Sunday, June 30, 2019

My very own cookfest

Sunday morning, and I went to church on the computer. But it didn’t work out well. In his preliminary comments to the sermon, the minister, Dr. Russ Peterman, told a joke—and a speaker’s greatest fear, no one laughed. He said something about thinking everyone would think it was funny, and then recovered well to say, “I bet it gets a big laugh at the eleven o’clock service.”

A bit into his sermon—on delivering us from evil and how we fall into evil by small degrees—the transmission froze. A message came on to say something had happened, but it would be corrected soon. Meantime, there was Russ, on my monitor, arm raised to make an emphatic gesture, mouth open to make his point—forever frozen in time and space. What would be a normal moment in an ongoing video became sort of grotesque. I left him on the screen—but he never did come back.

Meantime I had a cookfest of my own. I started with a baked egg for my breakfast. Baking eggs is something I’ve only tried once or twice, but this time I buttered the ramekin, put in a tablespoon or so of heavy cream, cracked the egg—to my disappointment, it broke—and topped it with butter, salt, pepper, parmesan, and  pinch of dried thyme. My goodness! I may do that every day because it was so good.

Next I made my version of Chuy’s creamy jalapeno and cilantro dip to serve tomorrow night for neighbors who are coming for happy hour. Confession: I served some to Christian, Jacob and me tonight before supper. It is addictive, which I attribute to the salt in the ranch dressing packet that goes into it. But it is sooo good.

With unusual foresight I had put a stick of butter out to soften, so next I made Worcestershire butter, from the NYTimes recipe. Everyone has raved about it, but I don’t think I got it quite right. The recipe calls for garlic, chives, salt, pepper, Worcestershire of course, and. lemon zest. Christian and I were excited about trying it, so I even sautéed green beans in it. I couldn’t taste any difference it made in the green beans, and on our steak, we tasted lemon not Worcestershire. Conclusion: I used too much lemon and not enough Worcestershire. I may try again.

My final cooking chore was a meatloaf, so I’d have some prepared dinners for when people come for happy hour Monday and Tuesday. By the time I’ve entertained happy hour guests, I never want to cook, so meatloaf seemed like a good solution. I’ve been wanting a good meat loaf and even considered buying a ready-made one, but Jordan suggested I make one.

I’m always ready to try a new meat loaf recipe, and I’d read something about Ina Garten’s recipe, so I decided to follow it. But as is too often my habit I rushed in without reading the recipe. Chopped a large onion—gosh it made a lot—and dumped it on top of the meat, only to read that the recipe called for sautéing it first. So I fished out all the onion and sautéed it in olive oil, salt and pepper, and thyme. Long story short, there’s a meat loaf in my fridge, and in retrospect tonight I decided I may like meat loaf better than steak.

Jordan is out of town, so I had the Burton boys for supper. Christian grilled steaks, and Jacob announced he doesn’t like steak and doesn’t like fresh green beans. Not sure what to do about that boy! But after dinner, Christian and I got into a heated discussion that started with immigration and moved on to…. Everything! Basically we agree, but he says I can’t blame trump or any one man for anything, and I say no, the problems—from immigration to climate—began before his time, but he has made them a lot worse. Good thing we love each other. Jacob said it was entertaining to watch us argue.

Then I did the dishes. That’s what life ultimately is—the daily chores that fill our lives nd make them comfortable..

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