I’ve been on an extended long weekend this week. Note that I call it “an extended long weekend” instead of “a vacation” or “a staycation”.
It’s not a vacation because I am doing things that people, sometimes even I, don’t associate with vacating. My closets are clean. My pantry is organized. I organized the junk drawer in the kitchen fer chrissake! So calm, mundane, peaceful things that don’t require me to think much or talk to anyone besides my husband and my cats unless I absolutely want to. But things that give me satisfaction, and things that I enjoy. Especially the part about being able to take the time to cook. Also it’s not a vacation because I’m home doing these things while Andrew is growing mildew in the basement working on the FP catalogue. One cannot have a vacation during the time when one’s spouse is working overtime on a deadline.
And it’s not a (shudder) “staycation” because the term irritates me. Like “selfie” and “hoodie”, “staycation” is a fractured fragment of two words that were glued together by a generation of people who do most of their communicating with their thumbs and even though I freely admit that a living language is an evolving language, I have enough respect for English that that sort of thing irritates me.
I was puttering around the kitchen this late morning/early afternoon banging things around and started this narrative in my head. Part recipe, part stream of consciousness, and part apology to the cat for swatting him on the backside.
In a stock pot large enough to scare hell out of your husband (who has previously been subject to some of your excesses with soup) dump two Nancy’s Yogurt containers of pumpkin pulp and one Nancy’s Yogurt container of ham stock. Set the stove to “low” so that the stock will melt before the pumpkin burns.
Take a moment to wonder why the larger of the two containers contains pumpkin pulp but virtually no juice.
Open the fridge.
Mumbling all sorts of Words about cracked containers and pumpkin juice spend the next 10 minutes with the refrigerator door open moving things off of the bottom shelf of the fridge and figuring out how to take the vegetable drawer out of your (relatively) new refrigerator.
Take the now removed drawer to the sink to wash it off, not realizing that the front of the drawer isn’t water tight.
Drool about half a cup of pumpkin juice onto the floor.
Indulge in more Words while you decide that wiping the pumpkin juice up off of the floor that has needed mopping for at least the last six weeks is just putting off the inevitable.
Stop to feed the cats.
Go downstairs to the laundry room, get the mop and the mop bucket.
Pick up the cat food dishes, the anti-fatigue mats, the trash can, and the water dish.
Mop the kitchen.
Wash out the vegetable drawer into which most of the pumpkin juice has drooled. Wipe down the rest of the interior of the fridge where the pumpkin has drooled.
Realize that you’ve got the mop and the bucket both right there and that the dining room needs mopping too. Sigh dramatically then move the anti-fatigue mats and the recycling bin into the hallway.
Realize that the lazy bloody Roomba hasn’t been sweeping in the corners thoroughly and indulge in some Words while you go and get the broom and dustpan to sweep up the cat hair and shredder cruddlies that have been accumulating in the corners.
Open the blind on the dining room window and turn on the ceiling fan so that the floor will dry quickly. Take a moment to swat the cat on the backside after he claws his way up your back so he can get onto the window sill in the dining room.
Decide you need a break because obviously your temper is a little frayed. Get a glass of water and go play Plants vs. Zombies for a while.
Suddenly remember your pumpkin glop on the stove.
After you bolt into the kitchen and realize that your glop hasn’t burned yet, stir the glop vigorously, take it off the heat, and realize that you’ll need to puree it before it can be pumpkin soup.
In preparation for getting out the food processor recognize that you still have a saucepan full of stewed tomatoes that need to be packaged up for the freezer.
Package up the stewed tomatoes. Dump the little bit of stewed tomatoes that won’t fit in the two freezer containers into the stock pot full of pumpkin glop. Antioxidants are antioxidants after all.
Put the stewed tomatoes in the freezer.
Look out the window and realize that your container plants need watering. Take a half hour to water the container garden while realizing that it’s basically late, late August and still bloody hot outside.
Wander down into the basement where the afore mentioned husband is growing mildew to discuss dinner plans.
Decide that pumpkin soup is a little too warm considering the weather and decide on pesto, brie, and tomato sandwiches for dinner. March back out to the container garden to pick basil.
Wash the basil then strip the leaves from the stems.
Put the basil in the food processor with 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil then whir.
When basil and olive oil have made a paste, add 1 cup of walnuts, 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan, and a good spoonful of garlic and whir.
Scoop the pesto out into a handy container and put it back in the now lovely clean, shiny fridge.
Scoop the pumpkin glop into the food processor bowl that has been used to make pesto and proceed to puree the pumpkin glop while you’re tidying up the kitchen.
Put the pumpkin glop back into the fridge (did you use a new, non-cracked container?) and go to the grocery store to get bread for the sandwiches. The pumpkin soup will wait for another day.