I’m going to pack my heart away for a bit.
Place it in a steamer trunk with a big metal lock
So that no one can hurt it, or chip away at that precious little stone.
Going to keep it there until the world is safe
Or until my armor is strong enough to protect it.
I haven’t been around but don’t worry, I’ve been writing. Nothing for the blog, just bits and pieces here and there. Thoughts. Half sleeping ramblings. It’s been a sleepy weekend. I slept so much on Saturday and now on Sunday night, I’m drowsy and wishing I was in bed. I’m on the couch instead, typing this on my phone. It’s easier to manage than my iPad, which seems so huge and clunky lately.
When I wasn’t sleeping, I was watching Reign. That show is redonk, y’all. Redonk GOOD. You do have to suspend all of your knowledge about that period of time and the individuals involved, especially the future King of France, but it’s another CW gem. They don’t shy away from the truth in terms of women. The characters are complex and you can’t completely root against the villains because you understand many of the reasons that drive them to these decisions.
Last night I made the best pot of chili I’ve made in a very long time, probably because of the chili seasoning I made for it. I wish I could take all the credit but I found the recipe on Pinterest. I threw some canned stuff in the crockpot with water – a variation of my mother’s chili – and ground beef and slow cooked that shit on high for 4 hours. Well, here’s what happened: I put the chili in the crockpot, sat down to knit for a row, and then fell asleep for 4 hours. When I woke up, the house smelled AMAZE. To make your house smell AMAZE, do this:
Brown some ground beef (or ground meat of your choice) in a skillet with a diced yellow onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. Season that shit with some salt. I recommend Himalayan. While the meat browns, throw a can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of pinto beans (rinsed), and a can of white beans (rinsed) into your crockpot pot. Add the ground meat, onion, and garlic. Dump in some of this deliciousness into the pot. I used anywhere from 2 tbsp to a large portion of the seasoning mix for ours. Mix it all together in the basin, then fill it with some water. Turn that shit on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 and then chow down. It’s good the day of and even better the next day.
- 2 lbs ground beef, turkey, bison, etc.
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed*
- 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed*
- Chili seasoning
*Use any bean combo you want. Two of pinto? GO NUTS. This is what I had in my pantry.
Break up the ground meat in skillet, brown over medium heat. When the meat is almost done, throw in the onions and garlic, add some salt, stir it up, and let the meat finish browning. Drain meat, if needed. While all of this deliciousness is happening, dump the cans of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and rinsed beans into the bowl of your crockpot. Mix together the chili seasoning while you’re at it. It literally takes a minute. Longer, if you can’t find your spices.
Once the meat is done, add it to the bowl with the beans and tomatoes. Give it a stir to combine. Add some of that delicious seasoning! I recommend starting with 2 tbsp but do it to taste. Do it all to taste, babies. Give it another good stir or two so the seasoning is dispersed throughout. Add some water to this, just enough that the stuff won’t dry out and you’ll have a little delicious chili juice for your crackers or Fritos. Come on, y’all. Fritos + chili = perfect marriage.
Put the lid on your crockpot. Put the bowl in the crockpot. Plug in the crockpot. Cook this chili on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, then top with cheese and whatever else y’all put on your chili, then tuck in. It feeds two of us for several days. OM NOM NOM.
Margaret Atwood’s advice to struggling writers is to write. Write anything – a list, a blog post, disjointed feelings. Before I fell asleep last night, I wrote an Anything to prove to you that I did write YESTERDAY, but I did not post. So that’s like a win-win for daily posting, right?
- Heating pads are delightful. Not only do they help your aches and pains, they also make you feel warm and toasty.
- My right ovary is cranky tonight.
- I wish I had more energy to do all the things.
- Dogs also find heating pads delightful.
- Morning pages in the AM, duchess
It’s hard to concentrate today. My mind is stuck firmly in the past, back in Oklahoma and my secondary education. I grew up in a small farming community that was more like two communities; our neighboring towns had consolidated in 1969 and we all grew up with both towns as a backdrop for all of our various shenanigans (underage drinking, driving too fast, snipe hunting, non-destructive vandalism.) Today I’m thinking about my high school English teacher, the woman who taught me the power of words and helped shape me to become the woman I am today. I learned of her passing this morning, and everything has been a little duller since.
She was a feminist, the first feminist I ever met. I didn’t understand what it meant then, to really and truly be a feminist. I only knew about bra burnings (didn’t happen) and that feminists hated men and children, which confused me because Teacher was married. With kids! And they seemed very happy. I remember her black turtlenecks and silver jewelry, her mom jeans and loafers. I knew her before she was my teacher, as a congregate in the same church my family attended. My brother had her first, from 9th grade until he graduated, and then I came along a few years later. This was common. Teacher taught many sets of siblings and in some cases, the parents of those siblings, as well. She was our steadfast Frau, putting up with short attention spans for a language class offered via satellite, and she made speechmakers, thinkers, and readers out of so many of us rambunctious, ill-mannered heathens she called students.
My class in particular had a knack for bothering Teacher but not because we disliked her. We bothered her because we loved her. We all wanted her praise and to be in her favor, even if we couldn’t admit it to ourselves or anyone else. She always joked (?) that we were driving her to early retirement; I’m sorry for all the times we went too far.
When she retired from public schools, she taught intro Lit classes at the same university I and many of her former students attended. My friend and I would routinely crash into her classroom on our break between classes to say hi and instruct her new students to pay attention to the best teacher they’d ever have. I wish I had known her as an adult – a friend and mentor. She encouraged my curiosity and desire to write, and I entered competitions and contests that I never would have otherwise because of her. There are a great many memories and thoughts floating around in my head tonight, and I occasionally begin to weep, especially as more and more friends hear the news and post about it on Facebook. It’s nice that we can mourn and remember her together, but apart.
Just kidding, this post is about none of that!
ATTENTION INTERNET: I BAKED A THING.
I baked a thing I found on Pinterest. It’s gluten free, you can’t tell it’s gluten free, and it’s relatively simple to make. Do you like spice cake? Or pumpkin bread? Or carrot cake? Or some combination of those delicious things + cream cheese frosting? Then go click here now do it!
They have a ridonk amount of oil and eggs. I used extra virgin olive oil in place of vegetable oil and Bob’s all purpose gluten free baking flour. And ginger! Not nutmeg. It all came together quickly and took about 29 minutes in my oven. For frosting, I used a buttercream frosting recipe I found on Food Network. It’s so super easy:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz butter, softened
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
I’m not going to lie, I tend to nibble at the frosting so I always double the recipe except for the powdered sugar. Most buttercream is way too sweet for me, so I use roughly 3 cups of powdered sugar in a double batch. Cream the butter and cream cheese with your hand mixer, add powdered sugar gradually (speed on low) until creamy, then beat in vanilla. Try not to devour a few spoons of this shit while you wait for the pumpkin ginger nutmeg wonderful bread-cake to cool, and fail. Spread your delicious buttercream over the cooled bread-cake and enjoy!
Note: for all of you without gluten allergies, you can probably substitute all purpose flour 1:1