Saturday, March 14, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 03/13/20: Debbie and Food Prep, Draft Prep, Pork Chops and Christopher Foyle (and Brandy)

1. After breakfast with Ed and Scott B., I did some shopping at Yoke's with some future dinners in mind. When the blizzard settles down, I think I'll go back and see if I can find some more things I need in order to make and freeze soups. I know I have a lot of crab stock, but I also have ham stock and chicken stock and I'm starting to imagine some soups I'd like to have on hand, ready to thaw and enjoy for lunch or dinner. 

I talked with Debbie on the phone tonight. She and Adrienne have discussed the increase in cases of COVID 19 in New York. Debbie is not going to return to New York anytime soon. She's done subbing in Eugene.  The schools are closed for at least the next three weeks. Right now, Debbie is looking after the dog of the woman she stays with in Eugene until Anne returns from a service project in Haiti. Things could change, I suppose, but, as of now, it looks like when Anne returns toward the end of the month that Debbie will return to Kellogg for an indefinite amount of time.

So, my thinking about food preparation changed today. I now know that I'm not just cooking ahead for myself. Given our age and the medical things I wrote about myself yesterday, we plan to stay inside a lot and I'll prepare for that over the next several days.

2. On Sunday, the two fantasy baseball leagues I belong to will draft our players all afternoon. Today I began to prepare for the draft by reading up about players, looking over lists of draft recommendations from ESPN experts, and trying to imagine how I might approach the draft. Last year, I let ESPN's computers draft my teams, but I'm going to draft my own this time and I am anticipating that the results of my picks could be pretty humbling. No problem. I hope to learn a lot.

3. I poured myself a (cheater) pint glass of brandy and hot water to slowly sip on and keep me warm while I watched a superb episode of Foyle's War.

The episode dealt with profiteering in 1940, about a racket some people were running pilfering petrol from the wartime supplies. I couldn't help but think about people I've read about profiting from the COVID 19 crisis. It's despicable. As Foyle worked to get to the bottom of this corruption, with Sam working as an undercover petrol tank truck driver, the whole criminal enterprise  disgusted him.

In the course of watching this program, I also braised two pork chops. I lined the bottom of the Dutch oven with onion and apple slices. I generously sprinkled the apples with cinnamon. I seared the chops, put them in the pot, and poured coconut milk over them and added fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the mix. I wanted to add some yellow curry paste, but I didn't find it in the refrigerator, so that element of my braise was missing.

So, once it had slow cooked for a while, my food was very good.  I have another pork chop left over. My brandy and hot water hit the spot and succeeded in warming me (as a winter blizzard invaded Kellogg). A subplot involving Christopher Foyle's relationship with his son moved me to tears, making the entire episode very satisfying. I enjoyed talking with Debbie on the phone. I closed the evening with a slow shot of ouzo, carried Charly out back so she could do her business, and felt pretty good as I crawled into bed under a pile of three blankets and fell asleep.

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