After my doctor’s appointment I went back to work to put in more time. About a half an hour later I found myself digging into the task at hand with the sort of focus that has been avoiding me for seeming weeks. Satori seemed at my fingertips. I was working on a problem and the solution was unrolling itself as I typed. Around 9:15 or so Donald called to ask if I had seen his fountain pen. I had not. I must have sounded tired, because he told me that it was time to go home and relax.
Home again, I stumbled around trying to remember which leftovers I wanted to eat.
Oh! The chiles rellenos, which were more satisfying than any I have had in restaurants.
I completely forgot the pozole, which is in a plastic container in the fridge that looks exactly like the beans, rice, and spaghetti. O leftovers, you fill my belly with magic and happiness.
I wish that I could take credit for more of last night’s meal. I have wanted to have a dinner party since I moved in, and most especially a Mexican-themed gathering, but I never quite had it together enough to make good on my plans. Besides, how would I have found a schedule that coincided with my friends? In order to have time to prep vegetables for the rice I had to go straight home after class, rather than getting in an hour or so before the movie. Sarah is really the one to thank, because she volunteered to help clean on Tuesday. If she hadn’t provided the impetus, I might have simply taken out a snow shovel and pushed the entirety of my apartment into my bedroom.
Donald brought over beans and the pozole fixins. I directed the blackening of the peppers and offered my experience on removal of their skins. I had done it in the past for extravagant chilis, but if you’re pureeing the peppers, you can just run them through a sieve or a food mill and all that pesky skin will disappear. In fact, that skin is pretty nondescript and you’d be hard pressed to really notice it in anything cooked. I showed Donald that one could roast a chile over a naked flame, but the process was slow. I have small burners that don’t put out a lot of heat. We opted to put all the peppers in a flat pan and put it under the broiler. A few minutes later, Donald blanched the peppers and the skins peeled off in sheets.
I showed Donald the anatomy of a poblano and an Anaheim/Hatch/New Mexico pepper, and provided skewers to lace them closed again after they were stuffed with queso fresco and/or queso chihuahua. Donald breaded and fried them for us because I was terrified of splashing oil onto a burner and killing us all in a sudden conflagration.
I made spanish rice for the first time in a year or so. My cast iron pan is about perfect for it when used on a gas burner. The bacon remnants made the rice extra brown, and the water to rice ratio might have been off, so I really don’t know how well it turned out, except that it was mostly gone. If you ate some and didn’t like it, tell me so I won’t bother making it again. I have a rice cooker that makes perfect white rice. If you did like it, I can give you the recipe. Donald asked about the spices — I forgot to tell him that I roasted whole cumin, coriander, and a couple of cloves. Also, a cup of rice, a cup of carrots and celery, a cup of onion, a spooge of garlic, two cups of chicken stock, and four ounces of tomato paste. If I add juicy things like tomatoes (perhaps in lieu of the paste) I offset the stock with any extra liquid. I will leave the order of cooking as an exercise for the reader.
Oh, hey, that’s like paella or something. I dunno. I used to make it all the time and throw everything from the fridge into it.
Um. I’m really tired. I really just want to drink a few beers in a bar with sticky carpet while watching a handful of bands that I don’t know, followed by an explosively good band whose lyrics I know by heart and can scream drunkenly.
Therapy was really bad today. It was bad two weeks ago. It’s not supposed to be like this: I don’t want to feel okay when I go in and then shitty for two weeks after.
After class last night I got onto my bike just in time for heavy, frigid rain to cut through my shirt and pants. I got home and found the lock on the laundry room door broken again, so my bike spent the night in the living room amongst my dinner guests. Minneapolis was kind enough to send me notice that I hadn’t yet paid the ticket for expired tabs on a car that I have to borrow to drive. I had been too depressed to sit down in advance and pull out recipes for the meal, so we still needed queso when Donald got here. And toothpicks. And I only have six forks, which left no extras for stirring and other fork-type duties.
Goonies never say die.