20 January 2007

My neighborhood

Farmer's Market is about 4 minutes away by car. On the way over this morning, I saw:

- A shopping-cart lady who had stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to cut her hair. She was just standing in the middle of the walk as if she had paused to catch her breath, but she took a small pair of scissors, held up some hair, and cut about an inch off. Repeat.

- A couple staggering around in the middle of the street, fighting. The man looked like he was going to hit the woman, but finally he stopped, took something out of his pocket, and gave it to her. She examined it closely and then walked off.

- Three little kids laughing and wheeling a 5-gallon bottle full of water in a baby stroller.

- A truck with the words "Metal Mulisha" stencilled on the back about a foot high. The s in "mulisha" was in the style of a Nazi SS letter.

I bought turnips AND brussels sprouts AND kohlrabi. One cannot say that I am not a friend of the cruciferous vegetable. Also got a bunch of citrus, in loving memory, since the new crop got mostly killed by the cold weather over the past week.

18 January 2007

Today's Excuse

Here's the problem, yo. (Did I just say "Yo"? WTF is wrong with me?)

I want to go to the gym.

I just don't want to go TODAY.

Tomorrow is an infinitely better day for the gym.

Today is Thursday. Thursday is the almost-end of the week, a day to relax and gird my loins for one more day at work.

But who can go to the gym on Friday night? Doesn't that automatically make one a loser? Alone, at the gym, after work on Friday? And you know I can't go RIGHT after work because it is way too busy, what with the New Years resolution people and all. And later - that is when I should be having a Friday night. Fun. An outing. Something silly. Not sweaty.

Saturday? Who has time? Too busy.

Sunday? Church, see Mr Stapler, the folks. Sunday night? Oops, gym closes at 8.

I'm shooting for Monday. Monday sounds perfect.

Updated: Ok, I went. Happy now?

17 January 2007

Important things

Y'all wanted to know about the Squash Enchilada recipe. It IS a classic. I fed it to my nephews when they were all under age 10 and they happily ate it. Squash, people. The children ate squash.

The other good news is that it has exactly six ingredients, counting tortillas. My sister uses corn tortillas but I was raised by a nortena, so I use flour. I don't know WHO raised my sister. (This is all part of an inside joke. Hey, amiga.)

The most important ingredient is Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce. Red. Mild. Get the big can. This is what you need to make all your enchiladas just like My Mom Used to Make.

Bake a butternut squash. A big one. There are two methods: You can cut it in half, seed it and bake it, or bake it, then seed it. If you do it the first way it is a pain to cut in half. They are HARD. If you do it the second way, it is a pain to try and keep the skin bits out of the flesh. You can take your pick.

While the squash is still somewhat hot (not too hot - you don't want to torture your fingers. Even using a spoon, you know you will get some on you), scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Add cream cheese - as much as you dare. This has gotten less as I have gotten older. For a really big squash, maybe a box of cream cheese. The big box. Use the Philadelphia brand. All others suck. Stir it in.

Toss in a big handful of chopped green onions. As much as you like. Go crazy. Both the white and some of the green parts. Why else would they call them GREEN onions if you weren't supposed to use the green parts??

Pour some Las Palmas sauce in a big frying pan and warm it gently. (Or if you are lazy, just put it in the baking pan). Dip a tortilla in the sauce. Get a baking pan and grease it. Pour some more sauce on the bottom of the pan. Put the tortilla in the pan, give it a good blob of filling, and roll or fold the tortilla over the filling. Do this with as many tortillas and as much sauce as you have. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with shredded Monterey Jack or Queso Quesadilla cheese. Not too much. This isn't about the cheese.

Bake at about 350 more or less for a while. If the tops start getting crispy before the enchiladas are done, cover with some foil. Or you can put the foil on first and take it off for the last 10 minutes. Maybe 25 minutes total. Maybe 30. 40. Whatever. This is not rocket science. Enchiladas are forgiving. Just get them hot and the cheese melted.

Voila. You have some weird vegetarian enchiladas from your weird California friend. Super yum.

16 January 2007

Four Things

Chantel tagged me for a meme, and just in time, too, since my brain is a rotten hormonal compost pile lately.

Four Things (I think I did this a while back, but I may have been lying at the time).

