2018: My First Great Mistake

I made a large bowl of rather excellent pasta, if I may say so. Allow me to walk your through the process, which was chaotic but ultimately packed with flavor and excitement. Let’s begin by discussing the ingredients.

For what I’m calling “Chicken Hilarity”, you will need:

Chicken breast, sauteed in olive oil, salt, and basil. (I couldn’t find the chicken, but realized I’d left it in the car, along with eggs and hummus. Since the temperature was close to 20F, the chicken was almost frozen. I thawed it in the pan while cooking, and it came to a lively sizzle.

Ziti, cooked until tender.

Onions and mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil.

Spicy marinara (I make my own).

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl, cover with fresh Parmesan and crumbled feta cheeses.

As I sat down to eat, several events began to unfold that altered the outcome of my meal.

  1. My son began channeling Linda Blair. The stomach flu hit him hard and fast, resulting in several changes of sheets, a shower, more fresh linens, another shower, and then fitful sleep as we listened from the other room.
  2. Our basset hound, Jack Reacher, injured his front leg whilst playing in the snow. As basset hounds are known for being– let’s say, dramatic– we helped him inside, called the veterinarian, and placed him on the floor under a blanket in front of a heater. The pitiful wretch barely survived, but thanks to our care and compassion, he managed to pull through his minor ankle sprain.

It was at this point that I was able to eat. I consumed, as usual, the entire portion of pasta, which means all of it.

And then I began to feel somewhat. . . uncomfortable.

Could it be the stomach flu? Unlikely. We disinfect everything with maniacal abandon, and my discomfort was completely in my belly.

It wasn’t the chicken, despite being left in the car, because the temperature was WELL below freezing and–

Wait, what day was it? Friday?

I did some calculations. I’d gone shopping on. . .Wednesday.

Thursday, the temperature had been nearly 70F.

I’d left the chicken in the car for two days, not one, and it had been rather tropical in my car.

I write this to you from an undisclosed location, where no one can hear the sounds emanating from my stomach. If you don’t see me at the next author event, do not send help. It’s too late.

Save yourselves. And someone throw away the chicken in the left hand drawer of our fridge. It’s angry.

 

A Bear Attacked Our House.

Last night, my bride made fresh ice cream with fresh baked honeycomb, from a recipe by baking genius Mary Berry. My bride has her own blog (http://www.buttereggs.com/, in which she’s making her way through various items from the Great British Baking Show.

Unfortunately, at some point in the night a bear (or other large mammal) pierced our home defenses and savaged the tray of ice cream (with home made honeycomb) as it chilled in the freezer. In case you would like to make this allegedly delicious recipe, here it is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03jmctz

I haven’t notified authorities, but I promised her I would be on the lookout for a bear. Or other large mammal. It should be noted, despite the savagery of the attack, that the bear (or other large mammal) was kind enough to put the plastic wrap back over the ice cream, and I think we should consider that as a mitigating circumstance in case the bear ( or– you know) is caught.

Carrots. Fuel for adulting.

Where I’m at in life today:

I plan on writing in the car at the pickup line. I arrive about an hour early to get Optimum Line Placement, assuring that my son gets in and we take off with near military precision.

Side note: If you told me to invade a country and gave me whatever resources I’d need, I would select the teachers who supervise the pickup line. I could have my forces in Moscow by noon. They do not play around when it comes to getting the kids on their way.

Ok, so I’ll write a chapter today– around 1500 words. The fuel I’m choosing is white carrots, purchased from the Hendersonville Produce Stand. It’s the kind of place that has fruits and vegetables that look real, rather than the polished, waxy approximations of food in some stores. I like the irregularity– it’s the same in people, I think. It’s the cracks that make us good, to quote Dozer from the book Heartborn.

Why white carrots, Terry? Welllll, glad you asked. I really dig parsnips, and these are rather like them. Add a touch of butter, salt, pepper, thyme. Roast until tender. Add protein of your choice. Boom. Writing fuel, or fuel for whatever you’re doing.

In my case, it’s writing. I’ll report back on the efficiency of carrots as Fictional Fuel.