Started off the long weekend rolling into 2022 by getting out of work early and going for a walk. I could do this, because… I live in Texas now. In NH I’d have had to strap on snowshoes to take the equivalent walk. OH? Likely to have been cold and rainy and I don’t do cold rain.
Here in the state where the armadillos roam, it was 72 fondly Fahrenheit and warmer in the sunlight. I was wearing short sleeves, chasing butterflies, and enjoying every minute of it. I know it’s going to get colder – supposed to even have frost this weekend – but it’s not staying down there for long. I’ll be able to walk again after work next week, and that’s getting off at my usual time.
I got home, talked to my family, relaxed with my husband watching the Old NFO livecast... Which reminded me I’d promised to take my husband to the meat market. Well, ok, tonight it was the local supermercado. Which is lively, crowded, and has some really good meat prices. I picked up 12 lbs of boneless pork for $1.55 a pound, which is good these days. I also got masa harina as I hadn’t moved mine, nor have I had time to make my own tortillas (nor do I need to, living in the land of fresh cheap delicious tortillas! Texas is the bomb diggity). I have lard on hand, as well as dried anchos. I just had to pick up corn husks, which they had in abundance, and I was all set up to make my own tamales. I’ve never made them before, so this should be an adventure!
While we were there, and I was showing the First Reader around as it was his first time, a baker pushed a rack full of bolillo’s out to the panaderia. As we stepped aside to let him by, we could feel the heat rolling off it. We didn’t even have to exchange a word, just looked at each other. One of those didn’t make it home…
Dinner, then, was informed by the market. Which is awfully fun to do. Chorizo Salvadoreno, on warm bolillo, with fried cabbage. Mmmmm….
Tomorrow I plan to make up Russian Black Bread (livestreaming Friday at 7 CST) because it’s been years since I made it. I should do Borscht from the family recipe with it, but instead we’ll have a pot roast – the Little Man is working on his kitchen chemistry and using the Maillard Reaction to best advantage – and maybe I’ll make Borscht out of leftovers. Although I don’t think I have beets! Maybe another time.
For all that I do Not Like living in the city, the convenience of being able to lay hands on whatever I want is awfully nice. Now, I need to have a kitchen I can work in, but that’s another chore for this spring. Putting out roots here slowly, and enjoying the growth of this past year, from hitting bottom and crawling out, to the painful separation while the house in OH was being readied for sale to… now.
2021 was a long, long year. There were times where I wondered if I’d make it through this one. I think we all wondered what this year would come to, in the end. Which is where I’m at, looking forward to cooking for family and friends. Getting to cook for love is… well, it’s what I love to do. It’s a declaration of my feelings, in a way that will leave them warm and replete afterwards. I don’t feel alone any more. I’m a short trip away from my kids, my friends, and I’m gradually spreading my wings out in the sunshine again.
Going into 2022 I’m working on illustrating Lawdog’s Ratel Saga, and that will likely be published about the end of January. It should be followed in about three to four months by the Sapper Lizards. I’m researching for a short story, and writing another just… just to be writing again. I’m back to doing the Friday livestreams, and had a serious conversation about putting books in audio last week. We shall see on that. If you want to keep up with me, on a more personal level, catch me over at MeWe. Facebook is pretty much only professional news and such these days. My art shows up on Instagram most every day.
It’s going to be a good year. No matter what the storms outside my little family may threaten, I’m going to keep the warmth glowing in here. Even if it is by using red chili pork filling!
God bless you, every one. And God bless Texas, where I can say I’m home.