1. My new 12" cast iron skillet needed breaking in, so I chopped up a bunch of red potatoes, poured some olive oil over them, dusted them with Montreal steak seasoning, and put them in the oven. About twelve minutes later, I pulled out the spuds and blended in three cloves of garlic (crushed with my new mortar and pestle set!) and sliced mushrooms. Once the potatoes were tender, I pulled this out of the oven and folded a bunch of baby spinach leaves into the mix and let the heat of skillet and its contents wilt the spinach. Then I sprinkled some pepper flakes over the top and covered the contents with grated sharp cheddar cheese and made four pockets. I cracked an egg into each pocket and returned the skillet to the oven, kept an eye on how the eggs were doing, and when I thought they were done, I yanked the skillet back out and the Deke and I had a filling and very tasty brunch. It was the first time I ever baked eggs. I had a blast cooking this meal. I loved how my new cast iron skillet performed. And, well, I'm going to let myself believe that by crushing the garlic cloves using the mortar and pestle, the garlic taste was more pronounced. Who knows?
2. I had a good talk with Mom this morning and she told me that she's not been feeling well over the last several days, but thought she was doing better today. She was disappointed that she hadn't felt up to planting seeds in her new silver raised beds yet. We talked about Jack and Jackie who had passed away in Kellogg. Mom wondered if I'd heard the news that Muhammad Ali had died and we talked a bit about how Ali rubbed Dad that wrong way and I said I thought Dad softened toward Ali over the years. I was thinking that Dad softened after seeing Ali light the Olympic cauldron in Atlanta, but then I remembered Dad had died about six weeks earlier and was left trusting that Dad would have been moved by the sight of Ali's once nimble and powerful body shaking, being ravaged by Parkinson's, and by the way those in attendance in Atlanta sobbed and cheered for Ali.
3. Somewhere along the line today, I decided to have a day in and read and nap. I'm reading Laura Hillenbrand's eloquent equine biography, Seabiscuit. I'm enjoying the way it's taking me into the world of Depression Era horse racing, a world I know nothing about. While, on the one hand, the book is a thrilling account about the rise to fame of this great horse, on the other hand, it's a disturbing account of the exploitation of jockeys, the extreme measures jockeys took (take still?) to keep their weight down, and the injuries horses incur as racers. In short, I'm about halfway through Seabiscuit, and it has, by turns, troubled me and exhilarated me, the mark, I'd say, of a very good biography.