Post # 334 Why I Got This Way

January 19, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 334 Why I Got This Way

One of my favorite authors is Patrick McManus.  He writes humorous short stories involving outdoor themes.  For those who know the name, the funniest thing he wrote was called The Deer on the Bicycle.  Makes me laugh just thinking about it.  He wrote a story he put at the end of one of his books called How I Got This Way, trying to explain how he became a writer.

We had guests this weekend.  Three day weekend, semi-decent weather, little bit of time off, it all makes up the best ingredients for a good time.  And it was.  Good food was cooked.  Good food was eaten.

On Sunday, we did a little grocery shopping, and we all chose donuts and muffins to have for breakfast on Monday morning.  I ate my donuts on Sunday afternoon.  Partner/Spouse ate one of his muffins with ice cream for dessert on Sunday night.  The guests ate their donuts Sunday night, too, but more as a late night snack.

So it’s Monday morning, and it’s time to think about breakfast we don’t have.  And the toaster stopped working.  No amount of bashing, cleaning, cursing, or any other attempt at repair worked.  We have a dead toaster.  Yes, I know there are other ways to make toast without a toaster.  But discovering a dead toaster threw a monkey wrench into the schedule for Monday morning.

I’ve often said that I cook so I can show off.  The better I cook, the better I show off.  After a meal, when people rain compliments on my head, I usually grin and say, “I’m just showing off.”  But that’s not really why I cook.

When the guests came downstairs, I let them know the toaster was broken, and asked what they’d like for breakfast that didn’t involve toast.

“Want some eggs?” I asked.

That was agreeable to them, but they wanted hardboiled eggs.  Easy to do.

“I’m going to chop them up onto a piece of bread and eat them that way,” one said.

“Sure,” I said.  “We’ve got mayonnaise, shredded cheese, dill pickle relish, mustard, ketchup, just about anything you’d like to mix in with it.”

When the eggs were done and cooled, I used my egg slicer to chop them up.  Anyone know this trick?  Take your standard egg slicer and put the egg through as normal.  Instead of tipping the egg onto a plate or into a bowl, gently grasp the sliced egg by the ends, squeezing gently to hold it together.  Put it back into the slicer at a 90 degree angle from the first slice.  Eggs get chopped in a no mess, less fuss process.  I added a bunch of different things to the eggs, including sunflower seeds, pickle relish, chopped chicken, etc.  Suddenly, there was a bowl of egg salad, with crackers, bread, bagels, all lined up for everyone to help themselves.  When it was over, there was a spoonful of egg salad left, and a full house of well fed people.

Not the meal I had originally planned, but a meal nonetheless, and a good one.  And compliments all ’round.  For egg salad.

I started to say, “I’m just showing off.”  But I didn’t because something else struck me.  All I said was, “I’m glad you liked it.”

I had a house full of happy, well-fed people.  I had taken a few disparate items and put them together and made something that guests in my home enjoyed.

My mom couldn’t stand to think of someone being hungry, and I guess I inherited that from her.  I’m not too picky about the tone of the food I cook or eat.  It doesn’t have to be grilled shrimp and caviar every meal.  I can take a can of soup, a cup of rice, and feed my family, including my dogs.  I can take a cup of flour, a couple of eggs, make pasta and toss it with oil and garlic and no one around me is going hungry.  Heck, even a plain hamburger with a good crust from a flat iron skillet is going to go a long way to making someone less hungry.  PBJ?  Don’t get me started.  Many times, when it was just me, two PBJs and orange juice were my dinner.

This is why I got this way.  Feeding people makes me happy.  That’s what most people are working towards, isn’t it?  Making themselves happy.


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