And so 2007 begins as 2006 ended: with yet another fantastic meal.
Last night we had a couple of friends over for a New Year's Eve dinner: Sicilian-style catfish, black-eyed peas, rice pilaf, and fresh homemade bread. (Okay, so the pilaf was from a box, sue me. When you make homemade bread you can use boxed pilaf.) Let me tell you, that was one of the best meals I've EVER put together. Even I was thoroughly impressed with my cooking. After dinner (served with wine, of course), we hung about the apartment for an hour or two, then proceeded to the LRA for some evening festivities. Good fun, good conversation, good friends. All in all, a successful conclusion to a good year.
This morning, I was awakened to the cheerful sounds of hungry cats clawing and mewling at the bedroom door. Cats are NOT allowed in the bedroom, except when they have to be banished from the rest of the apartment. While getting up and going to feed them, I discovered that my right hip had stiffened during the night. This has been happening a bit more of late after sessions at the club. It's taken most of the day to loosen up and is much better now.
After a swiftly-eaten breakfast of cereal (the kitchen was still a disaster from the previous night), the washing of dishes and the checking of the emails, we were off to Staples to get my final(?) Christmas present: a chair for my computer desk. Since I set this machine and desk up some 8 months ago, I've been using an appropriated chair from the dining room. NO MORE! I have a real desk chair.
I went with the Bookworm model from Staples. Decent black mesh back and seat (which could be just a wee bit more padded, but I sit here too long sometimes anyway) against stainless steel. Fairly minimalist as desk chairs go; certainly when contrasted against my lovely wife's high-backed leather model. Even goes with my new Kensington Orbit trackball, kinda (which is a joy in itself mounted in its proper place on the left side of my keyboard.) Why it's called Bookworm, I shan't guess; I don't know that I'd do much (book) reading in it.
After coming back and assembling this chair (Staples would have done it for a mere $5, but then it wouldn't fit in the car), testing it out and finding that the mat we bought at the same time has a HIGHLY ANNOYING tendency to slip at the slightest provocation (I think it wants me dead) on the hardwood floors, I had a spot of lunch. At some point shortly afterward, I was hit by the Sandman's truck which knocked me down for a good 30 minutes. Rousting myself, I took a good soak in the tub as therapy for my hip and my psyche, which was feeling a bit fragile.
So, for the last week or so, I've promised Kate that I'll cook oven-fried chicken and biscuits for a dinner. Tonight, I finally got around to it. Drenched and drained the chicken in a proper flour mixture and then into a 425degree oven for 30 minutes before starting the biscuits. Set the oven up to 500 degrees and then made my FIRST BATCH OF BISCUITS EVER! Thanks to an absolutely fantastic recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, I made an outstandingly awesome batch of biscuits: so light and fluffy it was like eating clouds. I love baking powder biscuits. I love baking. Heck, I love cooking in general. I do LOTS of it for Kate and I, it's like post-work therapy.
I'm going to try to log the results of my cooking (particularly my experiments) here, for my own benefit and in the hopes that somebody might learn from my experiments. By no means is this going to be the ONLY thing I'll post about here, but I certainly want to do it on a more regular basis. Cooking is an incredible passion for me and if I can find a way to exercise that without having to put up with restaurant hours (teh sux), then I'm going to do that.
In other news for the start of the year, I may start working with gomer43
on a podcast of some sort. We've got things to hash out and I've got a microphone to buy. I can't decide whether to go with a deskstand mic or a headset of some type. Suggestions? Comments? Things to avoid?
Hmm, this has gone on quite a bit longer than expected. I'll end this here to avoid boring anyone anymore than necessary. Back to the flash games!