If you'd like to know if your sense of smell is returning after being suppressed for many, many mango seasons from smoking, I suggest you find a friend who likes to grow herbs. I have one such friend, and she likes to bring me nice selections from her harvest, (after I nag her sufficiently for weeks, BTW,) so I can turn them into artisanal butters and cream cheeses that she and her husband will wolf down. (There's always an ulterior motive, isn't there?)
My favorite part of her -- ahem -- generosity is smelling the herbs when they first arrive at Colvin's Glorious Herbararium. Today was a good smelling day, but I look forward to when the scent of things are more acute. So for now, I've adopted the mantra, "progress not perfection."
Nancy uses big Ziploc bag which she labels for me because I don't know fresh Parsley from Peppermint by just looking at them. I then bind the little ******** up with rubber bands and hang them from a recycled jewelry hanger I've mounted in my kitchen, and labeled using painter's tape which sticks and peels off easily. They will remain hung for a week or two drying. I will finish them off in a 200-degree oven for about five minutes, then strip and pulverize them with my mortar and pestle, like some mad alchemist fashioning his brew.
During this entire process the kitchen smells like a herb garden and things get really fun during the five minutes they're in the oven -- one specimen at a time, mind you. After that, the show is kind of over because all that's left is the blending in the mixer. And homemade butter has almost no scent but its fun to make. Real butter milk tastes wonderful, BTW. And the results look like this: This is Colvin's Glorious Artisanal Oregano Butter and the others look just as yummy. And they freeze well, too.
In other news...
Wore my western hat at dinner Friday at work and I gots me three compliments. One was from my boss who just gushed. Another was from Maria, a co-worker, who for unknown reasons stayed till nearly 3:15, but kept saying "Caballero!" over and over and then starting saying, "You Mexican!" Caballero, in Spanish, BTW, means "gentleman," not cowboy, as it's often mistaken for. Vaquero is the word for cowboy which is three syllables, and Maria was using a four-syllable word, in case you're wondering. The third compliment came from one of the kids. The others just went through the line, keying their ID numbers into the keypad by the register by rote, as always.
Later, that evening, I rode up to the store and back without any SOB. That's my second trip without and SOB. Why the ride? Because, it was Friday night and that meant movie night and that meant a pint of Blue Bell.
So I started my Spring Break smelling herbs and doing household chores because I have extra energy now and my sense of smell seems to be improving, little by little.
Here's hoping your Saturday was beautiful and smoke-free, too.
Peace and gratitude,