I pride myself on efficiency. When I had boring jobs back in high school and college like stuffing envelopes, I would spend the first few minutes figuring out how I could optimize envelope and paper placement so that I could move at the fastest speed. When I'm cooking, I tend to try to do as many things at the same time as I can, stirring two pots with two spoons at the same time, doing dishes while something is simmering.
Which is why I had such a hard time in graduate school figuring out why I simply couldn't get it all done. I found out later that no one else was actually doing all of the assigned reading, so my whole efficiency approach was shot to hell; it wasn't physically possible to do all of the reading.
Post-BlogHer, I made a commitment to myself to be more active in social media. I already comment as much as I can on other people's blogs, especially if I know that that person is reading this blog (with apologies to WordPress people whose blogs don't always show up in my reader). I have a Pinterest account where I pin beautiful food that I publish here and that I find elsewhere. I created a Facebook account for this blog so please go make my day and like me there, and I've made more connections on Twitter (tweet me!). Part of my previous reluctance was an attempt to keep my "real" identity separate from my blog identity; I think I've finally given up on that semi-anonymity. So now I'm trying to keep up with all of it.
I still haven't figure out yet, though, how to be efficient about all of it. Reading and commenting take up a lot of time. And then reading Facebook. Forget the Twitter feed, which is gone instantaneously if you're not watching it scroll by on your phone, or managing it on Tweetdeck, and if you follow a few people who post things every thirty seconds.
The efficient perfectionist in me hates this. I keep thinking, there must be an easier way.
The SITS Girls tweeted on Thursday, asking tweeps what advice they'd give a new blogger. I replied, "Build a supportive community by being a supportive community member."
But what does that mean? How do you keep up with the social media maelstrom, especially if you want to engage people in meaningful conversation?
One place I love to be efficient is in the use of our CSA veggies. When
I can find a recipe that combines several vegetables from the share for
dinner, I feel like I've conquered the box. Here's one we ate this week.
(adapted from here)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, then cubed in 1/2" pieces
1/4 c. water
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil
1 t. mustard seeds
1 t. cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t. grated ginger
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into rings (1/2" thick)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 wedges (you can also cut them into cubes)
2 c. water
1 t. coriander powder
1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. garam masala
1/4 t. turmeric
Heat 1 T. oil in a non-stick pan on medium. Add the eggplant, a little salt and cook for a few minutes on both sides until it turns slightly dark and starts to soften. Add tomatoes, water, season with salt and pepper and cook covered for a few minutes until the fresh tomatoes are soft. Set aside.
Heat 2 T. oil in a pan on medium. Add the mustard and cumin seeds,
cover and let them splatter. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for a few
minutes until fragrant. Add the onion, a pinch of salt to help it soften
faster, and cook covered for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the red pepper rings and sauté for a few minutes. Add the potato
wedges and cook covered for another few minutes, turning them around
from time to time. Finally add the water, enough to almost cover the
potatoes, the spices and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until the
potatoes are tender but not easily breakable and the liquid has reduced.
Add the eggplant/tomato gravy and cook together for a further 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. If the curry is thick enough, keep the lid on for the last minutes. If it's still liquidy, keep it uncovered until it has the right consistency.