To the two of you that have been checking for updates daily, I love you.
I owe you an explanation. I haven’t blogged because I’ve been…dealing. Since Angela died, I’m struggling with those stages of grief you go through. The first few weeks back in the “real world” were just surviving. Just keep breathing. Just get through the next five minutes. And as the surviving phase passed, I moved into the depressed phase. Life gets easier to get through each day but everything seems overshadowed by this overall “sad” feeling that you just can’t seem to shake. You want to enjoy pieces of your day – seeing your friends or relaxing after work but it’s as though your heart is just too heavy and you can’t just let go of it. It clings to your mind like snot on corduroy. Just trust me on this, snot never comes out of corduroy. But slowly…very slowly the fog lifts and you find yourself laughing or having fun on occasion. I call this stage the land mine stage of grief. I’d be completely in my zone – maybe hanging out with friends or just grocery shopping and suddenly Angela’s memory would just punch me in the stomach and take my breath away. It was like getting hit by an emotional bus. At first I tried to cover it up. Rush off to the bathroom furiously blinking back tears but I decided to just be a little more genuine with myself and so yes, you may have seen me unabashedly crying as I picked through the produce. It happened. I’m not sorry. But the land mines are getting fewer and further between. And they went from that “hit by a bus” feeling to something more akin to a wave washing over me. And I don’t need to sob into the broccoli now. So, I guess to sum it all up. My heart is healing and it’s taking time.
In the mean time, I have tried not to shy away from social invitations. I have tried to keep up with the people who are important to me. And I have had some opportunities to take a few amazing trips. But I haven’t blogged. I didn’t feel ready to be witty of funny or entertaining. I felt like I needed to focus my energy elsewhere. But here we are, and I’m ready. I just felt like I owed you an explanation. At least I owed the two of you that have been checking my site every day for updates…the two of you definitely deserve an explanation.
So, I’m ready to cook again and blog again and the problem is that I’m not fully over the emotional stress that Angela’s death has caused. That and I have OCD. This does not mean that I don’t throw my clothes all over the floor (I totally do) or that I keep my pantry alphabetized (I totally don’t). It means that stuff like this happens:
It started on my most recent trip. I went to Boston. I basically ate my way through Boston. I had some of the most amazing food I’ve ever put into my mouth. The amount of food I ate could probably have fed an entire African village for a week. If I’d stayed much longer, I would have needed to buy some elastic waist pants. So, on Saturday night I found a restaurant called Union Bar and Grille (once again, I don’t get paid to talk nice about anything or anyone). It’s got a nice atmosphere and the best part is that on Saturday night, we arrived before 6:30 pm and could take advantage of their prix fixe menu. For about $30 we had a 3 course meal and a glass of wine. The appetizer they brought me was this cheese and andouille sausage risotto that would make you want to smack your mama it was so good. I wanted to lick the bowl. I wanted to ask if I could have a second plate of risotto instead of the entre. This risotto was a life changing experience.
So, last night I am snuggled in bed with two cats and a laptop watching DVR’d episodes of Chopped and I start googling risotto because I’ve never made risotto before and I feel like I need to know the basics before I start searching recipes. In my research, I see that I’m going to need a LOT of stock.
Well, I’ve also been reading Michael Pollan’s books. I read Food Rules and I’m slowly starting to work my way through The Omnivore’s Dilemma. So, if you’re familiar with these books you know that canned soup is equivalent to nuclear waste (ok, not really) but it’s really high in sodium and has lots of chemicals and stuff I can’t pronounce in it. So, obviously, I should make my own stock. I return to my faithful friend google for more answers.
As I’m reading up on stock making, it occurs to me that I don’t have room in my fridge for that much stock and I’m certainly not going to need ALL of it for one risotto and what can I do with the rest. When I was a kid, mom canned vegetables from our garden using the boiling water method so I immediately turned BACK to google and started looking into methods for canning stock.
It turns out that it’s not safe to use the boiling water method of canning for stock, you need to use a pressure canner which I do not have. However, I did find that stock can be successfully frozen for later use. Well, I just don’t have
that much any room in my freezer.
This led me to Craigslist where I started searching for a chest freezer to put in my garage.
But wait…if I’m going to put a freezer in the garage, I need to clean the garage out…in a big way.
Well, if I’m going to clean out the garage, I’d like to epoxy the floor. So, now I’m on Lowes website and DIY network researching how to epoxy my floor. Of course the Lowes website is uber helpful and suggests that I might also like some nice shelving and cabinets for my garage. Ooooh, a pimped out garage! Yes, sign me up for that!
Oh yeah, and there’s some drywall that’s falling down from the garage ceiling and I still haven’t added that shutoff valve to the pipe that goes out to the hose bib on the front of the house (and yes it has frozen…TWICE). So, as long as we’re re-doing the garage, let’s hire someone to fix that.
So, between a plumber, a contractor, the cleaning lady (to help me for a day clean out the garage), the floor epoxy, the garage shelving, and the ingredients. This risotto should cost me about $3,462. I told you it was really good risotto.