Real World

Well, today was a good day. Woke up late, decided there was nothing crucial happening first thing in the morning, so went back to bed for a while… when I finally got out of bed (noonish) Chris got up and made these FANTASTIC chocolate-chip banana muffins out of a new book I got at Whole Foods… nobody would guess they’re wheat-free. He and I have both enjoyed reading that book – most of the books have been the results of people learning to cook and working around this weird intolerance – this one is what happens when a classically trained French chef turns her considerable talents on the challenges of gluten-free baking. Lots of meringues and nut flours and heavy egg treatments – I’m looking forward to trying many of these recipes. I’ve always had an impression that there are different realms of cooking… one for ordinary folks, and one for professionals. I’ve seen this stuff happen on rare occasions – like when my friend Christina made this chocolate-raspberry Velvet. Before that, I was a mere acolyte in the religion of chocolate – I didn’t know of mysteries like Ganache and Chocolate Pate’. I think that at a certain point, chocolate has a matter-density effect sort of like extra-dense stars… and you find yourself looking up from the event horizon, wondering if you’ll ever escape, or want to. This book explains some of the really intensive stuff in a way that I can understand. This woman must live next to a dairy farm and a poultry farm, though… I’m glad she didn’t list anything so trivial as fat grams. Whole Cream and Egg Yolks and Melted Chocolate, Oh My! Look out Raspberry Genoise, here I come.

Then after I got showered and dressed, I went to the Indian grocery (where I get my flours – it’s a bit of a trip, but a LOT cheaper than getting them from Whole Foods or the like) and then to Sam’s (for forty pounds of baking soda, and another book on dessert baking, which is also really cool) and then back home – then Chris and I went out to Sur La Table, down in the Travis Walk area, which has every cooking tool you could possibly want to have. Of course, they’re pricey… but if you just have to have a mini-brioche pan, or a springerle cookie mold, it’s your store. It’s beautiful inside, too… and they do cooking classes there, so it smells wonderful all the time. Quite an experience. Then we went to Williams Sonoma, and basically wandered through long enough to conclude that it has nothing on Sur La Table as far as cool cookery… then dinner, then home. Just baked off a batch of chocolate chip cookies – nothing gourmet, but sure are yummy! Chris is still too full from dinner to try them. We had Mexican tonight, but had ribs last night… Tony Roma’s is one of the places on my Safe List, as long as I choose foods carefully – and they had an “endless slab” special. Yum. Chris is sure that he’s still full from then.

It’s fast approaching bedtime, so if I have to get the kitchen cleaned up and sorted out and my clothes ready for tomorrow. Chris has a second interview tomorrow, so I’m hoping that this time next week, he will be coming home tired but happy from a New Job.

Miscellaneous, plus dream: Bees in the Greenhouse

Saturday morning – I wish I could say that I had slept in and was refreshed and delighted to be alive – but instead, I woke up early, came to work, and I’m kind of grumpy about being awake. Chris’s schedule and mine haven’t meshed well over the past month or so; he gets in from work late, and keyed up; he needs to read a while, watch TV, eat something… and I have to wake up early for work. He tries to keep it quiet, so I can sleep – but it’s tough. I’m hoping that he will get a “real job” soon and won’t have to work nights any more.

That said, I’m not entirely sure why I’m sitting here setting up a LiveJournal when I ought to be diligently filing or typing or spread-sheeting something – I guess it’s partly a reaction to not wanting to be here, or even conscious, early on a Saturday… partly just a general feeling of being disconnected from my work stuff. I love my job, and love the place where I work – but sometimes I get sort of sideways to the actual day-to-day stuff that’s involved.

This morning’s dreams were lost in a cloud of groggy disorientation, but the one from 2:30 when Chris came to bed was very clear:

Bees in the Greenhouse
I’m in an old house; I think that Chris and I have just bought it, or inherited it, or something. The walls and floors are wood, and there are several areas that are sort of rough-cut, like they’re in the process of being renovated. I walk through a down-stairs room – it seems like a basement, with a dirt floor, but at the same time there is no ceiling, and it’s open all the way up to the roof, which is very bright. My little greenhouse is here on the floor; I look at it, and somehow step into it (in reality, it’s way too small – only about knee height). I think Chris is here with me; I’m talking with him about the greenhouse. I realize after we’re inside of it, that a hive of bees has taken up residence in the greenhouse; they are set up in the top area where the lights go. I’m not afraid of them, I’m fascinated with them – I step on a couple, because there are so many, but the only fear I have is that I’ll crush them and hurt them. One or two sting my feet, but they don’t hurt much. We carefully climb back out of the greenhouse, and we’re talking about how the bees are living inside the house – I notice a little space in the trim of one of the windows where they’re flying in and out. I look up to the ceiling – and it’s glass, with vines growing around it; it’s very pretty. Now, we’re lying in bed, and somehow the greenhouse is half over the foot of the bed – I remark that it’ll be safe because the covers are thick enough to keep the bees off of our feet, but we’ll have to be careful not to shake the greenhouse and jar them. I have an image of taking apart a wild hive – lifting the layers of comb apart from each other. There aren’t bees on it.

(I think that in real life, my feet were falling asleep, and tingling somewhat – I was lying flat on my back, an unusual sleeping position for me. I think this was the “bee stings” I was feeling, translated into the dream.)

More later. I’m trying to figure out how to set up all the stuff that goes with this…