Last night I fired some pottery and the sawdust hadn't been burned in the middle. This morning I got out to do a firing before the wind got bad. I realized that firing might be hard as it was deeply cold again so I had the brilliant idea to toss the sawdust with lighter fluid to make certain that all the sawdust burned. One of my steel cans for firing exploded. I felt very stupid. Had one of my children done that, I'd have yelled at them. I proceeded to go in and tell them what I did. Thank goodness I wasn't doing fireworks.
I made chicken soup today as it is cold and everyone is getting the flu again. I roasted a chicken and separately boiled the vegetables (sweet green peppers, onions, celery-- which is salty) for a half hour to extract nutrients and flavor, instead of boiling them all together then straining. That was brilliant of me. When the chicken reasonably cooled, I pulled the meat off and strained the vegetables and put them all into the cauldron. There were no overcooked bits of vegetables or mushy chicken. I blended a bag of carrots in the blender and poured that in, which thickened the soup up. I normally hate carrots, but well blended, they add great texture. I probably cooked that all together for another half hour. The kids loved it and asked me to make it again. I didn't need commercially prepared stock for the first time, and that was nice.
My husband and I were grocery shopping the other night. I saw strawberry marshmallows and felt sick-- I don't like marshmallows except for a couple a few times a year when we camp. We saw giant containers of something that looked like cheese puffs. One of my sons saw it and said, "I want to get in that and just. . . sit and eat!" He then made some funny, "om, om, om" noises. He was cute but he hopefully wouldn't have more than a handful if we indulged him! I asked my husband who'd buy that crap and we just shuddered. I used to work at a retail super store and knew who, and that stuff flew off the shelves and some even ate as they shopped. A little while later we saw who would buy it, chatting up the cashier. There were a couple of stereo-type women, overweight, with rude children. I saw the blood sugar test strips on their conveyor belt which indicates diabetes. My funny son saw the junk food and the women, too and turned to me and asked, "Can we just get some apples for lunches instead of the potato chip variety pack?" He and my husband ran and got some.
The cashier looked at my own choices and asked how I cooked. I told her that it's really just as easy to chop stuff up and make a healthy dinner as it is to do a microwave dinner. She was apparently a sister to one of the women we'd seen with the bad stuff. How bad are we that so many are so far removed from their food sources that the notion of coring an apple or zapping a potato seems like a lot of work? We occasionally eat pizza puffs and have processed food, and I always have a frozen lasagna in the freezer, but if you have a lot of that stuff, it's as bad as eating at McD's every day. These ladies were not the type who were just too busy to cook, like execs or even active soccer moms-- they looked more like Welfare-mom types. What would they do with the time they saved from cooking?