Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'm thinking.

... I went to get bagels, and I'm still thinking.
This is a reflective time of year.
I'm thinking how lucky it is that when I got to the bagel place they were bringing hot, freshly baked bagels from the oven.
I like cranberry and everything bagels.
I like making coffee in the fancy new coffee maker I gave Geoff for Christmas.

My friend Anne has me thinking about food processors. She recommends having a food processor for making her pie crust. Anne never suggests retail recklessness and she is a good cook, so her suggestion is really stirring my thoughts. What else would I use a food processor for? Do I have room for another kitchen tool? What do they cost, and who has them on sale? Hmmmmm...

So, you saw the fez? Yes, these were very good children and they received a lot of wonderful gifts. William is sporting his very own piratey tricorn. Max is loaded down with enough Lego sets to fill his days and nights with bricklicious delight. William and Alex too. Maria has been coloring and drawing and placing stickers. She has a fresh collection of new coloring books, stickers, pens and markers and stamps and she is thoroughly blissed out by the bounty.

I'm thinking we need to have that garage sale I keep threatening, or even simpler... call a charity and ask them come by with the big truck. I'm thinking we can afford to share the love and pass on all those articles we've outgrown the need of.

Geoff was home Christmas day and he'll be home again New Year's Day. I wonder if we should do something for NYE... I never quite get the party craze for NYE, but I think it would be nice to have a beautiful dinner served on pretty dishes, with candlelight and sparkling grape juice in tall glasses. The children might like to have those paper poppers and we could make fancy hats. Maria would totally love making fancy hats. We could play "Apples to Apples" and munch pop corn, build a big fire and stay up late... like ten or 11!

BTW We love "Apples to Apples," but now I see what they are charging for it on Amazon, I suggest you buy it somewhere else. I think I paid far less at Target. Just saying.

Should I facelift the blog? I think about that. I think about adding new labels and maybe putting in a new banner. I think about taking a final bow, and then I think about posting everyday for a month and saying whatever I feel like saying, even if it's inappropriate or immature or weird or whatever.

I think about being a better person.

I think about forgetting to wish my cousin a happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Debbie. Sorry this is late. I hope you had a good day.

I think about stuff I am supposed to be doing or should be thinking about doing, or should be writing down on a list, so I don't forget about doing it later. Writing stuff down does not necessarily cause it to get done, but the added pressure of seeing it written down typically pushes me over the edge and in to action.

I think I need to be in action more often.

That last statement was just sort of blurted without much thought. Thoughtfully speaking, I am quite often "in action," and yet there is still stuff on my list that does not get done.


I think I will insert another chicken picture here.

The chicas are well. Maybe a bit blue in the lips. It's been really cold here. I can't actually complain about our weather. All of You tell me about your weather, power outages, ice storms, snow drifts, wind chill, downpours, frozen pipes, slush, sleet, low visibility and hail, and then I realize we've got no weather at all. But, it's been really cold here.

Was that paragraph supposed to be about the chicas or the weather?

Betty is still gifting us an egg a day. We've baked with them and shared some. I even made chile rellenos, which made Geoff cry and kneel before me with his head lowered. Maybe I should make them more often, instead of waiting a year and a half. Maybe when we have a house and garden I can grow my own peppers. This time I roasted peppers from the market, rather than use the ones in a can. They were so spicy, so fiery hot, I could only eat 1 and it made me cry. I was crying from pain and Geoff was crying from gratitude. What was my point again? Oh, yes, thank you Betty for laying eggs and inspiring me to make chile rellenos.

I think someone asked if I have recipes for the Mexican food served at Isaac's birthday fiesta. I do not. Sorry. My aunt cooked, and everything was delicious. Our family, Geoff's and mine, is full of good cooks. And I am a pretty good cook too, but I am lousy about recipes. I never have very good luck following recipes. Either I manage to follow it exactly and I hate the results or I rebel, do it my own way and discover something I like, but cannot duplicate. I learned how to cook by watching my Mommy and my grandmothers and so I cook from memory, from senses and emotions and pictures in my head. My recipes are not written down. Anne asked me for my soup recipe, albondigas, and I didn't want to disappoint her, but the idea of writing it down, thinking about measurements and process... it was actually overwhelming... so I sent her my own kind of recipe and she posted it just the way I sent it to her.

I am thinking all sorts of things, like how I really want to continue working on the blanket I started crocheting. I've filled our house with hats and scarves, and so I decided to try something new and big and decidedly light and Springy. Either it will be finished in time for Spring and sweet peas and birds in nests, or I will obsessively finish it while it is still Winter... then add it to our warm layers of quilts and cats, scarves and mittens. It is pink. I think Maria has reconnected with the prettiness of pink.


Anna Banana said...

What I use my food processor for besides piecrust: hummus, breadcrumbs,shredded cabbage and carrots for coleslaw, cooked beets for chocolate beet cake, grinding almonds or graham crackers for piecrust.
Natalie, I think the story you tell yourself about recipes is an old story that used to be true. I daresay you can follow a recipe. They say if you can read, you can cook. xoxoxo

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

We got a food processor this past year and we use it every couple weeks (more if we're really cooking). So far I've used it to make fresh butternut squash soup (bake the squash first and then put it in the processor with milk and butter or cream plus seasonings). Steve used it the other night to process bell peppers, tomatoes etc for a wine reduction sauce that he made with chicken breasts. Shush, don't tell the chicas about that one.

It's a very useful tool and we're pretty happy with it. Cheers! :-)

judy in ky said...

Natalie, you are too rough on yourself... it seems like you are always in action. All those things you don't get done couldn't be THAT important!
I don't follow recipes either. I like to make it up as I go. So, why do I have so many cookbooks? Just for inspiration, I guess. I like to read them and look at the pictures but rarely use the recipes as written.

mtnchild said...

I love your post - kind of a cleaning of the mind at the end of the year . . . I have half a dozen cookbooks, lots of clipped recipes that I use as guidelines . . . I've never 'exactly' followed one in my life. I like my food spice and with a bite, so I just improvise as I go.

I do love your chicas! I'd sort of like to have some, but my friends/neighbors have lots, so what would do you do with 2 dozen eggs a day???

I loved the FEZ!!!

Happy New Year to you and your family.


d.a. said...

Winter is a wonderful time for slowing down and thinking.

Chris said...

I love it when you think!

Your "stream of consciousness" posts always start me thinking too!

I'll agree with everyone else...great time of year to be thoughful!


Tracy said...

Hi, Natalie! So glad to catch up with you at last and see you're enjoying a wonderful holiday...and always love hearing about everything! We're just back from our Christmas trip and getting over the jet lag and settling in...ringing in 2009 will be quiet here-LOL! Wishing you & yours and all the animals love & joy in the New Year! Happy birthday too, my friend! :o) ((HUGS))