Thursday, October 3 2019

cars, tomatoes, movies, and weddings

Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful Thursday morning. The cold, rainy weather is a great excuse to hid in a pair of headphones under your favorite hoodie. That's probably what I'd be doing today if I were at work, but I have the next two days off. We're driving to Chicago for Auntie Sarah's (and Uncle Phillip's) wedding. In a few moments I'll wake everyone up, we'll start packing, and we hope to hit the rode by noon. I love car trips, don't you? Driving in the rain is less than ideal, but if you bring some good music and good coffee, car trips are a great time to talk and relax.

Yesterday I worked from home, but I still had a pretty busy day wrapping up and documenting my week's project. At the end of the day, we had a little meeting with the whole team where I walked through my notes. In the end I finally got things working, and I was grateful for that. It's always better ending a work week on a high note. After work, Rod, Marissa, and I drove to Hy-Vee to pick up some supplies to make a deep dish pizza. We got the usual corn meal for the dough, raw Italian sausage, and marinara, but I also picked up a can of San Marzano tomatoes. Chef John talked about how special these are on his channel, and the first time I saw them in Hy-Vee I did a double take. I cooked the red sauce using the whole can, letting it simmer down for almost an hour and a half. The tomatoes were pretty magical, and absolutely lived up to their reputation. I've never been too crazy about the way I make pizza sauce, so this is a pretty big win. Always happy to have another secret weapon in my back pocket.

While waiting for the pizza to come out the oven, Rod was in a silly mood. He was "sneaking" around the house with his flashlight, alternating between me and Marissa. He's peak his head into the room, then while hunched over with knees bent, he'd take these weird springy steps into the room leading with his tiny LED flashlight. Then he'd turn around, head upstairs, and do the same thing to Marissa. He did this at least three times while the pizza was in the oven.

After eating dinner, we let Rod pack some toys for the trip, then I put him down for bed. Marissa got to work assembling her new gallery desk, and I cleaned the kitchen. We had a lot of food in the fridge that was getting close to expiring, so while cleaning I sliced bananas, baked some potatoes, and prepared a few more leftovers to eat before hitting the road.

Ah, speaking of cleaning. I happened upon a great cleaning tip last night. I've always wondered about the best way to dispose of a really chunky red sauce - like the one I made last night for the pizza. Last night it occurred to me to pour the sauce through a strainer, rinsing with plenty of water. If you keep it under hot water for about five minutes, soon the entire sauce coalesces into this little puck of tomato meat and spices, and then you can just flip it into the garbage can like a pancake. Meanwhile, your drain and drain catcher are completely clean, since the strainer was doing all the work. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with that one.

After cleaning the kitchen, Marissa and I reconvened on the couch to finish watching Fantastic Mr. Fox. I brought some potato chips and little bit of hot sauce. It was cold and rainy pretty much all day, and I it felt good to warm my throat with something spicy.

After we finished Fantastic Mr. Fox, we kept the party rolling and started watching Blackkklansman, which is one of the first movie picks we've had which neither of us have seen. We're about half way through, so far it's a pretty cool & interesting cop movie.

Hope you have a great day today. For some of you, I'll see you at my sister's wedding. For everyone else, stay dry out there. Be sure to have your favorite hoodie and your favorite bottle of hot sauce on hand.