Goals vs Flow?

Will someone please tell me how to get everything done I want to do every day? Prioritization and organization and schedules are not enough of an answer.

My coworker has a garden that is producing well — I’m sure due to her dedicated care. She gave me the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and cucumber. So, one of my plans for this weekend was to use at least one of them (in addition to the cucumber).

But, I had other plans this weekend, too. It came down to today.

So, let’s review today, shall we? My amazing grandchildren had a sleepover last night with me. When we got up, we had pancakes for breakfast and then bath time (ie, includes play time). I got them out and dressed just in time for their parents to pick them up just before I Zoomed in for a church service. That went until noon. Then, I napped — because, did I mention I had a sleepover with a 1-year-old and 3-year-old?

Then, I found two eggplant recipes and made my shopping list. One was the main recipe I wanted to try (Eggplant and Buckwheat Patties) but this Brown Rice with Eggplant and Cheese Custard recipe was the alternate in case I could not find the ingredients. Sure enough, not only did the store not sell any celery with leaves still attached (some weird kind of modern commentary surely is waiting to be made on this), but also no buckwheat groats. Another day then — I wasn’t going to go look at another store tonight.

I had wanted to make the patties because I like other things I have made with buckwheat. But the real reason was because the patties were to be cooked on the range versus this recipe that used the oven–twice. That is why I have not been sharing new adventures with vegetarian recipes lately — North Carolina summers are too hot to be using the oven, if you can avoid it.

By the time I put away the groceries, relaxed for a few minutes, and read over the recipe again, it was 9:00 pm. But, I really wanted to have this dish for leftovers this week. So, I started cooking at 9:00 pm. I wasn’t really feeling a musical accompaniment tonight, so I put on a podcast. And what always happens with podcasts for me? If they are worth listening to, there are often notes I want to take, which you can’t do while you are cooking . . . agghhh

This layer, on top of the eggplant and before the
custard topping, was just too pretty not to photograph.

Anyway, it is well after midnight, now. The cookbook calls this a “meatless version of Greek moussaka.” I am embarrassed to admit that I have never had moussaka before. I cooked the rice with 1 tsp of salt and added 0.5 tsp salt both to the tomato/onion mixture and to the custard (because this book never uses salt, I have found).

I can’t really tell if I like it. If I make it again, I will definitely add more salt to the mixture and the custard as well as salt the eggplant slices. Maybe more pepper, too. I always cut back on the pepper, but I probably should have used all the recipe called for. It is not bad, just underwhelming. The walnuts add a wonderful texture, though. I am hoping that, after the flavors meld, I will enjoy the leftovers more in the coming days. We’ll see.

Also, how lucky am I to have an amazing and generous coworker?

In the end, while I would not have changed a single thing about what I did or how I did them today — I did not do nearly all the things I wanted to do. I wrote most of this post while it baked. How is this acceptable in life? It is not one of my favorite parts, to be honest. I don’t like making choices of what not to do. I want to do it all.

Off to bed – I have to work . . . today.

Recipe was from Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook, 1984. pg. 308

Curried Lentil-Potato Cobbler with Pumpkin and Tomatoes and Filo Top Crust

Long name!

I have looked at this recipe a couple of times and was never sure what to make of it. The ingredient combination just seemed so strange. But, a few weeks ago, during our last true cold spell of the season (I hope), I went ahead and made it.

My first reaction on tasting it was that I could be a little more liberal with the seasoning next time. I am always cautious and cut back strong seasonings and then adjust up as needed on successive makings of a dish until I find my perfect combination. But . . . that said, the day-after leftovers at lunch (and the next few days) were really quite delicious. I think this is one of those recipes that is better the next day. It is also remarkably “comfort” food, not just in the regular sense, but it really settles well and comforts the stomach, even if you are feeling just fine. Finally, it is incredibly filling. Next time I make it, I will need to try cutting the recipe in half.

It calls for filo crust on the top. One of the hallmarks of these days is that weird things are getting hit by “supply chain issues.” Dough in the freezer section seemed to be one of the things. Great barren spots on the shelves. I could not find filo dough but could find puff pastry. Apparently filo is a more delicate crust. Puff pastry worked just fine with this hearty dish, including with reheating in successive days.

The recipe is from the Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon, page 255.

Ingredient List
bay leaf
butter (has to be a typo here in the recipe — change teaspoons to tablespoons)
black or brown mustard seeds (not readily available in my grocery stores)
cumin seeds
ground coriander
ground turmeric
cayenne pepper
ground cloves
black pepper
maple syrup
vegetable stock
filo dough (or puff pastry)

In other news, Putin. Hindsight is 20/20, but, nonetheless–we knew he was building up along the border with Ukraine. I remember reading it in the news over and over again and his dismissals. We should have hit him hard with sanctions back then and just made it unacceptable to have a “special military exercise” that involved a military buildup along the border–as unacceptable as the subsequent invasion. Once he invaded Ukraine, we suddenly had the dilemma of our own military intervention and worrying about NATO triggers. Hopefully, we will learn our lesson. Hopefully, we have the opportunity to learn our lesson. Unfortunately, Ukraine is paying the cost, now and later. My heart breaks for them.

In the blog post, Towards a Decoupled Peace, today on IntLawGrrls, Cecilia Marcela Bailliet mentions the book The Age of UnPeace by Mark Leonard. Apparently, the Leonard puts forth a theory that our increased global connections have caused increased conflict instead of greater understanding. I need to read the book so that I know what he actually says, but rather than severing ties preemptively as it appears he may be suggesting, wouldn’t it be better to do what all emergency workers know — build in redundancy? This would allow us the benefit of continuing to build connections while reducing the risk of being overly reliant on any one tie. I know this is a simplification (especially without having read Leonard’s book, yet), but–back to the filo dough and also the fact that we have enabled the creation of our own power-hungry monster in Amazon–it started me thinking more about my own connections and sourcing, resilience and dependencies.

Beautiful day out today. I pulled some leaves out of the creek out back and realized that, another day, I actually need to dig up a small tree and mound of dirt to restore good flow to the water. It wasn’t just leaves across the creek. I hate it when people throw things like cinder blocks and metal street sign posts (??) into a creek bed. Why?

Broccoli, Mushroom, and Pasta Salad

This recipe comes from Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook, page 173.

I loved it and will definitely add to my favorite recipes. It is hearty enough to use as a main course/single-dish meal.

Ingredient list
vegetable stock
tiny pasta
vegetable oil
wine vinegar
dried oregano
grated Parmesan cheese (this is the only non-vegan ingredient)
cayenne pepper
(sweet red peppers or pimentos) (I omit)
I had some left over slivered almonds that I threw in.

My feet are tired though. It does not actually take that long to make the salad, but I tried to do all my errands and shopping today first (Valentine’s Day Eve and the afternoon of the Superbowl – you would have thought I had gone shopping the day before Thanksgiving!) plus the laundry, boiled a dozen eggs, and (hand)washed some of the great many dishes that need to be done.

Lest I be judged too harshly for breaking a Sabbath, I had a massive migraine all day yesterday. I figure if the Gods wanted to forbid my errands today, then the migraine should not have been allowed to knock me flat yesterday. I technically rested during yesterday’s iteration, but it did not feel very spirit-of-the-law consecrated.

In the spirit of the cultural keeping of various days, “Happy Superbowl to all who observe and a Merry Valentine’s Eve to those who had better not have forgotten!”