29 July 2013

3 Things to Keep Me Busy

When I started talking about my plans to retire, the most common question was – What are you going to do with your time? I assured everyone that I had a long list of things that I wanted to do in retirement. But the top 3 are read, travel, and cook.

READ

My last day at the office was July 2. On July 3 my wife took me to the Edina public library. Now, of course, I read a lot at work – e-mail, newsletters, periodicals, reports. But I can’t tell you the last novel I read. It had been so long that the library had deactivated my account, and Linda had to check out the book for me. The first book I read in retirement was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

After I finished the book (loved it) and got my library account updated, I took Linda’s advice and downloaded the Hennepin County Library app for my iPad/iPhone. I also downloaded Overdrive Digital Library so that I could download and read eBooks. I downloaded and now am reading the second book in The Girl series – The Girl Who Played With Fire.

TRAVEL

The next thing that happened on July 3, my sister-in-law called and invited us to spend 4th of July at their cabin north of Duluth. We decided spur of the moment to accept. So my first retirement trip was to my wife’s hometown. My second trip (coming up in a couple days) is to my hometown, farm actually, to visit my parents.

COOK

For the July 4 weekend, we were responsible for Friday night dinner. I improvised a Bobby Flay menu for salmon from the Food Network web site. I did modify it quite a bit, however. You’ll have to read my next post to see what changes I made.

But I guess the best part about cooking in retirement is that I have the time to do something on a whim. For example, earlier this spring, I tried to make a pilaf with brown rice. But I had trouble getting the rice cooked. I was afraid that there was something wrong with the rice. Then I read an article in the current Cooks Illustrated magazine about cooking brown rice for salads. They recommended cooking the rice in an ample amount of water and then draining it and cooling it.

I decided to give it a try. What the heck, I had all afternoon, and if it didn’t turn out, I could just toss it and make something else. It was a liberating experience. In the past, I would rush home from work and couldn’t take a chance on an untested recipe because if it flopped, I wouldn’t have time to recover.

Here’s the link to the article. But Cooks Illustrated has limits on content that it posts on the web site. So depending on when you read this, the link may no longer work.

My new project is going to be sourdough. I tried sourdough many years ago, but couldn’t get it to produce the results I wanted. I gave up. But this month, my sister gave me starter from her sourdough. So I’m going to give it another try.

I’m hoping to post a success story about sourdough in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

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