I got the notes, thanks.
Rawlings, Grant's aide, did seem to have a more enlightened idea of alcoholism - he also had concerns about his own drinking. He seems to have had a very open relationship with Grant and was able to confront him when he fell off the wagon - and to openly remove him from temptation when possible. Grant's wife Julia seemed to understand it was not something he could control too. Grant rarely drank when they were around. You wonder where their understanding came from.
It seems like a thousand years ago, but in the late 60's I went to School of Public Health in Michigan to avoid the draft. The director of my department was one of the leaders in writing the legislation for Medicare, which has just been signed into law in 1965. I was talking to him once and he said the biggest failing they had made in writing the legislation was underestimating the greed of physicians and how they would game the system.
West Virginia has been one of the states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. There are pharmacies in the state who have filled hundreds of more prescriptions for opioids than there are people in their areas.
It can be depressing thinking about how greedy our fellow humans can be.
That's so sad, Brian. And opioid misuse is slowly reaching crisis levels across Africa.
I enjoyed these last posts about cookery- I just reflected to Jane that I found cookery a useful outlet in the first few months of sobriety. The trials of catering for a family of fusspots has got to me again subsequently though. What's for dinner? is the perennial question that is so hard to answer whilst ensuring a good level of variety! If I wrote a cookbook, it would be entitled '101 Things to Do With Tinned Tomatoes- a Student Handbook.' Since I was young, tinned tomatoes have been rather too much of a regular in my cooking! I remember being broke once at university and living on spaghetti with homemade (tinned) tomato sauce for two or three months. I might have at least treated myself to some cheddar or something to go with it, but I don't think I did.
My daughter will be away for the academic year for the next three years- she and my son will finish college at the same time all being well. With just me and my husband, I might be able to get a bit more inventive with food, but unfortunately he doesn't like cheese which still annoys me even after 20 years of marriage!
Enjoy compliling your cookbook Brian- sounds like a really good thing to do!
Those tried and trusted standbys, E! I can put together a fast meal of canned and smartened-up tomato sauce, dried spaghetti or linguine, and grated decent Parmesan and when I see Jame Oliver's 15-minute meals on TV, I know many of those quick short-cuts with chicken breasts and tuna, basmati rice, stir fries etc. But because I don't have a hungry family, and because I'm at home most days, I like to do slow-cooked meals and prep at length, make my own pasta and pastry or pizza dough. I find cooking relaxing, and as you say elsewhere, it tastes so much better sober. Early on I began substituting good homemade stocks and a dryish apple juice, mushroom broth, lemon juice etc for alcohol. Now I can't stand those heavy treacly dishes with red wine and port -- having food made with volatilised alcohol has never bothered me but cleaner fresher dishes are more to my taste now. I don't cook with alcohol because I've come to realise that even the smell or idea of alcohol can be triggering for people in recovery.
No cheese at all? Most people like feta or cream cheeses even if they don't like Cheddar or pecorino. I like almost any cheese and love the runny smelly blues, Stinking Bishop etc, although my partner won't touch Roquefort and gets doubtful about Brie or Camembert. Out here we had a great cheesemaking industry, especially on the wine estates, but in the last year or two, I've had to fork out for expensive imported cheeses.
How was the food in Greece? I know Greek food is something of a cliche but when it's done well, kleftiko or spanakopita are very yummy.
He doesn't like all cheeses, or just particular cheeses? I can't imagine not liking all cheeses, but, then, I do pretty much like all cheeses.
There is a lot you can do with canned tomatoes, that doesn't sound so bad. Though I did just cook up my first batch of fresh tomato sauce of the year.
"I find cooking relaxing" I think that's the key. I do too, but I think many people don't.
Yesterday I made my first batch of fresh tomato sauce. While I was doing that, I grilled some eggplant on top of the stove. Then I sauteed some of my mutant zucchini. When the tomato sauce was done, I put some of the zucchini to let them braise for a while - they take a while to cook. I made a roux of butter and flour, and then cooked the eggplant in that and added some nutmeg and kasseri cheese. Finally, I sauteed some pork chops. This just for dinner for Ellen and me. Spending an hour or two cooking dinner is just a relaxing thing to do.
The only think I don't like making is salads. I enjoy eating salads and have one almost every time we go out to eat, but, for some reason, I just don't get any enjoyment out of making them. The only exception is a grilled romaine salad. I do like the challenge of getting the leaves grilled just right, slightly charred but not burnt - and, of course, not dropping them through the grill.
Love the sound of those mutant zucchini!
What you're talking about is the right degree of challenge to make cooking interesting. I find salads tedious when I am doing the same thing over and over, just chopping, tossing a vinaigrette, etc. If I'm toasting nuts or grilling and peeling charred red bell peppers or romaine lettuce quarters, it is something more intriguing. I rarely make the same soup, I tend to vary recipes slightly and try out new techniques and different ingredients so as to keep the experience fresh for myself.
Your eggplant/zucchini dish sounds fantastic. I like nutmeg with many vegetables and roux compositions, it is so delicate and subtle.And an hour or two is usually what I like too -- many dishes I do are slow cooking, so I go in and out of the kitchen watching sauces reduce and thicken, kneading dough for pastry or homemade pasta, making the dish in stages and finishing it off just before supper. It feels satisfying and often I have some new ingredient to try.
He will eat cheesecake! and I can sneak a bit of pesto out of a jar into a stew, and I think that usually has a little pecorino or parmesan in it. but that is it. Things were clarified somewhat when his mother told me that he would not eat refrigerated jelly when he was a child, and only liked it at room temperature. I don't think my mother would have experimented with different temperatures of jelly...you eat it, or you don't...I ate it as it was what was for pudding- and I liked it! Mum really didn't have time to worry about our likes and dislikes- although that can be a problem as well, but I'm not a fussy eater. His father didn't like cheese either. He keeps saying he is prepared to go to a hypnotist about it if I'm prepared to find him one!! I think that sums it up- it's more of a phobia than anything else. I'm not crazy about very strong blue cheeses and once a brie has that ammonia tang I won't eat it. If you extend that 'dairy gone bad' concept to all cheeses I can vaguely understand how cheese could be a problem for someone - sometimes the rind actually is just visible mould. But then he also can't bear butter on his bread (thankfully it is ok in recipes though.) Maybe because it looks a bit like cheese spread or something!
Went to a barbecue yesterday. I don't quite get grilled halloumi. Maybe if it's heavily marinated. but it was just rubbery and very salty...
Just remembering a brilliant song from 'Bear in the Big Blue House' which my kids used to watch. I think it's called The Cheese Song, or it might be When You Smell the Cheese, and contains the immortal line- Life is so much better when you smell the feta. It has a latin beat. Fab.
So I guess he's not a fan of Wallace and Gromit - one of my favorite British shows.