Comfort Food for Sore Muscles

I’m still recovering from the marathon of heavy lifting, dragging, tugging, shoving, cursing of old semi-tractor tires and garden dirt into some semblance of a ‘welcome home’ setting for the 100 fruit trees that will be arriving on the 17th –

The last stage of the grand perimeter plan is nearly finished (the final push is for the north-west corner of my little oasis).

It still surprises me how long the over-exertion price-to-be paid takes to show upΒ  – Worked all weekend, but only was made aware of the full cost of my winter laziness just yesterday –

I could barely walk and finally, after doing all the little things that worked in the past for such over exertion, I gave up, plopped down in front of the computer to at least get some writing done – only to find that typing reminded me how hard my hands had worked on the-increase-doggie-space fencing project – πŸ™‚

Today, I’m well enough to do housework, catch up laundry, but still sore enough I blithely ignore the last 15 tires to shove into place before Friday – when a wonderful friend who has a tractor is going to save me from myself and help with the final dirt moving –

I can get ‘er done….

tomorrow….

or maybe at 4am on Friday…

Sigh…I’m in need of comfort food –

Lasagna, for supper, it is…

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I somehow managed to run out of fire roasted tomatoes – they just bring that little extra ‘oomph’ to sauces over their plain Jane simple diced cousins – but, too sore to make the effort of going all the three blocks to the store, so Plain Jane Diced, it is – hmm… my increasingly bare cupboard reminds me it’s nearly gardening season again – – πŸ™‚

As I stir in the tomatoes and wait for the sauce to reach the just-right-simmering point to add the dash of wine, I am poignantly reminded of another missing ingredient –

One I haven’t had access to for quite some time –

But first, I must tell you the backstory –

(why are you surprised?Β  There is always a backstory here at Bally Bin….)

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A thousand years ago, I met the Real Life Superwoman –

Yes, she really exists – she lives in the mountains of Colorado and can do, well, simply everything (except filing/typing – but who cares?Β  There are plenty of mere mortals around to take care of such drudgery – )

Which is how we first became acquainted – she needed to get her tiny biz paperwork organized and her hubby, who was also my boss, asked if I could set up a system for her.

Which I did – sans a computer – a neatly organized crate of what she needed that fit in the back seat of her monster truck – complete with a folder containing custom printed Sales Invoices I made for her, ready to fill out with a pen (or carpenters pencil, whatever she had that day) using the hood of her truck as a table.

I also included an old-fashioned style accounts ledger, so everything could be written down and delivered to her accountant – who, bless his heart, understood she probably would never embrace Quickbooks and was just happy to have everything handed over in one book and some envelopes containing receipts –

I scored some really primo food for the effort and I was hooked!

***********

This woman could do anything that didn’t require high-tech crappola – She thought the fact I knew how to do all that stuff was awesome –

I drily commented that in the whole scheme of things, I thought her skills infinitely more useful – πŸ™‚

She gardened – She had a milk cow herd – which she milked by hand –

She raised pasture fed beef long before it was ‘cool’ and ‘popular’ to do so.

She went hunting every year for her own deer/elk meat – She could dress her own kills on the spot – she knew how to tan/process the hides and turn them into something useful about the house….

She mixed her own dried spices and delivered them to the butcher the same day she dropped off her hog, so that her Italian Sausage might be prepared properly –

**********

5 feet, 2 inches, and perhaps 95lbs, dripping wet,Β  she regularly pitted her will against the stubborn soul housed inside of a huge, black horse that made you think the Knights of Camelot had arrived at your place – his name was Diablo.

(not really, but it was my fond nickname for him and I long ago gave up trying to remember his real name)

9 times out of 10, she won the Tournament a La Wills –

The one time she lost, Diablo was lucky that her gun-toting hubby wasn’t home, because he might not have survived the day – but, by the time hubby arrived home, Little Miss had hobbled back to the house from the back 40 where Diablo had managed to ditch her and had prepared a wonderful enough meal to keep hubby’s mind off what just desserts Diablo had comin’ to him –

I confess, there is nothing more enchanting than watching a fiercely huge beast with hooves the size of pies plodding towards the stable after his morning training session with a look of bemusement –

“Just how does something so tiny manage to outwit me nearly every time?” could be clearly read in every inch of his massive form…

Yes, I loved that horse – stubborn soul and all –

**********

Little Miss home schooled her children because she found it just easier to do than drive 20 miles a day to the bus-stop – those who say ‘home schooled’ children miss out on learning socialization skills always confound me – her kids went to work with her and regularly chatted it up with her customers and, quite frankly, were more enjoyable to visit with than most adults I knew at the time –

The year I got ambitious and ended up with way more tomatoes than I had the time or equipment to properly preserve, don’t you know she picked them up and returned to me more than half of the canned bounty –

She also watched out for my kids when quality daycare options locally went through a dry spell and I was working weird schedules at multiple jobs.

