Lots of recipe/food discussion. Be warned.

The initial plan, formulated this morning, was a simple one. Buy the few things needed for Thanksgiving, then come home and write.

So. On the way to the grocery store, I stopped by the hardware big box to look for a nice shelving unit. I am trying to salvage the three hanging basket lavender plants that I bought a month or so ago by wintering them indoors, but the things are freakin’ huge. They didn’t fit on the small shelving unit that I had set in front of the one window in this house that has decent southern exposure, so I looked for different shelving. Found a nice chrome wire unit, like those you see in walk-in pantries–OMG, do I want a walk-in pantry some day–and snapped it up.

Then came groceries, which included all the fresh veggies for the Turkey Day not-a-turkey. I’m making beef short ribs this year, with buttermilk mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts, and I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to get what was needed.

Home. Fed pups. Fed me. Assembled shelving unit. Moved large lavender baskets onto same. Yea, they fit, as do the other herb pots. Then I saw the mess atop the dining room table, and something in me snapped. Culled catalogs and sorted receipts, bills, notes, and all the other effluvia–it’s not perfect, but it’s a hella better than it was. Some order achieved. I can take clutter for a little while, but at some point I need to regain control of my space, that’s just how it goes.

Then I made marmalade. At least, I started making marmalade. It’s a two-stage recipe. First stage consists of boiling the sliced fruit in water, taking it off the heat and adding the sugar, then letting the mix sit at room temp overnight. Tomorrow, I cook the stuff until it’s that rich orangy-brown color. I’m not trying any fancy additions like whisky or liqueurs for this first effort. I just want to see if I can make something that tastes better than the store-bought stuff, which just doesn’t thrill me. I didn’t use Seville oranges or Meyer lemons, just navels and plain ol’ little lemons.

Then, I made cookies. My standby ginger cookies.** As usual, I substituted white whole wheat flour for half the all-purpose. I usually wind up with a drier dough as a result, but this time I ended up with something downright crumbly. In the past, I added additional molasses to moisten things up, and wound up overwhelming the ginger and spices. This time, I just worked with it as is. The warmth from my hands was enough to soften the dough balls so they held together, though I had to handle them carefully. But the resulting cookies were good, a little crisp outside and very light inside.

I was finally able to sit down a little after 7. One load of laundry’s in the washer, another in the dryer. Hockey on in the background. Pups are asleep. My feet hurt. I need more coffee. Time to write.

Where in hell did the day go?

**If it seems as though I make a lot of Ina Garten recipes, well, I do. Her food is basic, relatively simple to make, and tasty.