Happy Samples

Beloved was up to his eyeballs in apples.  Well okay not really up to his eyeballs, it just seemed at way since he was cleaning and cutting them for baking and freezing.  Me, well let’s just say I was supervising.  And doing some minor quality control sampling.

A few days earlier he had been doing a host of baking with plums.  And when he walked in earlier today with two boxes of peaches I was tickled pink.  I may have a thing for peaches.  I also have lupus, which is flaring up something dreadful and therefore I’m sort of out action.   Other than sampling.  For quality of course!

If you were to listen to him, Beloved would have you believe that he was suffering something awful as he worked his way through the apples.  But the truth is, he loves it.  He loves to bake and cook.  And he enjoys sharing his end results, even if they turn out to be less than stellar.  Not that this happens all that often.

So up to his eyeballs in apples really isn’t the torture you might think he was experiencing.  As a matter of fact, he was in his place of happiness, and I knew it based on his singing opera as he worked.  And I was in my happy place watching him be happy.  And sampling of course!

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Off Tomatoes

“It’s nothing really,” I said as the well-meaning nurse clucked over the injury.  It really wasn’t that big of a deal on the scale of big deals in my life.  It doesn’t mean it didn’t warrant stitches, but stitches are nothing in my world.  Not when you’ve had tubes, hoses and are now seeking new organs. Nope, stitches are really nothing.

But of course this lovely nurse didn’t know that.  She was thinking I was worried about the amount of blood that I was losing and perhaps even concerned about a scar or two.  I gathered that from the way she said that it probably wouldn’t amount to much of anything down the road for people to see.  I grinned and told her that scars were sexy. Scars said that you have lived a life, an interesting life.  Interesting enough to leave marks on your body.  She laughed and told me that someone would be in immediately to stitch it up.

I wondered what she thought after she closed the door.  Did she think I was crazy for saying it was nothing when clearly she, as a medical professional, thought that a knife wound requiring more than thirty stitches as not “nothing”.  Knives slip, especially when you aren’t paying attention and the item you are cutting is wet and slippery. And the dog is jumping at your back.  Stuff happens.  Fast.

The doctor came in, stitched it up, gave me directions to look after it and then said he didn’t want to see me in the room again.  You’d think I was a frequent flyer or something at this trauma room.  I’m not.  It just happens that last time I was here, Beloved had managed a lovely deep hand wound as well. And I was fascinated then, as I was now, with the stitches going in and such.  So I guess I left an impression.

Shame about the roasted veggie salad that won’t be made now because frankly there was too much blood on stuff to save it and right now I’m a bit off of tomatoes!

Different Dance With The Same Steps

Beloved works odd hours.  Mostly because he works more than one job.  These odd hours leads to some interesting obstacles when it comes to meal planning, not to mention other logistics.

We try to do mass cooking when he’s around.  And by we I mean him.  He tries to sort out several meals that can keep for a few days.  He also tries to “repurpose” meat etc. so he can make multiple meals after.  As for me, I tend to pass judgment on what he is planning.  (In fairness, he is the better cook out of the two of us and he’s not a fan of my creations for the most part.)

The problem with this approach is finding storage room for everything.  And once we get past that hurdle, the next big hurdle he faces is actually eating the food days later.  Because what sounded delicious on Sunday is totally not what he wants on Tuesday.  So he kind of hastily eats it on Tuesday and then lists after something more tasteful that day.

Enter a quick stop for more than coffee, such as a package of nuts or cake if the mood strikes.  And sometimes, if the disappointment was large enough, it becomes a package of nuts and cake.  Or maybe two pieces of cake. At which point he arrives home between occupations and bemoans his food choice.

And around and around we go with this.  I’m not much better in that I tend to not be a fan of leftovers.  So this means he is stuck with his food that seemed brilliant only days before.  But each week we do this same dance.  And each week he swears it will be different.

A Day For Arms

It was one of hose days, the kind where you just want to stay inside and curl up with a book, a nice cup,of coffee and let the dog curl up on your feet.  Of course if you are Beloved, you do none of these things.  Instead you let me curl up with a book while you take over the kitchen.

