Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Note on Discretion

The difference between journaling and blogging is audience. The potential of audience is what makes me want to write a little better, a little more often, and a little less repetitively.

I think part of the reason I wasn't ultimately successful at consistently maintaining a journal was that there was too much temptation to vent. And venting gets boring, particularly when I am the only one listening to me and I know exactly what I am going to say next.

This week was a rough one, but besides falling down on my hands and knees while running on both Saturday AND Sunday, the truth is that most of the rough parts didn't happen to me directly. They happened to people in my Extended Network, and though I try to be conscious of not claiming others' traumas as my own, I think it's fair to say I was--am--affected.

When people around you are suffering, you suffer some too. You put your life and worries on hold for a bit, until your little worries compounded with others' Big Worries cause you to have a little breakdown. But you pull it back together and continue to be a help and a support.

In the meantime, people wonder where you've been. And here's the blogging challenge: what to write about under these circumstances. Sad things happened at my school this week, and tragic things happened to people I love, but these are not my stories to tell. So I won't go there, out of respect and love and an acknowledgement of appropriate boundaries.

To blithely blog about the rather mundane goings on in my personal universe seems insensitive without making that disclaimer. But when the world is falling apart, it seems, for people around you, the mundane routines we take for granted assume greater significance.

For example, I am happy about the soup my daughter and I made tonight, which we shared with my brother's family. It's a tasty fall recipe, and I offer it to you (with apologies in advance for the vague measurements--I cook to taste and add stuff as I go...):

Potato and Corn Chowder with Sausage and Kale

Clean and cube (don’t peel) about six large potatoes.

Chop one onion and two long stalks of celery.

Melt half a stick of butter in a large pot; add ingredients above, and stir and cook for ten minutes or so on high heat until onions are translucent and potatoes are cooking on the outside.

Add about a teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, and salt and pepper. I also added about a teaspoon of mustard seeds (not necessary).

Slice four sausages (I used apple chicken sausage) and add to the pot.

Pour in chicken broth—two cans.

In a small bowl, gradually add a teaspoon of the hot broth to a tablespoon of flour. Stir into a paste, adding more broth till the mixture is a little runny.

Add a little half-and-half to the broth and flour. Pour remaining pint of half-and-half into soup pot and then add thickening mixture. Bring to a boil and then keep on medium heat till potatoes are soft.

Add a bag of frozen corn—Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn gives the soup a nice smoky flavor.

I had kale and basil in the fridge so I chopped handfuls of each and threw them in. Cilantro would be good too!

I needed to add about two additional cups of milk to make the soup my desired consistency. I also added more chicken bouillon paste and pepper to taste.

FYI: We had mochi balls for dessert. A new treat for the kiddoes.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Oh Jenny, whoever in your life is suffering I hope that it lessens - and I hope you find some peace.

And yummy recipe and yippee for mochi balls, I love 'em!