Lockdown: Kidneys and garbanzos

Okay Tuesday. I slept remarkably well Monday night. I slept from 3:30 to 9:00, waking up once for just a couple of minutes before dropping off again. Darth Vader somehow came unhooked, which is what woke me, but I fixed it and picked up where I left off. So it was about five and a half hours of very good sleep, the kind Darth Vader is supposed to give me. It’s not enough, but it felt almost like vacation since it’s been so long without rest like this.

It translated well. I had a good, productive, busy work day. Tied up a bunch of loose ends (which may need more tying Wednesday), made slight progress on the new stories, and did a little bit of housekeeping.

I goofed around online after work for a little while, then watched the first half of Digging for Fire (2015) with Anna Kendrick, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jake Johnson, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Orlando Bloom, Judith Light, Sam Elliott, Mike Birbiglia, and Melanie Lynsky. Yeah, it’s quite a cast. This is directed by Joe Swanberg, who uses a lot of the same actors in his films. This is the third film I’ve seen in which he’s directed Johnson and Kendrick, for example, after Happy Christmas and Drinking Buddies. He’s a super interesting director, but more about that another time.

I was dragging, so I put myself to bed at 11:00 and slept pretty terribly because I never really put myself to bed the way I need to. So I was up and down several times. Bleah. Finally got up at 8:00 just because I was tired of trying to get real rest.

Breakfast was the leftover loco moco. Not good reheated after being in the fridge for a day, but edible. I fried two eggs to put down on top of it, and that helped. There was leftover rice, so I ate it with Monday night’s chili for lunch. Dinner was some of the chili with no rice. That’s an unimaginable way to eat chili for a lot of Hawaii people, but if you think of it more like soup, it works as a meal. Although almost every soup tastes far better with rice.

I’ve been making chili roughly the same way for a decade. Over time I’ve developed a chili powder I really like, with a blend of ground, dried red peppers, paprika, cocoa, and cumin. It’s very earthy. I’m confident enough in it that I entered a chili cookoff with it at work when I was with the engineers. I got two votes: one from me and one from Wendy. But I swear it’s good chili.

The thing is, I’ve gotten a little bored with it. So for the heck of it, I arbitrarily picked a chili recipe from an Instant Pot group on FB. This one called for a bunch of stuff I usually don’t use. Garlic, jarred marinara sauce, sliced hot dogs, packaged seasoning mix. I haven’t used packaged seasoning for chili in maybe twenty years. But I needed some shaking up, so I took the recipe and made a few changes for personal preferences.

I added two bell peppers because I like my chili peppery. I used a Portuguese sausage instead of hot dogs. I used canned diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes (in my cooking, I almost always use canned whole tomatoes). I used a small amount of my custom chili powder instead of the bottled chili powder the recipe called for. But yes, I did use canned marinara and packaged seasoning. Oh, and since I shop at half an hour before closing, the supermarket was out of ground beef, ground chicken, and ground turkey. So I used ground pork. The recipe called for two cans of kidney beans, but I used two cans of kidneys, one can of garbanzos, and one can of black beans. I like my chili beany.

It’s delicious. There’s an interesting sweetness and tanginess, I think coming from the canned marinara. The sausage really gives the sauce some depth.

I love chili, and as I’ve learned over the years, it’s a forgiving dish, which makes it great for experimenting. I think for the next few months I’ll try a different recipe each time, just to get out of this rut I’ve been in. Maybe I’ll try the mock Zippy’s recipe floating around out there, with peanut butter and mayo.

I didn’t snack all day. Neither did I go for a walk.

I traded some texts with Crush Girl about our respective work situations. Ali sent me a BuzzFeed list of some interesting misspellings. I don’t think she knows I do the #notagoodsignproject thing, so I mentioned that I collect these kinds of things if they’re photographed by me or someone I know. Then sent her some great examples. Sylvia texted to let me know she went to Safeway and picked up two of the three Lay’s flavors. Pizza and Philly Cheesesteak. She couldn’t find the hot chicken.

Still haven’t written about my not tending to the Monster this week. I’ll do it Wednesday night, perhaps.

And if you’re needing some connectivity in these days of the ‘rona, hit me up in the comments. I’m down for texts, DMs, and IMs. Assuming I get enough sleep.

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