Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bears for Haiti, Chicken for Dinner and face blindness

Food always being of interest to all, here's today's dinner (and tomorrow's in fact, since this is at least two meals' worth of chicken) which is my own recipe you are free to swipe if desired.

Chicken thighs, sauteed first on top of the stove on a bed of garlic cloves, mustard greens, portobello (sp?) mushrooms chunked, chopped scallions, spiced with cumin, turmeric and garam masala and salt, then finished in the oven at medium heat. Served with roasted potato wedges. Dessert fresh plums, prune plums being in full swing right now.

The chicken is great nuked on the second day or just served cold.

And the Dollivers are Doing Their Bit, knitting Bears for Haiti. A Ravelry friend's daughter is a nurse about to go to Haiti to work in a tent city and hospital there, and wants to take a lot of handknit bears to give to little children, since the doctors have affirmed that a new soft toy can do almost as much for a little kid as medicine.

So we have undertaken to ship a bunch of them to this nice woman to take with her, and here's our first, since finding out about the project a couple of days ago.

Teddy needs to be stuffed, scarf stitched in place, happy face embroidered on, then he can wait for a couple of others and all travel together. Anyone who fancies doing some of this, email me for the deets.

Last, and sort of related but not quite, is a wonderful piece by Oliver Sacks in the current New Yorker about face blindness, which he has to a marked degree. I do too, and it's very comforting to know that a brilliant man like him has a similar perceptual disability. Unlike synaesthesia, which is an outright gift in my life, this face blindness is a definite social handicap.

What it is: the inability to recognize people's faces, even if you know them fairly well, and complete inability to recognize people in photographs. In my case, as soon as the person moves or speaks I'm fine and now I know who they are. Mostly. I have been known to completely confuse two people and carry on a conversation that baffled the other person who was not who I thought she was, sigh, awkward.

I even have the distinction of having sat next to a nice woman on the bus many years ago in England, and noticed that she got off at my stop, and was heading in the same direction as I was, and then as I turned onto my street, she caught my attention, and I finally realized that it was my mother. She was cracking up laughing and said I was absent minded. So I let people think that, easier than trying to explain!

But it does offend people very much since they assume that if you were polite you'd remember them. Oh, to live in a world where everyone would wear a name tag! then if I see someone out of context I'd still know them. As it is, I go around with a friendly expression and willingness to pass the time of day with anyone who indicates they know me, rather than look rude and try to explain I have no idea who they are. Meanwhile frantically trying to visualize the person at the library? the doctor's office? the food store? the vet's? the park? where, where??

This hitch is also shared by Jane Goodall, who says she had trouble learning one chimp from another until she knew them well, and was always getting lost in the forest. Well, yeah. I've been unable to recognize my own house if I come at it from a different direction. This used to amuse HP very much when we were first married back in the Pleistocene Era, and we'd go out for a walk, come back from a different direction and I would have no idea I was at my own front door again.

So, bear with me, and Ruth L thanks for letting me tread water in the library yesterday when I was talking with you. The pink rain hat totally disguised your identity for a few sentences, until I saw your husband and put it together. Oh well!

Come to think of it Bear With Me is a good theme for today, bears being on the agenda and all.


  1. It often takes me a few moments to realize that I'm looking at something very familiar if I've approached it from another angle. As for faces, I remember seeing them, but darned if I can always remember names to go with them.

    We did chili sauce today, put a pic in the Café. That's the pickling done for this year. If we run out of chili sauce before the summertime, I may try it with tinned diced tomatoes - everything else is available all year round so it might be ok. Lily pickle needs cauliflower which is too expensive even for a treat, and I'd have to use English cucumbers to get solid enough ones to chop and as I'd need at least 4 biggish ones, it would be cheaper just to stick with Indian chutney till August!

  2. Interesting the face blindness. I shall remember that if we ever get to meet - and then meet again. Lucky you thought your mother was a nice lady otherwise that could have been a bit embarrassing. It would have given you another good story to tell though.



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