Beloved spent over 12 hours in the kitchen today preparing delicious meals for the freezer as well as other side of be consumed now.  Oh and snacks.  He made snacks and cookie before he cleaned the kitchen.  He took inventory of the kitchen and created a grocery list.  He packaged, wrapped and stored food.

When he was done, he dropped down beside met with a sigh.  He pulled me close again t his chest and just sat there, holding me while we watched out the window.  To him it was a near perfect day, and to be honest I am not going to complain either.  I mean he created delicious food while I read.  He cleaned while I made notes.  And while he held me, I rested safe and secure against his chest.  It was, in fact, a perfect day for arms.  Beloved’s arms.

If He Listened…

Beloved is a cautious soul when it comes to outdoor cooking.  He basically wants an iron-clad guarantee that there won’t be even the slightest hint of rain within a hundred miles or so of where he is cooking.  This makes for some interesting challenges when it comes to asking him to grill anything.  (To be honest I find myself voiding he with the red day forecast from two different source, just to help persuade him some.)

Today was a day that had been precast to  nice and sun filled skies.  With forecasts in hand and a few updates in the morning, Beloved felt it was safe to grill trout and vegetables.  Everything was going as planned for a nice, grilled meal when I just knew the storm was coming.

No you couldn’t see anything.  Yes a very slight breeze was present, but I’ve discovered that my body, thanks to lupus and arthritis, seem so on be a pretty decent weather system.  While I know experts say rain, cold and snow do not affect joints with arthritis, my ability to know storms are coming, and sometimes how severely or quickly, is also not my imagination.

I believe that it has to do with the change in air pressure more than a shift in humidity as per say.  So I could feel this ache starting while Beloved was humming and getting things together for grilling.  He ignored my warnings because it was a clear blue sky overhead.  Naturally the rain held off until he was out at the grill with all the food on it. Buckets of rain, as if to let the trout swim once last time.

A soaked Beloved came in with soggy, slightly grilled food. His look told me not to say one word while he went and changed and the meal indoors.

Nourishing The Soul

Lovely smells wafted in from the kitchen, a mixture of savoury and sweet.  Tempting me to at least consider trying to eat regardless of what the consequences would be.  This isn’t the first time a lovely person has created magic in my kitchen.  Magic that meted me to at least taste the creations.

This time the lovely personwas Beloved and he created everything from tasty salad creations to soup and a simple, light entrée.  Consuming even just a little bit of any one of the creations would put a huge smile on his face.  But just in case none of those would tempt me he made a simple oatmeal.

I suspect he would have made me anything if it meant getting some nourishment into my body.  He isn’t a huge fan of living off smoothies or smoothie bowls, but some days that’s all I can manage or want.

But today I sampled some of his soup and a few mouthfuls of salad before retreating to rest in a comfortable chair again.  And as I sat down I again gave thanks for all the amazing people in my life.  Especially those like Beloved who ignore my mood being down while lupus is on the uptick.

Magical Cooking

Now and then I end up with. True experiment in my kitchen.  Not on purpose or design. It just kind of happens.  Typically when I end up with these experiments they have a hint of charcoal to them.  Okay who am I kidding, I can make incredible charcoal with nothing more than my oven.

Today’s experiment was something that should be simple and delicious:  crispy chickpeas.  The recipe called for a can of chickpeas, drained and dried.  A little olive oil, some salt and pepper.  Oh yeah and a hot oven.  Easy enough.  And I had to shake the pan occasionally.  Again not rocket science.  Just a timer and attention.

Despite my best efforts, despite following the recipe I ended up with a few crispy chickpeas and some charcoal.  I didn’t ask for the charcoal and I don’t really have much use for it, but maybe I can save it for drawn get on the sidewalk when the weather warms up.  Or perhaps I will save it for an experiment for something like the princess and the pea.  Who knows.  Of course who knows why I have this skill for using my oven to create charcoal.  Perhaps the answers will come to me at some point or perhaps  shall continue to make charcoal while I experiment with recipes in my oven.