Lately, Iíve been all about domestic projects. Iíve been looking into sewing machines and looking at sewing patterns. I found a couple of different ways to turn plastic grocery bags into totes. Iíve been cooking up a storm.

Today, it finally struck me as different than my normal self. It is normal for me to surf the web looking at various home projects and recipes, but not to this extent. I think the last time I was this projecty was when I was in junior high and high school. I used to craft and cook like a mini-Martha Stewart back then.

The change came when I went to college. I no longer had time. After college, I still didnít have the time, or at least, I decided to use my free time in different ways.

Now, Iím thinking about my life in a different way. I would rather be doing what I want to do most of the time, rather than try to fit my life in around my job. That doesnít mean I wonít be working or that I wonít be productive. Iíll just be productive in the ways that I want to be productive. I guess that means that I want to recycle plastic bags manually, but whatever, Iím weird like that.

I also realized that I forgot how to crochet, but I think I remember how to knit.

Cooking at home is going well and getting better. I donít know if itís the palate change from being mostly vegan, but Iíve learned a few variations on a cheesy vegan sauce that works well with a lot of things. Last Friday, we got crazy and ordered pizza with no cheese, and I whipped up the sauce and put it on the pizza. We both loved it.

Also, did I mention that I love my new crockpot? If not, I love my new crockpot. This appliance combined with my food processor makes it possible for me to prep a large meal in just a few minutes. The crockpot does the rest.

The only pain is cleaning the food processor. It is dishwasher safe, but itís so big and bulky that it takes up a lot of space in there. With most of the recipes I make, it only really needs a quick hot soapy bath and itís clean, so I do it by hand. Itís relatively easy, but itís the most annoying part.

I consider myself to be mostly a mediocre cook, but even with recipes that seem to come out merely ok to me gets high praise from my peers. I guess itís because the people of my generation never learned how to make anything more complicated than kraft mac and cheese.

ďYou made this?! In your own kitchen?! All by yourself?!Ē

I had the good fortune to spend a few years at my grandmothers side, and her side was always in the kitchen. She raised 8 kids on her own. If thereís one thing she could do, it was feed people well on a budget. She totally rocked the bulk raw ingredients.

Iím having a dinner guest over tomorrow night. My reiki teacher, who did end up meeting up with my brother in Istanbul. She says she has something for me, from Turkey. I guess my brother must have given her something to give to me.

So, when I got home, I decided to make cookies that Iíve nicknamed, ďthe most friendly cookie in the world.Ē These cookies are vegan, fat-free and gluten free.* I took a vegan cookie recipe and adopted it to make it gluten free. When I went to Vermont, I left these cookies sitting on the dining table in our group cabin, and next to it, someone left another bag of cookies. They looked like they came from a professional bakery. First of all, my vegan and fat-free cookies actually disappeared faster. (Maybe because people were trying to not be greedy and decided to eat the cookies that were clearly homemade; therefore, cheaper?)

However, while stuffing a few in her mouth, a friend of mine did say, ďI love these cookies!Ē I said, ďOh? I made them. Theyíre vegan.Ē She paused, looking a little disturbed that she just accidentally ate something vegan, and liked it, but then decided the jig was up and kept digging in. I opted to not even mention the fat-free part because that would make them totally inedible, psychologically speaking.

Again, maybe itís the palate change thing, but I tried one of the professional bakery cookies (because mine were GONE), and I found them to be way too sweet, rich and fatty tasting. I could barely choke it down.

So, anyway, I made these cookies again tonight. Adam wasnít home, so I had my laptop on the kitchen table for company. I had all of the windows open and I was blasting a Margaret Cho stand-up routine. I was waiting for my neighbor to come up to my window and yell something like, ďYou know my kids play outside here, right?Ē I told Adam about my fears later, and I joked that Iíd just yell out the window that he should just keep his brats inside (Itís funny because Iíd never do that).

He commented that it would make more sense for me to tell him to send his kids to the park across the street, because seriously, thereís a park across the street. We live on a very short block with row houses all around it. Thereís a little square parking area in the back. The neighbor has a couple of kids that play back there. Sometimes they even get out a portable basketball hoop thing with wheels and play basketball. Thereís a full basketball court in the park, which is, like I said, across the street. My guess is that heís somehow determined that having his kids play in a place that is part alley is somehow safer than a park with trees, and soft grass, and no traffic running through it.

It doesnít really bother me that much. It bothers Adam more. I didnít grow up in the suburbs. I grew up in the city. I was one of those annoying kids that played in inconvenient areas.

Because I grew up in the city, the sound of traffic lulls me to sleep, but crickets grate on my nerves. When I go camping, I wear earplugs. You know whatís great about earplugs? When thereís no sound, sometimes the brain will actually produce itís own sounds to fill the void. Some people hear music. I hear traffic. Nice soothing traffic.

Anyway, after the cookies were made, I prepped some of my crockpot meal stuff for tomorrow. I chopped the veggies in the food processor and threw them in the freezer. Chopping veggies in the food processor is a fairly easy thing to do, but doing anything outside of my normal morning routine is extremely difficult. I function primarily on habit in the morning, and if something breaks up my routine, Iíll barely make it to work. Iím even a little wary about how Iíll get the veggies from the freezer into the crockpot, along with the other ingredients.

I need time in the morning to ungroggify. I usually wake up extra early for this purpose. Speaking of groggy mornings, Iíve been going to bed early and sleeping soundly, lately. When I wake up in the morning, I feel like Iím waking up from the dead. I guess I must need it.

*Unless you happen to be a true carnivore, like a cat or a snake (This is Adamís footnote, really - always thinking, that one).

1 comments so far

Wednesday, Apr. 04, 2012 at 10:55 PM