Shopping, cooking, and singing.

This week I’ve been blessed to have several days when I was able to stay home all day. I have a big sorting-and-organizing project upstairs, figuring out how to use my new closets and cabinets, and deciding what things to throw out because I begrudge them the space. But I didn’t end up spending much time on that.

One day I was on the prosphora baking team at church…

… and since that got me out of the house in the morning, I just kept going and did a lot of grocery shopping in the afternoon, five stores. First I went to the Thai market, where it’s fun to see what exotic snacks and goodies they have in stock. Often it’s a mochi type of treat that I try out, and this time I found these, chewy with a black sesame paste filling.

I enjoyed them very much, but the ingredients label made me resolve to make my own mochi again, at home. I already have mochi flour (mochiko) that I also buy at the Thai market. My friend Elsie brought me a mochi cookbook from Hawaii one time and I have been wanting to try out some more recipes from it again.

I bought Asian yams, green onions, and several pounds of ginger root at that market. It was time to make a big batch of ginger broth.

As I drove around to the other less interesting stores I listened to music in the car. Gordon Bok was singing one of his sailor songs, and though I am not a sailor I love to hear him sing about anything, his voice is so rich; it is a feast for my ears. Here he is in a sample I found: Sailor’s Prayer by Gordon Bok

It was 90 degrees that afternoon when I brought home my bags of groceries, and it would be hotter still the next day, when I had to wait at least until the evening to cook, so that the heat could go out the windows when we open them at sundown. It was supposed to be cooler the following day. I did start my ginger broth and roast a couple of pans of onions that evening — oh, and two pans of Brussels sprouts.

The next day, which was this morning, I thought I would just bottle up the broth and put it in the freezer, and get on with my sorting project. But one thing led to another…. I needed to wash the big pots and my breakfast dishes, of course. The cooked ginger went into the food processor, because I can’t bear to throw it out, but always use it to make puddings or breads. I decided to make bread with my ginger paste right then, so I found a recipe for zucchini bread to work from, and substituted ginger for zucchini.

The roofers were working in the morning, and they finished by early afternoon. It is such a weight off my mind to have a new roof, my whole body felt lighter and ready for more work. The bread went into the oven and I washed more dishes, and Aaron came to work on my garage project. I was happy to send him home with a loaf of bread, because I’m realizing that I like cooking too much for one person. When I start cooking I just do not want to stop.

The weather really cooled off today, so I am hopeful that my sweet peas will grow longer stems again for a week or two before they expire from heat. I had to hunt down shorter vases and bottles to put them in the last few days. This one color is my favorite this year, and I was able to make a whole little bouquet of them, which will be my closing image here, as I’ve cleaned up the kitchen for the last time and am going up to bed. Good night!

8 thoughts on “Shopping, cooking, and singing.

    1. I drink it straight nearly every day, hot or cold, like tea, or add it to other drinks. In addition to the puddings and breads I mentioned, I sometimes add the pulp to smoothies. It retains a lot of flavor even after being boiled for hours, and I assume it has some nutritional value left, also.


  1. Oh Gretchen, what a rich, full post! That bread looks to die for and I loved hearing about all your cooking and shopping! Now I’m hungry! I adore ginger and using ginger in your bread sounds wonderful. I love sweet peas (mine aren’t even budding yet, just long green trails!) and I hope the heat doesn’t kill them off before their stems get a bit longer!


  2. Thank you for taking the time to e mail me about the Love-in-a-Mist. I’ll look for a plant or two and see if they thrive in my garden.

    Your sweet peas are the most delicate colour. The short stems do make it difficult to put them in a vase or pitcher.

    Organizing one’s closets and going through “stuff” is tiring but for me at least, it’s enjoyable. Very rewarding when it’s all done.

    It’s pouring rain out there so I’m baking bread. The kitchen will be cozy and my eldest daughter is coming for lunch. Take care, MJ


  3. What a busy and productive day you had. Like you, once I begin baking or cooking, I like to do a lot at a time and often have a number of things on the go. Your sweet peas are such a lovely soft colour. Ours are mere vines, and not very long ones, at that.


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