Fahim returns to work today after two weeks and a few days off – basically, the last day he worked – as in a full day – was the day I arrived. It’s been nice having him at home, but work is important, too. And now I’ll have to adjust to figuring out how to spend my days. Of course, there’s blogging and email and writing, and cooking and cleaning on top of that. That’s all a given. But there are still variations and permutations, and who knows? Plus I want to learn Sinhalese.
Yesterday, I talked to the Relief Society President at church, Visaka, and mentioned to her that I’m interested in learning Sinhalese. I’d like to communicate better with people here, and since I’m in the minority, it’s pretty obvious that it’s got to be me who makes the effort. I could be here for decades, so it only makes sense. Visaka mentioned that her mother might be good, and she’s not far from where I live, so I could take a bus there, and she’ll talk to her mother about it. Cool. This could work. Fahim, of course, is hesitant about the taking a bus thing – he thinks I’ll be pawed and groped. Well, he could be right – I won’t really know what it’s like until I take a bus and find out. But should I hesitate exploring Sri Lanka or learning a language or getting out of the house because I’m worried I’ll be groped?
Today, I make beef stoup for lunch and supper. We have leftover rice from yesterday, and it came out of thinking about using the rice. So I start cooking the beef at 9 am.
And here’s where I insert another disclaimer. I’m not great at cooking beef. What can I say? I stopped eating it when I was about fifteen or sixteen – it made me ill. It wasn’t until I had my gallbladder out three years ago that I realized that it was the fat content of the beef that made me sick. Well, I stopped eating pork and all sorts of other things, too, so, you know, it wasn’t just beef. But I digress again. Yeah, such is the state of my brain and thought processes. Hither and thither. To and fro. This way and that. Here and there. And. . . I digress again.
The reason I mention this is to indicate that I’ve spent virtually no time cooking beef. I never had to figure out how to cook it so it turned out okay because I didn’t eat it. Now, I eat it, and damn if I don’t ruin it. Chicken and fish are so much easier.
Having said that, feel free to leave me your tips and/or recipes on cooking beef so it doesn’t end up tough as shoe leather. Fahim would appreciate that, too. That, I can almost guarantee.
So, yeah, I started cooking the beef at 9 am – I figured that, cooking it at the lowest setting for three hours ought to soften it up a bit. In Canada, I always cooked my beef in my crock pot – and it always worked. But here, I don’t have a crock pot. I should ask Fahim if they exist, and if they do, perhaps we should consider getting one. Personally, I love crock pots. No muss, no fuss, lazy person’s way to cook almost anything.
But until or if we get one, I’ll have to make do with on the stove cooking.
So, yeah, I started cooking the beef at 9 am. Tossed in the onions and garlic then along with the salt and pepper and a cube of vegetable soup stock for extra flavor, and let it simmer. Added the potatoes and carrots at about 45 minutes before lunch, then added the green chillies, mushrooms, green onions, and rice at about ten or fifteen minutes before lunch. It was good. The beef was still tougher than I would have liked, but it was definitely not shoe leather. I’d rather have beef that just melted or fell apart or something like that. What can I say?
And yeah, I call it beef stoup because it’s thinner than a stew and thicker than a soup. I like thick soups. Okay, so maybe not all the time, but certainly a good portion of the time.
Tellulah and Oberon are thinking about The Great Escape again. I caught them looking into the neighbors yard from the roof. Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. But Tellulah was a little gun shy from her last escapade, and Oberon, I think, knows he’s too fat to jump that far. He mostly knows his limits. Fat Cats Can’t Jump. Should be the name of a new movie.
When that was less than successful, they came back in and tried a different approach. I was at the front door waiting for Fahim to come home for lunch. Yeah, yeah, I’m a sap. I’ve been married for all of two and a half weeks, so cut me some slack. And I didn’t have anything better to do, so yeah, I stood at the front door on the top step waiting for dearest hubby to arrive. I couldn’t close the door all the way – well, I could, but I didn’t want to bother with keys, and our door is set up so that, if it is closed, you have to have a key to get in. You can’t shut it without needing a key to get back in. So, I flipped the bolt sideways and left it barely open.
Yeah, so little things amuse me.
I did more laundry. Have I mentioned that we don’t have driers here? We hang up clothes to dry – either on a line or on a rack. We opted for the rack – takes up less space and doesn’t obstruct what little view we have. What I haven’t mentioned is that when it rains, as it is wont to do, the humidity level is so high that everything takes days to dry. As it is now. It rained a couple of times already today, and it’s humid. But laundry must be done anyway.
I also responded to more email and got caught up on my blogging.
On his way home from work, Fahim stopped in at Perera and Sons Bakery – it’s on the way home (huge chain, and they’re everywhere), and bought a one pound loaf of bread and date cake. We’ve had the date cake before, and damn, it’s good.