Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cooking for one on a hot day:

Shell all the peas while watching an episode of Star Trek in a cool dark room.  Quickly steam them. Now wonder if you should put them in the freezer or eat them for dinner. Leave them in a bowl on the counter and tell yourself you'll decide later.

Boil a few yellow-skinned potatoes and let them cool in their jackets on the marble bread board while you talk to your husband on the phone and he describes the odd scene at the mall where he is presently trying to buy t-shirts. [Sports Authority is going out of business; all the fixtures are for sale, including a row of naked male mannequins that would normally be demonstrating Speedos and bicycle shorts and such; fortunately he has his camera with him.]

Putter out to the garden and notice that you have too many garlic scapes and too much cilantro. Decide that "too much" is the perfect amount for whatever you might be planning to cook, and harvest recklessly.

Peel the potatoes and cut them up into chunks. The potatoes are still too hot, but fortunately your hands have many protective callouses, thanks to all the lawn mowing you do.

Notice the shelled peas still sitting on the counter and pour them over the potato chunks. Admire their beauty.

Find two hardboiled eggs and two radishes in the refrigerator. Chop up the radishes and add them to the peas and potatoes. Get distracted by how pretty the salad is looking, all pink and white and green. Forget to add the eggs, and discover the next morning that they're still in the refrigerator waiting to be used up.

Chop up the garlic scapes. Consider their strange combination of textures: tender seed pod, rubbery tip. Remember you are reading a book about 1950s English people who are afraid to eat strange foods such as garlic but are fine about serving canned lamb tongues for tea. Feel relieved to be living in a better time.

Quickly saute the garlic in olive oil and pour the mixture over the salad. Answer the ringing phone. Someone with an "unknown number" wants to speak to your son. "There is no message, ma'am," he says. With the right sort of background music, this moment would be ominous. However, there is no background music available, only the sound of an old dog noisily snorfing up a dish of canned meat.

Chop up the too-much cilantro. Feel sorry for people who dislike it. Add it to the salad. Dig out a bottle of red-wine vinegar and splash some in. Recklessly salt and pepper and toss.

Scoop potato salad into your favorite blue Chinese-import bowl. Arrange the table carefully with a cloth napkin and a fork and a drink of water in your favorite Memories of Florida glass. Make sure you can see the flowers in their vases, in case you get lonely. Make sure you have a book to read, and that it's not the sort of book that you're only carrying around because you think you ought to read it.

Look at the clock and remind yourself that it's far too early to go to bed. Also, far too hot. Try to think of something to do. End up eating more potato salad and reading another Conan Doyle short story. The phone rings. "Unknown number."

1 comment:

Richard said...

We received a card yesterday by snail mail: "When life gives you garlic, make hummus!"