Back to the Mortar and Pestle

I am a nut about spices.  It is so amazing to me how a little seed was interesting enough to someone that they figured out it had intense flavor inside of it. Let’s not even get into the health factors, geez, that’s a whole different learning tree I climb on all the time.

I like to grind my own spices because of the difference in flavor.  commercially milled spices lose a lot of flavor and aroma. Just as store bought tomatoes don’t taste the same as the ones from the garden.

One might try to take some aggression out on the M&P.  I don’t put that kind of negative energy into my cooking. I often pulverize my own spices while I binge on Star Trek, such as mustard seed and nutmeg.  I use a lot of both of them in my cooking.

Yeah, that cardamom is potent stuff. I don’t use a coffee grinder because I don’t like cardamom tainted coffee. I have a carved marble M&P now.  I had a terracotta set, but busted that one with nutmeg. It’s all a learning process.

A huge part of my day is exposing people to terpenes . Terpenes are the specific aromas you smell from just about everything that grows.  I have always a fruit wiffer at the grocery store. I figured if the smell of the fruit made my mouth water, then it was good to eat. The terpenes of ripe fruit triggered sensors that I was able to recognize as the best tasting. When I am grinding spices, I am getting a big face full of terpenes, and the benefits of them.

 

 

 

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Ouch

Here is the skinny, I have a bum shoulder.

About 10 years ago, I had this dog named Buster.  He was a Walker Hound.  Or, more commonly known as the Treeing Walker.  1012081133b

Buster liked to go on long brisk walks, and even longer runs. He was a fun dog to live with.  A great big dog too, he weighed in at 95 lbs.  I had to get a special collar just to walk him, he was so strong he could easily pull me off my feet. Exercising him was exhausting at times, thrilling at other times, and dangerous if horses were about.

bike and dog

One day, I had this great idea to run him while I rode my bike next to him.  It made total sense! I could run the dog until he was tired, a tired dog is a good dog. Plus, I could get a good ride in at the same time.  A win-win kind of thing.

Yeah

Sure.

So there we were, about to run up this mile long hill through Powell Butte. Then I was going to ride around the top a few times with him, and then head back down the hill at the main gate.

Everything was awesome, there we were, he was running at near full speed, and I was laughing with him as I rode next to him.  A mere thirty seconds into our ride, Buster decides that he needed to cut in front of me to go investigate someone in their backyard, and that’s when we collided.

I landed wrong when my bike went tumbling over Buster, and with an extended right arm, I tore the ligaments in my right shoulder. I didn’t know at the time, I was in a bit of shock. So, instead of turning around to go the short way home, I decided to push my bike up the hill, after all, Buster still needed the walk, and it was only 4 miles to home on this route. Of course, many things also transpired as I walked my damaged bike with my damaged body home.

It sucked.  I had to admit that I needed emergency medical help, and a doctor that wanted to perform surgery. I opted for physical therapy instead. I have tattoos I didn’t want cut up when I could do PT instead. The PT helped, a lot, but not completely.  I will always have this injury now.

Let’s fast forward to 3 weeks ago, Monday. I was at work, doing my job. I was into the day, happy to be productive. I went to load my delivery car with items needing to be delivered. One of the bins I was loading was heavier than It looked, and upon placing it in the back of my car, I heard the familiar snap, crack and pop of the ligaments giving up and the shoulder basically separating.

Yeah. It hurt. Alot. The truly awful thing was that it took a few days for the real pain to set in. I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, and didn’t even think of the injury, I just felt really uncomfortable, then Thursday happened.  I couldn’t drive to work without wincing in pain the whole time. Loading packages in my car became excruciating.  I’ve been on light duty since then.

I have not been able to do much other than sleep and ice my shoulder.  I can’t even cook! Today is the first day in three weeks that I have been able to sit at the computer. Even this is wearing me down though.

I am out to go make some pasta, using yams instead of potatoes, for some chicken ravioli.

Wish me luck and healing juju.

project progress

Setting things in motion starts so slowly sometimes.

When I was a child, I loved to draw and color and paint.  My family was convinced that I was going to become the next Rembrandt. By the time I was in kindergarten, I was more advanced than a lot of the kids when it came to coloring time.

I had a library of coloring books at my disposal at home and at relatives houses. Every christmas I would get crayons AND colored pencils. One of the few things my mother denied me was access to her oil paint set.

This was all fine for me, except one thing: The subjects of the coloring books were BORING! I wanted more from my coloring books, so at the early age of 6, I made it a life goal to make the best coloring book in the world.

Skip forward 30 years.

In the early 2000’s I found myself teaching art at a local youth center.  Rembrandt? No. Doing good for future minds? YES!

When I first started, say about a month into this 6 year gig, one of the younger girls told me it was her birthday, and asked me to draw her a picture.  We had a conversation about where she would love to go for her birthday, she told me a bunch of different places. To keep things simple, I drew a landscape of tropical islands with a big smoking volcano. This quick sketch began the journey of the perfect coloring book.

One hundred twenty-five images later, that took about 5 of the six years I worked there to finish it, is in my opinion a perfect coloring book.

Now I have this new perfection i am striving for. Last night I was focusing on the menu, which is so so far from being complete.

Life is awesome with all the different paths we can take.

WTF am I Thinking?

When I started this blog, it was for the love of food.  As we all know, life has unexpected twists and turns, many of which we are unable to foresee.

Until recently, I had zero interest in pursuing a career in the food industry.  Yes, until recently.  I have done stints in the service industry to make ends meet, that’s what artists do, we become servers, cooks, and dishwashers all the time. So, fair to say, I really wanted nothing to do with running a restaurant.

