For the most part, I’ve been in a good mood the last couple of days. And I think in this type of mood, it is much easier to just appreciate the small things in a day. Not saying everything is rosy because there are still some frustrating parts to the day (I got stuck in a 45 minute traffic jam on the way to the studio today, for example). But I’m just able to focus on the things that are on the good side of the ledger.
I’ve mentioned our farmer’s market before and it is one of the reasons I really love summer. I’m finding that there is no substitute for fresh produce. It started in the early spring with spinach and salad mixes that beat any bagged stuff you’d get at a mega market. Fresh peas are amazing. You get a sweetness that you will never get at a grocery store. There’s one guy who planted a bunch of garlic last fall so he has young garlic cloves where the outer skin hasn’t dried. They are more pungent than dried garlic when you dice them up but the flavor is mellower than normal garlic.
Oh, and I can never buy eggs from the store again. There’s an amish family that runs a farm about an hour north of here and they always come with eggs and cheese and meat. After these eggs, I can understand why people would put up with chickens because there just is no comparison.
And the best is the sweet corn! Again, there is a farm a little north of here and I have no idea how many acres of corn they’ve got but they come down and hit almost every farmer’s market in town. And the people line up when it is in season. They have so much corn that you buy a half dozen ears and there are usually 8 ears in the bag.
So tonight I made a salmon corn soup from a recipe that was in the paper. I suppose I should fess up that we get our salmon online from a place that ships fish direct from Alaska. It is kind of an indulgence but salmon is good for you and we eat a lot of it so I think it is worth spending a little more for something you are going to put in your body. But, outside of the salmon, cream and seasonings, all of the other ingredients were from the market. Bacon, corn, onion and potatoes. The star of the dish was the corn. The recipe called for blending some of it with the cream and cooked potatoes and it just put a subtle sweetness through the whole soup. Its a little thing but having a recipe turn out makes me happy.
Tomorrow we are making a dish with yellow squash. I’m not a big summer squash fan but we got one of those fancy spiralizers and it turns the squash into a pasta like thing that you can add various sauces to and it turns out good. I’m not going to lie and tell you it is exactly like eating spaghetti (I hate it when people do that) because it isn’t. The texture is different and it doesn’t absorb sauce the way pasta does. But it is healthier and it isn’t a bad substitute.
Oh, my tags promised some ballroom information and I did have a lesson tonight. We continued to work on the Cha-Cha and to fancy it up, OwnerGuy introduced Guapacha timing in our change of places. Basically, you step on the 1, but hold on the 2 and then do an and-3. Still three steps but the timing is different and it gives things a different look which breaks up the monotony of the rest of the dance. JoNY was super excited about doing this (she gets super excited about lots of things). It took a little getting used to.
OwnerGuy changes a couple of other things as well. Nothing major but he wants me to keep her on a line during the Puzzle rather than what I was doing which was to give her too much rotation. Now, I just roll her out, do two walks and cha-cha sort of in place but basically going in the direction she’s going. There’s a rock step right before the surprise break and he wants me to rotate that more and get around her. There’s another rock step in the puzzle where I also need to get around her to give her more room to do her lock steps away from me. So its work on the transitions which smooths out the steps and makes it more like dancing.
We did two complete passes of the routine including the loop and there was about 10 minutes left in the lesson so he says we’ll just finish with some Rumba. I guess the act of writing it down in all that detail helped because we just walked right through it. I actually remembered more of it than JoNY so there were parts where I was truly leading. Again, we completed two full passes of the Rumba even though we hadn’t touched it in a week.
So the process seems to be working and that also makes me happy and that just made today a good day.