Home Cooking, Comfort Food

There are certain things that I really miss from home, so when I found a nice bunch of green tomatoes well you know I just had to turn them into fried green tomatoes.  This isn’t a common thing, not where I live and definitely not something Beloved grew up with.  He won’t even touch them because they are unrepentant tomatoes battered in heavenly cornmeal and fried nice and crisp.  But to me, a few of those and I’m sitting on a porch back home.  Put that with some nicely barbecued meat and some cold iced tea and we are all set, only don’t forget the peach cobbler!

Beloved loves peach cobbler and has happily admitted to an iced tea lemonade addiction not to mention raspberry lemonade addictions as well.  He will pass on the sweet corn casseroles, biscuits and fried chicken.  And yet the man will happily consume chicken fried steak.  (He’s a bit of a work in progress but aren’t we all.)

So I fried some tomatoes, well correction Beloved had to help because lupus is lending a helping hand, the kind that makes my hands not work as well as they should.  He then crisped some bacon, made a spicy mayo and toasted buns for fried green tomato po’boys.  Or in his case bacon on a toasted bun with cheese, lettuce and regular mayo.

We settled on sweet, juicy watermelon for a snack later on.  I’m feeling a little less away from home right now and it should last for a bit.  This means tomorrow’s meals will be from different places to create a new adventure.  And judging from the way Beloved has looked at me, not to mention the visible red cheeks, Beloved will be doing all the cooking.  But it’s okay lupus will not prevent me from watching him cook and it was worth it for a taste that brought me back home for a little bit

Driving In Style

When I was learning how to drive, they insisted that you learn how to do the evils or parallel parking as  parking up or down a hill.  So important were these skills to THEY, that I was required to prove my skills during my road test. So confession time begins, I can parallel park, however unless forced to do it I will avoid it.  I’m just not into that type of parking when there are other ways to park.  I have used the parking uphill and downhill portion of my lessons more regularly.  What I haven’t done as much of is ensuring the emergency brake is fully engaged.  Yep I know, I live on the edge that way.  Granted I conveniently forget to do this only when parking on flat land.  Go figure! But these days, learning to drive n these days, heck is parallel parking really that big of a deal.  I mean they have cars that park themselves especially for parallel parking.  You don’t even have your hands on the wheel for this deal.  So no need to prove those skills. Heck soon you won’t even have to drive because the cars do it all on their own.  Everyone will have their own automatic chauffeurs.  Well until something goes sidewise.  Or you get bored by not doing the driving.  I’m not sure that I’d want to be driven around by my car while I just sit back and relax.  Kind of defeats the purpose of driving. I suppose with these changes the driving test will change.  Parallel parking will be a thing of the past, the cars will automatically known how to park on a hill.  The test will resemble a sitting test I guess, and choosing the right music or what have. I think  want to pass on all that.  I will become like Miss Daisy who refuses her chauffeur driving her anywhere at first.  She walked down the sidewalk while he drive super slow beside her.  I mean eventually she did get in the car with her chauffeur and further into the story they become great friends.  I could do that I think.  Just not with the car doing it all!

Go Together Like..Peas And Popcorn?

We were watching a show, a documentary I think it was, when Beloved decided he wanted to have popcorn.  Toffee popcorn to be exact.  Popcorn we could do, popcorn we have. Toffee is another story.  We didn’t have any in the house and the concept of making it seemed a bit much for me.  I noticed Beloved wasn’t volunteering to do the work, simply offering up he wanted the food item.

And so the documentary ended up being ignored while he ran out to the store to see what they could offer up ands a means of filling this hole in his life.  I stayed home and laughed a bit because before we got together Beloved didn’t eat popcorn.  He didn’t eat corn considering it pig feed.

Yet suddenly this man who eschewed popcorn and corn in general is out driving around looking for it.  A sign of change or progress perhaps?! 😉

The reality is, when you blend cultures often times progress or change happen.  In all the individuals involved.

Pi have never been a fan of peas, not even as a child.  I don’t know why, but little green round slightly wrinkly food just doesn’t seem right.  Beloved, however, adores peas, especially mushy peas.  I’m not exactly sure what he does when he makes them, but somehow mushy peas are okay.  I’m not going to seek them out, not going to run down to the local chip shop and pick up some, but I will eat it when he makes it.

i suspect other things have changed too, more subtle things.  Things we don’t even realize have changed because it’s just happened and somehow it feels just right.  The thing is, you don’t even mind it.  How can you when it feels right and suits you?  And that’s where the mystery and magic of relationships come in for change comes without the normal discomfort.  You often don’t notice the change that has happened, it’s fast and so natural that it just clicks into place.

Why Is It?

As I was struggling to open an item that had been vacuum sealed I wondered if it was all worth it. Of course that peace of food is fresh, it will stay fresh longer because no air is getting at it. It will also stay fresh longer because I am unable to get at it. In fact, if packaged properly and with a few additives it may n fact stay fresh longer than I will live. Because this is the stuff that consumers are asking for.

I struggle to open these awful child-proof lids too. I used to wonder why we had to make child-proof anything, why people couldn’t just store their stuff out of the reach of kids, but then I realized there is a whole new market of gadgets this way. None of them work for me. But the need to protect a child is greater than the need of an adult who struggles with arthritis etc.

