Checking In, Taking Stock

Welcome to autumn, Vancouver style. Bah. We’ve had a pretty mixed bag summer here on the Weird Coast. Fortunately a heat wave is rumoured for next week, and that’s the start of my time off.

I’ve been working hard this week and today I’ve settled into Chill Mode after getting up and cleaning the pad like a busy little beaver (ahem) this morning. Yes, we still use that phrase here in Canada.

The air does, however, have a hint of autumn on it. Perhaps it’s just that I should take the garbage out and there’s a breeze. Hmm.

I had a nice day yesterday, though, and meant to write about it, but I got a little involved in watching that sadly disappointing Peter Jackson version of King Kong. (Although I did like the overplayed love affair between the beauty and the beast, but I’ve always been a bit of a sap.)

I headed out to the public market yesterday and got myself a big fat chicken to roast and decided it was time to finally try some figs. Bought a couple, and tonight I’ll have my first ever fresh figs. Something tells me Fig Newton’s got nothing on the real deal. I also bought some purple peppers I plan to serve myself in a balsamic crema with fresh capari tomatoes and fresh torn bocconcini with some slivers of shallot.

It sounds indulgent, doesn’t it? But it takes all of about five or so minutes. I’ll also make a nice pastry-crusted roasted chicken, brocolli and peppers bake. It’ll be the first time I’ve really cooked nicely for myself in quite some time.

It’s easy to start coasting through life when you’re single. That has been the case with me for a while now. I’ve been in a rut, such as the one I wrote about a week or two ago. I’m content but not, y’know? I’ve grown complacent. I take the slightly easier way out. I forget to plan interesting and creative new dishes for dinner, and I just get by.

The funny thing is, if I’m cooking really nice, healthy, fresh but indulgent “slow” food for myself, I feel a whole lot less of that lack you get sometimes, being single. Yeah, sure, it’s nice to cook for other people, but who says saving your A game just for them makes any sense at all? Why not take the time to makes yourself a couple antipastis to enjoy with a glass of wine?

I more or less did that last night when I roasted my bird. Threw some fingerling potatoes in with the bird halfway through, they came out caramelized and popping with nice fluffy insides. Some grilled asparagus, parmesan toast, and a tomato-bocconcini salad. After a week of working real hard, it felt great to stay in and dote on myself on a Saturday night. I’ll do the same again tonight, but with the house all clean, I can take an evening stroll and people watch a while.

I’ll have another gruelling week this week, ‘cos I have a lot of projects to wrap up before I take my 10-day break from work. I have a lot of “nature” plans during my 10 days off — I’ll be camping, catching up with copious friends, hiking, cycling the city, and packing a whole lot of summer into 10 short days. It’ll do me a world of good. I’m sure to have much to report.

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http://cuntinglinguist.com/2007/08/checking-in-taking-stock.html