MAD DOGS, ENGLISHMEN...AND ME
6 July 2005
It's amazing how quickly you forget the "routine" around the house even after only a couple of days.
It took me a day to settle into the more relaxed pace in Santa Barbara, a day to get past computer withdrawal, to get laid back and not worrying about anything.
But it didn't take any time at all to get back into the routine here. And the routine here involves hating to go to the supermarket and putting it off until it can't possibly be avoided.
I had actually reached that point the day before we left, but knowing we would be gone for several days, I put off shopping until we returned. I was already groaning about having to go to the store this morning.
"Do you need the car today?" Walt asked. Figuring this was a perfect way out, I told him that I had to go shopping, but that I could put it off until tomorrow. Yay! I didn't have to deal with it today after all.
But then he pointed out that I had a show to review, which meant that we would need to have to have dinner early, and so my usual "grab a frozen chicken breast at 7 p.m. and see what sort of creativg thing I can do with it" obviously wasn't going to work.
"I'll take the car in for its oil change tomorrow and you can go shopping today."
And in my inimitable fashion I found a million things that had to be done before I could go to the grocery store. Things like editing and uploading photos to Flickr, checking e-mail, playing Text Twist, unpacking, doing a load of laundry, watching a Little House on the Prairie rerun (which I never watch ordinarily).
But finally the hour was getting late and I really had to go to the grocery store.
Now, if I had gone at 9 a.m., which would have been the smart thing to do, the weather would have been cool. But no, I chose to go at the peak of the hot period and all I could think of as I shuffled across the parking lot was "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun."
Then, of course, because it was mid-afternoon and the sun had been streaming through the kitchen window for a couple of hours, making it the hottest room in the house, I decided to make jam. (Proving, I guess, that when mad dogs, Englishmen and me go out in the noonday sun, they come home a little tetched).
I haven't made jam in probably decades. But when I emptied the freezer to stock it with bagels for Ellen and Shelly, I found a wealth of blueberries. Now, I have zero recollection of acquiring this big a supply of blueberries, much less freezing them. They could have come a year ago, or five years ago. I had no clue. I planned to throw them away, but didn't get to it before we left for Santa Barbara.
This morning, since I hadn't been to the grocery store before going to Santa Barbara, I had no food, so I decided to try making blueberry muffins--with the "legitimate" store-bought blueberries I thought I had in the freezer
I had no milk, but I found some sour cream that we'd brought home from Tahoe, and miraculously, I found a recipe on line for Sourcream Blueberry muffins on my very first hit. After I got the muffin batter made, I discovered that all those bags in the freezer that I thought held blueberries actually held green beans and brussel sprouts. Somehow I didn't think "brussel sprout muffins" sounded all that appetizing.
But there were those now thawed blueberries in the fridge. Well...what the hell. I tried it. And, amazingly, the muffins were good. The berries still had good flavor to them, but I didn't want them to sit any longer, so I decided to make jam.
At the hottest part of the day.
As I write this, they are sitting in a hot bath and when they set I'll either have 3 pints of delicious blueberry jam, or 3 pints of very thin blueberry syrup.
Then, of course, surrounded by cups and spoons and dripped blueberry sauce and pans with stuck-on blueberry syrup and muffin batter, the dishwasher decided not to work. It will work if I sit there through the whole cycle holding down the "wash" button, but once I let it go, the machine stops.
Wouldn't you know this would happen right before Walt leaves for a month in D.C.?
Well, at least I'll only be "cooking" for me for the month. I'll probably live on toast, cereal, and TV-dinners, none of which require much clean-up.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I bought this bed for Sheila a couple of weeks ago, and it's taken her
all thi time