This week is shaping up to be one of those weeks. According to my spiritual advisor and guide to the stars, my friend Carol, we’re in the middle of a mercury retrograde. I still don’t have the full skinny on what that is exactly, but I do know when one is in place your day is likely to be turned upside down before you’ve enjoyed your first cup of coffee. Yesterday I had a list full of errands to run. Never knowing what the weather is going to do lately, mornings require a parka and by noon you’ve stripped down to a string bikini, I pulled on a white sweatshirt over my jeans. I know, I know you’re not supposed to wear white before Memorial Day, but a sweatshirt would be a little hot by then. Besides why do they make winter garments in white if you’re not supposed to wear them that time of year?
Deciding on the SUV as I would be coming home with more than I left with, I hopped in and pulled on my seat belt. The first stop was the bank so I could afford to make all the stops following. As usual there was a line. Next I had to stop and have my blood drawn. There was a 12 hour fasting requirement so I hadn’t had my coffee or breakfast and my stomach was growling. At this particular bank branch they have a bank manager, or someone who rides a desk, who does a meet and greet with customers standing in line. It’s a nice gesture of customer appreciation, however this woman goes a bit overboard, asking chirpily how your day’s going, would you like a cup of coffee, could she carry your money for you? At 9:00 a.m. having had no coffee and unable to do so, I resisted the urge to stuff my bank deposit between her lips to stop her from bubbling on. Sorry, I get grumpy when I can’t start my day with caffeine.
I noticed several people staring at my sweatshirt. Now, I know white isn’t until Memorial Day, but really? Stepping up to the counter, the young woman behind it leaned in towards me conspiratorially whispering, “you have a little something on your shirt”. What? Looking down I had a perfect strap mark of fuzzy black lint spanning the entire area where my seat belt would have rested. Lovely. I could have knitted together a standard poodle with the available yarn. Where or why this was there I had no idea, but I completed my transaction and with my head held high turned and faced the people still in line and exited the building. Naturally this is the only bank of its type in town so I’ll be remembered the next time I’m in. Damn. Looking under the seat belt I found the rest of the dog attached. Rick has a new black hoodie, which I believe he picked up on sale for almost nothing. From the looks of things he still got fleeced (sorry it’s a disease with me). For twenty minutes I painstakingly picked the lint as best I could of both my sweatshirt and the back of the seat belt. Smelling coffee smells emanating from the shopping center next door I amended my list to include a stop at Starbuck’s for a latte. Fuzzy or not a girl needs her coffee. “Not so fast”, I reminded myself, “can’t have coffee before I allow the vampires at the lab to siphon a pint or two”.
Not having been to this lab before, one of four around town, I loaded the address into the GPS and the lady who lives inside the device instructed me on which way to turn. Winding up into the hills behind town I finally located the building in rather a remote area. Good news! According to the sign posted on the door, they’re remodeling. That is good news. However, they’re not open during the process. Sigh. As I naturally forgot the card with the other three locations, I said the hell with it and went to Starbuck’s and ordered a much-needed latte. Opening my purse to pay for my purchase, I found my wallet missing. Are you kidding me here? Thinking back, I realized I’d left it on the counter in the bank. The barista eying my black lint laden shirt as I explained the situation, gave me a look like “right, I know you have a shopping cart hidden somewhere out there in the bushes”. Man.
Back to the bank I went. Once again I stood in line to be greeted by the overly plugged in bank manager. Fortunately for her I do not carry a weapon. Explaining my situation largely to get her to stop asking inane questions about my life, which wasn’t going particularly well at the moment, she retrieved my wallet. I suppose if you’re going to lose such a thing, a bank is the perfect place to do it. Kind of like losing a goldfish at an aquarium, or something like that.
Back at Starbuck’s I retrieved my coffee, casting an “I told you so” look in the clerk’s direction. Most probably she concluded I’d panhandled the five dollars outside of Safeway before coming back. Ah well.
On to Safeway. Really getting hungry I overloaded my cart. Normally I make it a practice never to shop on an empty stomach. I’ll head out for cauliflower, brussels sprouts and milk, and come home with Chunky Monkey, pork rinds, and chicken wings. Not a good thing. At any rate, with a storm coming in tomorrow I stocked up on the basics, eggs, milk, etc. Only one check stand was open with people lined up behind it. When it was my turn I unloaded my groceries on the conveyor belt striking up a conversation with gentleman behind me about the incoming weather front. Turns out he was there for the same purpose. Distracted (I’ll blame him – it’s so much easier), I gathered the two cartons of eggs, each holding 18, with one hand. Don’t try this at home. Yup, all thirty-six. What a mess. “Clean up on Aisle 4.” Eggs drooled all over the remaining groceries, the cart and floor. Eeuuwy dripping glutenous mass of eggy goodness oozed everywhere. There I stood in my fur flecked sweatshirt literally with egg on my face holding my gooey package of cheddar cheese making omelet jokes. The store employee having to clean up the mess was not amused.
On that note, in a rare salute to cholesterol I stopped and loaded up on a fast food breakfast with the works. Yum.
Sorrels aren’t easy to come by these days up here in the beautiful tall trees. Even when living in the Bay Area, the pickings were scarce. A friend brought me a lovely bright green bouquet of them from her garden and I quickly made them into soup to enjoy over the rest of the winter months. You can substitute watercress or even spinach if needed.
Savory Mushroom Sorrel Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
3 cups mushrooms (assorted or one type), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
3 cups sorrel, rinsed, stems removed and coarsely torn or chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cover sorrels with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat. When wilted reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 mins. Drain and reserve.
In large saucepan or soup pot heat oil and butter over med. heat. Add garlic and scallions and cook for 1 min. Add mushrooms, Worcestershire, bay leaves, thyme, salt and white pepper and continue cooking about 6-8 mins. or until moisture from mushrooms is released.
Add chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 mins. Add sorrels.
Mix together flour and water to make a paste. Whisking constantly add to simmering broth. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
Add cream and milk to mixture, whisking constantly until thick and bubbly. Whisk in sherry. Adjust seasoning as necessary.