It seems that Earth has a mini Moon (it’s not really a moon but I like to think it is) that’s been around for about a hundred years. Only no one knew it until recently. This little asteroid has been circling round Earth for a long time, and will stick around for a much longer time—centuries maybe.
Scientists call this moon a “near-Earth companion.” Asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun but stays this constant Earth companion. It never strays far away. There was once another asteroid that followed for a while, but it went away—buh-bye. If I may personify for a moment: I wonder if Moon grieved that companion? If space seemed more spacier after that moon was gone.
But this little moon is “. . . much more locked onto us.”
If the asteroid drifts ahead or behind or too far away forward or backward, the Earth uses its strong gravitational force to hold tight to the asteroid so it can’t or won’t wander away too far.
It also stops the little moon from becoming too close.
Andrew Griffin in a science news article (<click to read) writes, “In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth.” Oh the dizzying dance.
Ah. It all sounds like Human Relationships, doesn’t it? Are you the little moon? The Earth? The Sun? Do you try to get away and are pulled back by the gravitational force of someone? Will you stick around for centuries, or go away as the other little moon did?
A “Near Companion”—that seems rather perfect to me. Not too close, not too far. And always with the knowing you could spiral off and away as the other asteroid did if things become too . . . too . . . permanent—whooosh! Buh-bye. Dang. I pitiful myself.
If you are your own companion, out there as Moon seemed to be before little moon was
discovered, you must find ways to navigate the universe as Lonely You. One of those things is the obtaining of and cooking of (or not cooking of) and eating of food. Today I’ll talk about the preparing and eating of Alone Fooding.
When I pop out from my lil log spaceship for supplies, I try not to be resentful of the money and time it takes to gather and pay for food. I’m tempted to grab the easiest most processed crap-a-doodle-doo-doo because cooking alone and eating alone while not always horrid can be rather boring and uninspired. You can’t cook something delicious and then have someone say, “Omg! This is so delicious! You are amazing!” Or on the other hand, you cannot say that to the person who just prepared you something amazing. Dang.
But since I am a healthy woman—I was a personal trainer for many years—and I know what I am to do to keep my body and mind strong, I try to prepare healthy food most of the time. Though I do admit that I am a sucker for those cheap-ass Mrs. Callender’s chicken pot pies—add a salad, and there you go! And always cook them in the oven, not the microwave or else they aren’t as good. I also sprinkle Parmesan cheese, or feta, or blue cheese, on top of the pie when there’s about five minutes to go—it makes it seem a little more Home-Madey and gives it a nice fatty-yummyness. Once I stirred in brown rice—nah, took away the pot-pie-ed-ness of it all.
I do not like to waste food—not that I ever did before, but even more so now with a tight budget of One, I want to purchase and prepare and eat only what I am able to, and waste not want not as the old cliché goes—a cliché becomes a cliché for a reason, y’all! So this often has me preparing strange conglomerates of ingredients. It often has me throwing bits and pieces into a stir-fry or salad and then just shoving the mess in my mouth and chewing and swallowing until I am done.
I’ve thrown fruit on salad, and the “dressing” is often only an infused vinegar and a little olive oil, but sometimes I will be, um, “creative” and stir together yogurt, honey-mustard or other kind of mustard, pepper and salt, whisk that together, and though it looks like vomitus, it’s rather tasty.
Salads are a good way to have a summer cool meal, but make sure you have some protein on there. I add nuts, seeds, and often I use vegetarian “meat” replacement, or real meat, or eggs. Cheese and the olive oil also adds some fat and flavor. I’m not a crouton kind of person but sometimes I’ll eat my salad with tortillas, and rarely but occasionally crackers. I’ve even tossed the last of the bag of Dorito-dust on my salad—though I very rarely purchase empty-caloried chips and crackers.
Sometimes the food looks appetizing and yummy, and sometimes this Experimentation means the food looks like dawg vomit. I threw into this stir fry some raspberries that were just at the edge—one more day and they’d be too mushy to eat. And I ate it with gusto!, because: waste not want not! Really, it was rather tasty! I promise.
I cook up a big pot of brown rice—brown rice is better for you. Yes it is! Suck it up and eat it!—and portion it out in individual freezer-safe containers so I’ll have brown rice on hand. You can add it to canned soups so they’ll be more nutritious, but not to Mrs. Callender’s pot pies—no no! Or to the stir fry. Or beans and rice. Sometimes I’ll throw the brown rice in a skillet and then add a couple of eggs and stir that around—quick protein—wheee!
