I said I would explain about wanting more orchids (and I did buy a second orchid yesterday).

I watch Brothers and Sisters (and am I the only one who had been worried that Scotty’s one night of infidelity had been with Saul?). To make a long story short (I’d add a “Too late.” here, but due to emotional scarring I no longer make jokes about Clue), Sarah and Luc had gotten engaged, but Sarah got freaked out about marriage after finding out that her BIL had cheated on her brother, remembering the problems in her first marriage. Luc asked Sarah if she sees a beautiful orchid, does she not buy it because she knows it will just die?

At the end of the episode, Luc came home and Sarah was sitting there with an orchid. She said she’s never been able to keep a house plant alive for more than three days. And watching her brother and his husband, it reminded her that, “Life is about buying the damn plant, nurturing and watering it and doing whatever you can to make sure it doesn’t die…”

It struck two thing with me. First, I, too, have always had problems with house plants. I’m not sure if my cyclamen is dying or not; no matter what I do, my mum is definitely on it’s last legs, and the jury is still out on my jade.

I’ve always liked orchids, but I’d never gotten any because I figured it was a lot of money for something I would inevitably ill. Orchids were supposed to be hard – Little Brother used to have orchids, but he’s the kind of guy who can jam a stick into the ground and spring forth a maple tree (seriously – he actually did that as a kid). But on a whim last month, I picked up a white orchid at Whole Foods (my favorite place for buying basic cut flowers, incidentally – I’ve gotten gerbera daises there that have lasted 10 days).

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but whatever it is, it seems to be working – my orchid is apparently flourishing. Which frustrates me to no end because yet again, something which seems impossible to the masses is an innate ability for me, and I can’t do the easy stuff to save myself.

It also reminded me (actually, the whole episode did) that really, I have no fear of commitment.  I may have a slight fear of being committed, but I am all about commitment – people, animals, things, ideas, movements, jobs – you name it, I’m okay with it.

What I’m not okay with is that while I have no problems with commitment, it seems like the rest of the world – people, employers, etc – have a problem with making a commitment to me. Am I really that intimidating? Am I not worth it?

(a little more on this later)

NaNoWriMo is…going. I inadvertently was 161 words shy on Day 1, but I made up for it on Day 2. Still working on today’s addition. It’s still untitled, but a basic description my novel is if Touched by an Angel had been a lot more like Dead Like Me and then turned into a reality show.

Have had some cooking adventures over the past few days…made Ina’s Parmesan and Thyme Crackers and Nigella Lawson’s Peanut Butter Squares to take to a baby shower on Saturday (and now I really want How to be a Domestic Goddess). It was the first time I had cooked/baked for anybody here in Boston in almost two years. It meant a lot to hear their praise, but it also reinforced how much I hate cooking for just me.

Monday night I roasted a chicken, using Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe (though I used it out of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which had didn’t have fennel and the carrots were optional (I used baby carrots plus red fingerling potatoes, and left out the onion)). Or as I described it to The Mom, “You know – the version where you shove lemons up the chicken’s ass.” I was quite pleased with how it came out, especially the carrots and potatoes. Besides leaving out the onion, I think my only modifications were using a bigger chicken (she says 5-6 pounds; mine was 7.38) and using tarragon instead of thyme (I’d bought time, but it fell out of my shopping bag on the T).

Then this morning, I tried yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s from the upcoming ad hoc at home, by Thomas Keller; thanks to a friend elsewhere in Internet-land, I found a preview of the recipe here.

I was concerned by the non-use of vanilla; not so much by starting with cold butter – I actually kinda understand the science behind that. I loved the idea of two different kinds of chocolate – I even bought good chocolate for it (Scharffen Berger 70% bars and Guittard 55% chocolate chips). However, I did not sift the chopped bars to remove the finer particles because a)with what I paid for said chocolate, I wasn’t wasting any of it; and b)the cookies ended up looking just fine. And as I prefer chewier cookies, I did mist them with water (I keep a spray bottle in the kitchen, supposedly for watering plants but it gets more use blocking finished knitting projects)

The verdict? YUM. I only got 18 cookies instead of 30, but I think I was making them a little bigger than the recipe intended (I was using my bigger cookie scoop). Not to mention that having fewer cookies means I’ll finish them before they get too stale.

And the Guittard chips are amazing (I taste-tested a few, of course) – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use Nestle’s for cookies again.

(Long post tonight…now if I can get just as much written on my novel…)

Ending tonight on the theme of commitment, and considering that yesterday was Election Day…despite my political positions being more in line with Thomas Jefferson (another polymath!), my favorite of the Founding Fathers is John Adams. I was thinking of a line from 1776, when Abigail is quoting one of his letters back to him (it might even be from one of his actual letters in reality; I’m still trying to verify that): “Commitment, Abby, commitment! There are only two creatures of value on the face of this earth: those with a commitment, and those who require the commitment of others.” This is shortly followed by my favorite song in the film/musical:

 

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