However, today was somewhat of the same situation. It was a short day at work, and my husband's friends had managed to snag some tickets to the Smackdown event over in Omaha. So he would be gone all afternoon and evening and I would be stuck in the apartment alone. I decided to go play house. Not to imply, mind you, that I had nothing to do at the apartment. There are a number of chores and leisure activities with which I could have whiled away the time. However, likely as a result of being a Navy Wife, I am rather uncomfortable in my own home when Brian is not there. Reminds me of times I'd rather not remember I suppose.
So off to Mom's it was. She had kindly picked up a little garden starter kit for me when she spotted it at Walmart, along with the seeds I had wanted. So that's what I set to first, only to discover my arch enemy: Math. Thanks to Rainman, when you tell someone you have Aspergers, they often assume you're really really really good at math and number-type things. This is not always true. More likely is that you are really, really, really good at something and not necessarily any better than anyone else at the rest. Oh, and probably terrible at social skills, at least until you figure out how to teach yourself things like body language and facial expressions that are supposed to come naturally. Anyway, in my case my "savant" area (as it's called) is the creative arts: drawing, writing, music, sewing, etc. I am abysmal at math. I can't even count very reliably, unless I can physically put my hands on the objects being counted and move them around like an abacus. There are a number of things, like Science and History, that I would be really great at if they didn't involve math and numbers. Oh well.
|And of course, 8 would have been better for this picture. :(|
But today I had a dilemma: I had seven different kinds of seeds. The starter kit had 36 pods to put the seeds in. 7 does not go into 36. 2,3,4,6, and 9 do, but not 7. Fortunately, after several minutes of trying to hammer the square peg into the circular hole, I remembered 7 goes into 35, which is really close to 36. So I'd just have one extra of one kind of herb. Normally this would really bother me (another aspect of the Aspergers) but I know that I use oregano far more than any of the other herbs, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to have 6 oregano pods. I made a little diagram to figure out how to arrange this:
|This will also help me figure out what is what once they start sprouting.|
Solution in hand, I set out to start my garden. The little peat pods had to be expanded with water, and I was irrationally excited about this. "This will make great pictures for my blog!" I thought. "Maybe I can even do some kind of little time-lapse video!" You see, I thought this would take around an hour. In fact, the process pictured above took about 30 seconds. Oh well, I had fun laughing at myself as I tried to catch an in progress shot. I then made little holes in each of the pods and put the seeds in. The instructions said to put 2-3 seeds in each pod, but for the little ones I just scooped some up with my fingernail and dumped them in. Too much is better than too few, right?
|Don't they look cute? Ok, no, they look like creepy pods that little aliens hatched out of. But they will be cute when they sprout.|
The hardest part for me will be waiting until they're ready for harvest. I had this poor oregano plant a while ago that my mom nearly killed several times (actually, she did kill it eventually by putting it outside in early April. In Nebraska.). One of the reasons it never really took off is because I kept picking off the tiny little leaves whenever I made spaghetti, which is pretty often since it's one of my specialties.
Also interesting was the origin of all the seeds. The basil and oregano came from here in the states, the thyme came from Germany, and the rest from Holland. Who knew?
Next I decided to make Kolaches. I had asked my dad to get the fillings while he was at the grocery store (as the origin of my Czech blood, he is crazy for Kolaches too). I had planned to make them next weekend, along with my weekly bread. But I'm never sure if I'm going to have enough energy to make bread and something special, so I figured why not do it now when I have the time and energy?
But once again: MATH! The recipe I have for Kolaches makes 18. I have 4 different fillings I want to use. 4 does not go into 18 (sound familiar?). Fortunately, my previous battle with math had revealed that 4 goes into 36, and as 36 is 18 twice, I could simply double the recipe (or more likely, make two batches as breads don't like to be doubled). Yay!
Then my mom came home and pointed out that 20 is not all that much more than 18, and I could just make 20 slightly smaller Kolaches. This rankles for me a little, as it will involve dividing 4 dough balls into 5, which is really hard. But she insists that 36 Kolaches is too much, even for 4 people. She's probably right.
While the dough was rising, I tried to figure out how to pick which ones I was going to take home. Half of 20 is 10, and 4 flavors does not go into 10. Fortunately, I like apricot better than Mom and Dad, so I could just take 4 apricot and 2 of everything else. Finally Mom said "Why don't you just make two flavors now and the other two next time? The cans are so big I don't think you'll use them up otherwise." Well shoot. Then I can just do 18, 9 of each flavor, and take home 5 apricot and 4 cherry. Then, when filling them, I discovered that one can of filling was more than enough to make all 18 Kolaches, so all my figuring was for nothing. *sigh* Math is evil!
When I took them out of the oven, this is what they looked like:
They were still very tasty, although fluffier than they should be (most Czech cooking is quite dense--don't ever eat the chicken and dumplings). So I know I have the right ingredients, I just need to perfect the method!