Monday, March 5, 2007

En route

Well, I dropped almost $100 yesterday on lumber. I am the proud owner of six 10' by 12" untreated boards and two treated (cause that's all they had) 4"x4" posts for the inside corners.

Ideally I'd have gotten cedar or another rot-resistant wood to avoid the potential arsenic leaching of treated wood. Unfortunately the cost was prohibitive per board, plus the boards were one inch thick instead of two. If I had more personal resources (a truck, specifically), I might could have rounded up wood instead of buying it. It fits with my sensibilities more to re-use things. However, I had one trip to one place, and that was probably even pushing the limits of friendship! (Thank you, Charlie! Couldn't have done it withoutcha!)

The Plan is to create two 10'x4' beds, two feet high. I've enlisted the help of a friend to do the cutting and measuring and drilling together. I've located a circular saw and drill I'll be borrowing, and I hope to provide said friend with a good, home-cooked meal in exchange for his help. He's in graduate school, though, and time is tight. He also has his own wood project, so cross your fingers that he can help me out.

Compare [kom pa' re, in local lingo] is a large grocery store next door to my Big Lots. I almost didn't go in there yesterday after picking up some home essentials*, but then I noticed a local Latino music station had parked outside and was broadcasting live. That particular station knows where the action is, so I figured I'd better take a gander.

It's fantastic. I almost mean that in the supernatural sense as well as the more common usage. I felt like I had walked into Mexico. Instead of one aisle of "international" products, the whole store caters to the area's already large and still growing Latino population.

I felt almost guilty, given my preference for local foods, to be salivating over such exotic produce at such bargain prices. I bought a whole bag of tomatillos for $1.35, cilantro bunches 2/$1, a green pepper for about $.25, and a couple of green plantains for I don't remember how cheap. They have an incredible freezer section, and I can't imagine how much richer my life can be now that I have a source for chicken feet and necks.**

I went home and chopped up the tomatillos, cilantro, green pepper, a medium onion, 5 cloves of garlic and one frozen jalapeno. I added three chicken breasts, frozen, and a can of broth, and let it all cook overnight in the crock pot Marianne passed on to me a number of months ago.

I woke up several times last night with my stomach growling.

*stripy, Fruit of the Loom, hipster underpants, 4 for $3; retro orange, yellow, pink and red flowered shower curtain, $4; Ro-tel (warning: flash), $.49 per can; coffee, $1.50 (um, i hope it's at all palatable at that price).

**I know myself. I'd never buy the feet. I'd possibly buy the necks for stock.