Wednesday evening. I took the 11-year-old nephew Luke to Panda Express, since he likes orange chicken. And I taught him how to eat with chopsticks. This was a priceless meal.
Thursday morning. Samson woke me early, then we slept for another hour in the recliner in the family room at Pop’s house. I headed to Hy-Vee, bringing home fixings for slow-cooker chili and some wonderful banana pudding, and cornbread. All is now where it should be: the chili in the slow cooker, and the pudding in the fridge.
Thursday noon. The niece Anna and I will see a noon showing of Les Miz at the local 12-plex. Then I shall most likely go see Aunt Esther, unless I am cried out from the movie, in which case I will nap here at Pop’s house and see Aunt Esther tomorrow.
I really like doing for others. Cooking today, even as easy as it is, is a mitzvah, since I’m helping others. And taking the niece and nephews on separate trips to various things is both a mitzvah and a blessing for me.
On this clean-and-tidy-and-bake afternoon, these domestic hints:
- an upholstery attachment on the upright vacuum does pretty much the same job as a broom on the baseboards
- 1-2 T of white vinegar in a 1/2-cup measure, then topped with whole milk, provides the same tang and leavening properties of buttermilk when baking a batch of Mom’s banana nut bread*
- socks are easier to sort and fold in the daylight than in the glow of a bedside lamp
- when ironing shirts, tackle no more than 5 in a row, else one grows weary and sloppy
- laundry really is easier to manage when done in smaller loads every few days
- cleaning the kitchen as one goes makes for a much less demanding post-party effort
- one shouldn’t read published reactions to the unimagined and unimaginable massacre in Connecticut whilst eating ones lunch, or one wets ones food with ones tears
*my mother never did keep buttermilk at home, but practiced this trick instead, a trick for which I’m grateful!
Well, I’m supposed to be laying low, given my puniness this week.
So I slept until 8. Then made homemade buttermilk biscuits to slather with homemade apple butter and peach jam (not at the same time). Then I swept the main floor of the house.
And then took out the overflowing recycling bin. And did two loads of laundry.
And now it’s 11.18 a.m. and I’m at the computer.
I guess I’m feeling more energetic today.
But there will still be a nap this afternoon.
I have music to compose, to sing in a few weeks on a Webster University composers’ concert. And I brought office work and computer home with me this weekend. And I’m going to see Annie tonight at the Touhill for the Variety Club performance. My wonderful senior Jordan is in it, as is my new voice student Caitlin.
The recuperation and healing from this latest insult to my body is still underway. I went to bed at 9.30 last night after falling asleep during the last ten minutes of an Indiana Jones movie. At about 1 a.m. I was awake with a coughing fit that had me up and angry at everything for about an hour. And then I slept for six hours. I’m coughing less today.
And on another note, I shaved the week’s growth of beard yesterday, but left a small moustache and a patch below my bottom lip. I suppose I’m deciding about having some facial hair fun for another week.
I must say: a bushel of peaches can make a lot of jam. And a lot of work. Fortunately, jam is one of those things I can do in my sleep, and since the only thing I do to the peaches before macerating them in the food processor is to wash them and pit them, the prep is awfully easy.
Since church this morning (Bairstow’s Jesu, the very thought of thee), I have made three more batches of peach jam for a total in 24 hours of 24 half-pints and 8 pints. And I’ve mopped the kitchen floor after cleaning everything. And run two loads of laundry (I go through kitchen towels awfully rapidly).
The bushel box is still 2/5 full, so I may make two more batches of jam (after spending a small fortune on jars and sugar and pectin already). This will keep me in Christmas presents, host/ess gifts, and thank-you jars for a full year, I think!
And what sweet and fragrant goodness this spiced peach jam is!
Tonight I’ll cut up the cucumbers and start another batch of lime pickles.
Now for today’s New York Times and some office work on the home computer.
Alas, the rainfall was little. The drought continues.
Huzzah! Four and three-quarters quarts of pickles are done. I will work up the remainder of the cucumbers tonight, and pickle again on Wednesday morning, this time in some smaller jars for distribution.