Some little thoughts and quick tidbits:
- Gotta love a friend who will keep your feet on the ground. I decorated our mantle in a fall theme in prep for a jewelry party I was hosting. When the ladies arrived, they did some ooh-ing and ah-ing over the decorations. One friend went so far as to say it looked like something out of a magazine. Even as I was basking in that compliment, my super-sharp friend, Marlene, piped up: “So. When did you get out all the fall decorations? This morning?” She totally called me out and we both knew it. I had to laugh and admit that she was right and – poof – with her one gently chiding comment, I was no longer the plan-ahead-interior-design-genius I was letting the ladies think I was. I was my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-and-hope-it-comes-out-well-self again – definitely the truer of my identities. And, to my surprise, it was more comfortable that way. Many thanks to Ms. Marlene for outing me.
- Sometimes I think I’d like to run a catering service. And then I remember I haven’t completely lost my mind yet. But considering the next three entries below revolve around making food, I have to wonder if I’m not closing the gap.
- I can get a normal week’s groceries without a list. But if I’m making something special, I will often jot down the specific things I’ll need…and then forget the list on the dining room table. But I’ve found that even though I don’t have the list at the store with me, the act of having written it out in the first place is enough to help me remember what I need. And it’s doubly-effective if I’ve typed it into my phone using that god-forsaken, miniscule, touch-screen keyboard. Just the effort alone seems to embed the data into my brain. There must be something to that.
- Large, whole beets. Wrapped in foil. Baked like potatoes in the oven or on the grill for about an hour or until tender. Drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with kosher salt. Sublime.
- Some recipes require that you batter the food by dipping it in an egg wash then dredging it in a mix of dry ingredients, like flour and spices or breadcrumbs. And sometimes it calls for repeating these steps to make a double-coating. To avoid turning your hands into a gooey, clumpy mess, follow this rule of thumb: one hand wet and one hand dry at all times. Now, this sounds easy, but it’s weirdly discombobulating, or at least it was for me, at first. Both of my hands wanted to remain simultaneously involved in all steps of the process. Getting it right required a level of concentration that reminded me a lot of learning to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time. But in the end, it paid off. There was a lot less mess and it went more quickly because I didn’t have to stop to de-gunk my hands every two minutes. Try it.