Slowly but surely, I am getting the hang of this cooking malarky – learning the sorts of lessons that most folk did as children. I am not looking for external affirmation for achieving things at 40 (or even 41), that many achieved at 14. I am simply accounting for the fact, that in my space, and my own time, I am slowly getting my shit together. Tonight was typical of the new me, or rather the more efficient old me. It’s always the old me with the rough edges slowly being smoothed with the passage of cliche. Having claimed mum’s old wok, which turns out to be exactly the right sort of wok I’d been hunting for for yonks, I have been slow to put it to use. The first time I used it, I stuck it in the dishwasher and left it out to dry – it got a little rusty ie it’s a wok to season and it had been seasoned and I almost killed it; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve killed a wok. Tonight, after using it for the third time, I rinsed it with hot water, wiped it down, removed the gunk, and oiled it. Did this after the second time too, but I seemed to be much more efficient this time.
So too, in my cooking. Tonight was a basic stirfry and I added a little too much oil which meant I needed to drain the excess (which I failed to do on the previous go). This meant that there was a lot less smoke, bugger all smoke actually, and I was no longer cooking in fear of the smoke alarms being triggered. And finally, I ate one serve, put the remainder into a sealable plastic container (a kiwi tupperware ripoff) and stuck it in the freezer. My body thanks me for avoiding a second helping, and will thank me again when I reuse it at some future date.
In other news, I fly to Mexico on Friday. A work trip. I suppose I should pick up some currency before I go. It’s been a busy time and will continue to be very busy. Spending last week in Albury with no daytime net access did not help. Anyway, it’s turning out to be a bit of mishmash of a trip, as so many of my trips seem to do. I’ll be gone for two weeks: the first week, will be work’s sales conference for the international offices; the second week was going to be a holiday. Already, I will be working the first few days of the second week as there’s a major interface change for a few of our databases – in the middle of holidays in the US, but the middle of term locally – I need to be available to assist customers if there’s a problem. I’m not anticipating major problems, though for the first time, we’re not supporting legacy persistent URLs. This troubles me a little. I understand why, as there’s structural change to the behaviour of the database, but such a move does go against the grain a little.
That aside, my holiday time is already reduced to less than a week, plus it’s mere weeks before showtime with the experimental stream I’m involved with (I am the co-convenor admittedly but I feel that saying so detracts from the awesomeness of the people I’m working with) at the ALIA Access conference. In other words, I suspect I’ll be too stressed to properly enjoy a holiday. Plus given the tight timeframe, I can’t really travel in the region sufficiently – or at least that’s my excuse. I will stay a week and a half in the SE of Mexico and will see a few things and hang out.
After that, having had an interesting chat with my boss, I might journey up to head office in Detroit, though the locale of the hotel is a wee bit dull. It would be nice however, to spend a few days working in the vicinity of folk I only ever deal with via email, many of whom I’ve never met face to face. If I can get in on a few meetings too, even better. Perhaps finish off with a couple of days in Chicago – I’ve never been to Chicago.
Another reason for the tightness of the Mexico trip is that I want to be home for my birthday as I am hosting a party for the first time in my life. I’m not actually cooking directly though buying food that can be reheated. A few friends have even offered to help; even my sister! Though she is an amazing cook herself. The current menu is likely to be a mix of dips and breads from a turkish place up the road – have eaten there many times and it is very yummy. I may or may not cook up some cheeses for dipping. Mains are likely to be batches of heated frozen foods (it’s a standing up party as I don’t have enough space or even table), though a couple of rungs above the basic party pies. Dessert will be cake. Was tossing up between a carrot cake or a mudcake, though a friend has suggested I get one of each. Was looking at getting a themed cake but prices for those are rather outlandish, so I think I will settle for something a little more sedate but yummy. Most buy some nice wine too.