Friday, August 14, 2015

A Social Life.

"The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms as applied to populations of humans and other animals. It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary." (Wikipedia)

Up until this week, my 'social' life was about as dry as the definition above.  My interaction was confined to four-legged, feathered, furred, wooled, and some brief encounters with two-leggeds.  Just how I like it.  Then some friends decided that I needed to stretch my interactions to include adult beverages, food I didn't make myself and time off the farm. 

As you probably have guessed, I don't have much free time, what with the dreaded job - gotten to by the dreaded commute - family obligations, farm chores, food processing, etc.  What free time I do have, I like to enjoy in the company of my dogs.  Don't get me wrong - I am not a hermit (quite) - but all the in/out of the car, long miles with dreadful drivers and the like, make me so very happy to be home that I don't want to leave.  And let's not forge the guilt!  Three pairs of big brown eyes that seem to look at me quite reproachfully if I dare to exit after a long absence.  Of course, a heavy hand with treats seems to take care of that.

Monday night I raced home, fed dogs, got eggs, fed sheep/llama, tossed treats in the general direction of the dogs and exited to meet 'the girls' for a night of beer (not me) and pizza (make mine gluten free) in a very noisy, crowded pizza joint that has been rated Number One in our area for years.  There was much yelling - as in you couldn't hear yourself holler - and I was greatly relieved when we finally left.  Fun factor:  Friends - 10  Atmosphere - 2  Gluten Free Pizza - 1.

Wednesday I had dinner with my neighbor - he's a widower of 80+ with more energy than I have at twenty years + younger.  We have a nice friendship and he makes dinner and tells me about his week(and all of the illnesses, deaths and other woes of family and friends).  Fun Factor:  Friend - 10  Atmosphere - 6  Dinner - 3 (you can always count on carrots.  and mushrooms.  together). 

Tonight the same bunch that have made it their quest to deliver unto me a social life, bullied me into meeting them at a local hash house for wings.  I am not a devotee of wings.  At least it will be a short drive.  Fun Factor:  Friends 9 (they are starting to get to me... :)  Atmosphere - 3  Dinner - 5.

Saturday night, the family (missing you, Cyntheeta) are converging on a very nice restaurant to celebrate my dad's 93rd birthday.  Whether he's aware of it or not.  In any case, he will have a good time.

Sunday is my day of anti-social behavior.

Nancy had asked for the recipe for the quiche and GF crust - here is the link for the quiche (I love almost all of her recipes).  The pie crust recipe is from The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen.  I highly recommend this book - wonderful recipes whether you're eating gluten free or not!

Single-Crust Pie Dough
One 9" Pie

2-1/2 Tablespoons ice water
1-1/2 Tablespoons sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2/3 cup their GF Flour Blend (they use their own blend)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces and frozen for 10-15 minutes

Combine ice water, sour cream and vinegar in a small bowl.  Process flour blend, sugar, salt and xanthan gum together in a food processor until combined.  Scatter butter bits over the top and pulse until butter is the size of large peas - about 10 pulses (this is rather confusing, as cutting it into 1/4" pieces IS the size of large peas...)  Pour half of sour cream mixture over flour and pulse until incorporated - 3 pulses.  Pour remaining liquid in and pulse until dough just comes together - about 6 pulses.  Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 5" disk.  Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.  (Can be refrigerated up to 2 days)  Before rolling out, put on counter for 15 minutes.  Roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Peel off top layer of wrap and flip into pie pan.  Gently press into place, using bottom wrap (now on top).  Carefully peel of wrap, flute edges.  Re-use wrap to loosely cover crust and refrigerate until chilled and firm - at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.  Fill and bake.


Sue said...

I sympathize with you about your well-meaning friends.
I have lovely friends on the internet, that I "chat" with on our walks, bike rides, and shopping excursions to Traverse City, but find the ones that insist on "going out" the best ones to "avoid". Antisocial? Hardly. I just prefer one on one conversations in quiet settings.,,,,,,,,
Finding out I have food sensitivities galore (and hubby has them as well) has freed us from anyone inviting us out for a bad meal. Thank goodness for that.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend---especially Sunday.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i rarely go out with friends anymore. i guess i am getting old and lazy

DFW said...

I don't see it as anti-social, I see it as enjoying your own company, by yourself. I'm getting a dose of it in the country today. Gate closed, work a bit this morning & mow the rest of the fields this afternoon. If it would start raining about 2:30 it would be the perfect day.

Mama Pea said...

Do you realize how lucky/fortunate/blessed you are in being happy with your own company? And that of the animules (as my grandpa used to say)? It's hard for some of us semi-happy-hermits (not semi-happy, but rather semi-hermits) to understand that there are people out there who truly do NOT enjoy or gain satisfaction from being alone. They need the social interaction in a place where you have to yell to be heard (how much real conversation can that produce?) in order to have a good time and feel energized. Not to say they are wrong (hey, it's good for them), but I'm (with Sue) in that a one on one conversation is the only kind that does it for me.

Did I just get off on a rant? Yup, guess so. Sorry. Social interaction, in whatever doses suits one's personality, is important. As is doing for others which you do by giving of yourself whether it be feeding folks your good food or helping them out or just visiting.

P.S. Happy, happy birthday to your dad's upcoming special day.

Michelle said...

Here, here! from another happy semi-hermit! One-on-one is the best human interaction; if I have to be in a group, I prefer it to be a flock of sheep. ;-)

Susan said...

Sue - I so agree on the one-on-one get-togethers. They are so much more enjoyable. I was never a fan of noisy bar scenes, even when I was a wild youngster.

Susan said...

Jaz - Maybe it's because your friends have you slaving away in your kitchen! Lucky friends.... :)

Susan said...

DFW - There is nothing like a day with only birdsong in the air! And a gentle but thorough rain....

Susan said...

Mama Pea - It's interesting that I have always been this way. I can remember being in my 20s and spending days alone. When I finally 'emerged' in public, the sound of my voice startled me. Of course, that was before I got eccentric and started talking to myself non-stop.

Susan said...

Michelle - I LOVE my sheep! I love to kiss their little lanolin-soaked heads and gaze into those peaceful eyes. There is nothing like time spent with your sheep.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recipes! It's nice that you're pals with your neighbor. Dave and I tend to be home bodies too, just doing stuff and hanging out...

Carolyn said...

Socializing for the sake of socializing isn't really all it's cracked up to be. Does it still count as socilization of one socializes with a different species? I say "yes".

Leigh said...

My, but you are the social butterfly! That would drive me nuts. I've read that for extroverts socializing is energizing, but for introverts it's wearying. People assume I'm an extrovert because I have so many opinions about things, but really, I'm much happier at home with my critters and a husband is the same as me.

Fiona said...

Anti Social....humn. We understand totally. After 4 wonderful sweaty work filled days at Cub Run we came back to VA to fond the neighborhood partying....heavy drinking on both sides of us. All this nonsense of we are going to miss you blah blah blah with drinking breath made us want to teleport to the farm Pronto. I wonder why people don't understand the enjoyment of self and the quiet of being alone now and then?