Saturday, March 29, 2014

Garage sales--and an instant recipe

Jacob, with Santiago, the wonder seeing-eye dog
Today was our neighborhood garage sale. I know the adjoining neighborhood also held one, and I think it might have been citywide. I woke up to find the street in front of my house lined with parked cars on either side of the street. About an hour and a half later I got myself together to drop by friends who were having a sale--with my kids contributing. It took me at least fifteen minutes to drive what I can normally do in three minutes. The old streets in our neighborhood are not wide enough for two-way traffic with cars parked on either side. Some people were polite and thoughtful; some, unfortunately, were not.
My friends have just moved back to Fort Worth after an 18-year absence--to the house they sold when they left. He kept standing in the yard saying, "This is incredible...this is crazy." I asked if it was this way before they moved, and he said definitely not. The shoppers were not from our neighborhood but appeared to be all over the city. They prowled, they picked up this, that and the other and asked "How much?" and then they put whatever it was down. Jordan made enough for a couple nice dinners out for them; my friends made more, even selling a bedstead and a antique table. Getting right in the spirit of things, I bought a hassock which might fit into my living room if I can find a place for it. We always run out of seating--but where to put it  when it isn't needed. I agreed it was madness. I've always hidden when the kids did garage sales in my yard, so I was grateful to Subie and Phil for hosting. But I was glad to slink away.After less than half an hour there, I came home to make potato salad, to my mind a much more profitable enterprise.
I have friends who spend every Saturday morning at garage sales. It's a routine--dare I say an addiction? I can't imagine anything more boring, and yet I profit from their prowlings with some imaginative gifts.
A side effect: this evening I was handed a grumpy-Gus boy who had been rudely awakened at six this morning and was so sleepy by late afternoon he fell asleep in the car, which made him even grumpier. I asked if he wanted dinner, and he said no, so I ate my dinner. About eight he announced he was hungry. So I said, "You know, sometimes in life you just have to eat dessert first."
I had a recipe sent me by a friend, and so I directed Jacob through making it. At the first step, he said, "This is making me in a better mood already." Now he's happily eating chocolate cake with ice cream and has promised to tell his mom only "Juju gave me a healthy dinner." Ice cream is healthy, isn't it?
Here's the recipe for instant individual cakes:

Mix one box angel food cake mix and one box devil's food cake mix thoroughly.
Put 4 Tbsp. of the mix in a bowl; add 3 Tbsp. water. Microwave one minute.
Voila! A really good chocolate cake. Jacob spooned just a bit of ice cream on each bite and declared it was delicious. I now have enough of the combined mixes to feed him until school is out. And I have a happy camper (probably the sugar helped).

Garage sale day turned out pretty well. The empty cake dish and ice cream container say it all.

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