Do not open email after 5:00. Even if my conscience says that I am on three search committees this semester, and that I have students who might need to ask me questions, and that the responsible thing to do would be to check email, I should not listen to it. My conscience clearly took quite a few recreational drugs in its youth, and its opinions are not to be trusted.
Further note to self: if, in spite of knowing that this is a bad idea, I do, in fact check email and find horrible bomb-like messages waiting for me, I must not give in to the temptation to pour myself a stiff belt of Talisker and wander around the house ranting and raving about the family connections of the writers of said missives. They are, in fact, not misbegotten newt-spawn, and I should remember not to insinuate that they are. Furthermore, I should not turn over my email program password to my children, cackling madly, and suggest that they write responses for me. If I do manage not to take these dramatic steps, I should not take the alternative route of locking myself in the bathroom with a gallon of ice cream, a jar of chocolate sauce, and a spoon, to while away an hour or two sobbing into the frozen dairy products, only to be brought out by representatives of the local fire department. (Further note to self: planning to flirt with the aforementioned members of the fire department will not go over well if one is a bloated wreck covered in ice cream drippings and chocolate sauce.)
The good news is that these little hints to myself on the appropriate response to stressful events at my place of employment seem to have worked. After posting last night, and listening to my drug-addled conscience, and finding more hideous email yuckiness, I neither drank myself to distraction nor ate the lovely Double Rainbow vanilla ice cream calling from the freezer. I instead turned to two of the most soothing activities I could think of besides the drinking/overeating options. First, I made dinner. In my 12-inch cast-iron skillet. I don't know about you all, but nothing in my kitchen makes me happier than the combination of my cast-iron skillet and my stove. Nothing. So, I made a frittata, which is one of those lovely things that comes together quickly and makes everyone happy (I've put my "recipe" at the end of the post; it ain't classy, but it works). After that was done cooking, I cleaned out the skillet and made Irish soda bread. Mmmm....
While everything cooked, I sat down and began knitting my bracelet with my handspun silk yarn. Remember how I said that spinning was more fun than a basket full of kittens? Well, knitting with one's own handspun is more fun than a basket full of kittens with whipped cream and cherries on top. OK, ewww, but you know what I mean. Honestly, though, when it was knitted up, it kind of looked like, well, you know -- yarn. Real yarn, I mean, not yarn I made. This could get addictive.
I'm off to Clear Lake tomorrow for fieldwork, and then back again. With luck, Sunday will be a day to recover, get some grading done, and maybe do some more knitting.
Frittata recipe: Get out the skillet and some olive oil. Turn the oven on to about 350, or, if you're baking something else, to whatever temperature that thing needs (I am all about flexibility in the kitchen). Heat some oil in the skillet while you chop up whatever vegetables you've got that look good. If you're a meat-eating sort of person, you could also cut up some sliced ham or prosciutto, or a bit of bacon or sausage, or something else of that nature. Saute all of that, either together, or, if they have different cooking times, add the longest-cooking stuff first, and keep adding the rest until everything's in the pan. Cook until they're not quite done. While everything cooks, crack between 8 and 10 eggs into a bowl and mix. Grate some cheese and throw it in with the eggs (or crumble in some goat cheese or feta). Put in salt and pepper, or paprika, or herbes de provence, or whatever floats your boat. When everything in the skillet is done, turn the stove off and spread the cooked veggies evenly across the bottom of the pan. Pour the eggs and cheese in on top. Chuck the whole thing in the oven (see why I love cast-iron?) until the eggs are set and the top is browned. It actually took me longer to write this than it does to make it. And the kids like it. Sometimes I do potatoes and bacon and goat cheese. Last night I did broccoli and cheddar. Sometimes it's leeks and goat cheese and herbes de provence. You can chop up veggies like bell peppers to put on the side if you like, or make a salad. Buttered toast is a nice accompaniment.