Archive | January, 2014

Be Patient; It’ll Be Here

26 Jan

Be Patient; It'll Be Here

Worth the Wait


Is It Ready, Yet?

15 Jan

It’s the end of day 5 and our water has been deemed “safe” by the water company. The same one which failed to detect and protect the supply.

I made pasta with it last night, after flushing the pipes. Spaghettini w/basil pesto, peas, a bit of marinara and olive oil. Topped it off with some parmesean. It looked safe. Tasted that way, too.

But this morning, a very different result. One of the twins and I had parched throats. At first, I paid no real attention. But after taking my first shower (“chemical shower” as my skeptical twin likes to refer to it) since the water ban last Thursday, I began feeling a burning sensation in my eyes (which continues as of this writing)–one of the chemical symptoms reported.

I should have paid more attention to that little fellow. He did it ‘old school.’ Boiled bottled water and took the pot with him to the shower. The other twin? Apparently, his concern matches up quite well with his Dad’s.

As for that pasta, it’ll be split among the two meagerly-concerned. Maybe, I’ll try boiling some in vegetable broth. Could have some nice possibilities. Sauteed yellow and red peppers in olive oil with some red pepper flakes and black olives tossed through?

I think this water situation may have an upside, afterall.


10 Jan

So vital, yet so, seemingly, ubiquitous. At least, in my part of the world.

At 10:00 a.m. on an average Thursday, this Southern region of WV’s water source was contaminated. A chemical plant leak and just like that, our taken-for-granted water turned un-usable, sans for toilet flushing.

If that wasn’t unfortunate enough, the guilty party decided that “confidence” trumped social responsibility, and only when they realized that confidence alone couldn’t satisfy their massive error did they reveal it to state officials. The reveal: broadcast on the 6:00 p.m. local news.

At precisely 6:01 p.m., Hubby became alarmed enough to go find some bottled water. Kaukab’s daughter, a bit more resigned, thought ‘What’s the rush?’ Good thing Hubby has a thought (or two) of his own. Apparently, the whole of Charleston (and surrounding areas) engaged in group-think. Barely a packet or two were left when he reached the stores–a three minute drive, five max.

Being Kaukab’s daughter, the only relief I could muster was knowing that I hadn’t made a pot of soup today.

What’s All That Stink??

9 Jan

A major revealation was met at my fridge this morning. While searching for breakfast fixings, I noticed a rank odor eminating from somewheres. I checked the surface upon which last night’s reveal of belated catfish nuggets lay. No residue. Several minutes and up-endings of various veggies (the usual culprits) later and the source emerged. Right, smack in front of me. For several weeks, it lay in a flimsy, lousy plastic container that I had bought on-the-cheap, only to betray me. Mashed potatoes. No longer white and fluffy, but dirty-white, with a tinge of pink. (Don’t ask me what that means.)

Kaukab would have cried “foul”! Over and over and…

Breaking Bread

5 Jan

I’ve been a communion-taker all my life. My first experiences consisted of my grandmother’s circa 1940ish double-oven contraption, rolling out heaps of thick-crusted loaves which would eventually become the next day’s communion bread. Her bread was the envy of altar boys and parishoners, alike. So much so, that the congregation was routinely warned (and reprimanded) for sneaking a few extras on the way back to their pews. Wine-soaked bread bits preceding the bread steals were placed in the mouths of young and old–no carding required. The only requirement? One must have met with the priest earlier that morning and “confess” one’s sins–even if one had to improvise. A small soul-payment for a little buzz and great bread.

Years later, I married a Presbyterian. Grape juice replaced wine; crackers for homemade bread. No required fess-up, though. Plus, the tiny juice cups were quite adorable.

Alas, even the juice cups couldn’t keep me there. I knew in my gut something big was missing.

After several more years of “church hopping,” we eventually came to rest at our current church home. Three years in and no looking outward. The communion feels meaningful. No required confessions. No judgements. Only one thing: Follow Christ

And a new offering for this New Year: In addition to the regular bread, which has recently become a bit undesirable, in that it tends to be rather dough-y, they’re now offering a crisp gluten-free choice. Imagine that! Evangelical-Progressives.

‘You Can’t Cut the Mustard!’

2 Jan

I was standing in front of the Asian/Thai product shelf, looking over some things to stock the pantry: coconut milk, sesame oil…things like that, when a slight, old Asian fellow (his wife just over his shoulder) approached the shelf and interjected his short arm upward toward it. He latched onto a small jar of Chinese Hot Mustard, discussed briefly with his wife about its merits (so it sounded, but wasn’t sure, since I don’t understand any other foreign languages aside from Arabic) and went on his way.

He was so assured, so intentional about his choice. So much so that I seriously considered obtaining a jar of my own. Except, I didn’t need it–at least I didn’t think so. Funny thing is, whenever I watch a foreigner latch on to a food product, I believe they are using the best product possible for their culture’s cusine preparation.

But, is that right to presume? I mean, did that Asian couple really know how to cook well? Could it be that their food product standards aren’t matched up to others of their own culture? In my own extended family, I have eaten–firsthand–many dishes made by various aunts and grandmothers, only to realize how varied they all were in both taste and ingredient choice. (Of course, Kaukab’s surpassed all of them.) Same culture, different cookery skills. So, I guess it shouldn’t be any different for the Asian couple, either.

In the end, I gathered up my *sesame oil and soy sauce and bid the Chinese mustard “farewell”.

*sesame oil is a great way to add a nutty flavor to sauces and dressings. I use it to make a citrusy salad dressing with lime, ginger paste, hot sauce, maple syrup, poppy seeds, dijon mustard, salt,and canola oil. Or, a marinade/cooking sauce for drumsticks, along with some soy, lime, brown sugar, garlic salt or paste, ginger paste and hot sauce.


New Year, Old Burdens

1 Jan

New Year, Old Burdens

Leftovers 2013

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