Someone really needs to take these new knives away from me.
Tonight I made Tuna Puttanesca for dinner. I can’t even remember what I was using the knife for, the same chef’s knife that sliced open my left ring finger last night, but all of a sudden I realized the knife slipped into the flesh on my left forefinger. I didn’t see any blood initially, so I thought nothing of it.
It wasn’t till I was helping Kurt clean up after dinner that I realized I had managed to cut myself. Only the cut was far more superficial. I’d simply detached some dead skin on the side of my forefinger. It didn’t hurt, so I simply removed the chunk of skin and went on with my life.
I really need to be more careful. Sheesh. Last night’s wound is healing well. It’s pretty much just a deep paper cut, and getting rubbing alcohol down into it immediately and keeping it covered all night probably went a long way to preventing an infection. I was concerned it would become infected since I had been cutting raw chicken when I injured myself. Salmonella, anyone?
No more cutting myself, I promise.
In culinary adventures, I made some absolutely delicious steamed green beans tonight. Have you ever had those yummy green beans featured on an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, the ones with that delicious soy sauce on them? I was poking around my Korean cookbook that my best friend sent me as a Christmas present when I noticed a recipe for “Fresh Vegetables in Sauce.” The suggestion was to make the sauce and use it as a form of salad dressing, but it looked like it would pair well with steamed green beans.
Of course, this meant we’d have Korean green beans as a side dish to Italian puttanesca, but we eat some odd flavor combinations in this house on a regular basis.
The sauce is as follows:
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp vinegar (I used rice vinegar, since that’s Asian in nature)
- 2 Tbsp anchovy sauce (I had fish sauce, so I used that)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp red pepper powder
- 1 Tbsp sesame salt
The only thing that might be a bit difficult to get hold of is the red pepper powder. Any Asian market should have it, or you could probably substitute a little bit of cayenne pepper for a kick. Sesame salt, according to this cookbook, is nothing more than ground toasted sesame seeds. I have a mini food processor attachment for my immersion blender, so I simply threw some toasted sesame seeds into it and whirled away until the seeds were ground.
Mix everything together, and voila! You have a delicious sauce. The recipe says it dresses 12 cups of fresh vegetables, whatever you’d like to use it on. Kurt loved it on the steamed green beans, but he was a bit distressed that there was still some sauce in the bottom of the pan when all the beans were gone. So I suggested he pour it over some salad. He tried it and pronounced it delicious. I wouldn’t recommend this sauce if you’re salt-sensitive, but I did use reduced-sodium soy sauce. The fish sauce I know is high in sodium too. Also if you’re allergic to fish, or if you don’t eat fish, I’m sure you could leave that out entirely and simply add another tablespoon each of soy sauce and vinegar.
Try it. It’s good!
Last night I was talking to CatieCake about how difficult it can be to meet new people. She pointed out that making new friends is sort of like an odd sort of dating. And it is!
Think about it. You’re in a coffee shop, enjoying some time to yourself, when someone notices something about you. Say it’s a pretty necklace you’re wearing. She wants to know where you’ve gotten it, so you get into a discussion about your friend making it for you, or ordering it from this amazing artist featured on Etsy, or something along those lines. The conversation flows easily and naturally, and you realize you seem to have a lot in common with this person.
But then it’s time for one of you to go. When is it okay to exchange numbers? You know you’re probably never going to see this person again, unless you’re both regulars at this coffee shop, so do you risk looking creepy by suggesting you get together again soon and offering your number? Or do you take the safe route and simply wish her well as you leave, feeling a bit wistful that it’ll never get the chance to blossom into a friendship?
This is something I butt my head up against every time I move. In Washington, I kept meeting these great ladies at various places — at playgroup, at art class, at the store, at the play center in the mall — but I didn’t know how to make the next move to getting together at another time. Only once was I successful in meeting someone randomly (at the play center in the mall), and that’s because she was a consultant for one of those home-based businesses, and she invited me over to her house for a party.
I haven’t had much luck here either. There are several ladies I love talking to at Grace’s swim lessons, but we still haven’t managed to get to the point where we exchange information and promise to get together. One lady is even pregnant, due just two weeks before me! You’d think we’d want to hang out together and compare notes.
We don’t have time here to take it easy and let things develop naturally and slowly. Most folks are here in Newport for just a year. Some people are only here for six months. Maybe it sounds strange that I am trying to become friends with folks that are just going to pass out of my life in a few short months, but if I limited my friendship to people who are going to be here for several years, I’d have no friends at all. Hell, I am only here for two more years!
Yuck, don’t remind me of that. *sniff*
The other issue I keep running into is RANK. Theoretically, being a wife, it shouldn’t matter. I can be friends with whomever I want to be friends with, regardless of what rank his/her spouse is. I am a Navy wife. We are not in the Navy, so the fraternization rules do not apply to us.
That said, it’s not as easy as it sounds. When I first moved here, there were only Chiefs on my street. My neighbor jokingly called it “Chiefs’ Row.” Now they’ve been putting officers on our block as well. As long as they’re not going to be anywhere near Kurt’s command, there is really no problem at all. I can be friends with them, I can have the couple over for dinner as long as it’s a party, and there’s no violation of fraternization rules.
It gets complicated when Kurt and the officer in question cross paths at work. For example, one of the girls I like to watch “Army Wives” with is married to a man going to school here. And eventually he’ll end up in Kurt’s classroom as a student. Therefore, I cannot have that couple over for dinner, though the wife can come over and hang out with me as much as she likes. There cannot be the impression that Kurt and this man are friends for fear that Kurt might show him preferential treatment. Once the officer leaves Kurt’s class, there won’t be an issue, but until then, we as a couple have to keep our distance.
Then there are the women who wear their husbands’ ranks on their own sleeves. That means that they refuse to be friends with anyone whose husband doesn’t rank high enough, in their opinion. I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t run into a woman like that; all the officers’ wives I’ve met thus far have simply been interested in having friends. But I know there are women like that out there, women that will look down on me because my husband is “just” a Chief. And then there are some servicemembers that misunderstand the fraternization rules and discourage their wives from making friends with spouses of lower-ranking individuals.
I told you it was complicated.
Sometimes it’s enough to make my brain hurt.