Today was one of those days. It wasn’t terrible, but enough little things went wrong that I felt weary and slightly sad by late afternoon.
Buying and selling houses is expensive, you know? Alan and I are budgeting because we spent $1000 in the last few weeks on real estate costs: buying a title abstract and survey to sell the Rochester house, paying for an inspection for the Hartford house. I know buying a house costs money (duh), but I thought it was mostly mortgage and such… So our grocery budget is pretty much used up for the week.
I looked in the mostly-empty fridge this afternoon, and then the freezer. I found some leftover pork ragu and was pretty sure I had cornmeal in the cabinet for polenta. OK: polenta and pork ragu. That’s easy. But I needed a vegetable. I knew we didn’t have any greens; I usually serve polenta with braised kale or sautéed spinach. I knew I had frozen peas, but that doesn’t seem to go well with polenta. Oh, and I had two bags of frozen sweet potatoes! I could cook sweet potatoes!
The first bag of sweet potatoes was opened, and super-freezer burned. So I tossed them. I read the directions on the second bag, and one of the recommended preparations was to roast them. All right, this is shaping up into a nice dinner: pork ragu, polenta, and roasted sweet potatoes. I opened the bag and poured them on a cookie sheet, and they were also freezer burned. So into the trash can they went.
I had some fresh sweet potatoes, so I thought that they might work: third time’s a charm, right? I quickly peeled and chopped one large and two small sweet potatoes. I also peeled six cloves of garlic. I dumped the potatoes and garlic on the sheet pan, and drizzled some oil over them. Then I sprinkled some salt and dried rosemary, and ground some black pepper over them. I tossed them together–they were smelling good at this point, and stuck them in the oven at 450.
The pork had thawed, and smelled really good. The aroma blended nicely with the roasting garlic and rosemary. I set a timer for 10 minutes, and thought to myself that this dinner was coming together pretty well, considering. My day still was kind of gray, but at least I’d have a nice dinner with Alan.
The timer went off, and I pulled the sheet pan out of the oven. I went to the gym this morning, and the workout was some heavy lifting. My wrists were a bit tired, and before I knew it, the sweet potatoes fell on the floor of the kitchen, like so:
I briefly considered scooping the potatoes up and roasting them for another 10 minutes. But then I thought that it’s been a few days since I mopped, and the cats eat in the kitchen, and so I called Alan. He didn’t answer, and so I swept the potatoes up, making them the third bunch of sweet potatoes I had thrown away.
I thought for a minute that I could call the tomatoes and onions in the ragu the vegetable of the meal, but it just didn’t feel right. [Side-note: do you consider tomatoes and onions to be vegetables when you plan your meals? I guess I don’t. If we’re having tomato sauce, I still want another vegetable. And if I put a bunch of onions into a stew, I don’t think to myself that that stew is full of vegetables. They’re ingredients, not vegetables. (Yes, I know that’s a weird non-dichotomy.)]
So I found a sad heart of romaine in the crisper. After I had removed the wilted leaves, it was even smaller and sadder. But made it into two tiny caesar salads, and I served dinner. It was delicious, and I should be happy. But I’m bummed about the sweet potatoes, and it just wasn’t a very good day.
Alan’s making some yonanas now, which might improve things. And there’s always tomorrow!
Question of the day:
Do you consider tomatoes and onions to be “vegetables” when you plan your meals? Have you had any recent kitchen disasters or disappointments?
DID YOU FIND A TYPO IN THE POST? LET ME KNOW HERE.
Woah, has it been that long since I blogged? Time flies!
Things here are good. I joined a gym at the beginning of October, and it feels good to both challenge my body, and to have something to do again. I like having someplace to go three times a week, and I like meeting new people. This whole waiting-to-get-relicensed-in-CT thing can be really isolating.
We’re still not closed on the house in Rochester, although it should be any day now. I’m acting as our attorney, and it’s been a mixed bag. On the one hand, it saves us a few bucks and I get to use my degree. On the other hand, I’ve never done this before, and it’s all new, and it’s not super fun to be such a beginner. Also, it’s taking for-ever to get documents from Rochester. I’m hoping that everything that I ordered two weeks ago arrives this week, and we can finally close this thing!!
And then we have to close on the house here in East Hartford. I have an inspection scheduled for Tuesday, so that’s exciting. I also have to hire an attorney, and get things rolling on the mortgage. I believe we are supposed to close on that house by November 29th. Once we have the cash from selling our house, things should go quickly with getting the new one, which is nice.
Alan and I have been looking for a church in the area, which has been an interesting experience. I’ve lived several places in my life, but this feels like the first time I’ve ever had difficulty finding a church. I went to a Christian college, and pretty much everyone went to church, so it was just a matter of tagging along with friends until I found one I liked. In both China and Kosovo churches were scarce, so I found a home group and went there. And even though I didn’t go to church with my parents when I returned to Rochester as an adult, I went to a big, well-known church in Rochester that had a good young adults group, and it was kind of a n0-brainer.
We’ve visited three different churches so far, and have liked parts of each. I really want to go somewhere that has teaching I agree with, and ministries that are focused on helping the community. We went to Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church today for the second time. They’re showing an IJM film this week, and seem to have lots of cool ministries. There was a guest speaker today who is looking at starting a church plant in the city, so we spoke to him after the service. Alan and I both have a heart for the city, and would really like to go to an urban church. It sounds like the church plant is still a bit far off, but it was great to talk to this pastor today.
Well, Alan is rowing on his erg, and I’m tidying up the apartment for the week. I’ll try to write more regularly, especially as we get closer to moving into the house. It’s still a little unbelievable, but I’m getting excited!
Questions of the day:
What would you like to know about our lives here in CT? How are you enjoying the change of the season?