28 February 2010

February 2010 (ii)

I guess more happened in February than thought.

Valentine's weekend continued with promises of food. Jesse bought collard greens & turkey legs - because those are things I love & haven't had in years. It's one of those meals I only want from my grandma. But Jesse was going to try when he got home from work. I was excited. Then he started telling me his plans. He was going to follow a recipe that called for things. I don't know much but I know my grandma does not add sugar, red pepper flakes or garlic. As carefully as I could, I tried to butcher Jesse's recipe. I called my mother & we agreed white people get points for creativity. I usurped the collard green project. Jesse & I agreed they would not taste like my grandma's but that I would be less disappointed with mine that with his. His flexibility is one of the things that make him great.

Naturally I had no idea what to do. But it's actually not that difficult. I washed, rolled and chopped the greens. I seasoned them with salt & pepper, then put them in the dutch oven, where they simmered for a few hours. In the interim, Joel continued with the soul-food theme and made cornbread from scratch.



Cornbread concoction.

I made rice, because as far as I'm concerned, that's what goes under collard greens. Jesse arrived from work with flowers (!) and we ate. Everything turned out really well and I promised not to wait for another special occasion to have it again.

I planted seeds that turned into sprouts. I bought the seeds three or four years ago from the dollar section in Target. I never planted them, but kept them and even moved them from Nevada to California. I'm not sure what pushed me to finally plant them, but I did. And sometime in February, they sprouted. I was tickled.

We went to Ikea. I can count on one hand the times I've used my car in 2010. So each occasion is noteworthy. We needed another dresser and some shoe cabinets. We went there with a list. We went there with a budget. We went there minutes before the store even opened. We were there for 90 minutes. We did get the three things we wanted plus some bowls we needed. We also went to Target and spent a gift card my mother had sent for Christmas. I went home & got to assembling. Jesse & Joel did help, by putting together the shoe drawers.

It should be noted our trip to Ikea had been planned but forced to happen ahead of schedule. Jesse & I were planning to rearrange our room. I thought we had details left to be sorted, but Jesse went ahead and moved things while I was at work. And then he called me when he got stuck. He had done the heavy lifting (read: easy moving) but had not considered the things placed in corners or under other stuff or that could go in one place but not another. Those were the things that greeted me when I came home one Friday night. And a trip to Ikea was necessary for success.

I like to put things together. Jesse doesn't like to be tied down by instructions. So I'm the household builder and I'm okay with that. I assembled the two shoe cabinets but didn't have time for the dresser because Jesse & I had a date. We went to Luna Park to use another Christmas gift card, this one from Ben & Jess in Cincinnati. Luna Park is a nice place and I would both recommend it and go again. The food was excellent. Jesse had the cioppino and I had chicken on jalapeno cheddar grits. I was also forbidden (by Jesse) from taking a picture so you'll have to go there to see it. But he talked about the grits for days - they were that good.

Back at home, There was more assembling to be done. As I was shifting from "date" mode to "work" mode, I noticed something amiss with my flowers. It was as if the grim reaper had touched a few of them. They were sitting on top of the stove (because the red looked good with the white stove as contrast) and Joel had cooked them. He used the oven and not only was the water super hot, the flowers that were nearest to the vent were crisped. Tragic. Kind of funny, but mostly tragic.

No rest for the full & focused.

I got back to assembly and enlisted Jesse & Joel to again assemble drawers. We watched the Olympics, complained about the coverage and kept watching. I stayed on task and by the end of the weekend, our furniture was assembled and our bedroom was fully rearranged. I was exhausted, but rewarded with what seemed like more space. There were no "before" pictures and I was too tired to take "after" pictures. But trust me: a feat had been accomplished.

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