Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We have a salad with dinner almost every night of the week, and no, I do not think macaroni salad or potato salad is a salad. I'm talking about a real salad, with real vegetables (okay, so botanically speaking, many of them are fruits) or a fruit salad, in addition to the veggies I cook and serve.

So we get tired of the same old salad, and I saw an article about 31 "easy" salads to make. I decided to see if I could snag a few ideas to jazz up what I serve.

"Easy" is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the recipes were very simple and doable. I question the ease, however, for a busy mom, especially if she works outside the home (which I only do part time). They called for grilling lots of the vegetables, using ingredients my family would probably not like much, or using exotic ingredients I'm not sure where I would get (pomegranate molasses, anyone?).

This just goes to show that it is easy to be a chef when you can get any ingredient, someone else does the expediting (chopping and such before hand), and someone else cleans the kitchen. The real magician is the mom who looks at yet another pound of ground round and comes up with something different, after doing other stuff all day long and cleaning up behind herself.

I was thinking of these things and ruminating on them and read two things that seem totally unrelated, but my abnormal brain connected them anyway.

One had to do with a very wealthy person, male, who wrote a newsletter about how we all have the same number of hours in the day, and how to make the most productive use out of them. His ideas are wonderful, especially when you don't have to clean your own toilets. Just as poorer people use more of their income just providing themselves with necessities than those with higher earnings, those of us with little or no paid household help have to spend more of our hours doing the scutwork of daily living -- the cooking, cleaning, laundry, lawn and auto care, hauling kids around, etc. So yes, we all have 24 hours in a day, but spending them all doing "productive" things will mean different things depending on whether you have to clean the gutters yourself 3 times a year.

Then my Sweetie and I got an email from a friend of his, a former Marine who dates a different woman every weekend and when married believed fidelity was nothing more than the bank down on the street corner. It showed two senior citizens, male, sitting together in front of the barn, and the caption read, "The reason a woman's work is never done is she doesn't get up early enough."

I'm up at 4am every day, and by the time my Sweetie comes downstairs, over 2 hours later, he has done his personal grooming -- 30 minutes minimum of prinking in front of a mirror -- and gotten dressed for work. (Weekends, he sleeps in -- Saturday, we don't see him before noon, Sunday, he comes down, dressed, in time to leave for church.) Meanwhile, I have prayed, exercised, done my personal grooming -- 10 minutes, tops, no mirror needed -- washed at least one load of laundry, sometimes two, so the clothes are ready to be hung out on the line when it gets light enough, bottle fed any kittens we have at the time, fed the older cats, scooped the litter boxes, gotten his breakfast ready and lunch packed, rounded up dishes the family left out after I went to bed the night before, recleaned the kitchen from midnight snack runs, blown through my email and recently, written a blog post.

So, how many hours does it take to make a day, how much work is there to do, how to prioritize, what makes something easy or not, all of these come together somehow in my warped little mind. No answers, but there is a moral to this somewhere, I'm just too tired to find it.

Edited to Add: after I hit publish, I got an email that quoted Coach Don Shula, "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent, and we all get the same 24 hours in a day."

Somebody, somewhere, is trying to tell me something.

Today is:

Bad Poetry Day

Carrot Fest, Ontario, Canada

Cupcake Day

Mail Order Catalog Day (Do yourself a favor and opt out of the doggone things, save a few trees: www.catalogchoice.org )

National Ice Cream Pie Day

St. Agapitus' Day

St. Helena's Day (Patron Saint of Archaeologists)

Toe-Pogling Season begins -- Fairy

World Peace Festival

Birthdays Today:

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 1970
Patrick Swayze, 1952
Martin Mull, 1943
Robert Redford, 1936
Roman Polanski, 1933
Rosalynn Carter, 1927
Shelley Winters, 1920
Greta Garbo, 1905
Meriwether Lewis, 1774
Virginia Dare, 1587

Today in History:

Founding of the oldest known Roman temple to Venus, BC293
Rome is occupied and plundered by Visigoths under King Alarik I, 410
Death of Genghis Khan (fell from his horse), 1227
A Portuguese ship drifts ashore in the Japanese province of Higo, 1541
Boston, Mass. Evening Post begins publishing, 1735
Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 1834
Pierre Janssan discovers helium, 1868
19th US Amendment ratified (gives women the vote), 1920
Premier of The Wizard of Oz, 1939

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