Friday, August 17, 2012

I love food and not having stuff

Some people call it cooking from the hip, others call it iron chef-ing. I call it trying to eat what is in my kitchen without clawing my face off because I want to go to the grocery store but I am ravenously hungry. And that NEVER ends well. (Helllloooo PBR and Lucky Charms).

I have recently developed a fondness for tortillas. I use them for everything. Eggs in the morning. Wraps for lunch. Now I make my own tortilla chips. Because I had a package of tortillas that were not my favorite. And I wanted salsa. (And I am not supposed to be buying more food because if I buy an entire bag of tortilla chips guess who has to eat ALL of them.)

Anyway, you make tortilla chips pretty much the same way you make pita chips. Rub a bit of olive oil on both sides, cut into whatever size and shape comes out of your knife, lay on a baking sheet, ply with salt and pepper and bake at 350 until brown and crispy. About 10 minutes.

I also had a can of Cannelini beans and a bottle of Sriracha (1 of about 3958097539867. I like hot sauce.) So I whipped up this Spicy Bean dip. I omitted the sesame oil, and garlic because I have none. I like really thick dips so I think 1/4c water was a teeny bit too much but it might thicken up a bit with time. It would also be a nice spread on a sandwhich.

Speaking of using things up and getting rid of things: I feel SO much better now that the sale is over and the amount piles and boxes of stuff and things in my living room is a a reasonable level and is much less claustrophobic. I am actually really enjoying the empty space in my apartment right now. I think the cat is too. He has room to race around after his red thing and not have to avoid knocking things over. I had been thinking about cleaning house before I made the decision to move, not quite to the this extent but just the same, and now that it is (mostly) all gone it has me really thinking about how many things we have that we don't need. What are all of those things that we save just in case? That random item that has some weird emotional value that gets stuck in box and forgotten anyway. The mail that we mean to toss but it just piles up instead. The things we have just to have. How many plates, bowls and souvenir mugs do we really need? I am doing just fine without a lot of these things. Its easier to find what I have kept. Everything has a purpose. The space in my apartment has created space in my brain. It is so much easier to stay on top of the five million things I still have left to do when they can't get lost in useless bits of ephemera. I look forward to trying to keep this up. To keeping whatever my new home in LA is going to be this pared down. This simple.

If you are interested in cleaning house I recommend the book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay.  I also recommend Evernote for paperless organization.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Has anyone told you today?

I love you.

It's hitting me. Hard. All of the wonderful people in my life that I am leaving behind. The word has gone around in the last couple of weeks that I am leaving. And since my decision to leave was only made about a month and a half ago everyone is getting short notice. Now I am in the mad scramble of not only making sure everything I need to do to before I leave is taken care of but also of seeing all the people I want to see one last time. One last round on me. No shit. (Not really guys. With this move I am going for broke.)

I have been surprised by some of the reactions. People I thought would have more of a reaction have a more laissez-faire attitude and people that I thought wouldn't care so much have a look of loss in their eyes and insist on hugging me. More often than not though I am completely overwhelmed by the love. By the people who have truly stepped up to help me out even though they hate to see me leave. I have been blessed with amazing people in my life. There is an element of that that does make it difficult to go. I think that will hit me even harder either on the road but more likely once I am in California and the dust has settled a bit and there are no familiar faces around me. 

I sincerely hope that you come out to visit me. I have even started a list of things I want to do and places I want to take people to that are unique to them. I think this gives me not only the hope for visitors (and some added attractions incentive, eh?) but some sort of California link to the people back home.  I think there will be lots of phone calls and skype and postcards (so be sure to send me your address!). And I think and hope that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I will grow closer to the people who are important to me. 

Just one page in the scrapbook I am putting together.