Greetings, Internets! It feels like it’s been a long time. I have been settling into my new city and new job, punctuated by various Jewish holidays. Even though I identify as an extrovert, the marathon of meeting new people and soaking up vast quantities of information about a place has been exhausting.
In order to process all this data into something approximating a meaningful “sense of place,” I’ve spent a good deal of time inwardly-focused, letting my brain sort things out. Also, as a practical measure, I’ve been figuring out a) how to acquire food, b) prepare food and c) attempting to care for/tidy up my new home.
Professionally, part of my job as an educator here is to inspire people to get excited about food and environment and outdoors by leading DIY projects (pickling, gardening, making stuff, etc). We’ve incorporated a few of these projects into our work time as training, which is awesome. It’s very empowering to be able to make something (bookbinding a simple journal! Knitting a dishtowel! Making soup!) even if it’s much easier, cheaper (and probably more practical) to buy it.
Since I do not know how to do many of these things, I turn to great Oracle and source of knowledge: The Internet!
So far, I’ve learned how to make old-fashioned rolled oats (we bought them in bulk, so there aren’t directions on the box.) Per the internets: Bring 3 1/4 cups water to boil. Add 2 cups oats. Cook until mushy. Grandma would be proud!
The internet also gave me a starting place for what do with a bag full of rhubarb. (Thanks, Martha Stewart website! You use too much sugar, but the idea of combining rhubarb with ginger to make fruit compote is delicious.) Also, really good with the oatmeal.
The internet also helped me develop “what’s in our crisper?” vegetable stock to make miso soup. (Various: Cut up various vegetables. Put the tougher ones in first. Boil until soup-like. Add tofu, chopped scallions, miso paste dissolved in a couple of tablespoons of water. Umami goodness!)
I’ve set up some avocado seeds with toothpicks in water (also, internet), rooting some coleus cuttings in cups on my windowsill (experience from this summer, which I looked up online).
Our home is feeling a little more homelike. My tummy is definitely feeling more nourished. These are a helpful counterweight to balance the “Alice-in-Wonderland” type experiences I’ve been having in this crazy, rough-edged, beautiful town.