Beloved has cut himself trying to get into items that have been packaged in rigid plastic, molded to the object inside. I’m sure he isn’t the only person to have had this happen. Why? Because we need to protect the object during shipping and it’s time on the shelves. How manufacturers and stores deal with all of this in the past?

Why is it that we make things harder to get into under the guise that it’s to protect someone or the item we want? How many times have we watched young children defeat the child-proof lids while adults struggled with them? How often have we given up n items because we know it’s going to be a pain to get into?

Why is it we tell ourselves, or rather we allow companies to tell us this way is better? What has happened to us as a group of people that we need to protect things from us and keep them fresh longer? Please don’t tell me it’s that our lives are busier because we’ve just swapped what was busy for our parents with chauffeuring children to and fro activities.

Now Vs Then

I placed my order, paid and then moved to the side to wait for my coffee to be prepared. As some of you know this is not my strong suit, this thing called waiting. So I tend to listen to other people’s orders t pass the time.

Now typically I’m only ordering a strong coffee, a latter or a cappuccino; once in a while I will get bold and order something with added flavours to it, but those are rare occasions.

This time as I was waiting for my latte, I heard a woman order a latte, with half soy milk and half non-fat milk, oh and the foam on the side. Who orders foam on the side of a latte? Does that not defeat the purpose?

As I left with my coffee I got to thinking how changed things are from the past. Historically coffee shops were few and far between, and no one would dream of paying over $5.00 for a cup of coffee. Now a days some people spend far more than that on a cup each day!

My grandmother used to talk about how she never had a chance to eat out in a restaurant until she was middle-aged. Prior to that, eating out to her was going to a friend’s house for a meal. There was a point in my life not that long ago where meals out were the norm, and I’m not talking about meals at my friend’s houses either.

My grandmothers spent a good deal of their time going to the market each day, finding something there and then coming home and making a meal with whatever fresh food they found that day. It was, my nature, local food.

I’m not a fan of grocery shopping, Beloved adores checking out different food and bringing it home to experiment with. When I go shopping, I have already determined what I need in the way of food to make whatever I want, and no the food isn’t always local.

But I have never ordered a latte with foam on the side, that is going a bit too far for me! Besides what do you do with your side of foam?

Progressive

Progress: To move forward or onward in a space of time.
Progress: Forward or onward movement towards a destination.

These concepts are simple, straight forward really. You could say it means to advance forwards in a journey.

We talk about progress in humanity, human rights movements and so forth. And I want so dearly to believe in this. I can almost taste it, almost feel it on my finger tips. And then. Well then something comes up that reminds me that no journey is ever without side trips and missteps.

I realize that not every place will be the same as the Western world that I live in. I realize not every group of people will hold the same values or beliefs as I do. That’s what makes this world amazing with diversity and such.

The flip side to this is that all too often it’s hard to accept the view of another. Of course that’s easy to write, easy to say and hard to do.

I try to view through the eyes of another, but I struggle when I see progress is being lost. Any time I see something that I consider a slide backwards on human rights I wonder about this progress we are making. I’m not sure that you can call everything as progress. Removal of women’s rights; deciding a specific sexual orientation is a death sentence of people and turning a blind eye to human suffering is not progress as far as I can see. Perhaps it is because I am a female I feel this way.

I know a journey is hardly ever a linear straightforward deal without any adventures along the way. I’m okay with this. I’m just not sure that you can call those movements as progress. But of course those are my views and thus they may be wrong for others. Surely that is progress in a sense! 🙂

Coming Back

Ten years is not really all that long. Sure when you are young it seems like forever, but in the overall frame of time it really isn’t much. Now perhaps if were serving a prison sentence it might seem like a long time too. But I’m not serving a prison sentence and my skipping days and scraped knees are behind me.

Ten years was approximately how long it had been since I was last in this particular city. Upon first arriving I was pleased to discover I still knew my way around the city. I navigated the streets with ease as though I had only been gone ten days. Shortly thereafter the changes to the city struck me. Some of them were expected as businesses come and go. New housing developments are the sign of a growing healthy city and so these didn’t hit me too much.

What did strike me, leaving a sense of loss was how many of the older building had been left to crumble and basically become ruins. I guess no one had bought them up yet, thankfully they weren’t torn down. Still the pain I felt, the shock and outrage all came. Why were these wonderful pieces of art, amazing structures for time gone by left to molder and decay?

Boards were nailed where windows once gleamed out over the river. Doorways were boarded and barricaded, I suppose to keep the homeless and others out. Bricks were missing, like teeth fallen out and not replaced. Cement had crumbled and fallen, creating a sagging appearance.

Where once visions of grander, hopes and dreams stood in glory, now they were a sad, decrepit testament to a time almost forgotten. I wanted to demand that the buildings be kept, and up to the glory days. I want to see the beautiful architecture restored, the grace and dignity given back to the buildings, but I know it won’t happen. Cost too much to do it, besides people want modern things with lots of natural light and windows.

And when you get down to it hadn’t I left the city, coming back now only as a visitor? What right did that give me to want things kept to what I found pleasing to my eyes? How could I think, for one second, that I know what’s best for a place that no longer is my home? And there is the rub, because it once was home I want it to remain as I recall it, at least the good bits.