Wednesday, November 16, 2011

T-day Frenzy Withdrawal

It is getting closer and I am getting nervous. Getting the house cleaned up, setting out the best service ware, preparing the menu, shopping, cooking, invitation, family conflicts... except this year, it is not going to happen. I am not going to have Thanksgiving at my house. I am nervous out of habit.
I am going to my daughter's house because she and her dear husband have taken the baton and are running the next lap. I am making "appetizers and side dishes". I am still searching for ingredients and special recipes, delicacies and fun ideas. And I have found some very special things.
While out and about last week, my darling and I discovered a new SPICE store in Newport, Ca. Amazing selection, ability to sample and sniff, can buy in small quantities for single use or in bulk. And some very unusual things- like meat cure for making sausages that need to age before cooking. And powdered blue cheese, which can turn that Ranch dressing into something special.
While we wandered around in Newport, we found a cheese store, Vin Goat, and tasted several different goat cheeses along with a smoky blue. These were very tasty and unusual. Made me want to add a few ideas to my cheese making adventure.
And there was the coffee class at Sur La Table. Very enlightening. My coupon expires today and I have decided to use it one last time for a special treat. Like I need another gadget or thing in the cupboard that goes unused for many years.
I promise my children that I will have removed the bulk of this stuff so they don't have to have a giant garage sale after I am gone. But, it is so cute. No honey, not the $300 thing, but the $60 thing.
Then as I was wandering though the recipe ideas, I read something really weird. California has banned the sale of fattened Goose and Duck Livers- Foie Gras. This is so reminiscent of the junk food ban of the 80's. The theory is that ducks and geese are "force fed" to get fat livers for the production of Pate Fat Liver (Foie Gras). Most people who can eat pate are buying pork liver flavored with tiny amounts of other meats because Goose and Duck are sooo expensive here. The duck produces lots of fat around it's skin (same for goose) so making the duck extra fat so that the liver is really fatty seems unnecessary, but some politicians (who can't balance the budget) have at least decided to protect the ducks and geese from the absurdly rich. What about regular duck liver? Like the chicken parts in a whole chicken, can you still get a regular duck liver with your duck? I don't know. Maybe the Pate Patrol will individually remove all duck liver from the frozen birds. I have two lovely ducks in the freezer. One for the after Tday weekend, and one for the xmas day dinner. I am hoping there are livers in the cavity with the heart, neck and "parts". The Pate Patrol doesn't start until Jan. 1, 2012. My ducks should be all there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Taking Back the Life

There has been a swirl around me for the last few years. The Chaos has been building to dysfunction level. And now, I am striking back, forcing the clutter into submission, tossing and sorting, and... where did this stuff come from?
I was looking at some things in the dining room and found a box full to the top with jars of every size and sort. None of them looked familiar and I had no idea where the box came from. And inside this box was a collection of lid rims and tops to odd size jars. I had been searching for these and assumed that I had tossed them in a cleaning frenzy. Tossed? Surely not me! I have to admit that occasionally a useful item gets tossed, but not a rim to a jar, unless it is rusted beyond use.
As I sorted honey pots, moved the general debris to the trash, I started to see the floor and realized- I haven't mopped this part of the floor in two years. Made me want to cover it right back up.
Eduard and I grabbed a shelving unit from his mom's house and made a place for his coffee stash- roaster, power cord, green bean collection, aging jars, and coffee miscellany. I stole back the bottom shelf for the honey collection- a two year supply just in case of a bee failure. As I studied this new arrangement, I realized that we have covered a wall that was waiting for "repair". It needed wall patching and paint, and my time has been sucked into the black hole for the last two years, so it never got done. And it won't get done now either. I will have to do it when I can move all the stuff out of the way, which may never happen. At least it is covered with lovely and interesting stuff, so I hope no one notices.
The Wyrmberg towers, tube homes for spinning silk worms, have all been cleaned out now and taken to the garage for storage. The boxes are getting flattened for the recycle bin. The floor is getting swept. The wool processing... well, it may have to stay a little longer. The dining room has been the overflow work room, since the woolyroom is rather a bit too full. I have had looms and drum carders occupying the dining room for months. The woolyroom is still way out of control. Even with things getting sold and moving on, it is way too full. And I still have raw fleece to wash. It can't go into the woolyroom until it is clean.
My spinning wheel collection is taking over the living room. Right now there are three in there. The guest room has a loom and the cotton collection. I haven't had time to weave or spin. I have been making socks for a client, socks for myself and some presents. I am just running everywhere and getting nothing done- except socks.
So back to the dining room- I may actually get that room under control this week. I have repackaged jars, sorted things to get rid of, taken out trash, and cleaned off the table. I have put away the cheese tools, toasted lots of cocoons, and am ready to wash off part of the kitchen counter. I suspect that I may even get a chance to vacuum.
It is beginning to feel a little bit better in there, not so confusing and disorienting from the clutter. I just hope I can find things now. The new "arrangement" with actual floor showing is a bit dizzying. The room looks so much larger.