|Flotsaming and Jetsaming: There's always a dead fish.
||[Jul. 22nd, 2010|09:18 am]
Flotsam and Jetsam sounds so cheerful, doesn't it. So, tra-la-la and carefree...although really, they are clearly defined legal terms, and imply that there has been some kind of possible or definite emergency/tragedy. |
Of course, I just always think of the floating crap that winds up in that little corner of the dock...the half-eaten orange rind because it will NOT degrade in salt water, you idiots, stop throwing if off your damn boats, the ubiquitous plastic cup and, of course, the dead fish.
Because there's always a dead fish.
Some sweetness and light for you, especially Ferlonda, who won't be surprised by this blog story at all -- be sure you scroll to the bottom and choose next page to get the entire story.
(Sweetness and light from a woman who just wrote about dead fish and has a picture of a dead dog as her profile picture. Nice. I try, but sweetness and light are not in my nature...and I know, I know, but I just don't have time to upload more pictures....)
I encourage everyone who can, to grow a pot of pineapple mint every year. I don't know why it's called pineapple mint. I guess I could be convinced that there is a waft of something that might, in a fever dream, be a wee bit akin to pineapple, just on the second bite of the leaf, that drifts back as an aftertaste when you're done chewing the leaf. But generally speaking, it's not a lovely herb culinarily speaking -- the leaves are a little too furry and the taste a little too grassy for me to really recommend it.
But it's a pretty, pretty mint. One of the few variegated varieties, with ruffly leaves edged in white and it's vigorous in a sunny pot, but one of the wimpiest mints in terms of taking over a garden and if you plan it in a large mixed pot of mints...well, let's just say it's France and all of the other mints are Germany. It's strength, though, is as a cut flower, foliage, whatever, especially in small arrangements.
Arrangements. Oh, I slay me. Whatever. You can cut a couple of sprigs of it, toss in one to three sprigs of whatever else your garden can spare and it looks all cottage-y and lovely. Adorable. I'm like a Scotsman in the garden -- when it comes to cutting anything to bring indoors, I don't think I can spare a couple of blossoms from the garden. (And yes, I'm working on using offensive cliches for all European groups, right now. Wait your turn. Portugal is giving me pause, right now.)
Anyway, a bunch of pineapple mint, which will grow back even better afterwards, and you can just stick a single lavender stem in the middle in a precious little vase and you're good to go. Well, off-center. You do have enough sense to put a single blossom off-center in an arrangement, don't you? I mean, you're not Welsh or anything, right? (What do you expect from a country that picks leeks as their national emblem? Not a country of flower arrangers, I think. Ha! One more down. Damn you, Portugal, corks and sausage are all that come to mind and I'm struggling to work that in.)
And, yes, I have a lovely little “arrangement” on my office desk of said pineapple mint, a sprig of lavender and some black-eyed Susans – because they are being so aggressive this year, that I felt I could spare some.
I’m trying to not freak out – it’s almost August, which means that with a week of vacation and a week of business travel, it’s pretty much fall, MDRF is beginning again and then it will be three years that I’ve been working at this job and I’m not actually actively looking for another job because usually that’s what happens: One year to learn the job, one year to get good at it, one year to get bored and think that I’ll just die if I have to keep doing this over and over again. Of course, what that really means is that my job is actually really hard. Chess-like, in that it wasn’t all that hard to learn how to it and it doesn’t require a genius…but to do it really well? Pretty much, yikes, I really have to max myself out all of the time.
Which is good because I will be able to occupy myself for at least a year or two with trying to figure out how to automate/delegate or otherwise simplify or routinize a lot of what I do. I may actually make five years. Which is when I get an extra week of vacation – and THAT, my friends, is the golden handcuffs for me. This is how I know I have a Gen X mentality, despite being born at the very tail end of the Baby Boom. When people my age or older say “oh, what’s the use of more vacation time, I can’t ever possibly use it before I lose it” they lose ME. Yeah, I’ll get another week of vacation and I’ll still be sliding into New Year’s Eve with just enough hours to take a half day.
And after that is Christmas and…bloody hell. Although at this point, if the temperature doesn’t begin to cool off, frankly, Summer, don’t let the tent flap hit you on the ass on the way out. I’m going to have to take a second job to afford my air conditioning bill.
We’ve reworked job titles for some positions at work. It’s great that now I have people who can actually draft the contracts and run reports for me, so that I can just edit and tweak. Unfortunately, their job titles involve the word analyst. Which I inevitably type “anal lust” for no apparent reason. Well, no for the same reason that I type management, mangerment and have to type conscious three different ways before I figure out which one is the right one. And don’t get me started on how many “r’s” are in surprise...But I still have to giggle every time I type analysit...crap.
Also, take some bacon, dice it, saute it until the fat renders. Toss in diced onions, shallots, garlic or a mixture of them, then toss in summer squash or broccoli, cut small so that it cooks quickly. Saute until just browned and the bacon is crispy. Hit it with salt, pepper, a few red pepper flakes, a pinch of sugar. Throw in a healthy dash of balsamic vinegar or cider or malt vinegar, lean over and breathe in the vinegar fumes as it sizzles away. Yeah, it hurts a little, don't be a wuss. You feel better now, don't you? Like you own the world. Seriously, vinegar fumes are good for your self-esteem.
Drizzle in a little bit of olive oil, if the bacon was lean and you're feeling self-indulgent. If you're feeling pentinent, then use about a 1/4 cup of chicken/veg broth. Simmer just a few minutes to thicken slightly. Toss with whole-grain or multigrain pasta, something chewy that has nooks and crannys to grab the sauce. Cover with copious amounts of a good parmesan or other grated hard cheese, asiago, jack, whatever.
Enjoy it with a glass of nice wine and send me a mental love note.