And lo, when rain came, and a night and day of snow-melting warmth, the water defied my expectations by ceasing its infiltration into the house.
I now look back at the heart-wrenching decision to remove the dangerous old oak tree and breathe a sigh of relief, because we could have easily been dealing with that through our roof. A little cosmetic water damage above the kitchen window? I can live with that.
Work on the cookbook has slowed a little because I have largely run out of recipes that I can recite from memory. Now I'm into new territory, cooking old dishes for the first time with a measuring cup, and trying entirely new things. This evening I cooked rice on the stove top for the first time in almost a decade, and I cooked cabbage, plain and simple, for perhaps only the second time in my life.
Some memorable out-takes: I tried a recipe for parsnip-peanut-butter French fries that was a total flop; somewhere in that combination is a tasty dish, but my version turned out so very unlike the promised results that I won't be tinkering with it. But the bonus is that I know now that parsnips are delicious. Forget the cooking, I'll take 'em raw.
And not for the cookbook but for me: I made pot stickers from scratch. The filling was tofu, minced cabbage, and some Chinese sauce from a jar. The wrappers came in a package; I filled 'em, closed 'em, and cooked 'em. I absolutely nailed the fry/steam technique that a Chinese friend told me about a few years back, causing none of the pot stickers to stick to the pan, and they were beyond delicious. And, of course, the picky toddler rejected them. I think the purple filling was just too scary. I'll have to try again with a meat filling, or something else less colorful.
For the time being, I am giving up on photographing the cookbook foods. I just have too much else to do if I want to complete this project.
Speaking of which, I need to go write down what I learned this evening. . .