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August 13th, 2018

Lamb Stew

A whole Monday at home with nothing on the calendar.  I've been into my beading kit, made a batch of lamb stew, did laundry, read some... lots of things that I haven't gotten to in a long time.  Same as opening up this box and typing in it.  But I had to write about today's lamb stew.  I've made lamb stew many times but never with a recipe.  Then after I make it I write down the recipe.  It's getting simpler, I think.  This time I made it in my biggest cast iron skillet, which I fried bacon in yesterday for a BLT.  I'd poured off most of the bacon grease so I added a little olive oil.  Half of a giant yellow onion warm from the garden and 1.5 lbs of lamb stew meat go in the pan and cook until the lamb is done.  Add a chopped celery heart, cover and simmer.  Look at the canned goods in the cabinet--tomato paste?  No.  Coconut milk?  No.  Chop 2 carrots and add along with some hot water and a beef bouillon cube, cover and leave on medium low.  Next time I check it's getting thick and it's very fatty.  Mix in curry and ginger powder along with enough cayenne to make it warm/hot.  Throw in 7 peeled whole cloves of garlic and three medium garden tomatoes, chopped.  Cover and leave on low for a long time.   Start the rice.  Leave stew on lowest heat for a while more, then turn off.  Chop raw bok choy and red pepper.  Serve on a bed of rice, bok choy and red pepper.  Coarse grain salt on top.  Perfect heat.  Glad the rice is plain and the bok choy and red peppers are raw.

Will is gone backpacking for the next 4 days, after having been gone boating at the McKenzie for a long weekend.  This is good.  I really need time alone.  Every time I get some I get happy again.  I'm just too crowded living closely with someone who is retired.  I don't want to hear his every thought.  The silence IS golden.  Yesterday I went kayaking with friends.  I had some work last week and another day of work coming up.  Underemployed.  I'm not spending any money, not buying things on the internet or going to the store.  In about a week I'll be packing up to head for the Middle Fork Salmon, a 100 mile 7 day self-support river trip. 

Anyway now I'm in the middle of watching the first episode of the new Netflix series (of 4) about Trump.  It's paused.  The first episode is entitled Manhattan, and it's about New York in the mid-70's as much as it is about Trump.  The city was nearly bankrupted, lays off its cops and garbage guys, and the murder rate climbs.  Trump secures a 40 year tax break from the city so that he can restore a historic hotel.  Trump sounds the same talking about that hotel in the 70's as he sounds now when he speaks.  His words are superlatives--fantastic, terrific, the biggest, the greatest.  He meets a defense lawyer who knows how to bully and bluff.  It becomes clear immediately that this program is setting the stage for us to actually understand him, instead of demonizing or idolizing.  I appreciate that.  A little nuance is due on all sides.  On All Sides.

Tomorrow I may go paddle up to Willamette Falls with Kevin and Sue.  Hoping to hear back from Mindy.  I have a few friends here but seem to see them too rarely.  I mean to fix that.

More later, I'm going back to see the rest about Trump and Manhattan.

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