previous next index

December 31, 2000
a year ago
three years ago

The Old Millennium Dies Quietly

"Remember. What other people tell you is only advice. It's wisdom if and only if it works with what's inside you. Just realize that if you give someone else your wisdom, it's only advice to them."

My dreams left me with that this morning.

I kinda like it. Odd, though that that's what I got. I've been reading bits of Ernest Hartmann's Dreams & Nightmares: The New Theory on the Origin & Meaning of Dreams and it's been pretty interesting conceptual reading. Though he keeps repeating himself on the theory he's trying to prove, the examples he pulls out of his research are pretty interesting. The main premise is that dreams are subconscious processing of emotional states, a sort of wider-net processing than waking thought with an emotional underpinning rather than the waking work of logical thoughts. Dreams pull in contexts that the waking mind wouldn't do, and spreads all input across a broader network to 'spread the load' so to speak, to allow us to make contextual links to other things we've experienced to make the new experience something we can deal with in the long run.

I guess my dreams crystallized a bunch of worries of the last few years, stuff that I'm under even more emotional pressure from with the coming of the baby. How do you judge what you do with a new kid? And this may be the answer my dreaming brain came up with, and I rather like it.

I also woke up wanting to make beef curry pies. The Chinese ones, that are little half moons filled with curried meat, almost sweet and savory all in one with a very crisp, multi-layered crust. I had cracked a cook book Mom had given me on dim sum, and it just really appealed to me. John made a very nice breakfast while I contemplated the recipe, which actually called for pork, but I had ground beef and I really wanted beef. So I used the last of the really lean ground beef in the filling recipe. Filled the house with the scent of cooking onions and curry, let the spices really get going in the heat before adding the meat. Then a bit of water, sugar, and salt along with a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it all into a mass that I then set aside to cool.

The next was actually an old West Lafayette memory as well. I remembered Mom and Dad working on something before one of the potlucks and having to make an 'oil dough' and a 'water dough' and then layering the two. I didn't remember any specifics of what they did, just them working over it and Mom with a rolling pin. The water dough actually had some shortening in it (okay, the recipe called for lard, but I just wasn't brave enough to do that, shortening it was) but it also had twice the flour of the other and water to hold it all together. The oil dough really was just shortening and flour. Both were extremely easy in a food processor, so I just had the machine whirl it all up. I then portioned both doughs into 20 bits each and then had fun combining them. The fun was that I wrapped each oil piece in a water piece and then rolled it out into a small oblong. I rolled the oblong up, jelly-roll style, and then squashed it and rolled it out again and rolled it up again. The rolled up piece of dough was then reshaped into a ball and put under a damp cloth.

I did that to all twenty pieces of dough. Then I rolled each piece out into a three inch circle and then filled it with the beef filling, folded it in half, sealed the edge and then crimped it with a rope crimp, like on a pie, but much smaller. That was pretty fun. When I was half done with the whole batch, I turned on the oven and finished the rest. Three of them wouldn't fit on the main tray, so I put them in their own tray and stuck them in the toaster oven. I brushed a beaten egg on all of them and let them bake.

The closer heat of the toaster oven finished the three separate ones much faster than the big oven did the others. Since the insides were completely cooked the only thing that really needed cooking was the pastry shell. So these browned up nicely and when they came out were crisp and utterly flaky on the outside. The insides were so hot I burned my mouth on 'em. But it smelled exactly as I remembered the bakery versions of these did. The taste was a little flat, but that might have been the curry's fault more than anything else. Some might say that it's 'cause I didn't use lard.

That took care of a chunk of the day, which was pretty quiet as well. In the afternoon Jerry called us to ask if we wanted to do dinner and a movie, and since we didn't have anything planned we decided to do so. Caberra's was really yummy. It's an Italian place that's owned by the same folks that own Outback, and the food is pretty straightforward and yummy. I had the chicken marsala and it was really good. The medallions were thin and tender and the sauce was really savory with prosciutto, mushrooms, and the dry marsala. It was really, really good. The pasta with it, however, as rather overcooked and I didn't like it at all, so I didn't eat much of it which was really good as I then had room for later.

The three of us then went over to the Westminster 24 and found that we could easily get tickets for Miss Congeniality, as there was an hour and a half until it was showing. There were still tickets available for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the 6:40 showing. Jerry wanted to see that, but since the theater was only a few minutes away from the theater, he said that it didn't really matter to him as he could always come back. I do want to see it again, but not in a completely packed theater again. So we got tickets for Miss Congeniality.

Since it was a while, we walked around a bit. There was an ice rink across the street, over a walkway, and there was a sports bar over there. So we went there and they had desserts! The waitress even said that there was a chocolate bomb type of dessert, with a yummy chocolate, runny muffin filled with a scoop of ice cream. I asked for that along with a glass of milk. Sadly, they'd run out of the muffins, so, instead, she brought us a four layer chocolate cake that was densely dark and rich with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. It was really yummy, and I was glad that I had the room. It was much, much more comfortable waiting in the restaurant than standing in the theater, and we were almost a bit too late getting to the theater because we were comfortable.

We had to split up to get seats. It was actually that full, which surprised me a little, but I guess it's vacation. The movie was fun. Sandra Bullock at her nerdy and beautiful best. The plot wasn't especially deep or meaningful, but then I wasn't looking for that. It was fun. We laughed a whole lot and it was very enjoyable, which, I guess is good enough for me. The Fish didn't seem startled by the sounds of the movie, so I have a little hope that he might actually be bringable to movies when he's out. At least for a little while.

By the time we got Jerry back to his house it was already past 10, so we just went home. I was turning into a pumpkin and very sleepy and tired, but there's something about staying up for midnight on New Years Eve. There was also the 24 hour marathon of Iron Chef! Which we missed the first hour of because I forgot that it started East Coast time, but stuck tape in to the VCR to catch the next six hours. I'd have to get up at 5 am to swap tapes, but since I'm normally getting up three or four times a night, it wasn't a problem. We did stay up until midnight, for all that I was tired. It reminded me, too much, of all the dozens of new years eves where the dozens of kids at the Chinese potlucks my parents took us to were forcibly keeping our eyes open as Dick Clark counted down the hours to the New Year. It was nice to just be snuggled up with John, watching the fireworks all down the 16th street mall in Denver fire off at the fall of the old year.

So it's now the new millennium. For real. Yay!

[ Previous | Next | Index | Mail ]