Multiplicity

Our router broke and it’s taking three days to get a new one. Meanwhile, no wireless at home.

AHAHAHAH I KNOW. WHAT.

Today I was getting so desperate that I contemplated going to Coffee Culture and eating cake while exploiting their free wifi so that I could make this post and work on SECRET PROJECT. However, today I thoroughly munted my left latissimus dorsi and I am not putting a bra on again until five minutes before I walk to work tomorrow.

It turns out I can upload to WordPress from my phone. Oh brave new world, that has such functions in it, and yet we still can’t get a new router until tomorrow, WHAT.

HERE have some scattered non Food Bag images from the week.

Black legs red boots sleeping bag coat

I took a lot of bus stop leg selfies this week. This was on Wednesday, right before I got on the bus to go to the Nerd Degree podcast recording for July, wherein I said a lot of stuff about Star Trek that may not have been entirely, when viewed from a strictly essentialist position, true.

Let it not be said that MC Andrew Todd doesn’t know how to dress for the occasion:

Captain Andrew

On Thursday morning I tried to put sunscreen on my face, as recommended by all sensible women’s magazines, and there was a slight mishap:

Sunscreen no

On Monday there was a surprise M&M in my bed:

Surprise m&m

In Sunday I had planned to eat brunch, then look at art. Brunch was disappointing:

Disappointing brunch

When the hostess asked me how the meal had been, I, cheeks heated with the embarrassment of my own gall, told her the hollandaise had lacked tang. (Actually, it lacked any flavour beyond “yellow”, but I was trying to be usefully specific.)

Today I renamed my constant, ever-updating to-do list, in honor of the dearly departed The Toast:

Too witches to worry

On Saturday evening I marked the last of a pile at Orleans, by candlelight, with a glass of wine:

Marking in style

And Saturday’s breakfast was an enormous omelette. I feel Nadia would have been proud:

Omelette

These turning days

Countdown to term holidays – FOUR DAYS TO GO!

I may even get some marking done.

My Saturday was devoted to marking, housework, friend time and babysitting; my Sunday to brunch, art, and A SECRET PROJECT. I had a mild desire, but no pressing urge, to blog the second half of the week, and then my next Food Bag turned up (at the wrong house, but I worked it out) and it was time to start again.

So here: pictures. ALSO, are some of these turned around the wrong way for you? They frequently are for me, and even when I get them right on my desktop they’re wrong on my phone. If you know how to fix it, please tell me.

Wednesday night was a tasty lamb and roast vege salad. The most exciting thing that happened in its creation was that I ran out of baking paper and used foil instead; also that I added potatoes and carrots to bulk it out and got three meals out of a recipe for one. Nice, self, nice:

1 lamb and roast vege salad

Thursday’s Sunday’s roast potato salad with egg aioli had more interest in that it required me to grate hard-boiled eggs.

GRATE them! I never knew this was a thing that could be done with eggs. But it can, and it was delightful to carefully drag each egg against the grater and watch it crumble obediently through the holes. I have never grated anything with more ease; not even apples.

2 GRATED EGGS

And here’s what the whole meal looked like:

2 roast potato salad with egg aoli

On Sunday evening, I retrieved my food from the wrong doorstep (we have an idiosyncratically-placed mailbox, and honestly I was expecting this at some point) and opened the fruit box to find NO PINEAPPLE. Huzzah! Instead, there were dates, grapes (niiiice) and a disconcertingly sexy pear:

3 sexy pear

Tonight’s dinner was Fish with Smoky Colcannon Potatoes and Kale (Go On Karen It Won’t Kill You) and also Broccoli Salsa, I Bet You Didn’t Know Broccoli Could Be Salsa.

I chose to recognise this as a knowing nod to my Irish ancestry. Six years ago I visited Dublin for three days and ate a cobb salad at the Hard Rock Cafe in Temple Bar, and ever since I’ve felt very spiritually connected to my Celtic roots.

(I also went to a W. B. Yeats exhibition and detailed for my companion what a total Nice Guy he was. IF SHE SAYS NO TO THE FIRST PROPOSAL, WILLIAM, THAT IS A SIGN. YOU’RE NOT MR DARCY.)

