Not Spring yet but close enough for me. A warm weekend. Brighter evenings. I’m slowly shedding my Winter gear. Dropped the scarf. Ditched the hat. It’s nice to go outside without my big coat too.
I’ve never cleaned this pen since I’ve had it. It’s worked with no problems except when I fill it with ink, the converter doesn’t seal with the base of the nib and feed so ink is everywhere inside the whole pen. It’s practically an eyedropper pen where the entire body is filled with ink.
I soaked it for a few minutes in warm soapy water then rinsed it out. I love this pen but the converter doesn’t make any sense. Oh well, that’s part of the fun of fountain pens. Inky fingers.
Too bad I don’t have another ink color to fill it with now that it’s all cleaned out. Maybe next month.
Since I’m already on this quest to not shop, I decided to keep to it for Lent. I’ve gone back and forth on what I wanted to do for Lent for a couple of months now and and nothing resonated with me. Practice guitar. Go vegan. Journal daily. Eh… all good efforts, but I’m not feeling any of that. Frankly, I wasn’t going to do Lent this year. Didn’t have anything I felt strongly enough to do. If I went with my true feelings of doing something I feel strongly about, I would get a fountain pen or a bottle of ink a day for 40 days! That’s how strongly I feel about this new interest of mine. But my feelings about reigning in my habit of consumerism trumps my strong interest in pens, paper, and ink (if that’s possible). So this is it. No shoes. No dresses. No earrings. No fountain pens. No ink. No notebooks. I hope the TWSBI Diamond 580 AL comes out after Lent is over or it will truly test my willpower! I am fully aware that this is the most inopportune time of year for me to swear off shopping. I missed all the post holiday sales. And now I’m missing all the Spring clearance sales. I’m crying on the inside.
When battling cooking rut, go to your momma for ideas. Assuming your momma can cook. Or go to someone who can cook and trade food ideas.
I got this recipe idea from mi madre. It’s so good on a winter’s day. And it’s such a good leftover to have too.
- Sesame oil – multiple tablespoons to coat the bottom of your pan
- Korean chili powder – about a tablespoon or so
- Scallions – one bunch, cut in 2 inch long pieces
- Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, cut up
- White pepper
- Vegetables of your choosing. I like daikon, radish greens, mushrooms, cabbage, rapini. Not all at once necessarily, just options. Pick one or two.
- Optional: eggs
- Optional: miso paste or salt
- Optional: dashi
This is your soup base. Have fun experimenting from here on out.
Add water and dashi.
If I’m using daikon, cabbage or anything that can be cooked forever, I add that in before bringing the soup to a boil. If I’m using a delicate green like spinach or rapini, I add them in after it’s already boiling.
After the vegetables are cooked (I’m looking at the daikon and cabbage which sometimes take a bit longer), take the soup off the heat. Stir in miso paste (or salt). This soup doesn’t need too much seasoning because the chili powder makes it flavorful already.
Yes indeed. It’s another glorious snowy winter day here. I am lapping it up.
Let’s see. What have I done today?
- Slept in. I had a dream we were listening to Mr. Saxobeat and cuddling with our cat. The cat we don’t have!! Sad face.
- Eaten leftovers.
- Checked my email.
- Written in my journal.
- Eaten chocolate. Thank goodness we went to Trader Joe’s yesterday. Their hazelnut chocolate bars are addictive. Speaking of addictions…
- Shopped online. I’ve moved from fountain pens to ink and now to paper. Of course. That’s the natural next step. Rhodia is looking good.
- Played with Gina. She’s presently tearing up a toilet paper roll.
Today is the last day of February. Aside from the silicone grease and rubber o-rings, I didn’t shop for anything else. Well that’s not true. I shopped all right. I shopped my head off. I shopped my wrist into carpal tunnels. BUT! I didn’t buy. That’s the important thing. Our home has not lost precious space with added clutter. If I came through the month with nothing more than silicone grease and o-rings, I consider myself lucky.
I woke up 40 minutes late this morning and was in such a bluster whirlwind hurry to get ready. In a moment of clarity though, I checked the status and found out I’m staying home today. I keep telling myself, this is it! The last snow day of the season. I’m going to miss winter. Maybe March can deliver, but it will be rare.
Weeee! Yippeee! It’s snowing! Lots! The weather forecaster sites said “flurry in the afternoon.” I was not going to get my hopes up yesterday but I did a little snow jig and it’s blizzarding outside this morning! So many people are sick of the snow and sick of this cold weather but February is coming to an end this week and after that, there aren’t as many opportunities for snow so I’m enjoying every last one of them! It’s beautiful.
I just don’t know what to cook anymore. When I get groceries, it seems to be always onions, beans, celery, carrots, and mushrooms. On the more daring days, I get rapini or kale. When we eat in, that’s what we eat. Vegetables and legumes. And at this point, I just don’t know what to do with it anymore. I’ve roasted, braised, broiled, steamed, souped, stir-fried. I have a ton of spices and not a single new idea.
So instead of cooking, we’ve been eating out a bit more than usual. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of healthy eating but I can’t make these dishes at home and I want different cuisines. We got takeout Thai food on Friday night. It was way salty, though the fish sauce and ginger scallion flavors were a nice change of pace from celery and beans. The next day, we went to Tachibana for lunch. The hot ramen and sushi hit the spot on a winters day, and it’s great people watching there. Then pizza and beer for dinner that night at Rustico. Great milk stout, disappointing pizza. Even bad pizza is still good.
I once read that the best way to get over writers block is to just keep writing. Even if it’s crap, just keep going. On that thought, maybe cooking will work the same way. We went to the Asian grocery store to get cookable food yesterday. Asian markets have a lot more variety so I was hoping to get out of my cooking rut there.
My stepping-out food: fennel. Two bulbs of it. I have no idea what to make with it.
For dinner last night, I made steamed sweet potatoes, cabbage soup with Korean chili powder, and we ate it with kim chee.
This cooking rut has me flip flopping between going back to cooking meat or not. On the one hand, it’s additional ingredients I could use, on the other, I really don’t think I need that much protein and would like to continue limiting it. I just don’t know what to cook these days anymore. And it isn’t just meat. I also try to limit dairy, grains, and packaged/processed foods to the extent possible. When I enter the grocery store, that basically limits me to beans, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. After a while, there’s only so much one can make. What a conundrum. It’s totally my fault by choice for boxing myself into this. Trying to eat healthier is very confusing.
I was going to go without shopping for the month of February and then write this self-congratulatory blog post where I patted myself on the back for achieving such a feat. I failed mid month though. So here’s my rant about stupid arbitrary “challenges” that are random. And stupid.
So yeah, I shopped. Big woop.
Here’s what happened.
I got all crazy about fountain pens. Spent countless hours scouring the Internet about them these recent days. It was mostly doing a lot of pretend shopping and I was resisting fairly well. Then on a trip to the hardware store for an LED lightbulb, I asked if they carried silicone grease and o-rings. Yes and yes. What for? To convert some cartridge fountain pens into eyedropper fill fountain pens. Of course. I have no convertible pens on hand currently mind you. I just wanted the supplies to be able to do this. Sort of a cart before the horse kind of purchase. It makes zero sense. I bought them and I failed the month of February. There.
Now I have another fork in the road. I stumbled. Do I give up and just buy every dang thing in my GouletPens.com shopping cart now? Or revert back to the path of righteousness? I’m going to wait. Maybe even past March. Try this again the month of March. Why not? This was my resolution for the year. I ought to be doing this for the whole year. I just thought doing it in month chunks would be easier. It’s not by the way. Not shopping for a month is tough. Not shopping is tough.