First came the sense of relief. He is really gone. Really, truly, no kidding. Gone. Then came that realization — much like how you feel after a particularly ugly divorce — that the center of your rage, the reason for the fury you’ve been wrapped in is no longer part of your world.

“Oh, wow,” you think. “It’s finally over.” Take a deep breath. Maybe this is the moment when each of us realizes how worried we have been about our country. There’s also a sense of emptiness, like when an unwelcome guest FINALLY leaves and you realize at long last, you got your guestroom back!

It’s not like our problems are over. In many way, now is exactly when they are beginning. They should have begun years ago, but better late than never.  For now, I’m taking a breath before we get deep into climate change and COVID and oh so much more. We’ll have plenty to get mad at soon enough, I’m sure. We’ve been so wrapped in the ugliness of he-who-should-never-be-named that some of us haven’t taken a deep breath in at least four, maybe five years.

This morning, I put on my really comfortable jeans from last summer and they fell off. Literally, just fell from my so-called waistline and landed on the floor. I carefully folded them up. Maybe I’ll get my appetite back. I never lost my sense of taste, but I have lost my interest in food. We  have lived on chopped (minced) beef (and all the wonderful things you can do with it) and chicken (and all the amazing things you can do with IT) and I realized that I have no interest in chicken or chopped beef cooked any which way you choose. I’ve dug deeply into cookbooks. I have bought kitchen appliances to make the work easier. I picked up an Indian cookbook because I wanted Chicken Tandoori — only to discover you are supposed to grill it. That’s the single thing I can’t do on any of my kitchen devices. I am pondering how I can make the dish without grilling it. Tune in as I ponder appliances not even having a gas grill anyway. I meant to get one, but then there were other things. Doors, windows, more windows, and gutters. FYI, it’s not that there aren’t other cuts of meat available, but there is less. The quality of steak is really bad AND the price is higher. It’s been gristle central — hence minced meat. At least I can chew it with my remaining teeth.

Note to anyway considering buying an Instant Pot that is NOT a pressure cooker: the one thing it doesn’t do well is slow cook. But stew is very similar and does work well. The “Instant Pot Slow Cook Cookbook has no relationship to the Instant Pot except for its picture on the cover. Otherwise, it’s a standard slow cook cookbook — and who need a book for a slow cooker?

Meanwhile, I found a version of chicken curry  which is not called “curry” because this is a serious Indian cookbook. “Curry isn’t a recipe. It is,” she says. “a spice.”

So is chili, but we eat that. This is the kind of pompous cookbook that can make amateurs want to give up cooking. Fortunately, most cookbooks are a lot more friendly and have more understanding that not everyone is an experienced chef. On the other hand, it is well presented and contains a lot of recipes from all over India.

So far, Indian food isn’t really doing it for me. I think I don’t like curry or garam marsala as much as I thought I would. Maybe I’ll try Thai food next. Or Vietnamese? I’m solid on Chinese and Italian. And Blackstone Valley Blandly American.

Categories: Cooking, Food, Government, Photography, Recipes

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. What would we do without chicken and mince? I do miss lamb though. It’s got so expensive that we can’t have it very often. Funny, because when we were kids we had lamb cutlets or chops regularly and a roast lamb on Sunday, chicken was considered a treat. I still buy forequarter chops when I can afford them but they don’t go as far. Lamb shanks used to be 50c to a dollar each twenty to thirty years ago and we’d buy them for the dogs and occasionally roast one for ourselves, mum and I loved them. Now two lamb shanks will cost me at least $10 so they have become a treat. The dogs don’t get a look in.


    • Yup. There aren’t that many affordable food options. So — Chicken (sigh) and mince meat (double sigh). So far, Indian cooking isn’t doing it for me, but I ordered some coriander and mace — two spices that are in all Indian dishes and I don’t have. I once had a bad coriander experience. Everything tastes under-salted. Owen is anti-salt because of my heart. I am NOT anti-salt and it’s MY heart.

      So I’ll have to see if adding coriander and mace improves the recipes. Or find another cuisine. I had a good Caribbean cookbook. That was GOOD. I am so sick of everything you can make with chicken and mince meat.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn and her slow cooker have given us some delicious meals this past week.

    Marilyn – congrats on your jeans falling off. Soon, you’ll need to buy new, slimmer jeans. Well done!


  3. Try a good old-fashioned Yankee Pot Roast!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Done that too. Several times. But the price is a bit high these days. Even chuck is expensive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • D.C., one of my favorite childhood memories — the smell of Pot Roast, Sunday Dinner — with smashed potatoes, gravy, veggies (no lima beans!), and those delicious brown ‘n serve rolls. Family seated with the radio playing our favorite Sunday evening shows. Jack Benny, Phil Harris/Alice Faye, Lux Radio Theater, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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