Monday, February 13, 2012

The Domestic Diva, Weekend Edition

As I have done so often before, I will bite the bullet and date myself by recalling a rainy day elementary school memory.  You know, those days too wet to go outside for gym or for recess, the days when the tall, metal A/V cart was wheeled into the classroom, a reel-to-reel projector perched on the top, the teacher spending entirely too long trying to feed the film end into the empty reel...  The movies watched on those occasions, miraculously, have remained in my memories, ingrained in most of my senses, from the sound of the scratchy audio track to the plasticine scent of the celluloid, mixed with the dust settled onto each tier of the cart, the visual smorgasboard projected before us, my emotions, some more intense than others, piqued. 

I remember one film with a catchy little tune and no dialogue, of two little animated characters, one round and one tall, best friends, torn from each other by misunderstanding and jealousy - something to do with a rolling stone (the title, perhaps?)...funny how it feels so fresh, yet the details remain just outside my grasp...  One film was a puppet animation, King Midas.  Another, most certainly the one that affected me the most, perhaps the one that shaped a big part of who I am today (dramatic?  not really - it was devastating to me), was a short nature documentary about a fire in a field.  No dialogue, but the soundtrack was intense as the camera zoomed in on a nest of baby birds, alive, mouths open searching for food in one scene, their blackened carcasses smoldering in the next.  I cried every time, the rest of my class seemingly untouched...  I was in 4th or 5th grade.  I still wonder why, and at that moment, I could only think that the cinematographer must have no soul, no heart, no conscience (neither did my teacher, for that matter, for thinking it was okay to show that)Why couldn't they have intervened?? 

Anyone else remember that? Sorry, didn't mean to put a damper on your day, but sometimes I just don't want to be the only one with the memory.

But, as usual, I digress.  One other film we viewed was a documentary of a little girl and her family, their garden overflowing with a bounty of fruits and vegetables, her fingers digging in the rich, dark dirt to pick fresh legumes, washing each item with such care, cutting them, tasting their fresh earthiness.  Seriously, watching that I could think of nothing better at that moment than eating a raw carrot, crunching into a lettuce leaf, eating fresh peas right out of the pod.  Maybe it was close to lunchtime, maybe it was just my first taste of pure documentary filmmaking, romanticizing such an ordinary activity to evoke a strong emotional response.

I thought of that film on Saturday.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before (on numerous occasions) that I don't cook.  But on the weekends, especially on the cold, dreary winter weekends, I always vow to at least try to make something that I think Sammi will actually eat, or that can involve her in the preparation.  And sometimes food just begs to be photographed. 

I'll start you off with my Saturday lunch, enjoyed by me, myself and I.  Avocado and Laughing Cow blue cheese spread sandwich.  Yummiest. Lunch. Ever.  

Next I dusted off my neglected slow cooker (something I've been meaning to do on many a winter weekend) and attempted a recipe my mother had cooked for me just last Saturday - pork chops and sweet potatoes in an apple cider reduction (okay, reduction may not be the correct word to use here, but it makes it sound fancier...).  And, if I must say so myself, it tasted great and the ingredients were pretty darn beautiful. 

I love how, through well-staged photos, my kitchen (sorry, Steve, for my use of "my" here, when I'm so rarely in it...) can look like this beautiful, old, country-style kitchen, nestled at the back of a cozy farmhouse instead of a typical townhome-builder's mass-produced cookie cutter creation.  Or maybe I delude myself...

Our newest furniture acquisition, thanks to many months of Steve trawling Craigslist for exactly. this. piece.  So sick of dust-covered items on the silver bakers rack that formerly occupied this space.

Guess what else we made yesterday?

Um, yeah, definitely not a country farmhouse sink.  Oh well, it's nice to dream.

A carefree moment, Mommy relaxing her rules (ie. over-cautious fears of salmonella poisoning) and letting a kid be a kid.  Poor Sammi, she relentlessly begged me to let her lick the spoon.  How could I possibly say no to this face?


Team Lando said...

OK, I LOVE love LOVE that piece in your kitchen! (And go Steve... Any chance he can find a small dark wood bench for our entryway?)

Krista said...

It all sounds great!

Alicia Llanas said...

we love avocado! and i love avocado sanwichs with panela cheese, have you tried it? i love panela cheese too! yummm

and those cookies looks delicious!

i hate rainy days, i used to love them, but i guess everything change when you have two kids running in the house all day long because its raining. sigh. after one week of rainy and cold days, finally sun is out ! woho!

Rochelle said...

Laughing at those movies, somehow I avoided all of that, probably didn't have movies when I was a kid. LOL

So trying the sandwich, the girls and I love avocados and have them in wraps nearly daily!

Runningmama said...

Now I need a chocolate chip cookie!

lovemy3 said...

The cookies look quite tasty! Did you have to bring up the reels and projectors...I think I forgot about them :-)

Lacey said...

The slow cooker is my favorite! Pop that dinner in there and forget it. My favorite way to cook!

Anonymous said...

That documentary! What were your teachers thinking?! I remember coming home in tears over a Discovery channel program on lion prides in Africa. One scene had the Mama Lion laying her baby lions down for a nap. Unbeknownst to her, she laid them down over a cobra's nest. The babies all died and the Mama Lion almost died. I told DH how sad I was and he promptly gave me the "Circle of Life" speech on how that's the way nature is. WHAT?!