today i forced myself out of bed at 6:45 AM. I finally feel “back to normal” after Korea, putting an end to most of those 2 hour, passed out completely, naps taken under the guise of being jet-lagged - though I suspect that last week they were actually just naps, cause I am tired. I took one on Thursday evening before going out to see BOMBA ESTEREO and easily made it to last call at the Black Cat.
but anyway, I had cleaned my apartment last night and gone to bed early, so the repeated journey from my bed to the alarm clock was clearer and more serene then usual. i meditated and wrote my morning pages.
two days ago, pre black cat-nap, I made black lentils somewhat absent-mindedly. I sat on my roof drinking a beer and watching traffic while they bubbled away, and upon coming in threw way too much hot spanish paprika and korean chili flakes on them at the end of the cooking process. the overwhelming taste and aroma was smoke. toooo smoky, but whatever, it happens. and while it was fine, just fine, not my best work but good enough, i peered at the pot lingering this morning in my fridge and knew i had to get rid of them today. i decided to attempt to rectify my lazy effort from thursday.
late night on friday night i had made some with an egg, which was pretty fine as well, and i decided to recreate that concept, seeing as it was breakfast. first, though, i added water to the sort of dry, stupidly spicy lentils, and put them back on the stove. they boiled and all of that extra spice rose to the top. i added some berbere (which i should have done originally) and adobo spice with cumin, and tasted. now too smoky AND too salty. added more water and continued to let them cook.
beat 2 eggs, set them to cook at a low heat, stirring semi-constantly (supposed to be constantly), and they came together quite nicely. tasted what was now lentil soup. better. flavorful, spicy, salty, again, better than good enough. poured the steaming soup into my pretty glass bowl that turned up near my mailbox one day.
eggs finishing up, i chopped my remaining cilantro from last week and stirred it in. and i had a quite nourishing breakfast. with coffee of course.
after work, i stopped by the japanese store, hana, on 17th and U street. i enjoy walking around and taking in all of the weird products, and i also enjoy their helpful signs (produce from ‘suzuki’ (?) east coast farms comes in one day, produce from west coast japanese farms comes in on thursday). it’s a small operation i am proud to support, especially on U street. packed into the two aisles are wacky ramen bowls, white jellied yams, pickled squid, 15 different kinds of soy sauce among other foreign delights. i picked up a salmon onigiri (little rice triangle with salmon inside, with nori on the outside, japanese fast food, yum, for $1.50 - they also have plum and meat ones), 3 asian eggplant, enoki mushrooms, cilantro, 2 sweet potatoes (with individual price tags: 1.00 and $.85), soy sauce (mid-range, no english on the bottle) and a bottle of sriracha.
individual yogurts make me happy, cuz i can take them all round town, so i then went to YES! organic market to grab whatever was on sale (Liberte mediterranean yogurt, lucky me). i also got a cabbage, a bag of apples, some bananas, twin oaks tofu, tortillas and tempeh. #help - but have to say, i’d rather spend $40 on groceries that fuel my creative fires than 10 bucks each time i have to consume nasty Subway in Anacostia/”lunch” at the food court at CUA.
I was a little scared of the cabbage, but Martha Rose Shulman wrote such nice things about them this week that I thought it would be worth trying, especially as they are green and good for you. I have previously depended on pals Dan and Caitlin and their love of cabbage to provide me with copious amounts of chopped cabbage, namely in the form of light, tasty slaws. I perceived slicing the cabbage thinly as a difficult task. But after yoga this evening, I did some cursory googling of cabbage curry (did it exist? it could be good) and came up with recipes from two trusted sources: Francis Lam, and through him, Molly from Orangette. Lam’s recipe was a riff off of Molly’s, so I decided to combine them both. Thinly sliced the cabbage (wasn’t that hard after watching a minute-long youtube video), fried the enoki mushrooms, removed, added the cabbage, stirred around til it browned and wilted AS INSTRUCTED, then added harissa and sriracha, finished off with new soy sauce. in the meantime heated up a tortilla and snipped at some cilantro. so in the end, spicy-hot cabbage with enoki mushrooms and cilantro in a tortilla. wow. cabbage. i was really happily surprised by how simple and flavorful this dish was. our future together looks bright.
now i’m going to do dishes again and go to bed. i’ve wanted to talk about the existential crises i go through while washing dishes. honestly it seems like the worst possible things that could ever happen, or the worst possible way of looking at a situation, or the saddest thing i could possibly originate in my mind emerges when i am washing dishes. my current rationale for a long avoidance of dishwashing. you know how the yogis and buddhists say something you reject will keep coming back your way until you work with it? i think that’s washing dishes for me. working at filter is a constant practice of washing dishes. orange cappuccino cups, black demitasse cups, brown mugs, delicate glass carafes, big, cumbersome press-pots, orange, black and pink plates. the way they feel in my hands, in the soapy water, gives more meaning to washing dishes. and at home, i bring some of the techniques to my own tiny sink — rinsing, soaping, rinsing, putting away. so listen up, universe: i’m working with this whole washing dishes thing. feeling the hot and cold water run over my fingers isn’t so bad, after all. and when i catch myself in those strange, depressing thought patterns, i sometimes can laugh about it. oh, you, again, dish-washing mind monster.