Monday, November 09, 2009

My Life as a Human Magnet for Dysfunctional People

Someone suggested that as the title for my memoirs.
Once, I started writing about things that happened to me (planning to eventually turn it into fiction) under the title The Sidekick's Guide to Suburban Survival. This was because I felt that I was constantly the "sidekick" to someone with a dramatic life, someone outgoing, an attention-getter. I'm not sure when it was that I started having adventures of my own.
If it weren't for NaBloPoMo, I would totally be in bed right now, snuggled up with the not-so-snuggly The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
I have this thing I started writing about public bathrooms at restaurants, but that can wait. Instead, I'll give you the text of the blog post I started writing on November 1st, which got interrupted by some unexpected drama. There was going to be a sort-of recipe at the end.

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Title: Brassica, bacon, and something sweet.

I am settling in very well on the West Coast these days. As I'm planning to be away from it for awhile. First, I'm flying to Honolulu tomorrow morning. Now that it's here, I'm excited. I tend to not get pre-excited about things the way a lot of people seem to do. My brain sort of works in compartments--last week, for example, I was in the Portland Compartment and Hawaii was as far away to me then as it was when I booked the flight in September. Also, I tend to be content wherever I am (as long as I don't feel trapped), which I think is a good thing. I am not sure if these two things are related (compartments and contentment).
The other big trip is to New Jersey. Awhile ago, I flirted with the idea of putting my stuff in storage and, when I got back from Hawaii, flying back to NJ for the rest of 2009 to figure stuff out. OR ship my stuff back to NJ...basically, I was thinking of leaving the West Coast. I have stopped considering this.
[Then there was an outline of what I was going to write about. I never got around to it but here's the outline.]
- PhD programs etc
- Brussels sprouts and figs and bacon
- kale/collards and grapes and bacon

the main point- i love the west coast because i can lounge until noon on a sunday and not feel guilty.

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So anyway, I'll semi-finish the post.
That Sunday, I was lounging in my pajamas until noon, because although I had a lot of errands and packing to do, my errands revolved around places that didn't open until noon.
When I first moved out here from New Jersey, it drove me crazy that so many places kept old-fashioned hours. This excludes my boyfriend Fred Meyer, whose store is open from 7am-11pm. My bank was only open until 7pm. The library was open till 8...only two nights a week. Things didn't open until noon on weekends. Old Navy is open till 10 back home; here, it closes at 9.
Then one day, with a long To Do list, I went to the bank located in a Fred Meyer. I thought it would open at noon on Sunday.
It would not. It would never open on Sunday. The bank was closed on Sunday. Just like in the old days!
Instead of being angry, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now I don't have to go to the bank today!
That's how I look at it now. These shorter hours give me time to rest.
(My post also notes that I have more things to blog about re: differences between East and West coast.)

So last Sunday, I was adapting very well to not-till-noon Sunday. Thoughts about "Phd programs" can wait. The "recipe" and the title of the post I will sum up briefly.
Two weeks ago, I bought some bacon at Trader Joe's. I kept seeing bacon-y recipes that I wanted to try. I planned on using smoked paprika and olive oil as a substitute, but then I broke down and just bought the damn bacon.
What I made was this recipe from Mark Bittman. Brussels sprouts, bacon, and figs. With a splash of balsamic vinegar. It was autumnal perfection. I made it twice. (I used fresh figs both times.)
Then, looking at what else was in my fridge, I decided to see if it would work with other fruits and vegetables.
What I made the same idea--a brassica, bacon, and something sweet, cooked in the same pan. With some acid thrown in at the end. This isn't a recipe but more of an ingredients list with no helpful measurements:
- Chopped bacon, cooked in the pan so that the vegetables can be cooked in the bacon grease
- Kale and/or collard greens thinly sliced
- Concord grapes, cut in half (other delicious grapes work, too)
- 1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
- A splash of lime juice or similar acid
- Salt and black pepper

Directions: Cook the bacon in the pan. Once it's cooked, take it out of the pan and save it for later. Add the thinly sliced collard/kale/both, the garlic, and the grapes to the pan. Cook in the bacon grease until they are the way you want to eat them. Add salt and black pepper to taste, if you want. Once everything's cooked, put it in a bowl. Oh wait, I think I added water to the pan, too. Maybe you should just look at Mark Bittman's recipe. Add the bacon back to the mixture when ready to serve. Add a splash of lime juice. Enjoy!

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In other news, Portland is rainy. It was sunny when I left, okay!? Today I went to the post office to take care of some things (boring) and drove around in circles trying to find it, and then trying to find parking. After that, I booked my holiday plane tickets. Then I ate lunch. Then I tried to call the Unemployment office, to no avail. Later in the day, I had coffee with a friend I hadn't seen in awhile in a great place in Northeast Portland. I'd never been there before, but the coffee was great, in a pretty orange mug, with the first refill free, and a nice atmosphere.
Then I saw Whip It with my Midwestern friend. We both really liked it; I definitely recommend that movie. The theater had a special price on Monday nights--a pleasant surprise! They also had hot cocoa, which was great because we got rained on.

More tomorrow! Tomorrow I'm going to call the unemployment office again and have lunch with someone. It's only supposed to rain for part of the day. Wonderful!

1 comment:

LS said...

We make that bacon like recipe all the time. Try it with malt or red wine vinegar. Try it with raisins. Swiss chard and brussel sprouts are excellent (but we boil the sprouts a little bit first to soften them). Throw in some dried cranberries. But nearly always bacon and always garlic. Oh, canned white beans are good too, yum!

That title is perfect for your memoirs. How do you like the book? I read it in Swedish when it first came out.

Wonderful that you love the west!