Friday, February 15, 2002

Frightfully Fried Friday!

Well, if there's nothing else good you can say about me, you can say I'm consistent. So after a week of coming in sick to work, just barely able to muddle through my days, but somehow managing to get plenty done, I have come stumbling in for another Friday of incomparable stupidity. And I'm not sick anymore, so I can't use that excuse. Friday is just the day for me being SO STUPID!

How stupid are you?

I'm so stupid I came to work on a Holiday! The District decided for some unconscionable reason to split President's Day back into the origingal Lincoln and Washington days, and then bookend them into a four-day weekend. And I totally forgot about it! I'm sitting here doing actual work, so proud of myself that I'm finally having a productive Friday, getting a mailer ready and printing fliers to be distributed at the four campuses. And so I start calling all the ladies who distribute fliers for us at the campus mailrooms, and I kept getting answering machines! "Quelle strange," I said to myself. "Hey," I went on talking to myself, but in English, "I also noticed that the flags weren't flying across the street...I wonder?..." So I called the District Office, and the answering machine there told me that it was Lincoln's Birthday Holiday Observance, implying that only a moron of the first water would try to call the District Office on a holiday celebrating the life of the Great Emancipator.

Oy gevalt. I had better get going. I have some shopping to do...leftover Valentine's goodies await me, and I would like a white or cream-colored belt to wear with my new red jersey dress this weekend. But before I go, it's time for that one highlight in a typically dismal day, the Friday Five!

1. What was the first thing you ever cooked? I believe it was Boy Scout Stew...unfortunately not made with real Boy Scouts. It was done for a Merit Badge and turned out okay, if a bit salty.

But a better story is the first time I tried to cook, at the age of three: Mother had been taking us almost daily to a local diner for breakfast (I think she was dating the owner), where we always sat at the counter so we could see what was going was the first time I had been in a position to actually view the cooking process, and I was always extra fascinated watching the short-order cook fry eggs and pancakes and such on the big flat grill. So one morning when we didn't go to the diner (Mother was probably recovering from a rough night), I decided that I could make breakfast just like the man at the grill. Little did I know, however, that heat was the required element, not just the flat surface: I was bemused to discover that eggs didn't cook by themselves if you cracked them open on the kitchen floor, not even if you poked at them with a spatula. And being a cynic and an optimist at once, I had to test those results over and over until I either achieved success or ran out of eggs. Mother was not amused to find a dozen and a half eggs broken on the kitchen floor when she rose at noon.

2. What's your signature dish? Omelette aux fines herbes. It's the only thing I've ever managed to consistently do right. But then I also grill a mean steak, and have been known to assemble seafood scampi with moderate success.

3. Ever had a cooking disaster? (tasted like crap, didn't work, etc.) Describe. Here's a helpful hint: never bake shark. It isn't nice! Another helpful hint: don't drink and cook! My sister and I once tried to make fried chicken when we were ourselves quite fried on Bacardi & Coke, and we couldn't figure out why the chicken was black on the outside and red on the inside...turns out you're supposed to fry it on low heat. We ate it anyway, without ill results, which just goes to show that God looks after idiots and small children.

4. If skill and money were no object, what would make for your dream meal? Mmmm...start off with a perfect French onion soup with vegetables julienne and a quail's egg at the bottom, a slice of gruyère toast on top; then move on to a risotto del mare with scallops, salmon, catfish, shrimp, clams, carrots and peas in a cream sauce; then pork loin medallions in some kind of better-than-sex sauce, with new potatoes in butter & chives and steamed lemon-peppered broccoli on the side; then a salad of crisp baby greens with black olives, white grapes, thinly sliced purple onions, and pine nuts; then, for dessert, a Sacher torte (dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and fudge ganache icing) with a raspberry sorbet, and strong espresso. After all that I could face a firing squad with complete equanimity.

5. What are you doing this weekend? I have a show on Sunday, the Galaxy of Love. Other than that, I am free as a bird. I guess I should do some cleaning around the house, but something tells me I'm going to be spending a lot of time in front of the TV.

Have a slice of beefcake, and a lovely weekend!

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