Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lucky #13 Has Transformed Me Into a Cackling Witch

I try to be a good person. Really. I help children at worthy public schools with their reading. I helped with local park… stuff. I participate in the PTA, coach a soccer team of little girls. That stuff counts as trying to be nice, right?

But, the thing is, I’m not so good at controlling The Inner Voice Of Snark. And sometimes... it’s not always so inner.

My parents arrived in town for the summer today; they have a house up the street from us, and spend their summers in Seattle. As far as Curly and my boy are concerned, their arrival heralds the true start of summer, signalling to them the imminent arrival of their many cousins, of local exploring, regional roadtrips, and lots (and lots) of trips to the local ice cream parlor.

Naturally, knowing that my parents were getting to town today, the kids wanted to celebrate with a festive (ish) dinner. Somehow we settled on fried chicken, coleslaw, and cornbread, followed by cherry pie and home-made vanilla ice cream (have I ever made fried chicken? No. Have my parents ever declared it a particular favorite? No. Do the kids have an undying affection for it? Not that I know of, although they are generally quite fond of anything fried.).
I didn’t really think about the fact that after several days of fast food on their cross-country drive that my parents might not be super-keen to have more fried food. I thought about the fact that I could cook a few things from The Lee Bros Southern Cookbook, which is a cookbook I want to work through a little more, and also that this menu would (briefly) sate the kids' sudden hunger for having cornbread as often as possible.
It was all quite good. The cornbread? Maybe a little dry (and actually from The Art of Simple Cooking), since I forgot that it was in the oven right when it was supposed to come out (so, more my fault than any recipe). The coleslaw? Gave me a wonderful reminder of why I like coleslaw; not too sweet, not unctuously, viscously full of mayonnaise, but more of a crisp cabbage salad, without being too cabbage-y. In short, the way coleslaw is supposed to taste. The chicken? A little too salty from the brine, but with a delicious crisp coating, and not too much of it.

The pie (not from The Lee Bros Southern Cookbook)? I’m torn on cherry pie, generally. It’s not my favorite kind of fruit pie (being reminded of cough syrup is okay for me in a booze, but not as much in a regular dessert, and cherry pie does have a bit of a cough-syrupy quality), but it can be solid.

And it is a truth universally acknowledged that very few fruit pies are not made more alluring by some good vanilla ice cream.
And I’m a bad person why? Well… as I was putting the chicken in the oil, the oil, of course, began to pop, roil and sizzle madly. I got sprayed a little, but had expected as much, and given that I have a gift for acquiring more dramatic injuries, a couple of tiny spray burns didn’t seem like too big of a deal. At the rat-a-tat-sizzle of noise, though, Stumpy limped over to have a gander, and began to say “wow,” when with a particularly loud pop! some boiling hot oil flung itself several yards from the pan and directly onto his neck. And I, the loving wife who just this week celebrated our 13th anniversary with Stumpy… I cackled. I did. Poor man had his hand clapped to his neck and was doing his damndest not to say “motherfucker, that hurt!” with our boy right there, and I... cackled. Maybe the 13th anniversary is the marital equivalent of a full moon for a werewolf? Maybe it's the solstice having just come and gone? At any rate, I might lack some social polish when it comes to the finer points (or, okay, the extremely coarse outlines) of thought-to-action editing.


homebody at heart said...

I think you're a very nice person but sometimes we aren't always in control of our...responses. Me, I'm blaming my hormones!

homebody at heart said...

Oh, and I found a recipe for potato pizza only it calls for green beans, too in an old Cucina Moderna magazine. I'll send it to you.

Meg said...

Homebody- thanks. I wish I could blame my hormones, but... it was me. I'd love to check out the potato recipe- it sounds very genovese, w/the potato & green bean combo. As it happens, another attempt at it is on the menu tonight.