Friday, August 7, 2015


As the entry title says, today is Lughnasadh (by the archaeo-astronomical calendar as opposed to the Roman one, naturally), so we're taking time to celebrate our skills.  One of my skills is the ability to write, so this entry is part of the celebration!

Tangentially, I've been off on a Japanese kick recently; I've been making a lot of Japanese food at home (sushi, authentic teriyaki salmon, Japanese pickles, and lots of Japanese rice and onigiri) and am getting interested in trying to learn the language as well (which explains the Japanese writing scattered around).  I don't know that I'm even far enough along to be called a beginner yet, but maybe by next year's Lughnasadh I could have another skill to celebrate.

My beautiful wife is nothing but supportive of my interest; she believes that I might have been a geisha in a previous life.  This morning, she suggested I make some Japanese rice for a East-West fusion breakfast!  We've played around with variations of Eggs Benedict in the past (doing things like Pancakes Benedict, as an example), and she suggested trying it using rice in place of the English muffin.  We each had one rice patty (a flattened onigiri) that was plain, and one that was toasted in a pan (yaki onigiri).  I even made what was probably my best homemade オランデーズソース* ever!
We were impressed by how well the flavor combination worked with the plain rice; the toasted one wasn't quite as good, which is the opposite of what I had imagined going in, so the side-by-side comparison turned out to be a smart thing.

We decided that, to honor my skill of cooking and also to honor Lugh's status as a God of the Forge, we were going to have steaks on the grill.  While I was at Costco, I also made a purchase that goes along with the Japanese subject:  I bought a new Zojirushi rice cooker.  My old one was a gift from my sister, and it served me well but it had just about had it; the non-stick was basically gone from the pot, and I did want to upgrade to a fuzzy-logic style cooker (the newest version of neuro-fuzzy-logic cookers are called "MiCom," for micro-computer).  I haven't had a chance to try it out or even open it yet, but I am looking forward to playing with it.

The steaks turned out quite nice; I was able to hit the temperature I wanted perfectly (right in the middle of rare to medium-rare) and we had an excellent dinner.  I had originally planned to take a picture of that for the blog as well, but... food can be such a transient thing, can't it?  Here one moment, gone the next.

I also did some counted cross stitch tonight, since that is another skill that I have, and one that I have not been using as much recently.  The project I am working on both the biggest and most ambitious project I've done, and the first one I will be doing for myself instead of for a gift:  I am making Mirabilia's Bliss Fairy for myself.  I am less than halfway done with it, but there are flowers and a good portion of the fairy's wing.  I want to use today's momentum, having gotten it out again, to maybe get serious about finishing it; I think once it is framed and on the wall, it will be something I can really be proud of having accomplished.

These are not the only skills I can count as my own, of course, but they are ones I have chosen to celebrate today.  Like Lugh, I have many skills, and I give thanks for the lifetime that has allowed me to learn them.

Before the Costco run, I took Bodie for a walk, and even though I felt a bit tired and thought about turning around earlier than our usual circuit, I decided I should push myself and do the whole thing.  I'm glad I did, afterwards, and it got us thinking, that perseverance is the root of skill--when something feels hard, but you do it anyway, that is when skills get developed, honed, enhanced.  And I think it's important to do those challenging things, even when there is the option not to, to grow as a person.  And you know, Lugh has many skills, but I expect he learned them one at a time.  Which is why I think, if I can get to the next Lughnasadh with one more skill or one more accomplishment than I have on this one, that will be the best way to honor the spirit of ルナサード** that there could be.

*:  "Hollandaise Sauce."
**: "Lughnasadh."