Until I was in my twenties I thought all men could build houses.
My father built our house; my older brother built houses for a time.
This was just something men did. It was a natural ability.
Along with building houses, they could build simple furniture and do general household repairs.
They were excessively useful to have around.
If you could keep them focused.
I was also in my twenties before my father finished the floor in the bathroom closet.
The house was built before I was born.
That was probably the single, longest running, one-way conversation my parents had:
My mother sweetly suggesting that perhaps my father would like to finish the floor….
My father, unfortunately having just move out of hearing distance, giving no reply….
Very similar to when she asked him to clean out his garage (story here).
I've been thinking about that closet floor a lot recently.
As I look at all the little things that need to be finished….
And all the big things that need to be started….
It's a conundrum.
Yes, I would rather have my kitchen cabinets built than the loose screw on the toilet seat fixed.
Yes, I would rather have the floor in the dining room done so we can have an actual, albeit temporary, room to sleep in, than the trim on the ceiling finished.
I understand this on an intellectual level.
I just can't help thinking about that little, 1 square yard floor that went unfinished for 20 some years…
I needed to come up with a way of dealing with all these little bits that would keep me happy and as well as keep the peace.
I started a list.
I showed mon mari where the list was.
When I notice something that needs finishing, I don't tell him, remind him, or speak about it at all.
I add it to the list.
When he's waiting for glue to set or varnish to dry he checks the list.
Two things have already been crossed off.
And the rest won't be forgotten.
Besides, he unpacked my oven….
I should mention, that my mother had her own natural talents as well.
She was a competent cook, but didn't really enjoy it. She much preferred baking.
I remember her glancing at the clock on a Sunday morning and deciding she would just have enough time to make a pie… If she hurried.
She made wonderful pies, with buttery, flaky crusts.
I've never made a pie crust in my life.
Use brown rice.
It's healthy; it's tasty; it's easy…. And one can feel so self-righteous about the whole thing!
Sausage & Artichoke Quiche
2/3 cup brown rice
1 1/3 cup chicken stock
1 cup shredded cheese (4 oz, 125 gr)
1 medium onion
1/2 green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
8oz (250 gr) sausages, removed from casings
14oz (400gr) artichoke hearts, well-drained
1 cup milk
The crust: Cook brown rice in stock according to package directions. Can be done ahead or even the night before. Lightly oil a 9" (22 cm) pie or quiche plate. Lightly whisk 1 egg. Add 1/4 cup of the cheese and the cooked rice. Mix well. Pat into the quiche plate, working it up the sides as best you can. Bake in 375F (185C) oven for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. If rice is freshly cooked, spread on a plate to cool a bit before adding the egg.
The filling: Chop onion, pepper and mince garlic. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add sausage and brown, breaking it up. Add herbs. Drain artichokes and slice in half. When meat is done spread mixture evenly over rice. Arrange artichokes on top of meat. Sprinkle with cheese. Whisk remaining 2 eggs well. Add milk and whisk to combine. Pour over all and bake for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
In addition to the above, for the week of February 27 we have Mushrooms stuffed with Bacon and Goat Cheese, Shrimp with Lemon and Garlic, Pork Tenderloin with Peppers and Olives, Beef and Root Vegetable Stew….
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