Saturday, July 31, 2010

3040 Confusion, Recipe Time, Vehicle Pickup

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Doctors do it for a living, patients do it for life.
There's a difference.
Bother the doctors as much as you need to."
-- Cathy, in "Lessons From Lou" --


I went to a Mensa pool party today. There were only seven people there because there were some competing weddings today, and people made their choices. No biggy, except that yesterday I had hit the grocery store and bought a small fortune in ingredients to make a special (huge) cold dish .

Something that bugs me about recipes - the time estimates. The ingredients list will say things like "1 C chopped pecans", and 2 C scalded milk", and 2 C cubed cooked chicken" and so on for 10 ingredients. Then in the directions, the first step is to mix all the ingredients together, and the time estimate is 5 minutes.

Yeah. Uh huh. They don't include the time it takes to cube, chop, scald, measure, sift, cream, melt, whatever else, and all that, like every plumbing job, always takes longer than it should. Sheesh. It took me three hours to make the freakin' dish. The estimate on the recipe was 10 minutes. I guess I'm supposed to have kitchen elves, like the cooks on TV do, minions who take care of all the prep overnight.

I had originally planned to put it all together last night. But late in the evening a friend asked me to help pick up a truck in Ashokan. I figured it would involve driving him there, then following him as he drove the truck back. I said yes, sure, because he's often doing big favors for me, but more because I like spending time and talking with him, and it sounded enjoyable. I'm all about enjoying.

After we got on the road, I found out it was actually picking up a truck at a construction site, bringing it back here, putting stuff on the truck, then taking it back to where we got it, then returning home. Ok. I didn't think about it then, the logistics are in his purview. We went to the deep woods around the reservoir, left my car there, came back here in the truck, took the loaded truck back to Ashokan, and returned home about midnight, and that's when I finally thought about it and realized he hadn't needed my help at all. His car was happily relaxing in my driveway. He could have done the whole job alone.

Oh well, I did enjoy it a lot.

Two things happened.

The construction site was a home designed and being built for himself by a stonemason. It was full dark when we got there, and I noticed the door was open as we drove up, so we explored it by flashlight. It was huge! With a lot of fantastic stonework, fireplaces, marble floors, huge rooms, multiple double French doors to the porch (also to the full-width second floor porch) instead of boring windows, like you'd see on a southern plantation mansion, amazing! Makes me want to spit on my new house.

Then when we were driving back in the truck, he said my door didn't seem to be closed. He stopped, and I tried several times to close it, and finally slammed it with both hands. Later, we found out why. I had put my purse on the floor, and I always hang my keys on the strap on the outside of the purse, and the Suzuki key dangled under the bottom of the door, and that's why it wouldn't close. I don't know my own strength. When I slammed the door, it bent the key. Poor Suzie's key now has a 30 degree crook in it.

And so that's why I was chopping, sauteing, measuring, mixing, for three hours this morning. Oops, excuse me, 10 minutes, according to the recipe.

But, I wouldn't have changed a thing - except maybe Suzie's key. And the size of the flippin' salad, which was scaled to feed thirty, and the remainder of which is now crowding my refrigerator.

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