Boo, the Queen of Cats, seems to be under the weather. Normally the sunniest of cats, over the past few days she has been acting, if put in human terms, depressed. Concerned, I called the vet and took her down this morning to have some tests run and see what’s up with the old girl. Undoubtedly this will put a substantial dent in the budget, but our cats are members of our family and treated accordingly, so “damn the torpedoes full speed ahead”, as they say. I’m social, I’m sure I will get along very well with the rest of the people living under the bridge. Sometimes getting ahead is virtually impossible so you have to settle instead for being thankful for what you have and getting by.
Arriving with my unhappily crated feline at the vet’s office, I stood behind a man who was checking his enormous mastiff in for a clipping, and I do not mean of his toenails. The dog seemingly sensing this was not to be something he was going to enjoy turned and bolted towards the door in a valiant effort to preserve his masculinity, dragging his surprised owner behind him. Boo let out a loud howl, as if to say “run, save yourself”. A good time was had by all.
The town was abuzz with activity. Fireworks stands were being dropped off in parking lots and stores were packing people in with Fourth of July specials on barbecued meats, sodas, and alcohol. Typically the lake begins filling up several days before the holiday itself and local merchants pack the shelves with camping and boating supplies. For us, it’s another glorious day on the lake, and having sold the boat four years ago one that is to be celebrated on dry land.
I miss the boat, but not enough to want to own another one. Like people did with us when we owned the boat, we now prefer to join our friends on theirs and chip in for gas rather than visa versa. This was not my first experience with boat ownership, but prior to buying this one I hadn’t driven one since 1984. Funny how the brain deteriorates in twenty-eight years.
We talked about getting a boat for four years after moving here, seeming a logical purchase for people living overlooking a large body of water. Rick had never owned a boat before, but I assured him that I could show him the ropes and before long we’d be masters of the craft (argh), flying across the waves. Yeah.
Our first warning from the universe that we should think twice was when we were at our fiftieth boat dealer (Rick is a thorough shopper) and Rick was high up on a boat parked in the yard. Somehow he managed to miss a step on his way down and was propelled across the parking lot leading with his head and ended up with a sizable gash for his trouble. Buyer beware said the signs.
Finally, we chose boat. Getting a hitch put on the SUV, we made the two hour drive to collect our prize. Once the crew at the dealership had the boat hitched up, they ran through the procedure for the two of us. Both of us stood there looking like bobble head dolls, nodding our heads up and down as if we understood one word coming out of their mouths. I knew I had done this many times before, but as I said twenty-eight years tend to rust the gears in the memory box, and I couldn’t quite recall any part of the process right off-hand. Oh-oh.
My other half always says those two little words “oh-oh” being uttered from my mouth can seriously put the fear of God in him. This was to be no exception.
Before picking up the boat, a 21′ speedboat, we leased a slip at the marina and determined the best place to launch. Pulling in through the park gate I began to feel a little trepidatious about unloading our heavy burden, and found I now couldn’t remember anything at all the boat salesman had told us about getting it off the trailer. Bloody ell.
Rick managed to back it into the water and it began to float but for the life of us we couldn’t unload the bugger. Finally we had to go to the marina and get the guys working there to help us get it in the water.
I stayed in the boat and circled while Rick parked the SUV and trailer and joined me. Funny, I couldn’t pull up any stored information on how to maneuver it, how to shift it, and if I could have bailed out and swam to shore I would have. Rick, confident in my skills, rode along in the passenger seat asking intelligent questions of which it seemed I had no intelligent answers for.
Our slip, at the least the original one (we had it moved after the following incident), was not in a covered dock. It was in a far corner making it difficult to maneuver to. Boats occupied all the adjacent slips, some quite large, making it even more tricky. For those of you who have driven boats you will know that when you are in a high traffic area such as a marina you are not allowed to go fast enough to leave a wake behind you. Unfortunately, going slowly also makes maneuvering the boat more difficult.
We made it around the back corner of the dock itself. A large sailboat jutted out of the slip next to ours. Having trouble steering and forgetting how to stop I managed to hit the propeller of the sailboat, hit the end of the dock, totally traumatize Rick who vaulted out leaping to safety onto the dock. A couple across the way yanked their children out of the water and ran for cover and I went into full panic mode. Rick, regaining his senses, jumped back in the boat and shut us down before I took out the entire marina. No words were spoken as we sat becalmed and when our hearts resumed beating we somehow got it in the slip. Embarrassment was maximal, but damage was minimal. In the end once we got the hang of it we did very well and enjoyed many good times on the lake.
This tart is so tasty and delicious. My daughter-in-law stopped by after I took it from the oven and I had to push her out the door before she gobbled it up.
1 deep dish pie shell
3 Tbsp. sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cups Swiss cheese, grated
4 slices cooked, crisp bacon, crumbled
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. white pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
7 artichoke hearts packed in oil
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/8 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place pie shell in pie pan and trim.
Remove artichoke halves from oil and pat dry. Set aside. Halve cherry tomatoes and set aside.
Mix together cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, bacon and parsley flakes in medium mixing bowl.
Whisk eggs, milk, and sour cream together in small mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add to cheese mixture. Add all other ingredients except vegetables and feta.
Mix well to combine.
Pour into prepared shell. Artfully arrange cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and green onions on top of cheese/egg mixture. Dust with paprika and sprinkle with feta cheese.
Bake for 50-55 mins. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and crust is nicely browned. (Use egg wash, 1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp. water, if needed.) Allow to cool for 10 mins. before serving. Serves 6.