Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mise en place

So this morning I had my breakfast (open-faced sandwiches of tuna, tahini, tomatoes and cayenne on Wasa, cherries, milk and my ubiquitous 2 c coffee with milk) all set out and arranged beautifully. And then T called and I started munching away while talking and completely forgot to take a picture. So it goes. But here are some other delicious eats from the past couple of days!Sunday morning
  • overnight oats (1/2 c milk, 1/2 c yoghurt, with about 1/2 c total of rolled oats and oat bran
  • about a cup of blueberries
  • coffeeeee
  • funny papers!
Last night's dinner:
  • a salmon steak, pan-grilled with a little EVOO and topped with Greek yoghurt and fresh-cut purple basil
  • Caprese salad minus the cheese and with more basil
  • cherries cherries cherries
  • Fish Eye Pinot Grigio that went awesomely with the cherries
  • the most incredible dessert coffee ever: "Wake Me Up Before You Cocoa," available now for a limited time at your local Fresh Market!

Go get some right now. Then brew it double strength and drink it out of tiny cups with a little splash of real cream. And don't forget to crook your pinkie and talk about world politics.

Today's lunch
  • 1 big salad, with spinach, toms, shrooms, tofu, eggs and balsamic vinaigrette
  • "seafood bisque." i have NO idea what was really in it
  • water with a splash of cranberry juice
  • official SAS chocolate square (dark, natch)
I'm doing this 5-week financial planning course through my dad's workplace, and today was the first one. The gist of the lecturing part was, most basically, "saving is good! we like to save!" There was a good emphasis on writing down specific goals and doing the math to figure out how to accomplish them, but I kind of feel like the majority of the message will be things I've already quite realised: save as much as possible, buy things with cash rather than credit, make a realistic budget and stick to it, etc etc. We'll see how the rest of the deal goes, though.

Lately I've had this odd feeling that the things I am doing right now - and not just the overt planning for the future, but also the daydreams and the definitionless minutiae and all of it - are going to significantly steer how the rest of my life goes. I have no idea how this will go about being accomplished, or even if it will. But it's like there's this constant, ever-so-slight hum, continuing on below all the clamor of everyday life, like the sound of a gong vibrating after it's been struck. And every so often something happens that seems to set off a bell in my head - not a chorus of clanging alarm bells, as the literary cliche goes, but just one - a very small, soft, sweet tone, but one that is almost terrifyingly insistent, and heavy with significance.

And it's entirely up to me to hear these signals, figure out the true significance of these events and then decide what to do with that information. I'm working on the building blocks (an education, a store of knowledge (these latter two are quite different), a satisfying career, healthy finances, healthy relationships, health in general...) and trying to fit them all together at the same time. And, to be honest, it's pretty maddening. I'm trying to build a house while the bricks are still being formed - although in my case I guess it's while the straw is still being baled.

So this is when I put away the planner and calendar, close the budget software and class schedule, pour myself a good cuppa and start doodling out what the end of the road looks like, with no missing or unfinished pieces. Just everything where it's supposed to go.

Mise en place.


Question for the lurkers: what does your "end of the road" look like?


  1. Your big salad looks awesome! I love the idea of a cheeseless caprese salad too.

  2. I love how you tied this post into your title...very clever.

    That salmon steak you had for dinner sounds delicious!

  3. Sarah, thanks! The cheeselessness was more out of immediate hunger (and lack of cheese - lord knows I'm a mozz fan!) than design, but it really worked to balance out the heavier salmon.

    Thanks, Joanne :) "Mise en place" has been one of my favorite little sayings ever since I discovered it through cooking lingo. I just love the image it conveys, of everything set just where it's supposed to be, with a nod towards pleasing the eye as well as being useful.