A quick “stir-fry” idea is: add a little olive oil to a skillet, and at this point if you are using chicken or other meat you want to sear and cook that now; otherwise, if the meat is cooked or you are going “vegetarian,” toss in bell-pepper (I purchase bell peppers and immediately wash and slice them up and store them in the freezer—they freeze very well), onion and garlic if you like it (I also freeze my chopped onions, but I purchase the jar of minced garlic—just works better for me), and sauté this until the peppers are a bit “wilted” but still have a little crunch (or not, for if you are like me, you half burn them because you become distracted—ungh!). Add in the brown rice, meat or fake meat if you want, and any seasonings you like, (I also squeezed half a grapefruit I needed to eat), and DONE! Voila! Dinner in a flash!
One night I threw together oatmeal, yogurt, a little cream and water, dried fruit, cinnamon, honey, stirred, and refrigerated overnight and had a nutritious breakfast before my hike. It was pretty danged good. But the next time, it turned out a gloopy gloppy pasty mess—and I ate it for supper while I worked on an editing job, and for dessert I had a peanut butter and jam sandwich—urp. Waste not want not.
I have really great “palate” instincts—I have been told I’m good at flavors, mixing flavors, finding unique and tasty flavors. I have the ability to be a Good Cook. But I am not. I often burn things because I’m in a hurry and turn up the heat too high, or become distracted by a shiny thing. I will start out with a yummy thought like these gorgonzola cheese sprinkled on top of corn tortillas with a drizzle of honey: what would have been delicious is instead burnt, but I ate them anyway *see want not waste not.* Not bad—urpity.
You know what the difference is between a good cook and someone who cooks? Patience and Love. I have neither but especially I do not when I am not a Near Companion to anyone. When I’m the asteroid who flew off and away into the galaxy or beyond, I Throw Shit Together and Hope for the Best. Sometimes it turns out fabulous, and other times I have Dawg Vomitus or Gloopy Glopped Messes or Burnt Tortillas or eat Mrs. Callenders pot pies. Mostly, I am bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. And when I am Bored, I experiment, and when I experiment, I have to eat what I prepared, even if it sucks.
I will tell you this: do not eat over the sink or even while working (though sometimes it must be done) or out of the pot! No no! Prepare your gloppy gloop or your burnt food or your surprisingly tasty dawg vomitus and ladle/spoon/fork it onto a plate or bowl and grab your silverware and a napkin and Eat Civilized, my friends. Eat Civilized.
By the way—I took this coffee grinder and instead use it to grind pepper, or salt. And I add things to the mix. Even coffee! Coffee salts, coffee peppers—really quite good. If you are by yourself, you don’t have to worry, because if you mess it up, no one will know, right? Right!
So, my good friends—what do you prepare for a One? Or a Near Companion? How do you navigate your kitchen? How do you shop for food for one so you don’t “waste not want not?” I need ideas, recipes, thoughts!
Update on my post below about Alcohol: I had nothing to be concerned about after all! I am happy to report that I’ve not missed my daily fancy craft beer or my wine one bit. I thought I would. I worried I would. I was terrified I would. But, I do not. Never looked back. Feel great. Lost a couple of bloaty pounds by not imbibing. It seemed it was more a habit and boredom than anything else. This proves something important to me. I will continue not to Drink Alone, for I think that is best. But I am very happy and optimistic that I can return to my many many years of Social Drinking. Can I get a WHOOHOO! Y’all!
TIP OF THE DAY! I have a self-cleaning oven and it works great for the oven
part, but my glass door always looked gross. I’ve scrubbed to no avail.
Enter Ask Heloise – I’ll need to repeat it one more time but it worked!
Eleven years of frustration remedied in about 20 minutes. Hot Dang! Open oven door and carefully poor water you’ve boiled (I was boiling eggs so I used that water-ha!). Be careful! Lay paper towels over the hot water and let soak 5-10 minutes, adding a little more hot water about halfway through. I went the entire 10 minutes. Wipe up the water. Cover the window with salt, and then scrub. Wipe up the mess with a damp cloth. Dry. Though she didn’t say to, I then used a Clorox Wipe to shine it and then a paper towel to buff. Try it!
Winner of the Coffee Drawing is: Karen Anderson (<click to her blog)!
Karen, please contact me via email or FACEBOOK or in the comments here.
Also note that in the future I will be adding names to the drawing from any comments or “likes” not only here on my blog but on Facebook as well.
Next drawing is for something you can’t buy at a store. Details later
If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!