Jeff and I had plans last Sunday. He’s in school, so taking a Sunday takes a monumental effort and some planning on our part. Homework has to be done in advance, and I have to pretty much take up any slack around the house so he can focus on what he needs to get done. I was willing to do so, because we were going to use our monthly theatre tickets and have lunch at our favorite place stateside; La Buvette. Adult lunchables and copious wine, people. I was so stoked! We’d planned a day between Christmas and New Years to go, but it snowed us out-both places are in Omaha, while we’re in Lincoln. I was sad, but then we had this to look forward to. So, of course, Saturday evening the snow started. And it did not let up. Yeah, our trip didn’t happen. We’ve got plans for the third time to be the charm in a few weeks. Let me tell you mother nature, don’t you try me a third time!
So what did we do with our Sunday? So glad you asked! I have been feeling epicly domesticated as of late. Making apple butter, trying new recipes and crushing it, organizing crap like nobody’s business. So I went to the kitchen, and first off I started poaching some chicken breasts for later use in Enchilauras (patent pending). Then I went to the freezer and saw that we still had a few chicken carcasses (sorry I hate that term, but there it is). So I grabbed those things, threw them in pots, filled them with water, stuffed some veggies and herbs in there and simmered that stuff for about 4 hours. That’s right, I made chicken stock. And I don’t know if it was pride in my work or if it really was that good, but the soup we made from it that night was freaking amazing. Like, I’m still eating it for lunch amazing. Jeff made chicken dumpling soup and hot damn, it was amazeballs. Our snow day turned out to be not so bad.
But then, of course, my brain started working overtime. “I like that”, I thought. “How do I do more of that?” And I pondered. What was it I found so satisfying about making things that cost $.75 to get at the store? Well, the fact that I made it, silly! A hamburger off your own grill always tastes better than running up to McDonalds for the dollar menu version. So I started thinking of other things I could make instead of buying. Yeah, there’s soaps and candles and shit on pinterest. But that wasn’t quite it. So I realized today during bath time-Laura stew always makes me meditative-that it was ultimately creating something with my hands. I like having a product at the end of the day that I can point to and say “I made that”. Whether it’s a vegetable I grew, a meal I cooked, or a coffee table I stained myself, there’s pride there.So I’m going to try to follow what interests me and see what happens. If it’s a colossal failure, fine. But maybe it will be a win. And I can’t know until I try.
Jeff’s pretty stoked on this. He’s been making his own beer for about 3 months. He’s got some plans to put a chicken coop in our backyard. Last year our garden was “OK”. This year, we’re making raised beds, rearranging where stuff goes, and generally making an epic harvest. I’m always pretty happy when I get to work in the yard. I have actually dug a bush I deemed offensive out of my retaining bed, and it was so exciting when I finally ripped it out that I held it over my head and announced to the dogs in my backyard that “I AM SPARTA!”. It’s satisfying.I’m trying to get my way of thought back to a simpler time. Read more at home, make things, do things, live with less distractions. I’m never not going to enjoy some mindless TV or messing around on the internet, but I’m trying to remember there’s always more of that. There’s not always a chance to plant, or built my own raised bed for gardening, or for reading the next book and seeing what I take from it. Maybe things were better without all these distractions we have so readily available. I want to find out.