Write Where You Are

November 25, 2018 · 4 comments

“It’s been so long since I’ve blogged,” I complained to the Muse as I flipped the slow bacon.

“Write,” she breathed.

“Write already.”

(She’s heard this sad refrain a lot lately. I understand her weariness, although that’s probably just projection on my part.)

There’s no sense whining to Her about not knowing where to begin when you’re stuck; you start where you stand.

For me, today, that means I write where I am, right where I am.

All right then… slow bacon it is.

Before Emily and Sara came to visit us a couple of summers ago, I had no idea that if you cook bacon on low and flip it regularly, the bacon cooks flat and the grease sizzles calmly in the pan, making splatter cleanup unnecessary and fryer wash up as slick as, um, bacon.

I now think of Em and Sara every time we cook “slow bacon,” which is every time we cook it.

Bacon has become a trigger for delicious Em-and-Sara gratitude waves, and it’s not even mostly about the bacon.

At the end of the counter sit our dining table candles, doubling as ziplock bag drying racks.

Why? The amount of plastic going into oceans and landfills these days is really starting to piss me off, so I’ve started to warm-soapy-water wash viable ziplock bags for re-use.

Baby steps…

I learned “conserve resources” over three decades ago from Adele Schmidt, who washed commercial bread bags for freezing her delicious homemade bread, and from my Granny Lever, who saved and re-used aluminum foil, a habit from her war-informed Great Depression days, and no doubt from my own Mom, in ways too numerous and close up to be visible (although something about twist ties floats in on the fog…).

I’m grateful for ziplock baggies, Adele and Florence and Jane, and our one, beautiful, irreplaceable planet.

Did you know you can control how quickly avocados ripen by regulating their surrounding temperature? This is important insight into a fruit that lives (and dies) by the motto I saw recently on a poster:

“Not yet…
Not yet…
Not yet…
Too late…
Signed, Avocado.”

Since we often buy them from Costco, it was a welcome epiphany that keeping avocados in the fridge will substantially delay their ripening, allow us to stagger their demise consumption by bringing them one or two at a time onto the window sill, where we allow them to die at a more dignified pace, rather than en mass in a green string bag.

Sort of figured that one out by myself, although I’m still very grateful for avocados in general.

This summer our friend, Al Linden, taught us there’s a way to defrost meat at max speed with no chance of a microwave-induced “Whoops! Hope there’s no botulism in that prematurely cooked bit at the end!” episode.

Remove the plastic and foam tray and set the icy goods directly on a metal cookie sheet.

The metal dissipates the cold, and you’ll be astounded at how quickly shrimp, scallops, chicken breasts, and, apparently, bratwurst will thaw. The bad boys above went from a solid block to bbq-ready in 1.5 hours.

We think of you, Al, every time we forget to pull something out for dinner.

I don’t know if this was helpful to you. It certainly was a good afternoon for me.

But maybe the next time you get stuck, you’ll remember to start right where you are. And maybe I will, too.



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