September 27, 2009

Concrete Details

I write in abstractions a lot of the time, and think that I need to document realities more. Abstractions are easy enough to recall, after all, but the minute detail of everyday life here tend to swim together in my head until I look back on the seven (?!) weeks I've been living in rural Virginia on an island by myself and it seems like one long, variably-weathered day. So, concrete details:

Granddaddy and Aunt Lynne arrived yesterday to spend the weekend. Aunt Lynne brings Granddaddy down every couple weeks. She likes to give Grandmother a break and likes to spend time with Granddaddy. Yesterday I experienced a burst of cooking energy and made the following: Beef-Ale Stew (one of my stand-by stew recipes, although I've started skipping on the buttermilk dumplings in lieu of biscuits), spoon bread, French green beans, and a cheddar crust apple pie. I wish I could show you delightful pictures of all of this food but I dropped my camera in salt water and sand (not the first time) and it has finally died after years of continual abuse. My parents will be bringing me a new one to destroy next week when they come to visit, and then I can start pretending that I am Deb of smitten kitchen (though with less beautiful photography/cooking skills/new infant). After dinner and dessert Aunt Lynne and I watched The Departed and both agreed that Matt Damon's character is definitely a closeted homosexual (re-watch the film and it will blow your mind). It then stormed aggressively all night, complete with thrashing trees and eerie wind howling.

The weather is always beautiful when I am the only one here. As soon as guests arrive it starts raining miserably, driving armies of fruit flies into the house. Hannah, Alex, Colby, and my entire family can attest to this.

I seem to have fully conquered my reading-block after a full year. Since I've been here I've been devouring books left and right, and it is pleasant. Completed reading: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Sacred Clowns and Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman, Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison, Renegade by Richard Wolffe, The Spire by Richard North Patterson (awful), and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (a reread, but a personal favorite). Currently I'm making my way through Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien. It all makes me want to write, which is shocking, and this want has actually turned into action, which is far more shocking.

I think that was all very concrete. Oh my! Uncle David and Zoe have just arrived to surprise us, and I must go join the general hubbub. I will write again soon, with details (and hopefully pictures) of my continued exploits.

Spoon Bread

1 cup cornmeal 1 tbsp salted butter
4 cups milk 1 tbsp salt
4 eggs, beaten

Cook meal and milk over medium heat until thickened and bubbling. Add eggs, salt, and butter and stir in. Pour into an oiled, flat baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, until top brown and crispy.

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