SPRING CLEANING





                                                      


 I had one simple goal when I woke up Saturday morning; get my eyebrows waxed. To the  average person who gets their grooming done once or twice a month this might seem like a trivial task.  

Personally, however, I don't seem to think about grooming until my annual spring cleaning.  Clean your house, wax your face.  Prune those grasses, shrubs and bushy brows. My problem is that I can never go the same place twice because my neighborhood shops go out of business.  Perhaps the yearly de-forestation of my face is a deal breaker.

At work on Saturday, I thought about asking some friends where, and if, they get their brows done. "How often to you get your eyebrows waxed?"  “Are you going to get your eyebrows waxed soon?" "Do you wax your eyebrows yourself or have it done?" 

Maybe I was just sensitive because of my own unibrow, but it  didn't matter how I worded it, it sounded bad.  I may as well come out and say. “Hey, you should really think about cleaning up all that scraggly stuff growing where your eyebrows used to be." 

I had an hour before I figured shops would be closing so I decided to drive down the strip on my way home and see if I could find a hair salon. Apparently the new trend is to ditch the waxing and hone in on the fingernails because every other shop was touting manicures.  Then I remembered  the little shop that had just opened up a few blocks from home, Miranda's

I pulled into the parking lot. They were still open.  I hurried, hoping they would have time to clean me up.  I read the sign on the door.  That's unusual. Why would they need my ID?  I opened my purse to pull out my wallet,  pushed the door open and stepped inside.

Little boxes of green leafy plants covered the counters.  I didn't ask about eyebrows. I didn't give them a chance to say what I knew they would say.  I simply gave a sick little smile, backed out the door and asked myself.  "What was I smoking."   




ALMOST A CULINARY EVENT


 You know your dinner is a failure when your guests are smarter than you. Especially when the guest you are referring to is a non cooking male whose idea of gourmet cooking is to put a spoonful of peanut butter onto a slice of apple.
 Of course, none of this was my fault.  The blame lies directly on my husband, Rick. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the meal, but that is exactly why it is his fault. He has changed his eating habits the past year and shed a lot of weight. His meals consist of plain meat, rice or potatoes, and vegetables.  Gone are all meals requiring imagination with a flair for sauces and saut├ęs. It is his fault that I have not only forgotten how to cook, but that I also forgot all the meals that I can’t remember how to cook.
It was Easter dinner and I had decided to go simple. Ham, salad, asparagus, rolls purchased from the store, and boxes of scalloped potatoes. Nothing hard about that. I do still remember how to boil water, open packages and read directions. At least I thought I did, until it came to the strawberry pie.
I had purchased pie crusts, so all I had to do was place the strawberries on the crust and cover with a sauce.  The problem was, I had to make the sauce. I realized there was a problem when instead of pouring out of the pot, it clumped over the strawberries in globs.  I revisited the cookbook. All because of my husbands inconsiderate dieting, I had forgotten that there is a HUGE difference between TSP and TBS. Since cornstarch is one of those non allergenic foods, the kids would never know the difference once I covered it with whip cream. I was sure to score extra points as an amazing grandma when they saw the size their portions would be. I remeasured the cornstarch correctly the second time around and made 2 beautiful pies. 
It was time to serve my strawberry confection.  I pulled out the whipping cream, poured it into a bowl, and proceeded to whip it into a frenzy. I beat it and beat it as it began to aerate and fill the bowl, but it would not thicken. I added some powdered sugar. Martha our guest was helping me in the kitchen.  Her husband, Ryan, was visiting with my husband in the living room.
Rick knew enough not to interfere with my culinary creations, besides his diet made him uninvested.  Ryan, however, was apparently highly motivated by the outcome.  He saw me add more powdered sugar. “I usually add regular sugar.”  This was the second clue that he was a culinary illiterate.
“Well you would be wrong.” I smiled. “I have no idea why this won’t whip. I never have a problem with this.”
I decided to check the carton the whip cream came in. Apparently my husbands dieting had reached it's skinny little tentacles into the grocery store. I had purchased half and half. Martha was much more polite than Rick usually was when I made this kind of mistake. She didn’t laugh very hard at all. 
Ryan was obviously still invested in the whip cream. He politely, or was it smugly, suggested that I whip up some egg whites and pour some of the half and half in it to put on the strawberries. It was a brilliant idea for a culinary illiterate.
I carefully separated the yolks of two eggs and Ryan started to beat the whites. Everything was going perfectly, until the third egg, when Martha warned me not to let any egg yolk get in the whites. Of course the next moment egg yolk slipped between my fingers into the frothy whites taking them back to liquid form. 
All I can say is that dinner would have been amazing if it wasn’t for Rick and Martha.

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