Sunday, March 29, 2009

Asparagus, And So Forth

Ahhhh. I am very full of food and about to doze off, but as it's only five to eight, I'm going to try to stay awake a bit longer...I don't feel like waking up at 5 am, thank you.

The food was a hamburger made from the remains of some Steak Tartare I made myself the other day, some nice garlic bread, and a half pound of asparagus (I bought a pound and ate the other half yesterday...happy Spring!).

I consider eating asparagus alone to be one of life's great pleasures, because everyone in my family seems to feel that it can't be eaten without Hollandaise sauce. Well, I think it's lovely that way, too, but as far as I'm concerned, for purest pleasure, make a large plate of it, squeeze some lemon over it, and then melt some butter. Then you may sit there in flawless contentment eating asparagus with your fingers and dipping it into melted butter as you go. And you don't have to wash any appliances - a definite plus. I would love to be able to say that I am the kind of person who can whip up beautiful Hollandaise with a whisk in a double boiler, but I'm not. So if I decide to make it, we get out the food processor (actually I prefer the blender but Joshua burnt a hole in it somehow and I haven't gotten around to getting a new one yet). (By the way, for reasons that escape me, I am able to make a textbook beurre blanc sauce in a plain old saucepan, not even a double boiler, with a whisk. No, I don't know either.)

I save coupons. I don't think it actually saves me a lot of money, but it gives me a nice little housewifely glow. And really, what could be wrong about getting a buck off that Windex you were going to buy anyway? Today I was sitting in the kitchen with my scissors doing the weekly coupon trawl through the Sunday papers, and I have decided that the insane busyness of Americans has simply got to stop. All my countrymen are rather obviously going to die of major heart attacks if they don't sit down and rest. I base this conclusion on two products I saw coupons for in the paper today. One of these actually looks like a terrific idea, but not for the reason it's made. It's frosting for cupcakes! Silly me, I sort of always thought that frosting was frosting, since I was completely unaware that you now evidently need separate sorts of frosting for cakes and cupcakes. This cupcake frosting comes in a spray can, so that you can make cupcakes and then just spray frosting on them! Isn't that convenient? I've thought for years that you ought to have something like this so that while those cupcakes bake, you can go out and save the environment or something and not waste time making frosting. Ah, I see by the picture that these squirty frosting cans also have what looks like three different decorating tips! Wow! What ever happened to sticking the cupcake head down into the frosting bowl and turning it around, which is how me and my mother and grandmother always did it? Of course the reason I secretly think this is a super idea is that every now and then I get a taste for something really depraved, like squirting the Reddi-Whip right into my mouth. You can imagine how neat it would be if I could squirt little decorative designs onto my tongue with cupcake frosting.

The other product has absolutely nothing to recommend it at all. Land O' Lakes has come out with a new product. As the ad says, "Try NEW Land O' Lakes butter in half sticks!" Um, why? The copy goes on, "Quick and Easy To Use. No cutting. No rewrapping." Has anyone ever had a problem with this? I know that it takes me something around two seconds to cut a stick of butter in half, open the half I'm using, and put the flap back over the unused butter and stick it back in the icebox. Why on EARTH would anyone feel the need for butter packaged in half sticks? And what are you supposed to do with that two seconds you just saved? Squirt your cupcakes, I guess.

More books went trotting out the door today...I think this is wonderful. Now, of course, Joshua has abdicated the chore of putting together boxes altogether, announcing that he can't deal with tape. This boy's lack of any useful skills whatsoever is breathtaking...the other night he informed me (as I was making myself a little chicken saute for dinner) that he didn't know you could cook chicken in a pan. I was starting to ask him what the hell he'd BEEN cooking chicken in (the toilet? his armpit?) when I realized he meant he'd never, evidently, heard of anyone cooking chicken in anything other than an oven. This is patently ridiculous, since I know good and damn well that his mother made a terrific sauteed chicken. (Well, she was, after all, my aunt, with all the family cooking genes intact.)

Oh, glory! There's thunder and lightning and heavy rain! Now is the time to curl up in bed with a book. Yay, thunderstorms!

Love, Wendy

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