Thursday, November 30, 2006

noodling around

I used to have a major cooking obsession.

It didn't always involve the actual cooking. I had a subscription to Bon Appetit, and hauled the back issues (10+years) around from Tucson to seminary to St. Louis until finally I decided to lighten that load. I still have most of my cookbooks, and piles of clipped recipes. It didn't help that St. Louis had both Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, full of shiny kitchen toys.

But somewhere along the way I lost my cooking mojo. Not that I ever cooked all that much, but I wasn't so interested in my cookbooks, or getting new toys. Losing interest in stocking our kitchen with gadgets is not a bad thing, but I did wonder why I never seemed to have any interest or energy for the kitchen.

A funny thing happened on the way to Thanksgiving. When I was in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning with my 10 pounds of russets, a vegetable peeler, and a deadline for making a batch of mashed potatoes for the first time for a major cultural feast day, I realized how much I was actually enjoying it.

So it's been back in the kitchen for me.

Last night I played around with one of those long-ago clipped recipes (from a Williams-Sonoma catalog, no less). The original recipe called for tagliatelle with sweet Italian sausage and leeks. Always a sucker for leeks. By the time I was done, it was egg noodles with chicken/apple sausage and leeks.

Yum. And since Husband doesn't do remains of the night before, I get the leftovers.

Needs more leeks, though.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Friday Five

1. Would you ever/have you ever stood in line for something--tickets, good deals on electronics, Tickle Me Elmo?

It's been awhile. I HATE LINES. When I was at U of I, we stood in line to get lottery tickets for buying concert tickets. I stood in line for Peter Gabriel and U2 lottery tickets (ah, the good ol' days). But my roommate had the lottery luck, so we ended up with good tickets on her lottery number.

2. Do you enjoy shopping as a recreational activity?

I used to, but not so much anymore. These days I prefer shopping for things I know I need over the Internet.

I do like browsing and shopping when I'm in a different place, especially if it's in a different country. One of my favorite Black Friday memories is going down to Nogales, Sonora, with friends from the anthropology department. I still have a number of items I bought on that trip.

3. Your favorite place to browse without necessarily buying anything. Art festivals. Sometimes Williams-Sonoma. The King Arthur Flour catalog. The Bissinger's catalog.

4. Gift cards: handy gifts for the loved one who has everything, or cold impersonal symbol of all that is wrong in our culture? I have no problem with gift cards. But sometimes they're a little easy to lose.

5. Discuss the spiritual and theological issues inherent in people coming to blows over a Playstation 3. I don't think that's what we mean when we talk about the kingdom of God coming near to you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I have a date

with 6 pounds of potatoes and a potato peeler.

That is all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ETA: It's now 15 pounds. I don't think our kitchen is that big.

ETA again: Back down to 10 pounds. Much better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

a blog post sighting!

So I'm alive.

And things are okay--sometimes good and great, sometimes sucky in that way that is simply part of the deal when you're working in a congregation.

Going back to Evanston suddenly seems like a long time ago but it was a very fruitful trip. Diana Butler Bass's addresses were like two more pieces of a puzzle that I'm putting together in my head of how to cope with these rapidly changing times in the church. Don't have all the answers, and still trying to figure out a way forward, but the landscape around seems to be a little more distinct and manageable. (Still scary, though, as it is for all of us in the mainline these days).

Going home forced me to put my money where my preacher's mouth is. Two big pieces of reconciliation were on the agenda--the continuing one with my family (better and better all the time, and our dinner together was the loveliest I can remember since childhood), and another piece of personal business which I won't go into here, but suffice it to say that some idiocies of young adulthood can be overcome over a good lox and bagel.

Words fail to describe the emotions of sitting in "my" favorite spot in the chapel at the seminary. Or to adequately express my thanks to one of my former professors, who let me just talk out much of the peaks and valleys (and valleys, and valleys) of the past several years.

So I'm here. And the cats are well. And we have stewardship, and adult education, and hopefully God is deeming it good.