"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Orchestrated Affair

     Last night Cy and I went to a friends house for a sleepover because Mom and Dad were at the auction for Cy's school.  Our friends' parents weren't supposed to get back until midnight and we were playing Halo Reach.  Liam, the older of our friends came upstairs and told us he had thrown the pizza from Papa Murphy's into the oven, it would be ready in a minute.  The sounds of a battlefield on another planet quieted for just a second, and we heard a door click closed barely audible.
     "Did you hear that?" I whispered.  They nodded in return.  "I think someone's in the house."
      We went into their parent's bedroom, where we closed and locked the door.  Cyrus, Liam and Logan hid on the far side of the bed, and I took refuge behind a dresser.
     Liam's first words to the 911 operator were rather memorable.
     "Excuse me, I think someone's in my house."  Downstairs we could hear footsteps, drawers were opening and closing.  It sounded as if they were wearing thick soled boots.  At some point, I thought, they would come upstairs to see if they could find something other than silverware.  Or microwaveable meals.  We heard the microwave beeping.  Looking around in the dark I saw the solid, hard plastic body of a Nerf Gun, left from a Nerf battle earlier.  "Hey," I thought, "when I hear them coming up the stairs, I'll pick this up and go stand by the door so I can whack them over the head with it when they come in.
     After about ten minutes, we heard a knock at the door.  We heard the door open, and a police officer ask a question.  I couldn't hear what the other person said, but I recognized the voice.
     " Hey guys," I said, " it's your Dad!"
     After the cops left, we ate the pizza and the carrots (which had come out of the microwave) and recounted the story a number of times over.  It made me think of two things, the other time (almost a year ago) that 911 was called.  Remember the turkey frier incident? And I realized I needed to think of a vegetable for tonight, so, in addition to fish cakes and loaded baked potatoes, I decided to create a prepared carrot dish of my own.

    The potatoes are out of the oven and are cooling off before I scoop them out.  Mimi has graciously taken charge of shredding and de-boning the fish, and the carrots are on the stove in a pot of butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  In the potatoes I plan to add butter, cream and cheese.

     The potatoes have been scooped, mashed, mixed with butter, cheese and cream and are back in the oven.  The fish are ready to be made into cakes, though Mimi refuses to work on that while I blog.  The carrots are nearing readiness and the sun has just peeked out from behind the clouds for the first time today.  Now if only we weren't hung up on the problems of not operating with Dad as a sous chef.

     The carrots are nearly done.  All the butter and maple syrup has caramelized and the carrots are coated in a dark sticky layer of wonderfulness.  The fishcakes and potatoes will be ready in a few minutes and I should start the tartar sauce.

     The carrots were amazing.  They were sweet, with a vague sticky syrupy-ness,  and just a hint of cinnamon on your tongue.  The potatoes were quite similar.  You could taste the butter and cream, but only because you expected them to be there, as is standard issue in baked potatoes.  In between bites though, you could just catch a whiff of the orange cheddar as it slid off your tongue and back down your throat.  The fishcakes too were excellent.  One of the biggest problems we've had with fishcakes to date is the problem of keeping them crunchy, but not dry.  These fishcakes seemed to overcome that because they had gotten cooked for a much shorter period of time and after being formed we covered both sides in panko crumbs.  This whole meal was an accidentally well orchestrated affair (much unlike last night) where nothing overpowered, but only gave a hint of itself.  If only everything could work that well!

     Next week we'll be making our first blog post from a foreign country.  Spring break for Cy and I starts Friday but instead of sleeping in, we'll be getting up to catch our flight to Chicago.  After Chicago, we fly to Brussels, after which we catch our last flight to Barcelona, Spain.  That's where we'll be on Sunday.  The other day some of my friends and I were talking about what we were doing for spring break.
     "I'm spending a couple days at the coast," says one of my friends.
     "I'm going to the coast too," I tell them, "the Mediterranean Coast."

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