October 24, 2011
Here we are in the final week of mofo, and so far I've managed to stick to a weekly theme, and post every weekday. My theme this week, should I choose to follow it, is stories and videos about animal-human interactions. And I will get to that, in a way, before I finish today's post, but not in the way I originally planned. So what, right? Sometime things don't go as planned.
Until two years ago, I never lived in a house with a microwave — by choice. There was one at work that I sometimes used, but my cooking was basically done on a stove or in an oven. I was a little afraid of the effect of microwaves on food energy — and on me. When we moved to Seattle, the rental house had a microwave, and I used it sometimes to reheat food, but I rarely cooked anything in it. Occasionally I'd experiment with potatoes or cupcakes, but not very often. The house we bought has a microwave, too, and I find myself using it more often because it does things like cook a potato in five minutes so I can use it in a recipe, or make oatmeal in a bowl — no pot needed. Recently I discovered I can cook polenta in five minutes and have it for breakfast.
I use 1/4 cup of coarse polenta, some nooch, a few grains of kosher pink salt and 1 cup of water. Put the ingredients into an over-sized bowl, stir, and cook for five minutes for a soft, creamy breakfast cereal. After it's cooked, I embellish it with raw pumpkin seeds, and maybe dried fruit, or as I did today, raw cashews, pumpkin seeds and calamata olives. (I use an over-sized bowl so the cereal won't splatter the oven.) Do you have any qualms about microwave cooking?
Spiders and smoke alarms
Photographed next to the front door. The round body part is about 1/2" in diameter.
I'm not sure this qualifies as a heartwarming animal story, but I'm about to give you some very useful information. Did you know a spider can set off a smoke alarm? Neither did I until the wee hours of Sunday morning when our piercingly loud alarms went off. There was no smoke and no sign of fire anywhere.
Outside the dining room window.
When the alarm was removed from the ceiling, a small spider fell out, and subsequent searching on the Internet revealed that smoke alarms should be cleaned regularly with compressed air to remove dust and spiders, because, duh, they can cause the alarms to malfunction. Why a smoke alarm will mistake a spider or dust for smoke is confusing to me, but trust me, it can.
It worries me a little that my first reaction to the smoke alarm isn't to vacate the premises, it's to make it stop. I suppose if we smelled smoke or felt any danger we'd get out and call 911 — at least I hope so.
Dog on the couch
In lieu of a heartwarming animal story, I leave you with this, though I'm sure all of your dogs and kitties are allowed on the couch.