Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time To Make The Doughnuts

It is -7ºF this morning, that’s -21ºC for anyone keeping track. That kind of cold isn’t unheard of, but even in South-East Michigan it is remarkable. My nephew, who lives in Calgary, Alberta would ask me if I’m going out in shorts and a t-shirt.

I have decided that there must be some vestigial impulse which makes me wake up at the coldest and darkest point of the day in the bleakest part of the winter. Some, evolutionary biological imperative that wants me to get up and stoke the fires before my family freezes, or maybe, light the fires in the stoves so that the family doesn’t have to head out into the cold without breakfast. Real or imagined, I keep waking up at exactly 5:35am. I toss and turn for an hour, my mind rehearsing today’s to do list, and then fall back to sleep until 7:30am. Then again, maybe I’m just neurotic.

Garbage day today. Am I really writing about this? The extraordinary makes for good fiction, but it’s the ordinary, even the mundane, that make up a life: the weather, today’s list of accomplishments, driving to and from work. I have a theory, perhaps one of the unwritten physical laws of the universe, every act of cooking requires unequal and opposite acts of cleaning. In the form of a Chinese proverb: if you cook, so shall you clean. And in the words of Mr. Miyagi, “wax on, wax off.” Once you accept that cleaning before and after you cook is essential, and you embrace working clean, life in the kitchen becomes a little less of a resentful burden, and a little more engaging. A great piece of fish sears best in a scrupulously clean pan. Oil buildup is the thing that keeps an omelet from sliding out of a non-stick pan, and not being able to find the cumin seeds while the rest of your curry is burning on the stove is the thing that makes you want to scream and kick the dog! When you make sure these things are clean, organized and properly stored, your time in the kitchen is made ultimately more enjoyable. Clean workspaces produce reliable results, and are just plain more pleasant to work in.  

On that note, when I have completed making today’s lunch we will be all out of the bread I made on Saturday, which means I will have to double the recipe if I want to have bread for the whole week. I was planning on staying home this afternoon, to get some baking and cleaning done, but the weather is supposed to turn to snow around 2:00pm just as my hubby would be leaving for work, and it is predicted to keep snowing throughout the evening. He is a fully capable driver, but I feel better driving in with him in inclement weather.

I never claimed not to have control issues.


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