Monday, May 10, 2010

smoking? pot? what?

“Again, understand that walking away is a kind of communication, too. Sometimes "better communication" is "less communication." You can't argue everything. And you can't argue the things you pick ad infinitum.”

This is an input in a conversation thread at Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog after a long comment thread blew up last week on one of his entries. Within the confines of the discussion it's pretty hard to process and when pulled out of the context it makes lots of confused sense to me. I don’t even know if that makes sense, check that. I think the heart of the sentence is that we, as political and social creatures, tend to think we have the back story of an issue when we really don’t; that story comes from the experiences of our lives and no one else’s. We don’t understand the position of another person whose life is so varied from ours and sometimes positing, and then forcefully debating that issue, isn’t going to necessarily come to something positive. As much as I want to believe in my opinion on gay rights, women’s rights, civil rights, being black, or growing up poor, the facts are the facts and I’ll never know regardless of my good intentions; sometimes that’s hard to accept. Sometimes you do your level best and then walk away.

We managed our way through L.’s birthday dinner, and a bit of an ode to the mothers at the table, last night. She requested salmon (I smoked it), magic potatoes, and tzatziki. She also picked out a chocolate cake from the Great Baking Book and we made that together in the afternoon. Nothing says lots of dirty pots and dishes like a made-from-scratch cake – I actually ran out of stuff to use.

Our trip to Eastern Market yesterday was a smash. The crepe guy was there and with our early arrival we were able to beat most of the line and at least keep warm with crepes for The 61. I went savory and the two girls went sweet. We gathered up the King of Chairs that we purchased last week (see below), X picked up some pearls, and I pulled some cheese from the Market’s cheese seller, some S.C. strawberries, and a pound of fresh S. Virginia asparagus. We also stumbled upon a gentleman who runs a great stand that stocks used cookbooks and used cast iron and enameled cast iron cookware. He gathers high quality used Le Crueset, Capco, and other marks and then sells them for a fraction of what you’d pay at Williams or elsewhere. The Copco stuff he had was about $35-$40 per piece and quite nice but couldn’t match the three pieces that X scored at Goodwill for $10, total, a few months back. He was happy we had some at home and didn’t rue the fact that we’d managed product for so little. (Copco is now making the Batali stuff so if you’ve seen that newer line then you have a general idea of the classic line.) He also had five or six volumes of the late 1970s set of Time Life cookbooks that are popular among all chefs – most of my instructors have a least a portion of the nearly 30-volume set. I grabbed four of those and disappeared into the morning sun.

I’m registered for classes next quarter (begins after the 4th of July holiday) and have Garde Manger, Intro to Baking , and Intro to Pastry. I sense loads of sweets and breads early in the week.


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