Sunday, June 07, 2009

Things that make me cranky

Remember the World War I poem, by Rupert Brooke, I think, or Julie Andrews singing in The Sound of Music about the small things that make them happy? In a sort of negative take on the idea, I got to thinking about things that make me cranky. It started Friday morning when the TODAY show was pre-empted by the French Open on NBC--I hate it when my favorite programs are pre-empted. I especially look forward to Meet the Press on a lazy Sunday morning. And lately KERA has been one of their many eternal fund-raising campaigns, kicking off Simply Ming and Jacques Pepin, whose cooking shows I like. Makes me grateful for the food channel. I support KERA but I'm tired of Suzie Orman and Wayne Dwyer.

I got a bit cranky yesterday when I found the cat on the kitchen counter eating off lunch plates I had left unscraped while I saw Jordan and Jacob to their car--it crossed my mind she might eat the tuna that Jacob left behind but she didn't. She ate the hearts of palm that Jordan left untouched and I was going to save. A cat eating hearts of palm?

I get a little cranky when I think of tomorrow morning's 7:30 dental appointment to have a crown replaced, and during the school year I got a lot cranky and downright rude when some parent parks across my driveway to let the little darlings out or lets them out in the middle of the street just behind me as I start to back out--what are they thinking? At least I don't have to worry about that for a couple of months--school's out!

On the whole, though, I don't think crankiness is my natural state. A lot more things make me happy, like cooking for friends. I've spent part of the morning making salad dressisng (a recipe from the cooking class earlier in the week) and chopping--fruit for fruit salad, mushrooms and scallions for a pasta dish the kids call "Green Noodles." The recipe originated when my brother was dating his first wife and she invited him to dinner, only to find she didn't have any money for groceries. She cooked with what she had in the cupboard and fridge--isn't that how the whores of, where is it? Venice?--invented puttenesca sauce? Anyway, she put butter and lemon in a skillet, added cooked spaghetti, and that was hit. Over the years I've changed it until today I use spinach tagliatelle and add sliced mushrooms, chopped scallions, canned artichoke hearts, an ice cub of pesto from my freezer, and fresh grated grana cheese.

One thing that has brought me great joy this weekend--I've been having an email corresponce with my oldest granddaughter, 10-year-old Maddie. It started when I emailed her about how excited Jacob got when he noticed a picture of Maddie and Edie that has been on my side table for months! He apparently just saw it. Maddie answered, and then wrote me about her new internet research project she and her dad are doing and then she even left a comment on my blog about our common woes with cilantro plants. Such fun.

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