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December 11, 1999
two years ago

Biking, Work and Roast Beast

I slept in late. I'd promised myself that, even with things to do for work. I needed the sleep and it was nice when John woke up that he did just go out and leave me the whole bed. I enjoyed that a lot.

When I did get up, John rambled into the bathroom with a mug of coffee. Yesterday, one of our co-workers spoke with John because his brother, from Jamaica's Blue Mountain, was visiting for the holidays. The brother owned a coffee estate there and wanted to start selling his coffees on-line, which is part of why he's visiting the U.S.. So when John asked how he could buy the coffee, the co-worker gave him an 8 oz. sample and said, just take that for now. So he did. He brewed some up this morning, and now I know why they say Blue Mountain coffee is the best in the world. It's deeply flavored, but with no bitterness, a smooth, clean acidity with no after-taste. It's almost like drinking the Scharffen-Berger chocolate, clean and uncluttered and deep with a singular flavor. Perfect coffee.

Well it would have been if I'd brushed my teeth, so he meandered back out again, so that I could clean up my morning mouth, and then, while I sipped that gorgeous coffee, he said that he wanted to go for a bike ride. I hadn't biked since Tuesday, so I wanted to go out too, forgetting, for just a bit that lately I haven't gone out at all without a few layers of clothing. Wind plus bike speed equals FUCKING COLD!!

I figured this out in time, so had a thermal, long-sleeved shirt under my long-sleeved biking jersey of deep purple. Long, grey leggings went on under all that, and I had my helmet, sun glasses, and my usual sneakers and off we went on our mountain bikes. My tires were a bit flat, probably just because the cold made the air more dense, and so we added some pressure to them and off we went. There weren't quite as many cars as the last time we road, which was a good thing, but the first stretch was all head-on into the wind and the morning sunlight. My eyes were watering badly for the first half of that stretch, but by the time I reached the end of that stretch, whatever was in my right eye finally cleared out. Yay! So I had completely clear vision for the good, long ride straight down the hill. Wheeeeeee....

That was fun.

Erie as busy this morning. Lots of cars, people out in the sunshine, folks meandering about and doing their business of the morning. Folks just standing at their front doors, watching the world wander by and waving now and again. We said hi to a lot of folks, only seeing one other bicycle out. Most folks were bundled up and hurrying about, but it was a cheerful, bright sort of day. With all the houses, there was little wind and we took a relaxed route through the town and saw what there was to see.

The road up to Northridge was pretty quiet, too, the bridge had small, palm-sized sheets of ice all over it. The buffalo weren't out. We road through the development, watching some of the construction guys hard at work. Some of the houses we'd seen there last February were still up for sale. That's hard. So it was likely good that we hadn't bought there last year. The ride up Rue de Trust was as sloped as it always is and the wind was now from my left and the left side of my face was really cold by the time we made it back home. Fezzik was standing by the gate by the time we reached, it just waiting for us and really happy that we'd come home 'early'. That was fun to be greeted so enthusiastically.

Lunch was the last of the Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing, the last of the gravy and some fresh stuffing. Safeway did something I've always wanted. They've actually started selling their celery by the stalk rather than by the bunch. I never get through an entire bunch of celery unless I'm making so much chicken that I also make chicken broth along with multiple batches of stuffing. So it was really keen to be able to just buy two stalks of celery and use one of them for enough stuffing for the two of us. Yay! It was a really good, hot lunch and after lunch, John went off to do some errands while I went upstairs to work.

I got good and distracted by my journal entries; but I also mostly accomplished what I wanted to get done, so the duality was kinda nice. Good to just concentrate on what I wanted to do instead of being jerked around by all the things that I *could* do. It's so very different at home than at work, especially when I'm completely without a net connection and can't do things like check on stock prices, other journals, ebay, articles on new high-tech stuff, read my work email, or the hundreds of other things I could be doing with my time. It's very straightforward here at home. It's actually something of a relief to be caught up on my journal as well, because then it's just not something else that's bugging my back brain. With CeLena's work on my hand and arm on Tuesday, everything has felt better since. The weight machine at work has also done good things, it seems, along with regular stretching and good nights of sleep.

John wandered into the study around 6 and we spent nearly two hours cleaning up other things that had to be done with the basic functionality that I wanted to get finished for the weekend. By the time we were done it was nearly 8 and we hadn't gone shopping for dinner things. We'd talked about having roast beast, i.e. roast beef because Albertson's was having quite the sale on beef. They had a gorgeous looking rib roast for only $3.99 a pound. A rib roast is the same thing as prime rib, and that was very cheap for a lot of meat. We debated just cooking something and doing the roast tomorrow, but we really wanted roast, and we both weren't as terribly hungry as we thought we might be. So we went shopping, instead.

A roast, some HUGE shrimp, and a low blood sugar wander through the grocery store later, we got back home. I covered the roast in a rub, did a pan searing and stuck it in the oven on a bed of carrots and potatos to keep it out of its own grease. Then I cleaned out the shrimp, sliced, thinly, a very large clove of garlic, and then put a little butter and a good amount of olive oil in a pan. The garlic slices went in first, and then, when the slices started to be aromatic, the huge shrimp went in. These were about 10 count shrimp, where the 'count' is the number of shrimp that make up a pound. So, in this case, four shrimp made up two-fifths of a pound of seafood. I gently sauted them well past when normal shrimp would be tough and they were still slightly translucent in the thickest part, so I stood them on the thickest part for a while and let them cook longer. When they came out they were still crisp, and the thin slices of garlic were also crisp from the frying. Everything was good and garlicy and we ate the shrimp as an appetizer for the main meal as it was about a 20 minute per pound sort of deal for the solid roast.

When we couldn't stand it any longer, we took it out and it was still pretty raw in the very center, so we sliced from the outside, and then let the rest go back into the oven for some more slow roasting. By the time we'd finished the portions we had, the whole of the prime rib was a beautiful medium rare. The potatoes and carrots were tender and crisp on the outside from the beef drippings, and flavored with the same seasonings I'd rubbed on the outside of the roast. John made a salad to go with everything and we dumped good blue cheese dressing on top. There was at least half the roast leftover. Sandwiches for tomorrow.

I was really, really tired and it was 11 by the time we were through. I fell into bed, exhausted from all the exercise and the work and the good cooking. Yum.

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