Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things that make me smile

Part of the whole college experience is learning how to truly take care of your own damn self for the very first time.  We have to cook, not only the occasional snack or dinner but every single time our stomachs decide to empty themselves.  It's quite a shock to look around and realize that no one else is gong to tell you to go to bed, so you might as well do it yourself.

For my part I think I have handled this transition quite well. Which is due in large to my amazing Mother.  She was determined from pretty early on that her children were not going to be one of those ninnies that gets out into the world and realizes that they don't even know how to boil an egg.

So from early on we were trained in the art of day to day life.  We can all cook, (although for a long while there all my brother could cook was pancakes) and we all know how to properly keep a clean house.   If there was one chore that wasn't drilled into us it was laundry.   And even now it's my least favorite chore.   I understand that it doesn't take nearly as long as anything else, but I'm still tethered to the washing machine with a forty-five minute leash every time I use the darn thing.

Another facet of home life on which I got experience but still need practice is budgeting.  Last year I was quite good at only buying the necessities and even this year when I feel like my money is just slipping through my fingers like sand I still manage to leave within my means.  However every time I go to the store there seems to be one or two items that I decide I really don't need this week, maybe next week instead.

Well yesterday when the lovely 'she-who-has-a-car' offered to take me to the store I was finally able to get a few things I've been putting off.  And let me tell you, they sure do make me smile.

1. Pantyhose

 Chief on the list of things I've been putting off for far too long is pantyhose.   I threw away my two pairs at the end of last spring term and haven't gotten around to getting a fresh set until now.  I had actually run the last two pairs pretty full of holes but the kicker came when I wore them under my jeans for the survey oriented week of field school. (I was worried about ticks)*.  We didn't even do much and I couldn't touch the things without puffs of dust blooming in the air around my fingers.

The good news is that now that I have a new pair, and they're even black, so now I can go to church on Sunday with out feeling like a social pariah for not shaving my legs.  I want to look good and every things, but come on, it's stinkin' winter.

* ticks are the most disgusting and frightening bugs ever conceived.

2.  Apples and Bananas

One of the things that I prize most is the ability to eat something with out having to prepare it first.  Apples and Bananas fill this tender spot of my heart.  They're perfect because they take absolutely no effect and both are entirely portable when I'm in a hurry.   Unfortunately it has been nearly a month and a half since I have had either housed in my counter space.

It seems like every time I go to the store all they have is entirely green bananas and sad, sub-par apples, well finally they've put the good stuff back out and I can revel in the easy deliciousness that they bring.

Honestly, on the way home I was smiling and thinking "I have bananas again, AND APPLES!!!" I probably looked like a half-wit the entire way.

 3. Sticky rice and related essentials

If you've never tried sticky rice I highly recommend it.  It's a different breed of rice that must be soaked and steamed before it's palatable. I've grown up on the stuff its heavy involvement in my cuisine is almost a prerequisite.  Now there was an Asian market by my house that I hadn't tried before so I thought that I would go there.
Don these all look like things you want to eat?

I asked for Sticky rice, purchased the bag pointed out to me, and brought it home.   All was well in the land.

Except of course for the part where it wasn't sticky rice.  Instead it was a cruel, strange variety I had never encountered before and had no idea how to cook properly.

Long story short (It's too full of betrayal and intrigue to get into now) I haven't been able to get to my favorite market until now. I love this place because the wonderful lady runs it cares enough to put her rice into gallon bags for those people who just want to give the stuff the try.  She also has frozen kaffir lime leaves and chopped lemon grass in little bags for people like me who want these herbs on hand but don't need tons of the stuff at a time.

She's also started carrying thai hot peppers, and when  I saw them I had to grab myself a bag.  They're called for in so many south-east Asian recipes and I have never been able to find them before.

It's actually part of the reason I started growing Steve. I wanted to eat his babies so bad and I had no other alternative. (although he's only given me one pepper so far.)

You know I took a picture of it!
... his name was Steve

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