Friday, March 18, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 03/17/16: Meeting Julie Fether, Tasty Irish Stew, Return of the Crock Pot

1.  Today was momentous. First, a bit of context. Julie Fether and I worked at LCC for many years, have numerous mutual friends and acquaintances both on the faculty/staff and in the theater, but we never met when we lived there. A little over three years ago Julie left Eugene to help tend to her dying father in Pennsylvania, and then, after he died, moved permanently to her childhood home in Pennsylvania to live with and help her mother who was devastated in countless ways by the loss of her husband. When Julie and I both had articles published in the Community College Moment that spring, we had a bunch of online conversations about our writing and other things and then we decided to become 21st century email/snail mail pen pals. Our correspondence has been steady ever since and, today, we met face to face or the first time.  Julie arrived by train and came to our apartment home to spend the night before a conference in Baltimore on Friday. The Deke, Julie, and I hit it off immediately, went into non-stop conversation mode for a few hours. For the sake of old times in Eugene, and because it's damn good beer, we toasted each other with bottles of Ninkasi's Total Domination and we had an evening full of good conversation, many stories, and growing enjoyment of one another.

2.  I found a recipe for Irish stew that featured both red wine and Guiness beer. I cut back the amount of beef broth the recipe called for by a cup and put twice as much Guiness in the stew as the recipe dictated.  Julie and the Deke loved the stew -- well, so did I -- and it made me very happy to have our one tip of the hat to St. Patrick's Day work out so well.

3. When the Deke and I left Eugene, we gave away our entire kitchen, including our slow cooker.  I never purchased a new one because we didn't have room in our tiny kitchen for it. But, a few weeks back, we gave ourselves more kitchen storage space with some IKEA shelves. Today, because I wanted to slow cook the Irish stew, I bought us a new slow cooker.  It performed splendidly on its maiden run if the quality of the Irish stew can be seen as a reliable measure.  I'm very happy to have this appliance back in my life. 

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