Saturday, February 23, 2013

Odd Jobs

Only a few more weeks (a little over 2, actually) until Spring Break, and I for one can't wait.  Not that I'm not having a blast in my courses--I always do--but because then I can devote an entire week to quietly puttering through life.

That's what I'm doing this weekend, and as I've said before, it's amazing how productive I can be when I'm busy with things that don't really need to get done.

For example, I installed three new, cordless shades in my living room.  I did this because my adorable, loveable grey kitty-cat labors under the misconception that shade-cords are actually just very long strands of dental floss that I conveniently leave hanging near the windows, so that when he sits looking out of said windows at birds, bugs, and neighboring kitty-cats, he can practice good dental hygiene.

Nothing will convince him otherwise.

He is extremely bewildered by my anguished cries of, "SMOKEY!  Noooooo....".  I don't know if you've ever tried to repair the cords on a shade when they've been chewed through.  Even if you succeed, they certainly don't look very nice. 

And if you don't realize they've been chewed through--if, say, your kitty cat decides that he doesn't want to upset you by flossing his teeth right there in front of you in broad daylight (because clearly, you have some kind of "issue" when it comes to that)--and you raise the shade upon awakening one fine morning, only to watch as one side of it drops, well, you're somewhat screwed.

If there's a way to re-thread the cords in a shade, I haven't mastered it.

So, the house now has cordless shades.

I made mustard.  It's actually quite easy and tastes much better than store-bought, and the only drawback is your kitchen will smell like vinegar for a bit.  But the result is worth it.  I make a dijon mustard and a bourbon-and-brown-sugar mustard, and both are quite nice.  The latter is a whole-grain mustard, but I finally figured out a way to get at least some of the grains pulverized, so it isn't quite so... grainy.

It tastes amazing, by the way.  I mix it with some olive oil, chop up potatoes, coat the potatoes with the mustard and olive oil mixture, and then bake them.  It makes the house smell quite wonderful.  Potatoes are the ultimate winter comfort food, in my opinion.

So this gets me to the other part of my puttering.  My copy of Bon Appetit arrived the other day, and it's devoted to pasta.  I have all kinds of homemade pasta, so I'm in heaven.  My plans for this cloudy, rainy, wintry weekend are to test out a spicy pork ragu and a creamy leek and bacon sauce.  I think I'll use the homemade penne for the former and the homemade fettucine for the latter.

Plus, I found a recipe for fig newtons.  Homemade fig newtons.  If they're good, I'm basically set for life. 

All of this will be followed with a trip to the gym and some yard work, to undo the caloric damage done by all of the above.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."