Week 24/2022: Thank you for the public holiday, The Queen

Week of 13 June 2022

Thank you for the public holiday, The Queen

It’s Friday and I’m behind on my posts. I’ve been ordered to rest, so I’m posting as much as I’ve already written for this week and leaving it at that.

I had some thoughts on my morning walks but that can wait for another time.

What did I want to do this week?

  • Finish assignment 4B and submit it
  • Work on assignment 4C (the last one!)
  • Finish the final daily pause blog post
  • Work on the 4000 Weeks blog post
  • Take photos of the windows
  • Listen to more of the INTP productivity workshop
  • Brainstorm activities for Mindspot Week 4

Did I do it?

You already know I did the blog post on the daily pause and that my exercise for this week was to keep my phone away from meal times, not just at dinner time but all meals. I did it six days at breakfast and four days at lunch time.

Kramstable had recovered by the end of the week so we were able to do the role play learning session for my overdue TAFE assignment (thing 8). I spent most of Sunday working on that, editing it, trying to get around video glitches and computer crashes so I could submit it. I stayed up later than I would normally do and got it in so it would be there when the teachers started work on Monday. And having completed that, I was able to do most of assignment 4C, which was actually due on Monday morning. I need to wait for feedback on the video before I can finish it though, so I have done what I can.

The other things, I did not do.

Rocks, splashy waves and the full moon
High tide and a full moon

22 for 2022 summary

  • Things completed to date: 5 (10, 11, 13, 18, 22)
  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things I worked on this week: 2: (8, 21)
  • Things in progress: 4 (1, 8, 12, 21)
  • Things not started: 13 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20)

What do I want to do next week?

I need to

  • Finish assignment 4C, submit it and do any follow up work I need to complete that task
  • Work on the 4000 Weeks blog post
  • Take photos of the windows
  • Listen to more of the INTP productivity workshop
  • Brainstorm activities for Mindspot Week 4

Weekly summary

What did I learn this week?

I learned that it’s possible to make up a recipe from a description of a dish provided in a novel. Specifically, there was a chilli recipe in the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which I’ve just finished reading.

He describes the dish like this

Laura made a great chili. She used lean-cut meat, dark kidney beans, carrots cut small, a bottle or so of dark beer, and freshly sliced hot peppers. She would let the chili cook for a while, then add red wine, lemon juice, and a pinch of fresh dill, and, finally, measure out and add her chili powders.

On more than one occasion Shadow had tried to get her to show him how she made it: he would watch everything she did, from slicing the onions and dropping them into the olive oil at the bottom of the pot on. He had even written down the sequence of events, ingredient by ingredient, and he had once made Laura’s chili for himself on a weekend when she had been out of town. It had tasted okay–it was certainly edible, and he ate it, but it had not been Laura’s chili.

I wanted to make my own version so I started out following the description in the book. I think chilli has to have tomatoes in it so I added those. I used cayenne pepper rather than chilli powders. I have one chilli powder. It’s called “chilli powder”. No, actually I have two. I also have Kashmiri chilli. I didn’t use that. I didn’t have any red wine so I had to use red wine vinegar. I also didn’t have any dill, and the lack of variety of fresh chillis meant that my choices in that space were very limited.

I wasn’t sure if this would work or what else I might need so I googled “Laura’s chili from American Gods” and found several people had also attempted to make up a recipe using Neil Gaiman’s description as a base. One recipe that sounded pretty close also included cumin, a pinch of turmeric, “assorted chilli powders” as well as cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of cocoa. The author said

I love the colors of this thick and savory chili, those rich dark reds, the flashes of orange carrots, and the sprinkle of seasonings. The huge amounts of cumin and spices amp up the other flavors, while the dill and lemon add a bit of an acidic zip. I’d never before added cocoa powder to a chili, but after this batch, will do it to every chili to follow. Although not specifically mentioned in the ingredients listed in the novel, the cocoa deepens the flavors of the chili, and could potentially account for Shadow’s inability to really recreate Laura’s recipe.

Another version included coriander, beef stock, cayenne, chilli and cumin. And yet another included celery, garlic, chipotles, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, cumin, oregano and a bay leaf. I thought these were starting to stray too far from the original recipe in the novel, but I like the one with cocoa powder. I think that’s a Mexican thing.

It tasted good, and I’m going to keep experimenting until I find my own version. And next time, I’ll photograph it so you can see the evidence!

What was the best thing about this week?

Lots of good things happened this week, along with the hard stuff.

What I’m reading this week

  • Truths from an Unreliable Witness by Fiona O’Loughlin
  • The Book of Joy by His Holiness Dalai Lama XIV, Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
  • The Bogan Mondrian by Steve Herrick

Habit tracker

  • Days I went for a walk in the morning (Goal = 7): 5
  • No phone at breakfast (Goal = 7): 6
  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I did controlled breathing (Goal = 7): 7
  • No phone at lunch time (Goal = 7): 4
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 4): 4
  • Finish work by 5.30 (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 2
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 7
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.30 (Goal = 6): 6
  • Weekly review at work: Yes
  • Weekly review at home: I started it but didn’t finish it. Other things took over.
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