Thursday, February 6, 2014

Best Laid Plans Thwarted and A Challenge Update

You'll pardon me please if I ramble a bit today...

Rewind to the beginning of Fall term, when I started researching what student discounts I am eligible for on various cultural events. Much to my great delight, I found that The Portland Opera offers student rush tickets. For $10. It works like this: a student shows up an hour before curtain, flashes their indispensable student ID, and is able to purchase whatever seat is still available for, basically, a song.

When I discovered this, I started planning my very first trip to the opera. I have always wanted to go, but the cost for the general public (even for seats in the nosebleed section) was far out of my budget. Initially, I was to see Salome, however for one reason or another, I was unable to attend any performances. The next production, Lucia di Lammermoor, looked quite interesting, and I made arrangements to see it with a friend (also a student) tonight.

The weather in Portland this week has been cold. Well, Portland Cold. Too-cold-to-bike-in-the-last-two-days-cold. So after a freezing walk to the Max yesterday, I bundled up this morning, being prepared for a chilly post-opera jaunt home. Stockings under fleece-lined tights (wonderful things. I would love to find the fabric these are made from, make 7 unitards from it, have everything delivered to Clementine, and petition to work from home three months of the year), plus socks, boots, arm warmers, dress, sweater, gloves, scarf, and a heavy, ankle-length wool coat.  Since I couldn't ride in, I waddled off to a Max stop two miles away in this getup, considerably warmer than the day before. By 10 am, Portland Public Schools had announced that schools would close at 1 pm (it had not begun snowing at this point). And since my office has a large amount of not only parents, but people who live outside of Portland proper, we were granted a snow day. Hurray, but this means no opera.

As of the photo below, it had been snowing solidly for nearly 4 hours. Obviously, Portland is ill-equipped to deal with such weather.

I pouted for a good bit on the way home, but then realized that I could make use of this free time. For to do projects that have been pushed to the back burner. Like frozen yogurt. And cheese!

It is entirely possible that on my trek home that I picked up 5 gallons of milk, a culture, some cheesecloth, and wax. Since I started making cheeses that are aged, I have accumulated two (I haven't been doing this for long) that need to sit for 2-6 months. I want something a little faster, and something a little slower. The solution? A Colby and  a Parmesan.

The Colby will be ready in 4-6 weeks, and the Parmesan in about a year. Win!

And now onto The Challenge...

Initially, The Challenge was a little vague ("I will attempt to eat a lot of what is in the house before more grocery trips"). Since this first entry, I got more specific. Namely, I will continue with The Challenge until I get my tax returns. In the time that I have been doing this, I have cheated a couple times. I had Pizza Hut (one of the few places that delivers to my 'hood), and I purchased celery (for egg salad and tuna salad), frozen apple juice, and a package of linguine. So, I think I have done pretty well. I have made smoothies, arborio rice burgers, and tuna casserole, among other things. I still have a lot of smoothies in  my future, as well as fish dishes and greens. But, it has been smooth sailing. I found instructions on how to can beans, which I will be doing shortly, and still have a lot of pickles.

Well, that's about all for now. The snow is falling more heavily, and I am hoping for a full day off tomorrow.

Bon Appetit, and stay warm!