Well, only two weeks at our new location and I’m already trying to burn it to the ground. A new record. I put eggs on to boil this morning and went out in the garage to work on sorting through things for my upcoming garage sale before it got too hot. Rick still asleep, I brought the phone with me to catch any calls, and shortly got involved in a conversation with my girlfriend in Idaho. I heard a sound in the background but didn’t associate it with anything important until Rick came flying by clad in boxer shorts and a tee-shirt yelling my name. Uh-oh. Grabbing my hand he pointed toward the house. Once inside both smoke alarms were going off, the cat was tearing around the living room like her tail was on fire and my favorite little egg pan was reduced to a molten smelly mess looking like an abstract sculpture with four cooked eggs permanently attached to its bottom. It had gotten so hot the shells burst and flung themselves all over the kitchen floor in an apparent eggiside. Hmmmm. It seems I am a danger to myself and those who dare to call me friend. Egg salad sandwiches for lunch at his point most probably are out of the question.
I have to admit I am not a first time offender. Lock me up and throw away the key, and any and all incendiary devices. When I was married the first time one of my first attempts at a recipe was potato salad. After reviewing the ingredients I realized I needed more than the potatoes I’d purchased to make this happen. Hopping in my car I headed for the closest market about ten miles down the road. Gathering the remaining ingredients the recipe called for, I returned to the car only to find I’d locked myself out. My keys dangled from the ignition tantalizingly just beyond reach, and being reminded to do so often enough, I’d locked the doors securely when I exited the vehicle. No cell phones to lean on back then, I went back to store to get change for the pay phone. Once I stepped into the booth I quickly discovered it couldn’t in all honesty be marked “PHONE BOOTH” because in reality it was only a large glass box with a missing phone book and a dangling cord. Apparently whoever stole the phone book had the forethought to grab the phone as well in case he found the number he was looking for and needed to make a call. Back into the store (the manager and I were now on a first name basis) I asked if I might use their phone to call my husband at work. Unfortunately, I was informed he was in a meeting off site so I was on my own. Ten miles is a long hike on the best of days, but with a “baby on board” even if only four months in the making, and a couple of bags of groceries in tow it felt more like a trek across the Mojave.
By the time I’d made the first three miles carrying the heavy bags my arms were easily three inches longer than when I’d left the house and my concern for the boiling potatoes had reached near panic levels. Spotting another phone in a gas station, this one accurately marked as there was, in fact, a phone attached, I dialed a friend’s number. Thankfully, she answered and true to her word arrived in ten to twelve minutes to rescue me. Now, I was a novice in the kitchen, if I might reference my story about the clove of garlic in the chili. For those of you unfamiliar, it was my first experience with garlic. I bought a bulb and once home assumed one bulb of garlic to be the equivalent of a clove and I made a pot of chili that on a windy day could be smelled in the far reaches of the Australian outback. Novice or not, even I realized I’d been away from the stove far too long and this probably wasn’t going to go well. Not disappointed, we drove up to my apartment to find a fire hose winding down the stairs leading to my door and fireman milling in and out talking amongst themselves. Sigh. I thought of changing my name and moving to Istanbul, but instead I faced the music and took my licks. My husband, I felt, was not going to believe this story, even though over the several years he’d known me he’d become familiar with some that were pretty far out there. That pot, as well, met a sticky end. It actually fused to the burner below it and the entire stove had to be replaced as well as the backdrop. The crisply charred crematorium smell lingered for months, and my family still enjoys telling the story on holidays to entertain themselves at my expense. In my defense, my intentions are generally good but sometimes my mind wanders in so many directions I tend to forget where I was headed when I started my journey, if you get my drift.
Several years later my husband had an incident of his own when it came to turning up the heat. After purchasing a motorcycle against my better judgement, he was tinkering with it on a Sunday afternoon in our garage, or Kirby’s testosterone lair as he referred to it. Our old couch, rescued from the Salvation Army truck, was used for visitors of the male persuasion as a place to share a beer or exchange stories of a manly nature. Kirby perceived himself to be an A-1 handyman. Truth be known he was more of the Cliff Huckstable variety, all tool belt and glitter but no actual talent for the craft. Things he “fixed” often ended up costing more to be reworked down the road, as in the “great flood of ’76”, resulting during the installation of our new dishwasher.
At any rate, while in the lair with friends he fired up a blow torch for what reason I haven’t a clue. While talking and torching, or whatever he was engaged in, he inadvertently set the stuffing in the old couch aflame. Dry as a sand dune in July it quickly ignited the frayed fabric and before you know it the entire garage was consumed as well as the ill-gotten motorcycle which was totally destroyed. Fortunately, when I returned home from shopping they had stopped the blaze before the entire house was razed to the ground. This, I felt, definitely trumped my potato debacle.
Not long afterward we read in the local paper that an arsonist had been nabbed living several streets over. Secretly we felt he’d moved close to us to supplement his having to go out on his own in search of excitement.
This salad was just the best. Truly you have to try it.
Have a great day. If you’re anywhere out west keep cool. Nice to be back and writing again. Missed it. Tomorrow I will check in on you and see what you’re up to. Thanks to my Pinterest friends as well who have really been busy. 🙂
Bleu-Cheesy Pasta Salad with Spinach and White Beans
6 oz. baby spinach, washed and stems removed
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. crumbled bleu cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 thick slices provolone cheese, cut in cubes
1 carton grape tomatoes, halved
5 button mushrooms, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 oz. farfalle pasta
Mix together all ingredients in large bowl but pasta and season to taste and set aside.
Prepare pasta in salted water as indicated on package. Drain and add immediately to salad ingredients. Toss well. Serve with additional Parmesan if desired. Serves 4