Oddities On Display

Three thoughts for the Day: People overcomplicate things they don’t understand. Also, people miss nuanced humor when they have a more obvious sense of humor. Also…Oud Satin Mood is growing on me.

It’s relatively simple to cook well, even gourmet food is relatively easy if you grew-up being taught the basics. My mother (who raised me) was a chef at a health food clinic in the 1970’s in Pennsylvania and was a cook while she was pregnant… My great grandmother’s cooking literally attracted the interest of my great grandfather to such a powerful degree that he was moved to want to marry her. I made my (very successful) first herb roasted whole chicken with French (provinçial inspired) zucchini noodles when I was in high school (on my own and without assistance). It was not at all complicated. You just follow the recipe…

…I can make many things from scratch now off the top of my head. And only some things require a quick reference to a recipe.

…What I take for granted is that most people are like that. Possibly they are not. So, when I say to take the drippings from a roasted chicken to make a broth they don’t get my subtle irony…

But also, I know it’s not that difficult. Because it’s not. At all. It’s just a bit more effort and complication than pouring something from a box. And it’s healthier and saves money and let’s you create your own flavors in the broth. For example, I like to use tarragon on my roasted chicken.

…Actually though one of my second cousins married a man who has his medical degree from Harvard and is a practicing family physician and they keep living chickens on their property because it’s useful to boost their kid’s immune systems. Real experts have been warning of the over sterilization of the world for a long time and they’ve been doing this for many years now. And I’m sure they occasionally have butchered their own chickens and then eaten them. …People used to do stuff like less than 100 years ago to survive.

When you own good land you can raise your own food.

Last night I had a dream I was in an old house in an old neighborhood that was falling apart. First I stopped at a fairly neglected mall. And I’d bet this was a town in the American Midwest. But, anyway, the walls and floors of the old house had serious structural damage. It was heartbreaking…

I’ve never lived in a house like that. Our current house has a few issues with the antique plaster walls and a few places where the floors have shifted a little bit but it’s not terrible. If we keep our house another five to ten years we’ll have to redo the walls probably and address the other issues as well. Our pipes are new. The newish roof is metal. But our air conditioning is one unit and that’s fine as our house stays naturally quite cool in the hottest weeks of summer (why I hesitate to touch the gorgeous, durable, brilliant plaster) but it’s not ideal.

The house my great grandparents built in the 1920’s has had horrible structural issues. See, the builders used well water to make the cement and the water back then was clean (and supposedly delicious) but it had a higher salt content than some other water… So, the cement became fragile over time and started to collapse. So the house, especially after my grandmother died in the 2000’s, was ready to collapse into itself. Thankfully no one lived there so it wasn’t a huge danger. But they’ve had to reinforce the walls among other renovations. The wiring also had to be redone as the wiring they used in the 1920’s was wrapped in such a way that it decayed over the years and turned into a sugary, flimsy conduit that often tempted huge fire.

The next time I roast a chicken I’ll post instructions on how to make it. And I’ll also show how to turn the drippings into broth. It’s not that difficult. Really. You just have to be humble enough to follow directions, capable of looking up the parts of the directions you (humbly admit to yourself) don’t understand and have a fourth grade reading level. Maybe some people don’t read as well as the average American ten year from the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s. Maybe some people have made themselves into conceited hot air bags.