Good question this week!
I’m glad you specified “today” because I have changed so much over the years. At my age, spontaneity is hard to come by. My brain is always eager to try something new, but the rest of me says “Hold that thought!”
Talk about life in the slow lane. I do everything slowly — except take pictures and write. I walk slowly. I don’t think I could run no matter what was chasing me. Spontaneity seems to be mostly about what I’m cooking than what I’m going to do. Basically, what I’m going to do is what I’m doing — write, probably for this blog — or process pictures. For the same blog. The most astonishingly spontaneous moments of the day were that Garry got up early and came with us to the grocery store.
So, yesterday was almost spontaneous. We three — Owen, Garry, and me — went shopping at a big Asian grocery store in Worcester.
We’d been talking about doing that for a while, probably because I’ve been doing a lot of Chinese cooking. Why — other than liking Chinese food — am I making so much Chinese food?
Chinese cooking uses less meat and more vegetables, usually served with rice or rice noodles. You can use a half-pound (or even less) chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork to feed three or four adults. Because the price of food has gone up by at least 50% since last year, Asian — especially Chinese — cooking tastes good. It’s healthy and mostly not -fattening. As the budget keeps tightening, I spend a lot of time seeking ways to use small amounts of food to feed the same number of people. That may be the real reason i keep losing weight. I eat as little as possible because food costs money.
This is also why I’ve been so busy. Cooking Chinese takes more effort than putting some chicken pieces in a pan with some sauce, then serving it with potatoes and a vegetable.
I spend hours in the kitchen slicing and dicing. Preparing the noodles in advance and sometimes, rice in advance because many recipes require cold noodles and rice, especially if you are going to fry them. I have also had to give in and buy raw shrimp which is cheaper, but there’s a lot of time involved in cleaning them. It’s less expensive even buying those great big shrimp I have previously only gotten in restaurants and it tastes much better than pre-cooked, pre-cleaned shrimp — but there are hours involved in the cleaning process. If I keep doing it, I’m sure I’ll get faster, but for now, it’s slow going.
So in a way all this makes me spontaneous in seeking out recipes, but patient as I learn to cook them properly.
The grocery store was fun. Garry found anchovy sauce to go on his frozen squid (I WON’T clean squid) and there were all the sauces from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and other places I can’t remember. There were rows of gorgeous vegetables, many of which I didn’t recognize. Are there any Chinese people living near me who could come shopping with me? I’m sure I could do something great with all those vegetables, but I need to know what they are and get a clue about their typical use.
Even a lot of the sauces only had information in Chinese. The only English I could read were the ingredients and price. We spent hours there. I was completely pixelated by the freezer department and that was immediately next to the store’s entrance. After that, I discovered the dishes, rice cookers, woks and other kitchen stuff. I love kitchen stuff.
I ended up buying a replacement for the great rice cooker I had which, after 8 years, got so scratched I couldn’t use it. If I’d known about this shop, I could have replaced the damaged pot. Oh well.
I spontaneously grabbed a credit card to pay for the rice cooker. Owen bought the food. Garry was delighted \they had a fish department with a great selection so fresh it was still swimming. In big tanks.
So what does that make me? I think my answer is spontaneous when I need to be. I’m spontaneous when I’m fixing things — like computers, televisions, and bad cable. I believe in the Sergei Delov’s recipe for computer repair: “Keep hitting buttons. Something will happen.” That’s about as spontaneous as computer repair gets. I’m also spontaneous when trying to fix “life’s problems,” like an absence of money when we really need it. That we’ve survived this long is a kind of miracle. I know I did it but I don’t know how.
The rest of the time? I’m too tired to be anything but stable. Possibly asleep.
As for what I prefer in others? Stability and loyalty to relationships plus \enough spontaneity (and enthusiasm) to keep things interesting. That’s also what I can offer. I’m fiercely loyal to those I care about and as spontaneous as my body allows.
Since I’m not getting any younger, I’m pretty sure that’s as good as I am going to get in this life.