Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Historian, Horticulturist and Cook

Today was a pretty productive day. I spent the morning in the huge spartan room that I use as an office. It has two porches, two lap top computers and a CD player. It unfortunately only has two small tables and it needs three. The lap top I use for the internet has a small stand. There is also a rather beat up table outside on the back porch that has recently been pounded by the monsoons. I do not have a table for the lap top I use for writing. So I laid on my stomach and typed with my sources spread around me a semi-circle. This is not a comfortable position from which to work.

I finished up a rough draft of my cotton paper for London. I cranked out five pages today. It turned out longer than I thought. It ended up being 24 pages rather than the 20 initially planned. I wrote alot more on the legal and administrative development of the special settlement regime from 1941 to 1949 than I anticipated. But, since most of this stuff has never been published in English and exists only in scattered and obscure Russian language document collections I thought it was important to include. I pretty much finished the paper by lunch, but had to take a lunch break. Primarily because my back was bothering me from not having a table to work on.

The property is green with all kinds of flora right now. It does not look like we live in the middle of a desert. My uncle thinks we should take advantage of some of the natural crops growing on the land. Actually he would like to not have to ever go to the grocery store again. I have identified some of the edible ones and may try cooking some of them up. Among the native foods that have sprung up here are mesquite bean, prickly pear and now we have discovered squash vines. I think I will cook up some prickly pear paddles on the grill soon. I have to first figure an easy way to remove the stickers and skin. If it is too much trouble the first time around there will only be a second time around if they turn out really good.

In the South West it is not possible to live without "propane and propane accessories". That is a grill. I cooked up some great chicken thighs tonight. I was going to have it last night, but I found out that the refrigerator is too cold to defrost poultry from the freezer. So I defrosted the chicken today and used one of Lawry's 30 minute marinades, the Baja Chipolte and Lime one, to flavour it before grilling. It turned out really good. We ate it with rice and salad which my uncle always has around in great abundance. Given that the marinade bottles can accomodate eight pieces of chicken and cost $2.50 each at Safeway they are great deal. Dinner tommorrow will be similar except I will try the Jamaican Jerk marinade with papaya juice.

No comments: