I am almost daily uninspired about what to make for supper.
And yes, I say “supper.” Dinner, to my farmer dad, is the meal that happens sometime around noon. Hence, supper.
It is the eternal question.
But I have a few go-to options.
One of them is 4H Special, named such because my mom learned to make it as a little girl in 4H. Also, it has four ingredients, which is why it is one of my go-to uninspired supper options.
The coolest thing about it is that whenever I make it, two of the four ingredients are straight from my parents’ farm. I didn’t realize how rare and cool that is until moving to the suburbs and being exposed to the trendiness of expensive local food, that was, you know, actually farmed by a person the consumer has met. Even the applesauce, which frequently accompanies 4H Special, is from my hometown. We get the apples from Zooks’ Orchard, a Belleville staple, and make a whole bunch of applesauce and freeze it.
I can’t tolerate store-bought applesauce.
This is going to be a seriously expensive problem whenever I move out of easy driving distance of the farm.
4H Special doesn’t really look like much, but it is pretty delicious.
A Vague Recipe:
One pound ground beef
Ziploc bag of frozen (thawed) corn
2-3ish cups of cooked rice
2 cans tomato sauce
Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 40ish plus minutes, or until it looks like you want to eat it.
If I wanted to be really hardcore about it someday, maybe I’ll can my own tomato sauce.
The real creativity about this is the amount of imagination it takes to pretend I’m eating it at home, on the farm, rather than my almost-railroad suburban apartment, surrounded by the living spaces of others. To pretend I’m sitting next to the sliding glass door, my family in front of me, my childhood kitchen behind me, and the fields and the farms and the sunset to my right.
On Thursday night, we decided to take an impromptu trip to New York to visit a wonderful friend. I was distracted with travel arrangements, which turned out to be super simple and are now our preferred method of travel (drive to Hamilton, NJ, take NJ Transit to Penn Station, find the F, and get off in Park Slope).
After the curtains, I sort of lost steam. I should have saved them for last.
Anyway. To represent the weekend, a few pictures.
Almost there. Chadoh is obscured by a pole. Oops.
Doesn’t this tree look kind of like an elephant?
On Sunday before we left, we wandered around Green-Wood Cemetery. Nick had wanted to go there for awhile, but visiting a cemetery is kind of a hard sell, so he hadn’t had anyone to explore with.
It is enormous. I bet it is the largest space with the least number of people in the whole city. All exits but the main one were closed when we wanted to leave. We found a locked gate. Two other cemetery wanderers were climbing over when one Very Concerned Park Slope Mom in a car at a light started yelling, “What are you doing? You’re not allowed in there! The gate is closed!” Yes, lady, the gate is very clearly closed. She backed up her car, and said she would call the police to help us out. The other wanderers, one of whom had already successfully climbed over, tried to convince her not to call the cops and be on her merry way. Just when she looked like she was about to dial, people behind her started honking and she drove off.
So the rest of us climbed over. I found it insulting that she suggested that we weren’t capable of climbing a fence. I have climbed many a fence in my day.
After the cemetery we collected our belongings, found pies and coffee for the road (the tracks, really), and made it to Penn Station at 7:12, giving us enough time to get tickets and sprint to the 7:13 back to Hamilton.
This is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in New Jersey.
We got there early enough to scout out a clean bathroom and eat some food at Trio’s, where we found this hungry astronaut.
The Fire is conveniently located next to a fire house, kindly reminding passers-by to check their smoke detectors. That reminds me of the time I almost lit debris in our oven on fire, alerting us to our out-of-order alarm. A silver lining to a smoky apartment.
I love the skyline, the giant sun, and the sad-looking moon.
This may very well be my all-time DIY best. I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t a giant pain, but I love how it turned out.
It all started with this. I pinned one photo, in particular, with far-off, fictional really, visions of doing this myself someday.
But then, 30 Days of Creativity came along, and suddenly I had no excuse. It was on my list of things I wanted to make. This list is certainly not long, so neglecting this one item on my list would mean I’d have to come up with another idea to replace it.
So that is how I found myself at Lowe’s yesterday, looking at paint chips, and picking up a few washers for yesterday’s effort.
This is what I found.
Valspar Allen + Roth Jackson Square
And this is what it became. Times four.
I soon realized that I did not have enough drop cloths or a big enough apartment to let them all dry on the floor like this.
So I had to move them, wet paint and all, to a drying station.
I had to shut P. Honey Cat in the bathroom for the rest of the afternoon so she didn’t destroy all my pretty drying things.
And finally, after I had some helping putting up the curtain rods that have been hiding in a corner of our bedroom since we moved in six months ago, we hung and then trimmed them to an appropriate length.
Doesn’t Ting Ting, or Tiny the Toy Piano, look handsome against the yellow chevron? I think so.
I really could not be more pleased with how these turned out.
I skipped yesterday. Meh.
I have something big-ish planned for tomorrow (and maybe a few days after that, depending on how long it takes me).
While gathering supplies for my big-ish plans at Lowe’s, I grabbed a bunch of washers. I’ve had this easy project saved in my Feedly for such a time as this. I had been meaning to do it for months.
Quick, easy, able to watch TV while constructing it. A win.
Repurposed materials are apparently my jam, lately.