Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Unexpected Discovery, or, Self-Congratulatory Reverie on a Cold, Dark Night

Despite waking up in a totally foul temper at 1pm, feeling fluey and wanting nothing more than to avoid the frigid out of doors on this, one of my few and precious days off, today actually turned into a remarkably productive, Betty-type day. After much anxiety regarding the upcoming holidays coupled with a crazy work schedule (hooray for retail! hooray for holidays!), I finally decided to suck it up and venture to the market (a whole half a block away) because my wee kitten was in need of food. If I was already going, I figured I might as well pick up something for dinner so I snagged my Betty Crocker Cookbook from the table and thumbed through until I found the soups. Chicken soup was exactly what I needed.

Chicken stock (broth), however, takes a long-ass time to make (go figure), so I opted for what has since been dubbed “The Working Gal's” version of Betty’s chicken noodle soup: grab some organic chicken broth, carrots, celery and thin spaghetti. Throw it all in a pot and let simmer for a good long while until the veggies are good and soft. Throw in some salt and pepper to taste. Ta-Da! Working Gal's Chicken Noodle Soup! It is a simple soup, certainly not something I would serve to company but perfectly adequate for myself. And, compared to my last soup attempt which involved the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and leeks (‘nuff said), this was a masterful triumph.

Next, I decided to make some spiced cider. (I was cold. Does it show?) I picked up some apple cider along with the soup stuffs and cat food at good ol’ Pioneer market. I have a lot of baking spices in the house so I figured I’d have what I needed to spice up the cider. So wrong. Excuse me, recipe book, for not having cardamom pods at the ready. I almost gave up, but at the last minute I spied something promising at the top of my cupboard. All I can say is, “Thank you, sister, for being the kind of person who buys things like mulling spices, just to have around the house in case you might need it sometime.” I found a packet with cinnamon sticks, allspice, orange peel and something else in it and thought, “Screw it, let’s throw this on the stove and see how it goes!” It. Was. Delicious. It is delicious. I am actually sipping a cup of it right now. Too bad I don’t have any rum to add to this delightful concoction. (PS and by the way, if you’ve never tried spiced cider with rum, you are missing out big time and it is your mission to go out and try it TODAY. Right this minute. I'm not kidding).

But, did I stop there? Oh, no. I then proceeded to do laundry (both in the washer and the sink for delicates), a load of dishes, self-cleaned then wiped down the oven, built a dresser (assembled, really. Fanks, Ikea!), cleaned the living room and started sewing a baby pillow for my sister’s best friend who is expecting oh-so-soon. Betty, much?! Try Betty, Rosie the Riveter and Wonder Woman all in one. AND, I actually picked up toilet paper BEFORE we ran out. I win!

Seriously, though, all self-congratulatory brouhaha and joking aside, I am constantly amazed by the sense of accomplishment and purpose that completing these kinds of tasks brings. I actually think I may be glowing right now and not because I’m sweating. (It’s too cold for sweat). So, what has today taught me? That I actually like housework? Meh. Sometimes, maybe. When the mood strikes. More than anything, however, today showed me that doing anything domestic, even if it’s not as impressive as making chicken stock from scratch or sewing a prom dress, can lead to a feeling of productivity and satisfaction if you are willing to appreciate the little things. Hopefully, one day, I will be comfortable whipping up homemade chicken soup, bread and apple pie for dessert while knitting a sweater and pressing a suit to perfection, but, today, I made Working Gal’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Spiced Cider out of a packet and I am totally okay with that. More than okay. I’m proud.

1 comment:

  1. As the aforementioned sister, I am so proud of you! In so many ways...In addition to your capacity and your strength, you have something the Betties all had (well, at least the good ones). You have Humor. This is what saved the Betties of the past from being bored to tears and what saves the Betties of the present from being overwhelmed to tears. Go you!!!