Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 09/20/16: Walmart and IKEA, Football Interest Waning, Stir Fry and Side Dishes

1.  The Deke asked me to go to Walmart to see if I could find a wooden stool.  It's for her to sit on in the classroom.  She had already looked, without luck, for a wooden stool at Target and Home Depot, so I vaulted into the Sube and steamed up the Baltimore Washington Parkway to MD 198, found the Walmart Supercenter and uttered a prayer of thanks when I found a shelf of wooden stools, just like the Deke wanted.  This put me in the shopping mood, so I motored over to IKEA and bought picture frames and, later in the evening, I framed five 8 x 10 pictures I took back on July 3rd on the shore of Lake Michigan in Long Beach, IN.   I also framed a 4 x 6 picture I took back in 2009 of Snug and David, may they both rest in peace.

2.  This afternoon I finished watching the documentary I started last night:  ESPN's 30 for 30's The '85 Bears.  As I watched the film, I realized that I don't know anything about the current NFL season and very little about the start of the college football season. I used to dedicate hours to watching football games and reading scores and summaries of games. Those days are gone. We were over at the Diazes on Sunday and a game between Denver and Indianapolis was on in the TV room and I didn't even think about going in to watch it. It's possible that if I still lived in Eugene that I'd enjoy watching the Patriots with the Troxstar or if I were in North Idaho, I'd have fun watching some football in Byrdman's man cave.  But, all in all, I've lost interest. As I listened to the players and the coaches and watched action clips in The '85 Bears, I was surprised that I didn't feel more nostalgia or much admiration for that team or much excitement for the game of football.  So, I'm not longing for the "good old days" of football.  I guess as I get older, I just enjoy a lot of other things a lot more. Now, that said, if you are reading this and you are a friend who emails or texts me with football (or other sports) news or observations, please don't stop. I always enjoy the conversations.

3.  Without a doubt, I now spend much of the time reading recipes and cooking that I used to spend studying football stories and scores and listening to games.  I had volunteered this morning to prepare dinner and take it to the Diazes.  I decided to fix Szechwan Eggplant Stir Fry. I liked that the sauce had soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, and chicken broth, but I was concerned that it might not be enough of a meal on its own, so I did a Pinterest search of tofu side dishes.  I found a Korean recipe: "Pan Fried Tofu in Garlic Soy Sesame Sauce".  It's very simple. I fried the tofu in peanut and sesame oil and whisked together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and minced garlic and poured it and some roasted sesame seeds over the tofu and topped it with chopped green onion.  Then, for another side dish, I sliced up some cucumber and grape and cherry tomatoes from a variety bowl of tomatoes I bought at Costco, put them in a storage dish, and poured rice vinegar over them.  It turned out that the stir fry, the rice I had made the day before, and the two side dishes combined to make a full dinner and we all enjoyed the many flavors and the way the eggplant, tofu, cucumbers, and tomatoes complimented and complemented one another.

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