AFT GANG AWRY
Ever have a day where everything goes awry, one damn thing after another? Where if you were smart, you’d go back to bed, but you’re washing the bedding because the cat puked in it, so you can’t?
Today is one of those days for me. I woke up at 7:00 which isn’t so bad since I’ve been lately sleep deprived, but it’s not so good, either, since our Y moved the time of my water aerobics class up by half an hour to 8:30. At the time I should be taking a shower, 8:00, I haven’t even eaten breakfast which I must do because I took my prescribed medication an hour ago. The medication requires eating an hour later. Because I was late arising, I am late breakfasting.
So, I place my coffee, banana, and zucchini bread on the—WHAT?
Well, what did YOU have for breakfast, Mr. Ding-Dong and Tootsie Pop? At least MY breakfast had a vegetable in it.
Anyway, I place my coffee and zucchini bread on the side table and reach for my iPad, multi-tasker that I am. Oops. I also lack depth perception and hand-eye coordination. The iPad collides with the very full, giant-sized coffee cup which tumbles as fast as it takes me to shout my favorite curse word, the one containing “sh” and “t,” and the cup shatters the cat food treat dish on the floor. All across the living room floor in a five-foot radius, arranged like a modern art installation, lie splattered coffee and cat dish shards. The coffee cup, resilient to droppage like all of Wal-Mart’s finest china, remains intact.
The zucchini bread sits untouched and inviting. I contemplate leaving the entire mess right where it is and dealing with it when I return home after my workout, if I ever do, knowing what I have to clean up. I could stop to clean up the mess and be late to my class or not clean up and be less late. The shower I need is moot by now. Ain’t gonna happen.
I think of my cat, who is now hiding under the couch, hissing, and how even though she’s been unpleasant this morning, I don’t want her hurt by walking on glass fragments.
Guilt sends me to the laundry room where I tug on several towels from the rag shelf in the cupboard, and they all fall on the floor. Those I leave where they lie for later. No cat’s ever been killed by a pile of towels, I reason.
I sop and mop. Transporting towels dripping cold coffee all the way into the kitchen, I open the garbage can lid and shake the shards into it and throw the towels into the laundry basket.
I am only ten minutes late to class. Without a shower. My hair sticks out at odd angles all over my head. My head resembles a porcupine’s do had it lain on only one side all night long. No one says a word about my rebellious hair during class. That’s how you know people love you. Or have no words for what they see, one or the other.
After getting the mail, I race home to pick kale in my garden, enough for a friend and for the new recipe I plan to try, a Mexican vegetable strata which incorporates both kale and zucchini of which our garden has an overabundance.
I change clothes first because I don’t have a good track record keeping my clothes clean when I garden or cook. Or eat breakfast in my living room chair, apparently. I think people who do are abnormal and suspect.
Wearing one of my previously stained tee shirts, the nicest one in my vast collection, I begin the recipe assemblage, like a shorter Julia Child with a lower humming voice, cutting, chopping, and sautéing. Whipping the naughty eggs.
I slice a couple of potatoes and zucchinis I grew this summer, and some sweet potatoes I didn’t. I chop kale and onion from our garden. Fry up the chicken sausage. Layer after layer I arrange, and then I discover—no enchilada sauce. The dish wouldn’t be right without it. It’s called Mexican Vegetable Strata, right?
I change my clothes, again, and head for the store for green enchilada sauce. Three cans of green enchilada sauce and four bags of tomato sauce, paste, and puree later, (I like my larder stocked!)I arrive back home.
I forgot to take my personal grocery bags into the store, so the cans are heaped in bags made of that flimsy grocery sack plastic that can be slashed by anything sharp, like an orange, for example. Of course, the clerk had not double-bagged to compensate for the can weight, and one of the bags splits and cans tumble out when I open the car door. I joyfully chase rolling cans all over the driveway and under the car, exhausting the catalog of my cursing repertoire, employing those soothing fricatives and plosives that serve us so well in the midst of frustration. See, multi-tasking, once again.
Tin can roundup complete, once inside the house, I change into my cooking and slopping clothes yet again.
Now it is 2:30 and way past lunch. Time to stop to have my second meal of the day, zucchini bread.
WHAT? Well, what did YOU have for lunch, Ms. half-a-wienie and three M&M’s you found in your sweater pocket? Did I mention my meal has a veggie in it, and raisins, nuts, grain and eggs? That makes five food groups!
In a wise act of self-preservation, I eat without electronic devices anywhere near me, a most uneventful lunch, then finish assembling the strata. I turn on the oven to preheat as I sprinkle on the Tillamook Mexican cheese.
I carry the pans to the stove, but I feel no heat. Oops, forgot to push the start button. Ovens these days are so picky, so touchy, so demanding.
Ten minutes later, the Strata is in the oven. Whew! This quick and easy recipe has taken four hours and an entire retinue of curse words to assemble.
While the Strata bakes, I take a break to gird my loins in anticipation of what else this day might have to offer. I shudder to think of possible events, so I won’t. If all goes well, I’ll reach dinner time unscathed. What can go wrong lying on a couch?
Don’t tell me. After my day, I don’t want to know.
Some days aft gang awry. But that gives us pause to be grateful for the days when all flows smoothly, doesn’t it?
And for the succor of zucchini bread.