Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chill out

Man it's been cold lately. Sunny, but cold. I guess I didn't expect it to be much different, but expecting and experiencing are two entirely different things. Still, the sun is nice, though I wouldn't mind some snow either, and I'm more the prepared for Winter, what with my many heavy coats, gloves, boots, wool socks, etc.

The cold does give me a little concern, however. Until recently my heat has come on sparingly. The grocery downstairs is kept quite warm and that leeches up to my room keeping things pleasant, but this last weekend the temperatures stayed below freezing the entire time and my heater started to kick in pretty regularly. Without that heater I'm not sure what I'd do. The reason I think about this is that although it is a gas heater the thermostat is run by electricity. During the first snow storm of my stay, that Halloween Nor'easter, the power went out almost the entire day and it got pretty cold in here. Should the power go out again this Winter I worry that it may get very cold in here. That gas heater is the only heat I have, there is no fireplace or anything like that and I feel like keeping Machias in power may not be the highest of priorities so if there is a power outage maybe it will be a long one. I guess bundling up like mad and wrapping myself up with my dog in bed might keep me warm, but miss natural-fur-coat probably won't stand for it and instead bug me about taking a bazillion walks.

This is all speculation of course. Other then that initial power outage there has been snow and rain storms without any interruption of power (interruption of internet for all of Washington county sure, but the power was still on), and no one here has given any indication that long power outages are at all to be expected. Maybe they'd let me bring my dog to a lounge at the school. Well, probably won't happen, but if it does I just hope I have enough socks.

Today I got into one of those conversations that you really don't have time for but you also have no excuse to interrupt. I needed some mint for some cacik I was making so headed downstairs. While I was purchasing the tiny amount I needed the clerk was talking about how her young daughter had been in a locally produced horror movie and she wasn't sure she wanted to let her watch her own film. I started to talk about horror films with her and an older gentleman who was in the shop. Eventually it was just me and the man talking and the conversation began to drift. Turns out he was this old hippy-ish guy who lived in Portugal and was in Machias to visit his daughter and son-in-law. He was the type of guy who had basically lived everywhere; Sonoma, Sweden, Denmark, Florida, South Carolina... Apparently he got most of the places he lived by sailing (whether he sailed from Portugal in this instance I don't know). We talked about social issues, politics, and family backgrounds. All this time I wanted to go upstairs and make my cacik so it could marinate in the fridge for awhile (can something really marinade in itself?) but despite the fact that I'm not a fan of talking politics and wasn't entirely interested in telling my whole family history, I couldn't inspire myself to make up some excuse to leave. It wasn't one of those moments where you're really uncomfortable and want to get the hell away from a person, I genuinely just wanted to make my food. I guess I wasn't so eager for my psyche to step in and shut me up cause I ended up talking to the guy for an hour until I really had to pull away because Hastur was expecting her afternoon walk.

The cacik got done when we finished out walk and is in the fridge now, and it's really good. Once again, though, I am reminded how hard it is to make garlic paste without a garlic press (THAT WAS NOT A HINT! NOBODY SEND ME A GARLIC PRESS!).


  1. Ah, now I know what cacik is....

  2. there is a way to press garlic with out a press if you have two forks. fork down with one fork to hold it.
    take the second fork and with the tines smoosh thru the clove 90 degrees to the way you are holding the garlic down. Then turn the fork and smoosh it the other way. I learned it from Jacques Pepin so there is likely a video somewhere.

    BTW my gym is next to Trader Joes so if there is something you need I could buy and send it to you.

    Flavors in a thing like cacik take time to marry and yes marinate as the acids sort of cook the ingredients.