WND – Never Trust Someone Over 30October 21, 2010
First things first. Check it out, Jes has started up Dinner on the West Coast again, and finally got around to making apple sauce, three years after she said she really wanted to try it out.
Secondly, a small, but wordy, administrative note:
One of the reasons that Dinner works is because we’ve been around for so long. People will attempt to schedule their lives around Dinner because it was on their schedule long before whatever else they might be doing was. However, sometimes real life conspires against us all and when faced with two grad school schedules, one play rehearsal schedule, and one concert rehearsal schedule that all prevented people from coming to Dinner on Wednesday I decided to take the path of least resistance and move Dinner. So, one small scribbled spreadsheet later (my roommate makes fun of me because I make spreadsheets for everything – books I own, tv I watch, the plots for insanely complicated time travel novels, occasionally grocery shopping trips – but a small matrix really was necessary to corral eight peoples week night schedules) and it has been determined that Dinner will be moving to Tuesday through the Christmas hiatus. We will revisit the timing of Dinner when grad school people have their new class schedules in the New Year.
Thirdly, I have to ask, is there some invisible barrier you cross when you turn 30 that makes you start turning into the kind of person you always used to mock? Because I’ve noticed in the past few years that I’m doing all kinds of things I always said I’d never do. Like shop at more than one grocery store, and care about locally sourcing my vegetables, and using recyclable grocery bags. The latest damning offense is apparently caring about the aesthetics of the inside of my fridge.
I’m of the general opinion that if it’s behind a closed door it doesn’t have to look nice, it just has to be functional. This is why I firmly veto the concept of glass fronted kitchen cabinets. I don’t want to have to keep the interior of my kitchen cabinets decoratively arranged. I want the insides of my cupboards to be logically arranged, and to have pots and pans reasonably easy to access, but they don’t need to be wildly attractive. There’s a very small part of me that wants a rack of copper bottomed pots hanging in my kitchen, and a much larger part of me that points out that they’d need to be polished regularly and I’m certainly not going to be doing that. I don’t even dust regularly*.
However, we bought this new fridge. And okay, it wasn’t the most wildly exciting fridge in the store. It doesn’t have fancy drawers or temperature controlled anything, or multiple apertures. It was, however, new and shiny and just that hair bit larger than our last fridge which I didn’t think was going to make that much of a difference, but apparently really does. All of a sudden I have enough space in my fridge for all the things I need to store and I don’t think I’ve played a really complicated game of fridge tetris in months.
As a result I find myself doing things like keeping fruit in the fridge in a large enamel bowl rather than just the plastic bag in which it comes home from the grocery store. Some of this I can defend as practical. It’s easier to grab a piece of fruit from a bowl than it is from a bag that has to be opened and then reclosed. And also, a large bowl of fruit takes up less fridge real estate than several bags of fruit, and we’re more likely to eat it all before it starts to go bad if it’s front and center in the fridge rather than tucked away in a crisper drawer or stuck behind a Tupperware container of leftovers. But also, I have to admit, it’s because a large green enamel bowl is appealing to see at when I open the fridge to grab a peach (or apple, or pear, or whatever fruit is seasonal). Snacking tomatoes now come home from the store and get put in a small decorative bowl. Figs, when I indulge myself with fresh ones, also get carefully placed in a decorative bowl. It’s pretty to look at, and well, what else am I doing with all of the small bowls I own (because I have a fetish for small bowls and am helpless to resist them and thus own far more than is reasonable)?
The ultimate upshot of all this is that I am now unwilling to over stuff my fridge, and I want to keep my freezer free of unidentifiable bags of frozen things (is it chicken? is it pork? when did I put it there?) so I’ve been trying to be better about remembering what it is I have in the fridge/freezer that needs to be used up when I do my menu planning/grocery shopping list for the week. I like to say that it’s because I’ve embraced the spirit of frugality, but I don’t think my grocery bills have actually changed any. So sadly, I think I have to admit that it’s mostly in the spirit of an aesthetically pleasing fridge interior. I’m going to go die a little inside now.
*Wait, is that the next thing? Dusting? Because I’m not sure I can live with myself if I become a person who dusts.
Pork Stew with Hard Cider, Pearl Onions & Potatoes
Pork Stew with Hard Cider, Pearl Onions & Potatoes
We all had a bowlful. And then another small scoop. And then another smaller scoop. And then just a little more of the sauce. And well, you need a potato and a piece of pork to really appreciate the sauce. This really is just insanely good. I was shocked that there was any leftover by the time we got around to clearing the table. It’s possible I licked the pot before handing it off to be washed.
Recipe previously given: Day Late & a Dollar Short
I stood at the bread stand and held a piece of Orange Toasted Walnut & Cranberry bread in one hand, and a piece of Pumpkin Cranberry Date & Pecan bread in the other hand and dithered over which one to buy. I (eventually) opted for the orange bread, but there’s a distinct likelihood that the pumpkin bread will be making an appearance at my table in the very near future.