I peeked out through the blinds just before midnight last night to see snow shooting by the window in long white sparkles. This morning the accumulated white is dripping off the roof in mushy lumps. The morning will be accentuated with muffled thumps, as once again the roof shakes off the blanket of white and the world turns brown.
Heating season is much longer this year than any since we have moved here. The ample supply of firewood we stored for the winter was exhausted last week, when the temperature dropped below minus five degrees every night. Attila has been using his emergency stash of firewood. Lovely stuff it is, oak that burns long and hot. We have learned from this heating season, and will be increasing the volume of firewood we store for next winter.
Cooking has been on my mind quite a bit these days. Often my morning and noon day meals are prepared separately from Attila’s, as I cannot maintain normal body weight if I eat the high calorie foods he needs for nourishment. I like to prepare quick meals from eggs, usually using a non-stick frying pan. But I do not like the PTFE surface on the pan. I just don’t trust it. After researching all kinds of non-stick “alternatives”, I reached the conclusion that tried and true cast iron would suit my needs best.
The search for a small cast iron skillet began last week. A trip to town included extra stops at the Canadian Tire and the large grocery store where we seldom shop. Both carried high quality cast iron skillets, but not small ones. A visit to the Lodge site provided a list of products available, and an online catalogue. Pleased, I proceeded to checkout with the 6 1/2 inch cast iron skillet. Alas, after entering my address the page informed me that no international orders would be accepted online and provided a telephone number. I called the number only to find they were not yet open for the day.
While waiting for time to pass before calling Lodge, I decided to scour the yellow pages for other possible local suppliers. Several calls later I succeeded. A half hour drive from home, at a Home Hardware store, a 5” cast iron skillet was on sale. Attila picked it up the next day. The quality is definitely inferior to the products sold by Lodge, but it is perfectly serviceable.
After curing the pan, I have been experimenting with various breakfast meals. The recipe testing continues using various proportions of egg, milk and flour, as well as electric element settings. The results so far have been edible, but not quite right. Tomorrow is another morning!
We continue to sort and purge our material wealth. How did we ever acquire this much stuff? A new pile of items grows on the table in the back kitchen. We are still making our first pass through our belongings. However, soon we will have sorted through almost all of our accumulated items and will then need to begin again with a more discerning eye.
I have it in the back of my head that we need a minimal residence in the city. Our surplus belongings would certainly outfit it comfortably. A private and secure room with a washroom and balcony, or private outdoor area for Attila to smoke his cigarettes, would be perfect for us. This is a fantasy, as the cost would be beyond our means. I have been applying for interesting work in the city, and this may or may not work itself into reality.
Dreams and fantasies are important. The thrill of possibility is the stuff of life. Reality never matches what the imagination creates. Yet the process of fantasy can yield impressive results, well beyond the borders of dreams. The trick is to recognize fantasy as the starting point, the end point unknown.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Mushy snow on an April morning.
Mist pleads, "Make it go away!" [snow]
Feels Like -5°C
Wind E 26 km/h
Rel Humidity 93%
Pressure 100.32 kPa
Visibility 4.8 km
Ceiling 600 ft
When we lived down the street from a nursing home I met some interesting people. One gentleman had reached the age of 95 and cruised the street daily with his walker. We often stopped to chat. He spoke of getting out of "that place". He even stopped by our house one day for a visit, checking out the possibilities. He never made it out of "that place", but only death stopped him from trying. His memory is both inspiring and sad. His spirit was inspiring, the specter of institutionalized old age was and is sad.
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