Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to plan in advance, things just to not go according to schedule. Take my weekend in RI as an example. I should have known something was up when I called my grandparent's house from the bus to tell them I had arrived. Momma answered & she was yelling into the phone, but I could hardly make out a word she was saying. There was a very loud vacuum cleaner running in the background. When I entered her house a half hour later the deafening noise could still be heard, only I soon realized that it was a several water pumps. Eight full days & nights of torrential rains flooded my grandparents cellar. Family members all took turns trying to stay one step ahead of mother nature, but it was a losing battle. They'd suck up a puddle in one spot only to have water swoosh in from another. It was impossible to find the source of the leak. It rushed in from under the refrigerator, behind the stairs & even from the shower. This space is the center of my grandparents home. It's where all of the magical cooking takes place. The rain did finally cease the day after I arrived. The cellar's carpet was drenched & instantly began to smell of mildew. By day 3, I couldn't go anywhere near the basement. An instant allergic reaction would occur. To my horror, my grandparents couldn't smell anything out of the ordinary!! The odor hit you the moment you opened the door to their house. It made me & my mom gag, but Momma & Poppa didn't even notice it. They sat in the stinky cellar & ate lunch & didn't even flinch. Their sense of smell is totally gone, which also means the same may be said for their sense of taste! No wonder I'm struggling with this cookbook. So, no recipe testing was accomplished. The thought of deboning the smelts in the mold infested cellar made me want to barf. Our cooking date has been rescheduled to mid November. Weather permitting.
Another cooking session with Momma will take place this weekend. Smelts & olio are on the menu. The smelt recipe is finished, but one of my dear recipe testers, Alex, struggled with the cleaning of them. I realized that the smelts have always been fileted by Momma & ready to go for me when I come home. I get to clean out the fish guts all by myself this time, so that I can give proper instructions in the cookbook. JOY!
Olio is also on the "to do" list. I've made this dish 3 times, already. The first try was a salty bearly edible mess. The second was very bland & the third was better, but not quite right. Momma said this recipe is as easy as pie. It's funny, but the recipes that seem very easy on paper, are the ones that have been giving me the most trouble. Hmmm. Past experience tells me that a key ingredient or step may have been left out. We shall see.
I’ve been a bad, bad, blog gal. Yes, it’s been a while since my last post. Truth be told - I depise WordPress. It’s just too complicated for my practically computer illiterate self. Working with WP makes me feel frustrated & stupid. Blogging is suppose to be fun!!! So, my rockstar cousin is working on getting rid of WP. YAY!! I do need to take a computer course or two or fourteen & it’s on the top of my “to do” list, but it will have to wait until after the wedding.
I’ve also been plagued with a bad case of anxiety. I tend to be a bit of a worrier (I think it’s an Italian thing), but, the last week or so, it’s been really bad. I’m not sleeping much & some nights not at all. Which means that even when I’m awake, I’m just not myself. My brain just isn’t functioning properly. Brain farts are now occuring about 3 times a day. And at night, while in bed, my mind is racing like a high speed movie chase scene. The bags under my eyes are so large that I could fit about 2 weeks worth of groceries in them. “I feel pretty, or so pretty….” NOT!!
So, what’s been stressing me out? Well, that big ole subway bomb threat for one. I still took the trains & all, but was shaking the entire time & looking at every backpack & shopping bag as if it could be loaded with explosives. Then yesterday, it was announced that they didn’t receive the info from a reliable source. Hasn’t President Bush ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? Probably not since he doesn’t read much. Please Mr. Bush, stop terrorizing New Yorkers with these false threats!!!! We’re getting so use to them & beginning to think that they are hogwash, that when/if a real one is issued we’ll not take any notice. Jeez. How much longer is this guy in office?
The wedding is of course the other source of stress. We are both working lots of extra hours to come up with the cash to pay for this. Paying for the actual wedding day is not that big a deal. We set up a tight budget & truly are sticking to it. It’s all those extra expenses that we just didn’t think about: A suit & plane ticket for Kyle, Tom’s son & best man; beauty expenses- ie. hair, nails, makeup, etc; the rehearsal dinner; the honeymoon. And unlike most Bridezillas, I not stressing about making that day perfect. Perfection is overrated. Yes, they’ll be minor quirks & mishaps, I’m sure, but, as long as there’s not the blizzard of the century on that day & I don’t burst into flames, it will be fine. I’m more concerned about the out-of -town guests getting lost, our families that have never met, getting along & everyone having a really good time. And like any wedding there are some inner rumblings. You know, people complaining about us & our less than traditional choices. Not to our faces, but behind our backs, which drives me crazy! I will be the first to admit that I can be the B word in a big way (also an Italian thing), but, I’ve been really open about others ideas & input & trying to make everyone feel included.
So, it seems that I’m sweating the small stuff & things that have not happened yet & may never. It’s a bad habit. One that’s making my hair fall out. And I don’t know how to stop it. Tom tells me to breathe. My mom says, “Let it all roll off of you.” Friends have suggested everything from yoga to bourbon. Maybe I should start by reading that book? I don’t know, but any suggestions that you have are welcome.