We are on day 3 of continuous and, quite frequently heavy, rain. I hate to sound like a whiner but this is brutal in so many ways. I could tell you that when it is 40 degrees and rainy here it feels like the worst of winter. I could tell you that my house is so cold that I could open a Cold Stone Creamery on my kitchen countertops. I could tell you that part of the reason the house is so damn cold is because we don’t have a furnace and rely on 3 small space heaters (I am not kidding). I could tell you that people are terrible drivers here without any weather; add rain to the mix and it’s a shit-storm. I could tell you that it sucks to be cooped up the house looking out the window like a dog waiting for a chance to walk the ‘hood without getting totally drenched.
But I won’t dwell any more on that. Yesterday morning we got up bright and early to volunteer at the holiday food and toy distribution event at the Hearts of Compassion distribution center. We stood in the rain with plastic ponchos on and steered shopping carts filled with food and placed all of it in bins for people to pick up. Apparently, families were waiting from 7pm the night before. In the rain. And cold. How could I complain about anything? My main complaint, though, about the event was that it was horribly inefficient. There were almost too many volunteers and a whole lot of standing around waiting in the rain. I haven’t seen my hands so wrinkly since I was a kid and stayed in the tub too long.
It was nice to be able to help out, even in such a small capacity. But I decided yesterday that I’m going to actively search for volunteer work that would connect me with people (we didn’t really get to talk to anyone–not even each other!) on a more regular basis.
I’ve got no segue except to say that sometimes I get in the mood to cook something different. Actually, I get in that mood quite a lot but usually I’m not willing to step out of my norm or I don’t have the energy to go to the store and figure it all out. Friday night was an exception, though, so I went with it.
I may be addicted to this salad now. We had this in Phoenix last weekend and not to toot my own horn but it tasted very similar to the salad at True Food Kitchen. Score one for me!
Creamy goodness without the cream. I wasn’t sure it was possible. I’m happy to report that I was wrong.
While I was making the soup and salad, I put hubs to work making black bean cakes. He’s a natural in the kitchen and just throws a bunch of stuff together until it tastes delicious. I’m trying to learn from his spontaneity…most of the time I rigidly follow recipes. Boring!
To round out the meal, we decided to give our home-brewed beer a first taste. We made an oatmeal stout with a hint of bourbon about 6 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago we bottled the beer and they’ve been conditioning ever since.
Not too shabby was our final verdict. For a first go, it was way beyond my expectations. Of course, it was nowhere near as good as our liquid gold, but it’ll do. Given that hubs and I are annoying perfectionists with food-type things, we are already planning on ways to make the beer better next time. Eventually we’ll probably grow our own hops. Yes, we are insane. So what?
Hubs’ parents came in today and will be with us until the 30th. Should be fun times. Up tonight: paella and cards. I know. We are like a couple of 80 year-olds. Haven’t you heard? It’s cool to be old souls.
Do you consider yourself an old soul? Why?