What I Learned This Week: #194

Monday, May 3 – Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Week in Cooking – Dry: The leanest of meats, pork, has never caused me any trouble. This week, though, the pork loin I cooked lived up to the dry reputation. It’s my fault, though, since I forgot the apparently crucial step of basting the loin a few times in its last hour of cooking. In my defense, the loin was cooked in a crock pot and it’s not typical to open and close the lid for basting or any other reason. Anyhoo, I ate the pork for a couple meals and it tasted great despite having the mouthfeel of a graham cracker. When I dropped off a portion for my Mom I told her that when she ate it she should pretend she was at wedding buffet and chose the dry pork over the dry chicken cutlet.

The Week in Cooking – Wet: I knew I was not going to go out for Cinco de Mayo so to prep my home “celebration” I made pollo con salsa in the instant pot. I’m sure it’s not very Mexican, but at least it was wet!

The Week in Cinco De Mayo at Home: Wednesday after work I gathered my essentials for a very personal cinco de mayo: Pollo con salsa, an avocado, chips and salsa, tequila, and Mexican pop music on Spotify and I settled in. Since the holiday has been taken over by bro’s and partiers, if I go out on May 5th, I usually “counter program” and go to an Asian restaurant. It’s not quite the right food, but it’s quiet! So, thanks to COVID, this year (and last year,) I still got my quiet cinco de mayo, but a more appropriate culinary one.

End of the bottle decision: It this one drink or two?

The Week in Good Thoughts: At work this week, my department was in a meeting (in person, in a conference room) and we were asked to describe how we worked together. One of the women said we were family, which got a bunch of “Awwwws” and then she added, “I’m serious. I pray for each and every one of you every night.” Even as a non-religious person I found that to be one of the sweetest things a coworker has ever said. That is the kind of stuff that makes work more tolerable!

The Week in Subconscious Action: I’ve been wearing wrist braces to bed for the last couple of weeks and it’s interesting to me that sometimes I wake up and they are not on my wrists. They are either neatly dropped down to the floor or placed next to each other next to me on the bed. It’s unnerving. Why some nights and not others? Why sometimes on the floor and sometimes on the bed? Are the apartment ghosts in on this? What else is going on in the middle of the night? Who knew working out the kinks of carpal could lead to a mental breakdown? LOL!

The Week in You Don’t Know: I took a walk at lunch and a man on a smoke break outside the casino called out to me to asked where I worked. He said I reminded him of a woman who had worked at the Justice Center. Well, it wasn’t me, but I asked if she still worked there. He said she didn’t and then he told me she committed suicide. I asked her name and he told me (I won’t print it here) and he gave me some other rough details of her life. Then he wistfully said, “she’s the only woman I’ve ever loved and she never knew. ” This man walks around with that all the time and I’d bet he doesn’t tell that story to a lot of people. You just don’t know what people are carrying around.

The Week in Ramen at a Restaurant: Through the COVID era, I did WAY more take-out than I have ever done or expect to do again. The nice part was as COVID necessitated take out as a way of restaurant survival, the containers got better. And so, I have a bunch of great new containers…for free (ha!). On the negative side, it killed me to get so much packaging where at the restaurant I would get reusable plates and such. Of course, the social part was gone, but what else was gone was certain types of food that I enjoy eating out. For the entire COVID shutdown, I didn’t eat fish from a restaurant, or other heat/timing dependent dishes. This includes one of my favorite things to eat at a restaurant: ramen.

This week for the first time in well over a year, I had a bowl of ramen. The cool weather helped my craving for it, and I headed to Zundo. They do a very rich pork broth that has always killed me. I am so glad the waitress wasn’t around when I took that first spoonful. I”m sure my face was as close to pornographic as it gets in public. It. Was. So. Good. and I. Was. So. Happy.

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