Wednesday, January 07, 2009

on the first monday of the year

I didn't have time, in the last week or so, to really put to mind the notion of making New Year's Resolutions, so busy I've been making something of a New Life Philosophy. Which is less a new life and more the same old life, now with fifty percent more. More moxie, more honesty, more Say What You Mean and Stick To It. Like that. It's funny how such things can work. You might find yourself in a frustrated, venting moment declaring something serious ,with facetious bravado flare. And then you might find, so ironically, the very thing you spoke of ringing your doorbell, unexpectedly, the very next day, giving you no choice but to sink or swim. Do what you said or wimp out. Oh, it's all very well to set fictional boundaries, but navigating tangible ones is always more difficult than it seems like it should be. The self-loathing fall-out though, from walking away from a situation, wishing you'd only said such-and-such instead, is so much worse than any brief awkwardness, the evanescence of hot cheeks and a raised pulse.

So while I didn't say I'd suddenly start going to the gym every day and then actually do it (as a seasonally recognized example, that. seeing as I've never been to a gym and don't so much plan to), I did make a pact with myself to be true and to speak up when it counts, and a situation presented itself to me right away and I did it, with no regrets. Look at that, a week into the New Year and already a smashing success.

And, additionally, I have made quiet commitments for a number of scattered personal and domestic endeavors. Commitments, not resolutions, because I've already resolved to do them long ago, they're so basic and obvious and necessary. I simply aim to steel myself against the sneaky inundation of resentment, to do the things I need to do and not be a crybaby about it. The laundry, the dishes (haven't I re-adjusted my attitude about handwashing all these dishes before? hm. yes. well. here we go again.), the facilitation of my daughter's education. I am getting back on track with other things, kombucha, push-ups, making stuff. I allowed myself to get a little off-kilter (read: lazy) and the new year is as good of a time as any to jump back on it.

But because I'm slow and prone to distraction, let's just cinch it down even smaller: a Monday is a good time to get with it. Maybe that's why Mondays are so dreaded. The weekly re-start wherein we make up for our shortcomings the week before. And two days ago (what with today being Wednesday, clearly I have not made any such commitment to 'regular blogging'), on the first Monday of the year, I rocked it. The kitchen was clean (maybe you can keep your dishwasher-free kitchen effortlessly spotless, but this always feel like such a huge accomplishment to me), my bed was made, the laundry all where it needed to be.

And my family was happy. And why wouldn't they be? In an effort to be evermore committed to surprising them with sweet, special things: I whipped up some stove top caramel corn.

Sometimes I break out kernels and the air popper for a quick (so quick!) salty snack. But this was the first time I coated the popped corn with some sort of caramel-y sauce. It was such a snap and the mmm wow this-is-so-good reactions were well worth it. I used this recipe as a starting point, but with a wee bit more salt, I think, maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and my usual rapadura as my granulated sweetener of choice. It's a tasty sauce; I think the baking soda is the trick to setting up and coating the corn so nicely. It made more sauce than I needed for 2/3 C popping corn (measured prior to popping), so next time I'll make less sauce or pop more corn. Because eating the extra caramel sauce out of the pan w/ a wooden spoon is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but then later, not so much.

My creation


Lisa said...

I have a dishwasher and my kitchen is very rarely tidy and clean, so I would be in big trouble if I had to handwash!

Thanks for posting the recipe, I was wondering if you would.

Angelina said...

That sounds so good! I'm scared to try making caramel. I tried once and it burned and now I just don't believe I'm capable. But I love caramel so some day I'm going to just have to do it.