Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sibling Assignment #157: Pinterest Has Become an Unexpected Source of Happiness

I was responsible for Sibling Assignment #157 and here's what I challenged my sisters and me to write about:

Write a piece about Pinterest.  What do you value about Pinterest?  How has it made a difference in your life?  Can you tell a story about a particular thing you did at a particular time that went really well because you are a part of Pinterest?  On the flip side, is there anything about Pinterest that disappoints you?
Both of my sisters are very happy with Pinterest and you can read about Christy's life at Pinterest, here, and about Carol's, here.

For quite a while, in my own oblivious way, I've been vaguely aware that my sisters and the Deke were signed up on Pinterest.  I never gave signing up much thought.

For some reason, a batch of stuffed peppers, of all things, woke me up.  Before I explain, let me say that before these stuffed peppers, I'd eaten great meals and enjoyed tasty drinks made from recipes both of my sisters had found on Pinterest.  But, for some reason, the stuffed peppers woke me up.

You see, Carol is a participant in the Bountiful Basket cooperative and when her food comes, she has to figure out how to make good use of what's in her basket.  Near the end of my Nov.-Jan. stay in Kellogg, she invited Mom and me over for dinner and, because her Bountiful Basket had a bounty of peppers, she needed a good recipe for fixing them. The stuffed peppers with mushrooms, rice, and feta were perfect.

I don't know if she had made these peppers before, but I do know that they were so delicious that I thought that I might give this Pinterest thing a try when I get back to Greenbelt.

Now that I'm home in Greenbelt again, I am back to eating a primarily, but not exclusively, vegetarian diet.  My understanding is that plant-based proteins are easier on my kidneys than animal-based proteins.  I had a time in my life about 20-25 years ago, when I was a strict vegetarian, but over the years I've lost the recipe books I used to make tasty vegetarian meals.

With Pinterest, I've struck gold.

Whether it's peanut sauces, Thai stir fries, ways to prepare tofu, vegetable soups, bean soups, or a variety of other meals I haven't tried yet, the recipes I've found in Pinterest have helped greatly boost the Deke's and my enjoyment of nightly dinners.

As a side note, this development in my life embodies what I am enjoying maybe the most about retirement.

I'm no chef.

I know that.

But I cook some pretty good meals here in our apartment home.

I have time to investigate the eighteenabillions of recipes available on Pinterest and have time to shop for ingredients and have time, if the recipe is a bit time consuming, to give over a half a day or so making certain things.

For example, Molly and Hiram visited us a couple of weeks ago and the Deke said something about wanting chicken soup.  I found this recipe.  It required some work:  boiling a whole chicken, giving it time to cool, and tearing the meat off of the chicken.  I could tell that if this soup was going to work, I needed to give my self about five hours to do it right, including the time that the soup would simply sit still and stew before I served it.

I think it's the best soup I've ever made.  It was a bit peppery, but it also had an Italian/oregano/basil component.  It's taste had depth.  It was medicinal for Molly and the Deke's nasal congestion. Everyone loved it and I was as happy as I've ever been after making a dinner.

If you are still reading this, I ask you not to underestimate the power of this happiness.  I love being able to serve meals that people, especially family members, love and when we eat the food together, I experience us growing more closely together in the enjoyment of the food and in the gratitude we feel for our good fortune to eat simply and to eat well.

And, really, right now, I owe this happiness to Pinterest and the many people who have so generously pinned recipes so that a regular old guy like me can bring happiness to my wife and to my family -- and that I can know that my sisters will bring the same kind of happiness to our family when we are together in Idaho and Washington with the great cocktails and meals they prepare and serve, thanks to Pinterest.
Coda:  I also use Pinterest boards as storage.  For example, I have a board where I store webpages about things to do in the D. C. area, especially outdoor stuff like gardens and hiking areas.

I store these things for myself.

But I have one board that I wish I could attract more people's interest in, and that I don't, disappoints me.  I have a board titled, "Favorite Pictures Posted by tumblr Photographers".  I follow a number of fellow (mostly) amateur photographers on tumblr and when I am especially struck by one of their pictures, I pin it to this board.  

I'd love it if more people saw their pictures.  It's a small thing, but because my Pinterest account draws little interest, these pictures don't get much attention, well, beyond other of their followers on tumblr.  

So, if you'd ever like to look over this Pinterest gallery of mine, it's here and you can see some good street photography these people have done and some other styles as well.  

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