cooking and surviving


I have spent quite a bit of time with Finnegans Wake the last couple of mornings. Most of this time I am reading Joyce’s text aloud. This helps. Plus I seem  to be getting the hang of it a bit. I know I miss a lot of subtle allusions. But I’m not sure they are that integral to the story. It’s like reading something and not looking up every word you don’t recognize. You can get a lot of obscure gist this way.

Anyway, then I skipped the rest of my morning (Greek, poetry, theology) and decided that since Eileen purchased a bunch of lovely veggies at the Farmers Market yesterday, I would do some cooking.

First I pick the music.

This morning it was Ligeti.

I think he was on my mind since I mentioned him to Julie the ballet teacher. I had a ready made playlist on Spotify. So I put it on and set to work.

The first thing I wanted to make was a quiche.

This involved setting out all the veggies and cheese and yogurt I wanted to use. Then making a crust from scratch. Then I lightly browned mushrooms, onions, garlic, pepper, summer squash and broccoli. Combined everything and put it in the oven.

Here’s how it came out (just like a cooking show, eh):


Then I poked around until I found a quick bread that used the same temp as the quiche: Herb and Garlic Olive Oil Scones.


We are on an austerity budget right now, checking our account daily online. We lived over our means during the summer and are now literally paying for it. Part of the problem is the high deductible our health insurance. My eye doctor bill came back to be paid in full as did labs and my semiannual check up.

It all means Eileen and I are learning to live within our means. Our lives are good we know: food, a place to sleep, a good companion, alcohol and music to play, books to read and access to the internet.

I’m pretty sure we can afford to live on less and keep doing most of this, but it will require more vigilance.

Cooking at home is usually cheaper than convenience food, definitely cheaper than eating out and usually better in both cases.

I have been spending a weird amount of time with Robert Schumann’s piano music. I own the three volumes of the Dover edition which were edited by his wife and Brahms. Like Mendelssohn I find him a bit more fun to play than listen to. But of course his composing is impeccable. And like Brahms, he is harder than Mendelssohn. This week I read all the way through Papillons (accurately as possible if under tempo). Now I’m working my way through the next opus in my book: Studien nach Capricen von Paganini, Op. 3. It’s quite good and not just a bunch of flash as I always thought it was.

Last night I had nightmares about choir rehearsal. This is not good. The usual herding of cats that it can be in real life was exaggerated into a farce of dream with an Alice in Wonderland flavor: trying to get people’s attention, getting them in the same room at the same time in the right sections, somehow contriving to assemble the piano in order to accompany and other fun stuff. Most of the people were people I didn’t recognize. Ay yi yi. I hope I can survive this year.

The Spirit and Promise of Detroit – The New York Times

Detroit was very good to me. I sometimes say that we got out just in time. But I’m ashamed that I say that because there were so many good things that happened there for me: schooling, performing, going to museums and book stores.

Stonehenge researchers ‘may have found largest Neolithic site’ – BBC News

I know this story is being covered by lots of news sources, but I still think it’s cool. Especially the idea that they don’t have to dig but can do the excavation using “remote sensing and geophysical imaging technology.”

Achingly unacceptable: the bad language that bugs me | Jeremy Butterfield | 

Bookmarked to read.

2 thoughts on “cooking and surviving

  1. So, you should receive one checkup a year under the ACA. No copays. (

    That said, apparently, if you mention an ongoing health issue while you are at the doctor for your free maintenance visit, you may well be charged for the visit as if it were a regular visit and not a preventive care visit. This might seem arbitrary but when you think about it, it makes some sense. You wouldn’t want people to wait for their free visit to address serious and immanent health problems…


  2. I’m sure this is what is happening to me. My doctor wants to see me once very six months for a check up. I think that’s where the fees start to count towards my deductible.

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