Today was sunny. It was a great day to get out of the house and try to begin to reintegrate myself into society. It was pretty warm outside, and it’s just been so long since I’ve seen the sun. It doesn’t rain as much here as I expected. It could be that England got all the rain out of its system last year, the rainiest year ever to be recorded. Still, there is some gloomy cloud cover… but not today!
I didn’t get as early of a start as I was hoping, but I packed a lunch and planned to power right on through. It’s strange being back in the studio. I still don’t really know where to start. My strategy at the moment is to make everything, and hope that if I just keep generating work that eventually I will find something that interests me to pursue. I have a studio visit set up for Friday with the head of the painting department, so hopefully I’ll have something to show for my efforts by then.
Today I did some painting, some drawing, and even busted out the pastels. I also caught up on my Fawlty Towers. I began the series in Kansas City, to prepare myself for life in England. Susan, my boyfriend’s wonderful mother, rented the second and thirds seasons from the library. The first has already been checked out, but the sequence doesn’t really matter. I think it turned out for the best, because I got to watch the first season today. The seasons are pretty short. It made me really miss hanging out with Matthew and his parents. We had such a good time watching them together.
Unfortunately, studios close at 5:00 PM over the Easter holiday. This studio thing has been the most difficult adjustment to make. At KCAI, students have access to the studios every single day, even when the school itself is closed. They’re open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 AM. Here, however, the building is completely locked down for weekends at a time, and the hours have now gone from short to shorter.
I needed to buy groceries, so on the way back I decided (for the first time in Brighton) to visit a little piece of home: Aldi.
Although the chicken fiesta that I made last week is delicious, I’m getting a little tired of eating it for every meal. It would have been fine, had I not eaten it for three weeks straight immediately prior to leaving on my travel marathon. My mistake was making it again so soon. I mix it up with fruits and vegetables, but chicken fiesta t starts to get boring by the fourth and fifth weeks. I froze the rest of it and decided to make a stew. My plan is to freeze some of that as well, and alternate between eating the two. I should be set for at least the next month.
Aldi was as wonderful as I remembered it. I found everything I needed. I ended up accidentally getting twice as much beef as I needed, but freezers are a wonderful thing. Mine is just starting to get a little full.
It took me out of my normal route home, and I discovered a much nearer location of PoundLand, as well as a McDonald’s, KFC, and Subway. Very exciting.
Trouble arose when I actually began to prepare the stew. It had never seemed like it with the other recipes my mom gave to me, but her crockpot must be at least twice the size of mine. Either that, or vegetables here are twice the size. I couldn’t even fit all the veggies into the crockpot, let alone the beef.
The meat alone would have filled it half way. I took the veggies out and sliced them into smaller pieces, hoping it would buy me some more room. It did not.
Eventually, I decided to split it in half and cook it in two batches. Each batch completely fills the crockpot. I’m going to have a lot of stew. I put the first batch in immediately. I only had to stay up til 1:30 for it to be finished. I am going to freeze that half immediately, then start the other half tomorrow morning and eat it fresh when I come home from studio. I can tell you already that it smells delicious. I am a little bummed that I cut up those vegetables so small, and for no good reason. It’s not really a stew anymore. It’s slightly too chunky for soup, slightly too fine for stew. Do you use a fork? Do you use a spoon? Is this the occasion for a spork? Many challenging questions arise from this situation. But I’m sure it will taste delicious.