All my cooking life, whether I have steamed it or tossed it in a stirfry, or thrown it into a quiche, I have cut up broccoli one way: I have taken the little tree of the broccoli head and turned it into tiny trees. Sometimes half or a third of a tiny tree, depending on the size of the mouthful I wanted, but the basic tree shape was still discernible.

This time, Nadia instructed me to “finely chop” my broccoli in preparation for weirdo not-salsa, so my tiny trees look like I fed them into a tiny woodchipper:

3 tiny trees

I was supposed to “smash”, not “mash” the potatoes. Wooden spoon, not masher. This could be fun on more frustrating days.

3 colcannon

And here is the fish and colcannon, looking not very like the picture at all:

3 fish and colcannon with picture

Actually, this is about half of it; this was a really huge recipe for one meal, and I put the rest aside for tomorrow’s lunch. I didn’t even eat everything on the plate. Yeats’ revenge!

Casting up my accounts

On Tuesday night my flatmate/landlady announced that we had a mouse infestation.

She’d found mouse droppings in the cupboard where we keep the pots and pans. Dirty mouse feet had climbed over my cooking utensils, probably for weeks.

I gagged. Then I took my leftovers, leftovers prepared with moused-up pans, out of the fridge and ate them anyway, because you’re NOT THE BOSS OF ME, MICE. (For the record, I don’t think that the mice were responsible for what happened next, because they HAD been there for a while. They are merely a decorative detail in the rich tapestry of disgusting.)

At school the next day, I was vaguely queasy in period one. At the start of period two, I grabbed my phone, raced next door and asked a colleague to keep an eye on my class while I went to the bathroom, where I spent some time 1) [excluded for decency] 2) crying 3) sitting on the bathroom floor, wiping mascara stains off my face, and sending an email asking for someone to cover my remaining period so that I could go home and be disgustingly ill in relative peace.

It wasn’t quite as bad as the moment where I saw my sister in the airport and knew that my dad was dead – nothing in my entire, privileged, extraordinarily fortunate life has ever been that bad – but it wasn’t great either.

There is so much to be happy about in my life at the moment: the Nerd Degree, my recent trip to WisCon, an increasing ability and determination to write something (anything), an increasing competence and ease with teaching, supportive colleagues (who got my classes covered and me home quicksmart), incredible friends who will talk about books, politics, strange vegetables and collage supplies with equal facility.

Hashtag-blessed-but-ultimately-ungrateful because I want to be able to tell my dad about all of it and I fucking can’t.

I will never be able to tell him good news again. He will never say, “That’s great, honey! That’s really great!” and then segue to a discussion of his golf scores. I had him for nearly 35 years, and I loved him for nearly every minute of it, and now he’s gone.

Hang on, I need to get another tissue. I’ve snotted right through this one.

Wednesday sucked. By Wednesday night my stomach had stopped expelling everything I’d put in it. I had been inconveniently hungry the whole time, and I was done with it: it was time to eat, and I’d deal with the consequences. I turned to Nadia, and looked for the simplest thing I could find.

Monday: Wednesday: Pan-Fried Salmon with Dill Mayo and Warm Freekeh Salad.

I ditched the mayo, because salmon’s pretty rich on its own, and I was planning to be less sensible than “a piece of dry toast and half a banana” but more sensible than “eggs and oil: a great idea!”. I also left out the onion in the salad because raw onion isn’t always pleasant in the aftertaste, and I’d experienced enough aftertaste for one day.

2 simple salad

My freekeh salad thus constituted boiled young wheat grain thing (new to me; delicious) with chopped baby spinach, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a few drops of olive oil. I was very okay with this.

2 nom salmon

Salmon is just so pretty. I feel like it’s far and away the prettiest protein.

2 salmon and freekah salad

And there was dinner! It took me about an hour to eat in careful bites, while I organised relief for the next day and rubbed my aching abdominals. (Honestly, if I wanted a punishing ab workout, which I never do, I would do crunches, which I never do, so you’d think my body would get the message.)

Two hours later my body made one last grudging protest against nourishment, but I could not regret this meal. Worth it.