4 Jobs
Dishwasher - The only job I ever got fired from. I worked too slowly. I have always considered dishwashing a form of meditation. My boss didn't see it that way.
Greenhouse Worker - Dirt. Hot. Cold. Long hours. Hard. New respect for farmworkers. If you have never had to work in the fields, get down on your knees and give thanks for those who do.
Typesetter - For about 6 months before Macintoshes came along, I set type in code, the old fashioned way. Kids these days don't know how good they have it.
Newspaper journalist - My favorite job ever. The person I liked interviewing most: Anthony Bourdain, drop-dead sexy chef. The most amazing: George Foreman. Meeting him made me realize how brave Mohammed Ali was to just step into the ring with him. He is BIG.

4 movies I could watch over and over
Babette's Feast - Food porn at its finest.
Pride and Prejudice - With Colin Firth, naturally.
Office Space - Red Stapler, duh.
The Black Stallion - I'm a big sucker for cinematography

4 places I've vacationed
Phoenix - for baseball Spring Training, thanks to Mr Stapler
Kauai - How much did I like it? I cried getting on the plane to come back to the mainland
Oaxaca, Mexico - see my blog all about it in the sidebar
Chicago - to see my sis

4 websites I visit daily
It is more like 40. Or 70. I have lost count. See my blogroll. And that doesn't even cover it.

4 of my favorite dishes
Curried Peas and Eggplant - my favorite one-pot meal
Chiles Rellenos - You can relleno the chile with pretty much anything and I will love it as long as it is a pasilla and not a disgusting Anaheim chile
Squash Enchiladas - butternut squash mixed with cream cheese and green onions as an enchilada filling. Super yum.
Onion Rings - I love them so much I limit my consumption to once a quarter. Which reminds me - I have not yet eaten Q1 2007's allotment.

4 places I've lived
Gaviota, California - population 99
Joliet, Illinois - Hi, sis
San Luis Obispo, California - for 19 short years. Heaven on earth.
Oaxaca, Mexico - only for 3 weeks, but it seemed like a crazy lifetime

4 places I would rather be
There aren't any 4 specific places. I always like to wake up Anywhere But Here. If I went to Fresno tonight, that would be cool. Or Paris.

4 favorite drinks
Wine - Pinot Noir. The first one I ever tasted was one I made in my viticulture class, and boy was it good
Water - It is supposed to be good for you
Coffee - Mostly decaf from Peet's
Minty Lime Coolers - Frappe the hell out of mint, lime juice, and sugar. Mix with soda water.

4 wishes
Love - Someday I will figure out what it takes to make a loving, happy relationship with the opposite sex. (I stole this from Chantel).
Travel - Lots of it
Job - Something that makes me happy and makes the world a better place.
Food - I love delicious food.

4 regrets
That I am such a generalist. I am interested in everything. It makes me fun to talk to, but it doesn't pay well.
That I am so out of shape.
That I never finished college the first time around.
That I never figured out the hair/clothes/fashion thing. Anything visual is like a foreign language to me.

My own 4

4 favorite dog breeds
Big Short-haired mutts
German Shorthaired Pointers
Queensland Heelers

Oh! 4 people I'm tagging
Lisa - Midwestern Mommy
Cheerios and Chickens

The good old days

Bloglines is officially so screwed that it is like not having a feed reader at all. It marks as read things with new posts, while it drags up old old things over and over.

I give up. I am going to try the "export feeds" feature and go to google reader.

New confessions up at True Employee Confessions.

15 January 2007


I have the day off work because it is Martin Luther King Day. It is a good time to finally clean those baseboards in the bathroom, to get some stuff done.

It kind of sucks to have a holiday this close to the last set of holidays, because then we don't have another paid day off work until May. Presidents' Day worked out better, timing-wise, but they took that away when they gave us this.

But still. Martin Luther King. Is there anyone like him today? He was a moral leader. He wasn't in it for the money or for the fame. He saw a great wrong and gave everything he had to right it. He gave his life. That, he said, was no concern to him. He wanted to do God's will.

Was he the only one? No, there were thousands like him, who endured hardship, death threats, attacks with firehoses and dogs, put-downs, slurs, job loss, bombings. All because they followed a moral imperative to put their own comfort aside for something greater.

How often do I chose comfort over the right thing? What injustice is there that needs my effort to help change it? In honor of MLK day, the least I can do is to ask those questions and to think about the answers while I clean the baseboards.

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