Tuesday, September 3 2019

palmiers, tv, coffee, and planning

Dear Journal,

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I think we definitely made the most of the long weekend. We ate breakfast on the back porch, ran some errands, and worked outside. I finally got around to cleaning the grill. After putting Rod to bed, I decided to try baking another batch of palmiers. I was very meticulous this time about rolling the puff pastry thinly onto parchment paper and thoroughly covering them with sugar. But when it came time to form the hearts, it became very clear that the dimensions were way off. The cookies are supposed to bake with these gentle folded-over layers (about three of them). But I started with a piece of pastry that was way too big, which made a cookie that had several very small folds, and by the time they were done they looked like little baskets of worms, or a diagram of small intestines.

Puff pastry can be so cruel. I'm slowly learning that things that look pretty going into the oven don't always look pretty coming out after they're baked. I guess beginner's luck was at play here - since my first try at these cookies turned out great, I thought I was invincible - before I pulled the twisted mayhem out of the oven last night.

As a joke, I took all the terrible burnt off cuts and put them in nice pastry dish underneath a towel; then I asked Marissa to take a picture of them for Instagram. I got a good, cheap laugh out of her when she removed the towel with her camera ready. I was planning on saving face and acting like I was proud of them, but I broke character and we had a good laugh.

Once I was done burning sugar in the kitchen, we made our way to the living room to watch some TV. As of last night, we're marching on with Handmaid's Tale. After finishing three episodes, just before heading up to bed Marissa broke the morose silence and asked, "Can we stop watching this?" "Yeah I'm so sick of this show," I laughed. There's nothing like the instant relief of deciding not to watch a show any more. How liberating! So probably as of tonight, we're going back to re-watching New Girl. Sorry, Handmaid's Tale. You had your moments, but you just weren't good enough for how sad you are. And I'm tired of having weird dreams about kidnapping and fascism. I think it's also making me stress eat. To cope with last night's episode binge, I stress ate almost the whole bowl of joke palmiers I set aside. And this morning it feels like a group of radical fundamentalists established a fascist theocracy inside my stomach.

It feels good to drink coffee. Marissa and I finally bought a blade grinder, and now we're enjoying the freshly ground stuff. We were saving up for a nice burr grinder, and at some point we must have just given up on it and continued to buy pre-ground beans. Then one day the thought crossed my head that we could probably get a really good blade grinder for a fraction of the money we'd spend on an average burr grinder. So we pulled the trigger, and now there's no looking back. It's a wonderful little blade grinder. It supports different settings, but what really takes the cake is that it that you don't have to sit there and hold the button - it will finish the grind for you. And it doesn't look like an eye soar either. It's small and sleek, like a little robot in the corner.

This week will be all about planning the high school reunion, which is happening this Saturday. It's weird planning it all through email - it's hard to tell if I'm not doing enough or doing too much. So I'm just trying to make sure we have the basics - a place, a time, some people, and food. Oh, and beer. That probably completes the "stand around awkwardly" survival kit. But that's a worst case scenario, I think it's going to go great and we're going to have a wonderful time.

That's my time. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. As a closing thought, if you too are stuck watching a TV show that's just not quite good enough to warrant feeling sad all the time, don't be afraid to break things off. Just unapologetically say "I don't want to watch this!" And then watch New Girl instead.