On the autumnal equinox -- 09/22/04

This entry doesn't really have much to do with the autumnal equinox... other than, of course, we reached that point today... and September 23rd will have more night than day... and so on for the next three months, less light every day... downward into the depths of darkness... Oh, okay, so actually we will have nice crisp autumn weather with leaves turning to yellow and gold and red and orange and brown and crimson and fluttering to the ground and we'll have Halloween and Thanksgiving and then it will be time to get a Christmas tree and decorate it and we'll have the winter solstice and Christmas and ever so slowly the ratio of dark and light will change again...

When I posted some pictures of my desk, Jeanene wanted to know if I had tidied up before taking those pictures. I replied (in my comments area):
There is a stack of two or three manila file folders out of sight on the floor next to my desk (with hardcopy printed pages from the courses I am working on this week) and my laptop carrying bag and two library books are on the floor (also out of sight) next to the futon. I didn't tidy up -- but I did move a sweatshirt that was on the futon.
Traditionally I have usually been much sloppier than this -- but this summer Nancy and I put a lot of
work into this room, completely reorganizing it -- had it emptied (except for the desk which is too big and heavy to move around on a whim -- but had emptied all six of its very deep drawers) -- and then organized and arranged things. For the first time in my life I now have places to put things! That paperwork on the floor will be thrown out by the end of the week because I will be finished with it.

I don't know if I can keep it organized -- but I've managed to keep it fairly straight for almost two months now!
Of course, sometimes a curious (or sleepy) feline takes over my desktop....

And Bonnie's Tuesday entry was about (among other things) Saladmasters and various appliances by Black & Decker and Hamilton Beach and Kitchen Aide that slice and dice and with much whirring and humming turn large pieces of food into small pieces of food. I commented that I used my chef's knife to slice and dice.
This is my pride and joy -- my chef's knife -- kept very sharp -- and used on a daily basis.for more than twenty years. And it is how I slice and dice and chop and cut just about everything (well, all vegetables plus melons, etc.).

Nancy and Jill are very hesitant about using it, preferring to use smaller knives even though I tell them that it is much safer
Jeremy will use it sometimes (working in a restaurant, he understands about chef's knives but he also understands that he must take proper care of it).

So since I was taking pictures of my favorite knife, I thought I would take a picture of a green pepper it had cut up (well, half of one) to be used in preparing tonight's dinner... a pasta sauce.
Put some ground turkey into a skillet and begin browning it. (It was somewhere between a pound and a quarter and a pound and a half.) While that cooks (with occasional stirring and mixing), heat a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a heavy pot. Cut up (dice) and toss into the pot to sautee a bit: one (quite large) onion, a zucchini, half a large green pepper, half a large red pepper, a stalk of celery, and some garlic. By the time all that is cut up and sizzling in the pot, the ground turkey should be cooked. Toss that in with the vegetables. Stir. Open three large (28 oz.) cans of ground tomatoes and add to the pot. There was room and it seemed quite thick so I also added a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce. Keep stirring every few minutes. Bring a pot of water to a boil (adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil) and add a box of mini penne noodles. Cook the pasta for about 9 or 10 minutes after it returns to a boil (or whatever is appropriate for the size and shape of pasta you are cooking). While the pasta is cooking, add seasoning to the sauce (some basil, some oregano, some garlic pepper, some Italian seasoning, a little salt and some fresh ground pepper. How much? How much do you like? Grab a little spoon and take a taste. Adjust as required.) While the pasta is cooking and the sauce is simmering, set the table, maybe put out a plate of veggies (tonight I did carrots and broccoli and strips of red and green pepper) with a little dip. Slice some nice crusty interesting bread (I had a multigrain baguette). Some ground Parmesan cheese. (I would have liked to have made a salad but I didn't have time. I'll definitely do that for tomorrow night when we'll have a pasta and sauce rerun.)
So... here's the pasta sauce simmering....
I had an okay (inexpensive) Australian merlot (Banrock Station) -- one that we are quite fond of for a regular table wine. Nancy didn't join me in drinking wine because now she's not feeling well -- a very bad sore throat not unlike what Gillian had (apparently this is something that is "going around") except Nancy had her tonsils out when she was a kid (have I every told you about how five or six of the kids in her family all had their tonsils out at the same time?). I'm hoping somehow to avoid this bug. (And I've not had tonsils since 1948.) To which end I am having another glass (or two) of wine because of the magical powers of grape juice.
I've read some books (especially Bozoette's Girl Clown) that I would like to tell you about and the other night Nancy and I watched Kill Bill 2... but that would make this entry too long and besides which the medicinal qualities of the magic mystical grape at this point might impair the clarity of my literary disquisition. So I think I shall finish scrubbing down the kitchen and try to get to bed before midnight so I can sip some more wine and read a little bit in the book I am currently reading (The Xpresident).

Arrgh! I just remembered I had some mushrooms I could have put in the pasta sauce. Oh well, Jill ate dinner with us and she prefers fungus-free food.

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