Saturday, January 30, 2010

0 All Queued Up & Nowhere to Go ;)

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I've been doing my best to recover from a nasty respiratory bug for the past few weeks -- it really "knocked the wind out of my sails" (!) -- and so understandably, haven't been pumping out recipes at the usual pace as of late.

So, not much has been going on in terms of cooking or recipe-writing over that period. My energy levels aren't at their usual "energizer bunny" levels and honestly, I just haven't felt like doing much of anything, except for sleeping and lying around the house doing things like reading, knitting, or watching movies on TV. As I described to a friend of mine earlier today, "I feel like a coughing Tommy gun." ;) The coughing has subsided for the most part, but I still don't feel back to normal just yet. It's weird to feel restless but yet still tired. Hopefully, only a few more days of this, because it's about all I can take. ;) Frankly, after about the first two weeks, being sick becomes just plain BORING, and believe me, I'm not the type who's easily bored. ;) There's only so much reading, sleeping, home movie-watching, & knitting one can do before one is ready to tear one's hair out. ;) I just want to get back to the usual groove of what I was doing before!

What's really weird is that, even though recipe-writing is basically a stationary activity, I don't have the patience or the focus right now to do that activity. Those other aforementioned activities don't take very much energy or focus for the most part, so it's not a huge effort to do them. Perhaps it's time to cut myself some slack and just take a time-out until my energy levels come back to what they were a few weeks ago.

To a certain extent, that probably explains why there are a lot of recipes on this blog that are queued up with nowhere to go. :)

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And then there are the queued recipes-in-the-making that precede the above time-frame. In other words, I have absolutely no excuse or apparent explanation for why they are still in "recipe purgatory," i.e., in draft form on Blogger. ;)

One such example is the "upcoming" tamale recipe. :) (And by all means, major sarcasm is implied by my use of the word "upcoming." ;) ) As some of you may recall, this was a dish I made months ago that I still haven't posted... er, that is, yet. I wouldn't hold your breath there, but it'll probably be posted at some unforeseen moment in time. :) Don't exactly know what happened there. At first, I think I became slightly overwhelmed by the daunting prospect of writing up such a lengthy and involved recipe. ;) Of course, it's the general exposition and the recipe directions -- especially since they are highly detailed and complex with multiple steps -- that usually take up most of my writing time.

Then there's cooking endeavor itself. After all, I was fairly exhausted after spending 10+ hours preparing and cooking the tamales; it was quite the time- and labor-intensive undertaking. I didn't exactly feel like writing immediately after doing that. ;) Anyone probably would've wanted to have taken a bit of a break after such a monumental effort, just to recharge the batteries. Again, it's not an excuse; just a fact. :)

Then, add to that fact that I'd waited a bit too long after the cooking project had been completed. ;) I find that usually I need to post the recipe as soon as I make the dish; otherwise, I tend to lose momentum. Or, if my notes (for the preparation/cooking methods) aren't very detailed or legible -- they are sometimes speedily scribbled down in an attempt to catch up with the torrent of ideas pouring out from my brain! -- then there's the additional challenge of trying to remember (&/or decipher my notes of) exactly what I did. :) And then I'll either have to remake the recipe to remember the steps (yes, I'll admit to having done that before!), or have to make some educated guesses ;), which I prefer not to do, especially if there are large "blanks" in my memory regarding the specific steps I did. Recreating steps from memory can be a tricky thing; there are certain preparations which require exacting techniques that must be precisely timed. Also, the steps must often be done in a specific order, & also be carried out with a high degree of precision.

Anyhow, enough about the tamales.  I also have a few other recipes that I've already cooked but haven't yet posted for one reason or another. They are mostly typed up, but the anecdotal exposition either needs to be fleshed out or revised, & so they are still sitting around in Blogger in draft form. ;) If you'd like to get a preview of some of these new recipes to which I'm referring, you're welcome to check out the corresponding photos on Flickr.

Also, the following recipes are part of the backlogged queue as well:

--Caruru de Camarao com Coentro (Shrimp & Okra with Nuts & Cilantro) (Brazilian dish)
--Jugo de Maracuyá Con Leche (Passion Fruit Smoothie) (Colombian/Latin American drink)
--Panera-style Orange Scones (from the "Make It Healthier" Challenge, promised to @britishbulldog)
--Restaurant-quality General Tso's Chicken (also from the "Make It Healthier" Challenge, promised to @nturnage)
--some lentil dishes (possibly Ethiopian &/or Middle Eastern dishes of some sort) (promised to @JenZenator)
--some kind of recipe with chía (promised to @saltenhaus)
--a wheatberry recipe (promised to a family friend) (recently added to the queue)

These haven't been forgotten, as I've promised several of them to friends. :) Let's just say they've been postponed to a later date, until I can approach them with renewed energy, inspiration, & enthusiasm. Of course, these sentiments are in no way a reflection upon the individuals or their recipe requests; my inspiration to cook particular dishes just naturally cycles in an ebb & flow pattern. For me, recipe creation is all about timing. So, if I'm just not feeling it, I'd rather not force a recipe into existence if can be helped at all. Most times, the practice of creative coercion (at least with regard to recipes!) is highly inadvisable, as it typically yields less-than-satisfactory results.

Anyhow, that's the stuff that's currently backed up in the queue. If my usual pattern is any indication of what's to come, I'll probably make a few new recipes that have nothing to do with the above queue. ;) Then, when I'm feeling refreshed & fully healthy, I'll get back to full-on cooking & recipe posting. So hang in there. Right now, that's what I'm doing too. :)

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