Thursday, July 13, 2017

The story of my life….and a cooking lesson

The story of my life this week is one of cancelled engagements…yesterday friends and I were to celebrate our birthdays at an annual lunch. Cancelled. Today, I was serving pasta carbonara to an old friend for lunch. Cancelled. Tonight, I was going to dinner with a friend. Cancelled. Not to sound too pitiful, I will admit that I have had company—a good friend brought barbecue last night, and another friend came to share the pasta so I went ahead and made it. But I haven’t gotten out of the cottage—well, since Tuesday night but it seems longer. And that was my only outing this week. I stand in danger of cabin fever, because I am dependent on friends who will come get me—and who can negotiate backing out of my 1920s skinny driveway. Can’t wait to drive again.

I can’t really have a pity party, because there are bright spots on the horizon. Grocery shopping with Jordan tomorrow, which is always fun, and maybe I’ll get to drive a cart again. Colin says I should not consider that practice for driving a 3,000-lb. car. Tomorrow night, Jamie, my youngest son, and his youngest daughter are coming to take me to dinner. A rare treat. And Saturday I will have lunch with another friend who shares July birthdays.

But still I’m afraid to pick up the phone, for fear it’s someone cancelling yet another outing.

It was really just as good my lunch date for today cancelled—he missed pasta carbonara which bombed. Jean came for lunch and wasn’t at all critical, having never had carbonara before. The recipe was a spring one and deceptively simple—diced bacon, green peas, and cut asparagus spears, with a bit of the bacon grease. Cook the pasta, drain it, and immediately stir in eggs, beaten with a little milk. Stir frantically so they don’t scramble. I’ve done that before with aveglomono recipes, and it creates a lovely silken sauce for the pasta.

Jean read the recipe and volunteered to go to the front porch for five or six basil leaves, which I cut into chiffonade strips and added—glad she reminded me of that.

Today my eggs scrambled, despite my frantic stirring. I figure cooking mistakes are learning lessons, so I’m analyzing this. I had eyeballed adjusting the recipe from six to two servings, and perhaps I put too much milk in the eggs. Also, I put the pan on a warm burner while I stirred, and I suspect that cooked the eggs—I should have kept stirring. There came a point when I saw the eggs were scrambled and there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I tossed in the vegetables and bacon, sprinkled them generously with cheese, and served.

Jean loved it, but she’d never had carbonara. I loved the veggies and the flavor, but thought the pasta was too dry. But then, I knew what it should be.

One thing about cooking in the cottage: when a recipe says to keep one pan warm on a burner, and cook pasta on another burner, I can’t do that. I only have one burner, so I have to juggle. I will definitely try that recipe again though. Seems I am accumulating a separate file of recipes to try again, having not quite hit the mark the first time around.

Tonight, leftovers. Tomorrow? Maybe tuna fish for lunch. I had given Jean a can of my special tuna, ordered straight from a cannery in Oregon, and they had it for dinner last night. Now she knows why I rave about it.

On Facebook tonight, someone quoted, “Last night I dreamt I went back to Manderley,” and it came home to me that I’ve never read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. So that’s my reading now. ‘Night.


Randy Eickhoff said...

Ever think about betting an electric golf cart for going up and down your treacherous driveway PLUS the Neighborhood Bar & Grill and other places? It certainly would give you a lot more freedom PLUS you can carry a passenger along with you and, if you could and feel like doing a little shopping, you'd be able to do so, I think, as there would be room for packages. At least, you could wander the neighborhood a bit.

Judy Alter said...

It may come to that, Randy, although I practice walking daily. Maybe you read the description of my first adventure with a motorized cart in a grocery store. I only took out one display dump. Giving it a go again later this morning. Thanks. PS I had meatloaf at the Grill the other night--so good.