We returned on Sunday night from Santa Fe having purchased 1.5 pounds of ground Chimayo chili, woven place mats that came from Guatemala, a Green Chili cook book, a New Mexico history book, and two Pendleton baby blankets for some new arrivals of our acquaintance.
A person could sure spend a lot of money in Santa Fe on all sorts of Native American jewelry and clothes with Indian motifs, but there is something about them that make me very hesitant to wear such things. I don’t normally like to draw attention to myself, and I would feel so fake and pretentious wearing silver and turquoise jewelry. I think one of my problems with all this is that we have so many Indian friends. I would feel so odd and out of place if I showed up wearing their sacred cultural symbols on my clothes and jewelry. If we had more time and luggage space I would have bought pottery. I love the rugs and textiles. I know that many native Americans depend on the tourist trade for a living and want us to buy their wares. This makes me conflicted. I think I would rather donate to the American Indian College Fund.
We purchased a kachina corn god figure many years ago at the Mesa Verde National Park gift shop. I find the kachinas fascinating, but now that I know more about their meaning and significance, I would be hesitant to buy one, and I now know that I have to care for the one we purchased and not treat it as a decorative object. Sometimes knowledge can ruin all a person’s fun.
How do your ethics influence what you purchase?
On Saturday night I finished baking the last of the 10 dozen sweet rolls for our hand bell choir’s Easter breakfast. We plan to serve sweet rolls and egg bakes to our congregation on Easter Sunday as the first fundraiser for our trip to New York in November when we play at Carnegie Hall. They are quite large, and can be cut in two for an astounding number of rolls. The other bell choir members are supplying the egg bakes.
The rolls are in our freezers and just need to be thawed and iced on Easter. I will set them out to thaw in the church kitchen on Saturday when we rehearse with the brass quintet that is accompanying us on one of our pieces. We have two ovens in the church kitchen and we can have four egg bakes cooking and four keeping hot all at the same time. It will take some coordination as we play at both the 9:00 and 10:30 services and will need to bake and serve and play bells, since people will be eating from 8:30 until 10:30. I think we will be exiting and entering the sanctuary all throughout the services in between playing. I just love doing things like this.
In true Lutheran Church Basement Ladies fashion, members of the funeral service committee have volunteered to help out. It will be an exciting day.
What is the largest meal you ever helped prepare? What would you serve a crowd?
I found a recipe online that I wanted to try, but it needed two items that I’d never heard of. A quick search made it clear that the only place I would find these items would be in a specialty market. These days you can find so many different kinds of things in regular grocery stores and I don’t visit any specialty markets (think Asian grocery or Mexican grocery) often.
So there I am in the middle of aisle upon aisle of items that I don’t recognize, some of which I can’t even GUESS what they are. Unfortunately I was on my lunch break so didn’t have time to wander and linger. I asked about my two items, was shown where to find them, checked out and went back to work.
But now I think I’ll have to go back next week when I have more time. I hope I don’t spend too much when I do!
Do you have a favorite ethnic/specialty market or restaurant?
BBC.com is one of the news sites that I look at through the week and yesterday I saw an article about decentralizing the workforce and increasing the ability to work remotely. Clark Valberg, CEO of a software design company says “A decentralized workforce now allows employers to access “passionate talent anywhere in the world irrespective of any geographic boundary.” This is not good news to me.
My company instituted a Work at Home policy three years ago; each associate is allowed to work from home one day a week. I think I am about the only one in the company who does not take advantage of this. I prefer going into the office, I don’t want to be dragging my work laptop home all the time and I didn’t think I would be good at it.
Mother Nature finally forced me to test my theory that I wouldn’t be good at working from home. We had two snow days in February this year and I just had too much on my plate to take the days off. I had warning so I had brought my work laptop home and gotten a lesson from a co-worker on how to get onto the network.
I don’t know if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy but I really hated working at home. I got work done; I was efficient enough but every minute I was thinking of what else I could be doing. I could bake some cornbread, I could work on my solstice project, I could throw in a load of laundry, I could pay bills. I could brush the dogs, do my nails…. aarrgggh. The fact that my life was surrounding me while I tapped away at the computer drove me crazy. I knew if I left my desk, I might never return.
So luckily the weather is turning nicer and I probably don’t have to worry about having to work from home any more this year. And I certainly hope that my workplace doesn’t get decentralized before I’m ready to retire!
What distracts you from what you need to get done?
Photo Credit: Krystal Kwok on Unsplash
I succumbed. You all probably knew it was inevitable. I started seeing the new electric pressure cookers about 18 months back and have talked myself into and out of getting one repeatedly in that time.
Last week I got my monthly notice of how many award points I’ve earned at work. Award points can be used for the various merchandise that my company uses as incentives and rewards (we have a massive warehouse). Except for State Fair tickets and Renaissance Fair passes, I haven’t spent award points on anything else for a couple of years so I have a big build up. Any resolve I’ve had about not getting more kitchen toys dissolved pretty quickly. The will-call ticket came to me on Thursday and I went over to the warehouse at noon to pick it up.
I spent an evening looking up cookbooks on the library website but to tide me over, I printed off a bunch of recipes off the internet. Six cookbooks now in transit. And despite the fact that we didn’t really need a bunch of food prepared, I spent Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.
I did macaroni and cheese , a big pot of Spanish rice (and I mean a BIG pot) and then a really spicy black bean soup. It was easy and fun. I figure I can probably get rid of my old pressure cooker that has sat unused in the basement for at least 10 years.
What was the last really unnecessary toy/gadget you’ve added to your world?
I went to a Cantus concert last night. The first time I ever heard them sing was on the LGMS, doing Ave Maria by Franz Biebl – it brought tears to my eyes. Even after all these years, it is still my favorite piece that they perform.
Last night they did another song that I also know from the days of Dale and Jim Ed (maybe even as far back as Garrison and Jim Ed – Little Potato by Malcolm Dalglish and performed by Metamora.
I love it when different parts of my world come together.
Do you have a favorite food song?
It’s my personal holiday again today – Pi Day. Everyone at work knows that I’m off today to bake pies – even a couple of my long-term clients know. I am allowed to use my “floating holiday” for Pi Day – my boss had it approved by management about 6 years ago. I even have personalized napkins this year, given to me by a friend after last year’s celebration.
This year’s menu: Dutch Apple, Banofee, Root Beer Float Whoopies, Raspberry Tangerine, Pecan, Bob Andy, Blueberry, Almond Joy, Caramel Pear with Crème Fraiche, Key Lime Meringue and the addictive Crack Pie.
Hope to see those of you in the Twin Cities tonight!
What day would you like to be your floating holiday?