Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Which I Attempt to Freeze Spinach...

To prep for my Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to use or preserve whatever would get moldy in my fridge. The main item to consider was a 3/4 full bag of spinach. After some research, I found it was "easy" to freeze spinach to use later for smoothies or whatever else I guess.

I was able to follow the directions fairly well. Boiling water- no prob. Dumping in spinach- piece of cake. Set timer for two minutes- yep. Colander and cold water ready to go- rockin this!

And then comes the drying. I'm neither fancy nor married (both indicators of a plethora of kitchen gadgets), so I don't have a salad spinner. No worries, they give an option for a makeshift-tea-towel-salad spinner.

I quoth- "Drain your spinach then place in a tea towel. bring up the corners of the towel forming a sort of sack of spinach. Give it a whirl. Go ahead and spin it around. The water will be spun out into the towel."

Seems simple enough. My spinach fell in one big soggy flop onto the tea towel, I gathered up the corners and gave it a whirl. I went ahead and spun it around.


I have a large kitchen. Why wouldn't a single girl need a 14' x 14' space to warm up bean burritos? The flying spinach juice that resulted from my makeshift-tea-towel salad spinner managed to get in every random nook and cranny of my large kitchen it could find.

So I decided to just pat dry my spinach. At this point, my tea towel was turning bright green and I noticed that wet spinach smells a lot like wet dog. Ehhww. I tossed the stuff in a freezer bag. Hope if freezes ok!

Word of advice- don't try the tea-towel-salad spinner unless you need an excuse to clean the fronts of ALL of your cabinets.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Single People are Ruining the Economy, Again

CNN posted an article yesterday about adult children moving back in with their parents and how this is negatively affecting the housing market. They report that 19% of males aged 25-34 live with their parents and 10% of females in the same age group live at home. (Side note: males aged 25-34 is my dating demographic, and apparently 1/5 still live at home. Should I be concerned?)

The article attributes adults living at home to unemployment. I disagree. I would attribute adults living at home to this demographic experiencing a lot of life uncertainty, a need for everyday life support and the general philosophy of, "Um, wow. This wasn't the plan. What do I do now?"

The plan was to go to college for four years, marry "The One", backpack through Europe for a summer, graduate, both get $40K jobs straight out of college, move to the suburbs, buy a house, experience domestic bliss for several years, shell out 2.5 kids, maybe get a dog, buy a mini-van, coach the soccer team, get a promotion or two, take family vacations to Yellowstone, etc.

But that didn't happen. For most, college took 5-6 years, "The One" married someone else, there's $20K-100K in student loans and $10K in credit card debt, the best job offer out of college was $30K/no health insurance in an area with a ridiculous cost of living, the crappy college roommate moved out with all your furniture and the car needs a new set of tires.

Um, yeah, you move back in with Mom & Dad! At this point, home ownership is the last thing on your mind. The article says, "The economy as a whole suffers when young adults fail to venture out on their own." This wouldn't be the first time single people have been blamed for all kinds of evils. But seriously CNN, how are just-out-of-college single people supposed to know where we want to establish ourselves, let alone have enough money for a down payment? Most of us are just starting out with our jobs, and we know we don't have the financial, professional and relational stability required to set up roots in a community and buy a home.

Buying a home is extremely expensive and requires a huge amount of work for care and upkeep. One can get roommates to help with the cost, but managing a mixed bag of personalities and lifestyles to achieve a liveable house dynamic requires time and effort.

Living with the parents offers a measure of stability and division of labor that otherwise doesn't exist for a single person. Single people have to do everything themselves (married people, please appreciate your spouse for their part in your division of labor!!!!!!!!!!): work, housework, meal planning, cooking, repairs, car maintenance, bills, financial planning, laundry, cleaning, yard work, errands, everything. Having a living situation where some of these aspects can be shared makes life much, much easier. Even as a renter, I outsource yard work, housing maintenance and appliance repair.

I'd argue that moving back in with your parents is the responsible thing to do in some situations. I lived with my parents for about six months after college then ventured out on my own. But what do I know? I'm a single 25-34 year old who hasn't purchased a home yet, thus I apparently have a hand in wrecking the economy. Too bad I don't feel more responsible; I was too busy enjoying my spacious one bedroom apartment with vaulted ceilings and a lack of Saturday yard work.