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foggy as hell out there

We got our first real bit of snow here early Saturday. Just a couple of inches where I live, then it changed to sleet and freezing rain which crusted it over, which made shoveling a lit bit more annoying.  The turkey has been a bit unhappy about the snow. I don’t blame him seeing how he has to go around in bare feet.

But today warmer air is overrunning the snow and it’s foggy from that.  It’s supposed to rain later on.

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It was a couple of weeks ago I was in one of the supermarkets near my home and I noticed they were selling beef heart. It’s the first time I had ever noticed beef heart being sold in the supermarket and I also noticed it was cheaper than all the other cuts of beef like roasts and steak. It was also cheaper than pork roasts and pork chops. My first reaction was a sense of weirdness, since I had never really heard about anyone eating a heart of an animal. Well, I had seen it once before on an episode of Dual Survival, where those two guys demonstrated a survival situation on a small island near Nova Scotia. In that episode, the one guy killed a porcupine and they ate its heart. Waste nothing was the motto.

Plus I also reasoned that the heart is simply muscle, slightly different muscle, but muscle just like you eat when you eat a roast or steak. So I then used my google-fu to find out some ideas about how to cook beef heart. Last Friday, I bought ~3 lbs of beef heart and this last Saturday, I cooked up a beef stew with the heart.

It’s got a slightly different flavor from regular cuts of beef, but it’s still recognizable as beef. I think it’s a good flavor, the slow cooking I did of it in the crockpot resulted in a very flavorful gravy. So hopefully if the supermarket keeps selling it, I might make it a fairly regular part of the meal rotation.

The next thing I might try, since I see they’re selling it as well now, is beef tongue. That’s got a slightly more awkward psychological barrier to hurdle than the heart (although it felt a little strange when I was dicing up the heart for the stew). Plus from what I’ve read about its prepartion, the whole part about having to remove the skin or peel of the tongue might have a certain ick factor to it.

I continue to make progress with Esperanto. Reading is becoming easier and easier, almost every time I begin reading something that’s written in Esperanto. I definitely have good stretches where I just read it as Esperanto and understand it as Esperanto, with little to no translation into English. I’ve improved at recognizing how the sentences tend to be structured, so there’s much less of me of having those instances where I need to labor through figuring out the meaning of what was written.

It’s making me feel better about the chances I have of being able to learn a language well enough to think in it and use it. There were times with French I was feeling extremely frustrated, wondering if my use and knowledge of English was so deeply embedded there might be no room for me to ever acquire another language. But with Esperanto I see it coming. The understanding is growing steadily. Plus when I watched a couple of completely new videos this last weekend with people speaking Esperanto, I was pleased by how much I understood. The big remaining barrier is having me beginning to produce Esperanto output, speaking it, writing it.  But I have a sensation like if I were to have an opportunity of going some place where there were people consistently using Esperanto around me, that I would probably figure it out fairly quickly.

For now, I’ll keep on reading as much as I can in Esperanto, and maybe I’ll start working on translating stuff that it already written into Esperanto.

Once I get Esperanto really working well in my head, then I’ll return again to more diligent study of French, knowing that it will take more time because of its irregularities, but also knowing that it won’t be impossible.

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