Tuesday, August 02, 2016

that's a relief

One of the low-level things worrying me was that I hadn't heard from my piano teacher - we had been scheduled to restart lessons and she hadn't shown up. I had e-mailed her, and normally she's really fast to get back to me, and she didn't.....and so I started thinking all kinds of horrible things had happened, that she was in the hospital or something bad happened to her husband or something.

They had relatives in. I just heard from her. So I get to restart lessons soon. That's good, but what's better is knowing she's fine.

I know, I know: 95% of the things I worry about never come to pass but it's that 5% that disproves that dictum that gets to me.


Next chapter is done and submitted, have started on the NEXT next one (I think I have seven of these, all told). My goal is to finish the next two (one is due in the 17th, the next is due the 29th) before classes start and buy myself a little time to get things going for the start of classes before doing the NEXT next chapters.

I am making really quite good money off this and it's work I enjoy and am good at, so it's a win for me all around; I just have to make sure to set aside the time to do it.

(And yes. The funds that were going to go in my "eventual new car fund" have been partially repurposed to yarn.....yarn I wanted to buy earlier in the year but didn't because "they're cutting our pay." I dunno. Part of me wants to say "life is short and yarn makes me happy" and part of me wants to feel a little bad I'm not being more frugal)

The "Oxblood" colored tweed yarn I ordered from Webs obviously came today....I stayed home a few extra moments after eating lunch because I saw the mail truck coming up the street and it's easier for me to just grab the mail from her when there's likely to be a package than it is for her to get out and walk up to my front door.

and also....um.....I broke down and ordered GlimGlam (Starlight Glimmer) in stuffie form from Amazon. That's really the package I knew was coming. Yeah, I know. But last week was kind of a cluster with thinking I was losing SPSS access and then worrying about my piano teacher and late Sunday night tends to be the time I make Amazon Prime purchases. (Amazon Prime is bad for me because it feeds my need for things on short notice. No, not that I'm going to drop it, because it's pulled my - or someone else's - fat out of the fire more than once when some bizarre item was needed quickly and the only other choice was maybe driving to Dallas for it. And yes, I've ordered stuff for colleagues on Prime and had them reimburse me.)

But really, what a world we live in, with Amazon Prime. I know my grandmother - who ordered lots of things from the Sears catalog - would have been AMAZED at the idea of two-day shipping of stuff. And I know my great-grandfather, who didn't learn to read until he was an adult but then was never without books and newspapers, would have loved the ready access to reading material.

But I do really need to get more disciplined about NOT going online in the evenings but knitting instead. (I can't do both; my desk isn't comfortable to knit with and I can't knit with my laptop on my lap in my big chair). I need to knit up at least some of my SABLE.


I found some sausages at the grocery today (I took a quick grocery run; was out of sour cream and as I made chili the other night, I really wanted sour cream - chili, with a bit of jack cheese melted on the top, and a dollop of sour cream, is one of my favorite meals now). They are low enough in sodium I can just about eat them. I am even contemplating trying toad-in-the-hole some time. That was something I wanted to try waaaaaay back in 2012, and had even considered it right before I went in for the whole checkup that revealed I have high blood pressure.

(Okay, another thing I want to try, if I can find a low-enough-salt bulk sausage? Scotch eggs. Not the traditional fried kind - deepfried stuff is too much for my digestion and it has long been that way - but you can bake them in the oven or panfry them. Because I like boiled eggs and I like sausage and sometimes I just need a really high-protein meal)

I was flipping through my "Ploughman's Lunch and Miser's Feast" cookbook (Hi, Purlewe!) today and saw both those things.

And also deep-fried Mars bars. Which again, I wouldn't want to eat because fried and my gut would pay the price and I don't think it's worth it to me, but the author made an interesting comment: that deep fried Mars bars are seen as the ultimate in low-class food by many, but, he said, put a well-prepared one on a fancy plate with a fancy name (and fancy price) and people would rave about how the flaky crust and the melting chocolate and caramel and fondant (I think a British Mars bar is what we call a Milky Way?) and how it was a gourmet treat.

And that made me think about food snobbery, and "roots food," and hipsterism and all that. How often have you heard sneering references to the "dollar menu" at fast food places. Or the comment made that "In America, the poor are obese" (and that's not solely because of "bad" food choices, IMHO: if you're working three jobs and living in an apartment with cruddy old appliances that don't always work, you're not going to cook. If you're worried about making the electric bill in a month you're not going do to slow-simmered beans in the oven. And if you have a lot of kids to feed, you're going to look to the least expensive source of calories they will eat).

"Old timey" poor-people food - stuff like beans and greens and the cheaper cuts of meat and the like and scrapple and those things - are now "artisinal" and hipster. Oh, don't get me wrong: I like a lot of what some might call "peasant food." I eat beans a lot because beans are still comparatively cheap and I like them and they're nutritious and in a lot of cases they can be prepared with little attention having to be paid while they cook (and I don't have to worry about having the funds to pay my electric bill). But there is something kind of odd about how stuff my grandparents ate because they HAD to (they didn't have anything else) is now something people will pay a premium for. (I wonder what my great-grandfather the farmer would say about $8 a pound beet greens. Would he make some irritated comment, or would he just rush to plant more beets? And yes, I've read that in some areas, people being priced out of eating the food *they* grew is a problem - or people growing things they can't directly live on because that's what brings the money in)

But there is something weird and disconnected between all the fetishization of the "old timey poor people food*" and the somewhat-sneering dismissal of what the genuinely poor now often wind up eating. There's something.....I dare say, uncharitable? about it.

(*I once heard a Black woman opine that she "didn't want white people latching on to sweet potatoes and ruining them" which I confess made me a little sad as sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables and I don't like the assumption that I "shouldn't" eat them because they're not in my "heritage" somehow)

I suppose there ARE some areas still where people do eat like they used to, especially areas rural enough that people grow some of their own food and they don't care that the eggs are what would be called "artisinal" in a more urbanized area, they just care that they can get them on the cheap without having to go to the store.

I also am now imagining some kind of part-reality, part-cooking, part-Candid-Camera like show where really, really infra dig foods (Whoppers, Little Debbie cakes, frozen fish fingers) were "dressed up" and fed to the young and hip and their reactions recorded. Oh, I don't know. I know I think that kind of thing, that "gotcha" attitude is kind of mean-spirited at heart, but I've also heard enough mean-spirited cracks about people's food choices made by those with more wherewithal to pay, cook, or whatever to forgive the mean-spiritedness of a show like that

1 comment:

purlewe said...

OOH I used that cookbook to make toad in the hole and it was really lovely. I think if you do find some low sodium sausage you should go for it.