Every person I have fed has said the same thing: You should open a restaurant. Often I tell my gentlemen callers that I would prefer to cook for them as opposed to going out because my cooking is far superior to anything we are going to find locally, and a hell of a lot cheaper. Even my toughest critics Me, Myself, and I, plus my roommate, say that I need to progress professionally as a cook.

About a month ago, a close friend and I were having a conversation over a meal, at a restaurant. We were both not moved by the meal, however the conversation was thrilling.  He told me of the really amazing restaurant idea, and said that we need to hop on this idea, and make it happen. With his business idea, and experience, paired with my skills and education we will have a successful dining establishment.

I have given myself to the end of this moth to have my business plan completed.  We already have a few people interested in backing us financially.

This is all so very exciting! I am at an age where I want to do something really big and important.  I feel in my heart of hearts that I am doing the right thing for once.

This is huge.  There is so much to do. Of course, I will be blogging about this as I figure things out. Blogging about things is a great way to sound things out. Especially things of a food nature, and life experiences as we all know.

So,  WTF am I thinking? I am thinking that life is too short not to do this. I am thinking onto the research I need to do, and the planning that has to be done.  I am thinking that I want to set this in stone so I can run with it. I’m thinking that this is scary. I’m thinking it’s challenging. I KNOW this is what I need to do.

A step in a different direction

On the western calendar, we have several “holidays” created by card companies. Mother’s day being one of those days.

It boggles my mind to think that people need a special day to show their love for someone who is supposed to be the pillar of their existence.

I do not partake in any of the so called holidays that have been created by corporations and card companies (Valentine’s, Mother’s, Father’s, Grandparent’s, Boss’s, secretary’s Flag, etc. days). Just as I do not celebrate ethnic holidays (St. Pat’s, Cinco De Mayo, St. Augustine’s etc. day) .  Nor do I get sucked into the religious ones either (Easter, X-mas, etc.).

It’s not that I do not celebrate, I take the JW position on holidays, and I am thankful for the people in my life every day of the year, and celebrate it EVERY DAY!  I do not need a special day to know that my daughter loves me.  To me every day is Mother’s day, GrandMama’s day, Valentine’s Day etc. …

I feel that society is guilted into spending money on the ones they love to prove how much they love them. Yet, we all are taught that material possessions do not equate love. How can we succeed with that kind of twisting guilt?

I do not want any part of anything that makes anyone feel rotten for not being what the media and corporations say we should be.  Whole marketing campaigns are designed to make people feel the need to spend their hard earned money on one HUGE item, or loads of tiny ones, to give to their loved ones.

If one is in a relationship, it is geared to guilt each partner, which one will possibly not do as well as the other, and then quiet silent guilt is magically there, poking them in the eye saying “You suck, you should have spent more money.”

If one is single, a plethora of options for the single person are available to share in the guilt.  But this guilt is geared towards the single person being a failure for being alone.

Fuck that shit!  I don’t need any of that kind of nonsense in my life.  The people I care about get x-mas every day, they get Thanksgiving all the time, Valentine’s day?  Every fucking moment of my life.  I do not need a pointed out day to know that life is good, people love me, and I am a worthy person.

When I stopped acknowledging these man made holidays, my life simplified.  No more household decorations, no saying “if I get that for Billy, I have to get Suzie an equal valued item.” There is no overeating of chocolates…. well, yeah there is always that. But I do not need a basket of eggs to go with that chocolate.

If you feel the need to celebrate these holidays, good for you, perpetuate more guilt.  that is awesome.  It is awesome because it’s what you want.  The beast can’t live without fodder, I suppose.

So I do enjoy watching the black Friday fight videos, because, you know, violence is a great way to show someone you love them.

The only day that I pick out of the year to celebrate is my birthday, then, it is easily a month long celebration. Each day dedicated to giving to others, sharing gifts, loving those who are close to me, and surviving another 365 days.

 

For the love of bloggers

I love blogging, and reading blogs.  This is my social media.  I get much more out of blogs than I ever would get out of other avenues of social media.  Thanks to all of the passionate people who blog, I can learn about aspects of society on a much more intimate level, without being a nosey bitch about it.

I hear a lot about “white privilege” and wonder what that is all about.  I always assumed it was the fact that I wouldn’t be hassled by the cops for no good reason.  To be fair, I never got hassled by the police, even in my rough and tumble teen years.  I managed to not even get a traffic infraction (knock on wood).  I want to make it clear, that is the only thing of privilege I have ever seen in my life.  I have had to work really hard for everything I have, and that isn’t very much.

Being part of the human race has made me fairly tolerant of other humans, having to fight for my entire life has made me a softer human as well.  I want to understand where the idea of “white privilege” comes from, so I turn to blogs.

I have also been following the path of “Black Lives Matter.”  I am not going to go into the typical all lives matter nonsense that usually is included in most BLM conversations.  My response to BLM is “of course they do.” Understanding the perspective is important.

From my experiences, I have seen the racism first hand, and it always makes me reel in confusion. It is an easy card to throw around when a person is a racial minority. But also a very slippery slope. So many people are racially blended, especially here in America.

It still confuses me, so I turn to bloggers once again for answers that no one can seem to say. Sometimes I want to share blogs with other bloggers, so they can see the perspectives as well.  Perhaps show the authors that the words they share have a much deeper meaning and inflection than they realize.

The world will take a while still to get the fact that we are all just part of this bigger thing flying through space at thousands of miles an hour.  It will take a while for the concept of being cool with each other to catch on.  We have made huge strides in acceptance, but the journey is far from over.

We are not individual snowflakes.  We are living organisms that can learn. We can learn from the things we fear and hate, like how to respect and tolerate perhaps even love and admire. Thank you to all the people who blog, and share their opinions, ideas and philosophies with the blogging world.  You are all so very much appreciated!