just can't do this.

The dasher: This person thinks experimental food comes from adding whatever comes to mind to a "normal" meal. Maybe tuna would work well in macaroni and cheese (I've had this before; not by choice I can assure you.) Maybe chicken nuggets would be tasty in fried rice. How about carrots in jello? I think this type of person invented the Monte Cristo Sandwich. (Though come to think of it, this could be put in the scripmer section as well...)

Sometimes these meals can catch you off guard, for good or for bad. Who'd have thought to eat applesauce on latkes? Not me, but it's pretty good.

The substitute: Lets face it. Some people have incredible intuition about what can be substituted for what in a recipe. You don't have oil? Apple sauce will work in the cake. No plain yogurt? Use a little sour cream diluted with milk. Works like a charm. Then there are those who really have no clue what you can and can't sub. You don't have eggs? Well, at New Haven one of the girls tried to substitute oil for eggs and I can assure you that it doesn't work. Not that I would have tried that one. Another New Haven classic is trying to make whipped cream out of half and half. Nope ladies. (These examples took place on the weekends when I was not there to consult.) One thing you can substitute for whipped cream if you're wanting a low-cal version is fat free evaporated milk. You HAVE to chill the bowl and the milk and it won't ever get as thick as the cream, but it will do if you truly can't afford the calories.

And by the way, Who knew that you could make a pretty tasty apple pie minus the apples?? (It's true, I've tasted it and it's good.)

The bored: This is actually where this post originated. Matt and I have been quite bored of food. We're tired of eating the same old things. The problem is, I sometimes feel like I've made everything possible to make. But I know that's a lie and a cop out. There is good food out there that I have not yet attempted to make. In all honesty a good portion of our arguments and melt downs occur over food. I hate making food I know he doesn't want (but will still eat). But he can't not want it if he hasn't yet tried it.

That's why I've decided to have 1 experimental meal a week. I'll find a new recipe I've never tried, and then I'll make it. We've had some keepers, some that needed a little modifying, and some that are not making it into any regular meal rotation with or without modifiers (if I were to ever have a regular meal rotation).

The keepers:
Alice Springs Chicken

I got this recipe a long, long time ago at New Haven from the Lead Supervisor. I never tried it because the marinade was a honey mustard marinade and I'm not a huge fan of mustard. But I finally forged forward and tried it; it was fantastic. Matt said it was the best chicken he'd ever eaten (and if you know him, you know how high of a compliment that really is).

Naan Bread.

I made this to go with a new Indian dish I was making. It is quite good fresh, but really doesn't save well. We didn't have any problem finishing it off. Matt LOVED it and said he preferred it to Bombay House's Naan.


Mmmmmm.....hummus. *drooling like Homer over a donut*

Mango Lasse.

Wow. This was easy.

The Modifiers:
Homemade cheese ravioli.

The main thing that needed to change was the size. I made jumbo ravioli (where you only needed 3 to be extremely full). We both decided it should have been about half the size.

Punjabi chole masala.

I've been dying to find new Indian recipes. I love my curry, but I wanted to branch out. When I saw the row of Indian spices at Tom Thumb, I felt like Columbus, but I actually discovered the Indian spices I was in search of. This particular dish called for chickpeas, potatoes, spicy ginger and garlic paste, and the Indian spice mix I got. This was way too thick, a little gritty, and very over powering. However, it has great potential. I think next time I'll add tomato sauce or coconut milk to thin it out. I could tell the spicy ginger garlic paste was a definite keeper so I will have to find recipes that include it.

The recipes that did not make the cut:
To tell you the truth, I can't think of any off the top of my head. I know there have been some. Maybe I'm repressing the memories that paint me in a less than perfect light. It's possible.

If you want any of the other recipes I didn't take the time to make a paint image version of, just ask and I'll email them to you. Much easier...

Also, I am in search of an Indian dish (other than curry) that is tantalizingly delicious. If you have one, please, let's talk.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Voraciously insatiable appetite

Reading. How can a person not like reading? I get so into books that I will read for hours on end, stopping only out of shear necessity (restroom, food, watering the lawn). A good portion of my summers growing up were spent holed up in my bedroom reading and reading and reading. The library was a marvelous place where the books had color coded stickers denoting the difficulty of the read. Why go for the mamby-pamby kiddy books when I could be reading Nancy Drew (I know, Nancy Drew now seems mamby-pamby for a first grader compared to Harry Potter. Would that I'd had Harry Potter as a child...)

One problem that arises from devouring books is my disappointment when I've finished a day or two after I've begun. I want the stories to keep going. I want to know what happens next. Series are wonderful for this reason. Another problem I encounter is that burn out from reading upwards of 15 books in a matter of weeks. I end up taking a break for a couple of months, breath, and try to live my own life rather than vicariously living through others' stories.

I've just started a new reading affair with the opening act given by my all-time favorite, Orson Scott Card. You heard me. All-Time-Favorite. I have to admit I didn't believe my little brother when he said I would like his stuff. I mean, it was science fiction, and I'd never been into that. But the man is an absolute literary genius. I am continually amazed at his ability to tell stories in a variety of genres. (Unlike another author whose books I've all read, Mary Higgins Clark. I know--she's not very diverse and her books all blur together like they're one and the same, but there's just something about a good mystery and I like the way she tells a story...)I've read and re-read the Ender books and the spin-off Shadow books (which I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking for a thought provoking yet satisfactorily entertaining read. He has everything in there. Science fiction, love, intrigue, war, politics, etc.). His Women of genesis series is also very good. The current book I'm reading is called Magic Street and he isn't disappointing me friends. He isn't disappointing.

So, Scott Card. Thank you. (Because I know you're reading my blog and love my work as much as I love yours.) Thank you very much for hours and hours of entertainment.