It was a delightful surprise this afternoon, when I got a phone call from Green Zebra. Earlier in the day I had ordered some groceries online, for "curbside pickup" via my bicycle, but rather than a call to let me know something I wanted was out of stock, it was a call to let me know something I hadn't ordered had just come into stock. The person packing up my order, which must be have been one among hundreds of random (and in my case very occasional) orders, remembered that I have a minor passion for Zoe's pastrami, and called me to ask if I would like them to add some to my order!
While my sister suggested that perhaps it had come up in my shopping history, which would have perhaps prompted a call, I don't imagine that the busy people who pick and bag orders also have time to look up each persons shopping statistics (and I have never gotten a phone call previously suggesting adding things to my bag-o-supplies) I think, rather, that the small and local store simply hires people that pay attention. Another example of paying attention is that my order had been packed in two slightly smaller bags (perfect for putting in my bike baskets) rather than the one large bag suitable for the back of an automobile.
From what I heard, back when I was shopping in stores instead of living in isolation, Green Zebra treats their employees well, and that, in addition to the superb customer service, is why I spend a substantial portion of my food money there rather than at the cheaper stores run by interstate or international conglomerates. Since the store arrived in my neighborhood, I have made a point of shopping there, because voting with my dollars is the only way I have to encourage both better working conditions and grakeeping small local stores in my neighborhood.
※※※I actually got a few small things done this week around the house: I started pruning the persimmon tree in the parking strip, and once the largest branches that need gone are cut away, I will use this strategy to begin doing better at encouraging it to fruit.
I noticed that one of the bulbs in the cloudlight was painfully visible to me when sitting at the dining table, and it occurred to me that something translucent would be a good diffuser. Since the bulbs are all LEDs, there isn't much heat generated (and all the paper lanterns are open at the top anyway); my first thought was some mulberry paper, but as there wasn't any in the paper portfolio, I instead cut a circle from some thin stiff nonwoven interfacing. Voila!
A new recipe, inspired by but not copied from a Milk Street article about Greek braised garbanzos in tomato/orange sauce. As always these days, my efforts are based on what I have on hand in the pantry. The overall concept seemed to be to create a sort of sweet/sour tomato based sauce to cook the legumes in, and while the inspirational recipe was for oven baked, the redaction was done on the stovetop.
I started with a single can of garbanzos, and drained off the liquid. I put 1/4 C of homemade tomato sauce, 2 T oil, and 1T grape syrup into a saucepan and began heating it. Added a quarter of an onion, diced, 2 cloves of garlic sliced thin, the garbanzos, the zest and juice of one orange, some salt/pepper, some finely finely chopped rosemary from the front yard, and finally 6oz of fresh-frozen tomato from the 2020 crop, which I peeled and chopped very coarsely. Let it all simmer away for a while, and it made about three portions.
I think it would be very good baked (perhaps over some potatoes, and with more herbs added,) and it was a pleasant addition to my menu rotation. I only rarely cook tomato-based foods, since I only have a modest amount of home canned goodness and cannot eat commercial products. Perhaps this year I will either grow more! or possibly by the time it is tomato season I can get a flat from the farmers market and put them up for winter use, which would be really nice
In the interest of improving the office zone here, I found an oak board, not quite four feet long and only about three inches wide, which will serve very well to turn into a shelf above the new power strip/surge protector, once that arrives here, and once I have found suitable shelf hanging hardware... I need to put all the brackets etc in one box, clearly marked! My thought is that all the various transformers and plugs will be gathered into a long row on the wall above the outlet, and a shelf not too far above that will be handy for the office/desk zone, and can have either a hanging curtain or a wooden valance to create visual tidiness without actually obstructing access to, or creating a heat hazard for, electrical bits...
January SMART goals (x=extra)
|#||THINGS MADE||THINGS FIXED||THINGS GONE|
|1||postcard for Mom
||excess dust rhinos
|2||candied grapefruit peel
||replace nose pads
||replace wall hook
||moved old computer
|5||cloak for Kestrel
||diffuser for cloudlight
today's gratitude - My dear SIL Barb gave me a set of two spatulas as a holiday gift, and they both have become first choice utensils. I figured out that not only is the very narrow one perfect for what I had hoped for, to scrape things from deep narrow jars (like mayonnaise), but that it also has the end just dished enough to act as a tasting spoon! Good design that! The partner spatula is quite broad, but fairly thin, and that combined with the flexibility of the silicone makes it just right for things like scraping the last of the tea bread batter from the bowl into the pans.