The most riveting TV drama of the summer is paused now until September. It’s not the kind of thing I normally would have watched, but after the first episode I was hooked. I’ve watched all but one of the January 6 hearings in their entirety, and only missed half of one because it overlapped with Boyz Lunch. I’m grateful that the final hearing of the first set occurred this evening, so that I could enjoy lunch without distraction, and focus on the hearing without distraction also. I’m grateful for truth in general, and I’m grateful for the committee’s lucid, compelling, and relentless reveal of the truth of that devastating day. I’m grateful that this truth remains public record, that all the hearings are available to watch on the committee’s website.
I mentioned an upcoming hearing to a friend a couple of weeks ago, and someone else on the zoom referred to it as “another nothing burger in the witch hunt.” I’m flabbergasted that anyone can think like that. Especially after today’s hearing, in which a truth that was already crystal clear was made even more strikingly irrefutable. I have no more words. See for yourself. Trump must never return to power, and his followers must come to understand that he lied to and betrayed them from the beginning. I hope the tide turns soon; when it finally does, it may be a tsunami.
I’m also grateful for another Top 5 Boyz Lunch, and the overwhelming success of the twice-baked pizza. I’m grateful for green salad, homemade peppercorn dressing, and a 7-Up cake that mostly held together even though I ejected it from the pan a little too soon. It was a big hit with the fellas, “the best ever.” That’s a high recommendation to make it again, especially since it was so easy. I’ll have to do a little research about the physics of baking this particular kind of cake, leavened only with 7-Up, at high altitude. It needed about twenty minutes longer than the recipe suggested, and maybe should have baked at either a higher or lower temperature to keep a portion from falling.
I used seven eggs today. I’m grateful for eggs, and especially for eggs from the Bad Dog Ranch, where the chickens are happy and healthy. I’m grateful I’ve had the chance to reach into the nest box and pull out a warm egg. I like to know where my food comes from whenever possible. I’m grateful for the rich orange yolks of home-laid happy-hen eggs.
The other five eggs went into the batter for a 7-Up cake, which is apparently a summer cultural thing in the South. I’ve never had one to my knowledge, but it was pretty easy to make, first whipping butter and sugar til super fluffy, adding eggs one at a time, then lime juice and zest, and vanilla extract. After that, alternately adding cake flour and 7-Up til the batter is super light. Baking was almost a disaster, either from oven temp, altitude, or too small a pan, but ultimately I got a usable cake out of it. I had decided to prep most of Boyz Lunch tonight, since it involved a lot of oven time, and I didn’t want to overheat the house tomorrow morning. The timing was perfect, baking the cake just as I was able to open a door, and by the time the pizza was in the oven it was dusk and a cool breeze blew through the house from both doors and three windows.
I pulled the pizza out when it was just done, not quite as crispy as I like it, so that I can add a little more marinara and mozzarella tomorrow and reheat it for lunch. It’s an experiment and may not work out too well, but whatever happens it will be ok. The guys aren’t too picky, and they’ll get cake at the end. I used the King Arthur ‘crispy cheesy pizza crust,’ which is so simple, so delicious; and Epicurious skillet fennel and sausage pizza recipe for topping. It’s a joy to explore the many uses of fennel with my beautiful crop in the garden. I’m grateful for having fun in the kitchen.
While I try to be ‘self-sufficient,’ at least as much as a human can be in this interconnected world, I still really appreciate help. This morning Mr. Wilson brought a helper, Juan, and together we all got a whole lot done in the yarden. We started out by trespassing on the land next door, to liberate an old juniper from a former fence. The poor tree had been tangled in barbed wire for so long it had grown around some of it. I’d already pulled some coils free of the bark but it took the young men to untangle the wires completely and cut them off where they’d been absorbed into the tree. We salvaged two vintage fenceposts from the mess to use in the next project.
Another salvage operation: the old old shed in the dog pen that was here when I moved in almost thirty years ago, but was badly leaning with a rotten roof by now. They took off the old roof, straightened the shed, and braced it with numerous old posts, and will finish the job next time. I’ll have a shade structure for more garden work and storage, and Stellar and any future dogs will have a safe shed over the old old dog house, which was already old when Thelma gave it to me in 1994 – but so well constructed it’s still perfectly sound. The cardboard boxes will carpet the ground under wood chips as a ‘natural’ weed barrier.
I couldn’t do any of these things I’ve done today without the help of other people. I like to think of myself as self-sufficient, but when I really pause to examine everything good in my life it all comes back to education or assistance from other human beings. I don’t know about you, but I really am interconnected with everyone else. I rely on help from others for everything from the luxury of yard work to the fundamentals of feeding myself. I’m grateful to recognize this truth, and it motivates me to want the first question I ask in any situation to be How can I help?
And I was grateful in between morning walk and salad that the second vaccination went smoothly and efficiently, there and back again, and grateful, by the way, for the science and the scientists that prevailed in record time concocting a vaccine for this dreadful virus that continues unchecked in a global pandemic. Not so grateful for the county official and a few other volunteers at the vaccination event who wore their masks below their noses, as casually oblivious to the science as the maskless customers at the hardware store the other day. I’m grateful that I’m feeling fine so far, just a little arm twinge and a little brain fog; fine enough to make pizza for dinner and grateful for that too! I’m grateful for every little thing in this good day.