Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hippies and Hobos and Rain

I dreamed that my dad had committed some horrible crime and the scene of the crime was our friend Steve’s house. I don’t know what the crime was but my dad was now on the lam and we were protecting him. Steve’s house was now an empty crime scene and it was all jacked-up and dangerous up in there. Tom and I realized that our dog, Willy, was trapped at Steve’s house in the backyard without food and water and was probably really scared. We knew we had to go get him but if we just walked in there, the police would somehow implicate us in the crime and that would be bad. So we decided we would sneak into the back yard in the night and rescue him, which we did.

Then we were on the lam, but had to go to a friend’s wedding somewhere upstate. I saw us traveling on a map and we went North and a little West, to the North woods. The map looked like it was carved from wood and painted. When we arrived, all the guests were staying in a make-shift communal hippy tent, with cots and tapestries all over. The friends who were there weren’t real people in real life. Everyone was in a party mood and there was a beach by a lake. We were out on the beach having fun and it started to rain. Everyone ran inside the tent and the bride and groom were bummed. Then it stopped raining and we all went back out. Then it started pouring really hard and everyone got soaked and went back to the tent and we all thought the wedding was ruined. But then I looked up the weather on my phone and saw that after the current rainstorm passed, there would be clear skies for the rest of the day. I looked up at the sky and saw that it was night and the sky was clear and there were lots of stars, and I could see the tops of tall pine trees in my periphery.

This dream pairs well with the following meal:

Camping Hobo Chili-Mac and Pie Iron Sandwiches

My real-life group of friends goes camping on occasion and have this little graniteware pot with a lid that we call the “chili pot”.  When we camp, we make chili in that pot with a few cans of beans (any kind), a few jars of salsa, maybe some water if it’s too thick, and veggies if you have them. Then this sits in the fire for a while (well, on the grate on the fire if the campsite has it). Meanwhile, we make a box of mac & cheese. Whatever brand you like, but I would strongly suggest you choose those of the shell variety. Yes, this means you have to bring butter and milk camping, but you have a cooler, right? Plus then you can put milk in your coffee in the morning which is a treat for Tom and I but maybe not for other people. [Aside: it occurs to me that I have NO IDEA what percentage of the population prefers milk or cream in their coffee. I know that in my household, we are black coffee drinkers except sometimes on weekends IF we have milk, or when camping, or on holidays. If you take cream in your coffee on a daily basis, just know that I am completely fine with that, but also know that I secretly think it’s kind of decadent. I guess this is something I’ll have to work on.] Serve the chili mac in the empty cans from the beans and stuff, but be careful of the sharp edges!

We also all have sets of pie irons, which are pretty common I’m sure among seasoned campers. My parents never took us camping exactly, so pie irons are relatively new to me and pretty amazing. Anyway I’ll assume that everyone knows how they work. What we’ve been doing is using  tortillas instead of bread. So you can throw whatever junk you want in there and put it in the fire. In the morning if you make yourself a breakfast burrito in the pie iron, leftover chili-mac is real good in there. And why wait till you go camping to eat like a hobo? The answer is: you don’t have to. Also I apologize if I have offended any hobos, whether they take cream in their coffee or not.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Parks Department Wizard Hats

I dreamed that I was walking my parents’ dog through a community garden near their house. There was a woman there who saw me walking by and stopped me. She showed me some trees that had soft white and pink tufts growing off of them. The woman showed me how she was spinning the tufts into yarn and string and I helped her for a few minutes.

Then I ran into my mother and a bunch of current and past friends who all worked for the parks department. They were working at a different park. I was with someone (I can’t remember who) and we needed a ride home but couldn't find anyone to take us all the way there. First we found a ride to a roller skating rink and a connection there who would take us the rest of the way. At the roller rink, all the parks department employees were having a party and some of them were wearing wizard hats. I recognized one of them as a former high school classmate (but really I met him as an adult) and he agreed to give us a ride to our neighborhood. I decided I would walk home from there. Some how I ended up hitching a ride with someone in a purple car on the freeway.

This dream pairs well with the following meal:

Lentil Stew
2 C. green lentils, rinsed & picked through. Can use red, but they'll probably get mushy.
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
Handfuls of spinach
About 14 oz strained tomatoes, or whatever tomatoes you have on hand
5 C. chicken or vegetable broth, homemade. If you don't have homemade broth just use water. Don't even bother with the store bought stuff.
Herbs: bay leaf, thyme, oregano, basil
Piece of a parmesan cheese rind, if you have it
Worcestershire sauce (optional, but really does add a nice tang)
Salt & Pepper
olive oil

Saute the onion, carrots, celery & green pepper in the olive oil until soft. Add the lentils and herbs and saute a minute more. Add the broth, 3 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce & parmesan cheese rind if using. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & cover. Cook for 20 mins. 

Uncover, add the tomatoes & spinach. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover & cook 15 to 20 more mins. or until the lentils are tender. Serve with buttered bread and wear a wizard hat to dinner if you have one.