Monday, October 26, 2009

Guests and cooking, cooking, cooking

This morning I piddled, spent the entire morning doing this and that around the house, including finally emptying the bird feeder with wet food at the bottom. Turns out the wet food had turned to concrete. It was an inexpensive feeder, so I threw the whole thing away and will get another next year. Another result of all the rain we've had! But I washed kitchen towels, napkins and place mats, did my yoga, answered emails, set up for tonight's happy hour, and before I knew it, it was lunch time.

It dawned on me I haven't been out of the house except to the garbage bins and dog's yard for three days (I can hear my brother grinding his teeth), but I've had a stream of people--my lunch guests Sunday, Jordan and family Sunday night, twelve or thirteen women for happy hour tonight--so I've been neither bored nor reclusive. I have done a lot of cooking, but in retrospect I'm not happy with it. I didn't really think the soup I served Sunday was that great nor the salad, though Jordan emailed today that the salad was delicious for lunch, so maybe it was okay. I threw both recipes out. Tonight the women who contributed to Grace & Gumption: The Cookbook gathered for a group photo for the back of the book. Last time, we had our picture taken on the porch, but it was gloomy, rainy, and cold tonight. We pushed the library table away from the couch, some sat on the couch and others stood behind. Wywy the cat made it into the picture, sitting contentedly on the lap of my friend Carol, who knows and loves Wywy.

Tonight's happy hour was potluck, so we had everything from dips and fruit salad to macaroni and cheese, a tossed salad, and a dump cake--you dump everything in, all the batter ingredients and put a can of fruit on top; when it cooks the fruit goes to the bottom and a cake rises over it. I made a dip with Velveeta, Rotel tomatoes, and mushroom soup--and scorched it. I could taste it and said so, but everyone else said it tasted good and I should have kept my mouth shut. Still, I pitched it tonight. I have pitched a lot of food this weekend, cleaning out my refrigerator, and I wish I'd learn to plan better or choose my recipes better or something. Haven't figured out what to do with the rest of the soup but I suspect it will go in the garbage tomorrow. The woman who brought salad tonight wanted to "pitch" the leftovers before she left and was astounded that I don't have a disposal and simply put things like that in the trash. I explained about the pipes in my old house and how they didn't handle disposal waste well and I kept having to call a plumber, but I'm not sure she heard me. And I suspect many women today think they wouldn't want to live without a disposal and wouldn't trade the charm of an old house for convenience--but I sure would.

I did actually read all the notes I've made on my novel today plus emails from Fred Erisman, who's read it carefully, so I'm ready to start reading the manuscript. But I have to finish the Crombie novel first. Meantime, Southern Living came in the mail and that always means I drop everything else to look at the recipes.

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