She made her own mozzarella cheese – from her own milk – and once managed to melt the wall behind her stove because, don’t you know, calzones simply have to be baked at the highest setting you can get out of a residential stove – not quite the temp you really need for perfection, but what can you do when your 100 year old farmhouse doesn’t have room for a proper industrial stove or brick pizza oven?

In her life before marriage and family, she had trained as a chef in Italy – and she knew how to ensure the best quality ingredients –

She, with some help from Mother Nature, did it herself.

Which brings me to why I was longingly thinking of her this morning –

She also made her own Chianti –

Each year, I would get my precious bottle or two from her to lovingly stir into simmering sauces for pasta or meat filling mixtures for calzone and deep dish pizza the coming year –

I never could appreciate it straight from the glass and I’m sure my lack of true wine appreciation was of some sadness to her- but just add a few tablespoons of it to any bubbling mixture and I would drool, wishing supper could be now, instead of 8 hours from now –

Once supper did finally arrive, I always ate one or two helpings more than I really ought to have doneΒ  – because the depth of flavor brought by the Chianti was so spectacular, my taste buds pleaded to experience it just one (or a few) more times – even if my tummy was groaning, “Enough Already!”

**********

Alas, I changed jobs and didn’t see her as much as before – then we moved and, well…time passes and one day, there you are, stirring sub-par lasagna meat mixture, realizing how long it has really been… and missing the past so very much…

With a sigh, I transfer the lasagna mixture from my skillet to the slow-cooker – (giving the flavors time to mix and mingle is paramount – don’t you know…plus, it allows me to take a ‘taste’ off and on through the day instead of actually having to fix lunch- )

Yes,Β  tonight’s supper will be passable, but without her specially crafted sausage, homemade mozzarella, fresh herbs and garlic, home canned roasted tomatoes and Chianti, it is but a mere shadow of what it could really be…

Do you think she might have caved in and got a computer, or Facebook account that I might again connect with her?

Nope, me neither….

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10 thoughts on “Comfort Food for Sore Muscles”

    1. Oh No! Sue, I’m simply whining over the fact you have no wine – seriously – how could such a catastrophe occur? πŸ™‚ I would mail you some supper, but I’ve learned to ‘downsize’ my cooking and last time I made sub-par lasagna, there was one measley little 2″ square left for lunch the next day (I may need to ramp up a bit more, the boy is going through a growing spurt!)
      but I still plan on making it to your neck of the woods in summer of 2016 – I promise, I’ll fix you some then – πŸ™‚

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        1. I’m a self-medicating soul and seriously, there are few things plastic cup holding 4 oz of wine mixed with 12 oz of water cannot fix – – πŸ™‚ Before my stroke, I was a beer gal, but the doctor said it best to drink red wine instead – which I struggle with – straight – so I started mixing it with herbal teas/ water, etc., and, when in pain, sip along on my diluted mixtures throughout the day – figure, overall, less damaging to my liver than Tylenol – LOL

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        2. I’ve ‘struggled’ because so many (AHEM) self-medicating options are so full of sweet/sugar – πŸ™‚ I can have a little ole glass of champagne and endure a ‘sugar headache’ for two days – so deep, dark, dry, non-sweet red, it is, for me – I’m happy to see all the ultra-lite (less sugar) beers hitting the market – makes it possible for me to indulge in my true tastes every now and again without flirting with disaster! πŸ™‚

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        3. My bosses in France had a wonderful book about the particular medicianl possibilities of all the various wines, partcularly the reds… which is definitely my kind of first aid πŸ™‚

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        4. I grant you, still not willing to put goat urine on to get get rid of any warts/skin tags that may start appearing as I age
          (seriously – ran across that home remedy a few months back!:)
          …but good food, carefully crafted fermented beverages – I’m all over that! Why take a pill when you can just eat and drink your way to health? πŸ™‚
          In moderation, of course (maybe….tomorrow…..LOL)

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