Did you hear about the man who sat on hold with the cable company for three and half hours only to find out they’d closed? Ah, customer service at its best. There’s another story circulating about yet another guy who was totally bullied by a cable company representative while attempting to close his account and go with another cable provider. I had a similar experience with Social Security. I was on hold so long I finally put the phone on speaker and went about my day. After about an hour and a half I discovered the office had closed leaving only the recorded music to keep me company.
I think of this because I found myself once again standing in line at one of the major markets in the area yesterday trying to check out 15 items or less. It was some sort of special Friday in the store so there were more people milling about the aisles then is usual. Along the front of the store is a line of about a dozen or more check out lanes, two of which had their light’s lit. Shoppers were backed up five to a lane and the grumbling had begun by the time I pushed my cart behind several others in line. Besides the items I had just placed in the cart I was returning a bottle of orange juice purchased two days prior. The use by date I noticed after getting it home was over thirty days out of date. My other half is constantly pushing me to check dates before loading an item in the cart but as I actually have a full life there isn’t always time to inspect every item. If this is my job, then I’ll look forward to getting paycheck sometime in the near future with the grocery store label printed on the top. Since the price of everything has gone up so dramatically I make it a point to return out of date or bad goods and exchange them or get my money back. Five dollar is five dollars. Since I don’t seem to be able to exit the market under $100, every little bit helps. I pointed out to the clerk that the entire supply of this brand of juice had the same date printed on it. He looked at me with the same enthusiasm he might show his wife if she announced her mother was moving into the spare room. Fine.
Cleaning products were on my list. They all seem to run out at the same time. My mother is coming up in September so it’s time to actually move the furniture and clean underneath it rather than flit around it and pretend I did. Rick is taking the cat and going to a hotel. It drives him straight up the wall when I do this. He informed me it is most annoying to have someone rushing about dragging a vacuum hose and spraying noxious sprays around his head. Not to burst his bubble but if you are to clean the house, you have to CLEAN THE HOUSE. Believe me if a way to could be found to circumvent the actual cleaning process and do something more fulfilling a woman would have invented it by now. He has an annoying habit or two himself, but I shall refrain from starting a list. After fourteen years together we accept that neither of us is perfect. Expectations carried into the relationship early on have long since been tossed out the window replaced by more realistic ones now in place.
I come from a long line of clean women. My maternal grandmother was up with the roosters at 6:00 a.m. every morning. Breakfast was eaten and the first cup of tea poured by 7:00. By 7:30 the breakfast dishes were washed and drying in the faded wooden dish rack. A slim woman by any standards, Gammy, as we grandchildren referred to her, wasn’t one to spend a lot of effort on breakfast during the week days. A prolific baker, several slices of her scrumptious homemade wheat bread usually found their way to her plate. Lightly toasted, the buttery slices were spread with tangy orange or lime marmalade from her pantry. Fruit always plentiful at our table, this might by a crisp rosy apple with a piece of ripe cheddar cheese. A bit of a clothes horse, as is my mother, my grandmother had a closet full of lovely outfits to choose from if going out for the day. When home on cleaning days, however, house dresses designed purely for function rather than looks, went on over underclothes. The dresses were designed for the express purpose of comfort and disposability easily replaced if soiled. They came in a variety of patterns printed on cotton. Some were covered with tea pots, others chickens, or apples, most faded from frequent trips to the washing machine. The tubular gowns started at the shoulders and dropped straight down to just below the knee. Snaps were sewn in at the appropriate spots for easy on and off maneuvering. Certainly they were not designed with attracting anything but dust if memory serves me. As a girl, I can picture my grandmother feather duster in hand making short work of the silty layers gathered on the myriad of knickknacks perfect as a gathering spot. Mementos of her life and those who came before her were scattered liberally throughout the old family home. Many of these have since come to live in my house and I too spend much time keeping the dust as bay with equal love and concern.
As with the women before me in my family I do most of the housework. Time Magazine, I think it was, did a study on this a while back. According to the results men have stepped up in this regard but still can’t catch up to their female counterparts when it comes to helping out around the house or tending to their offspring. I think men wrote the book on this subject back in the beginning and weren’t all that disappointed about how the story went. As with the old southern expression, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”. My ex often commented “I’d rather take a beating then do dishes”. Hmmmm. Never mind. Once after I had surgery on my toe he used the vacuum. I took a picture, blew it up, and framed it. It hung on our den wall for the duration of our marriage as I knew it wasn’t likely I’d ever see such a phenomenon again. Both my children went on to marry spouses who pitch in and help carry the load at home so things are changing as the new generations come up the ladder.
This light dinner was perfect for a warm summer night. In and out of the oven in a minute and delicious going down. I’ve become a big fan of cooked grapes and with the blue cheese absolutely wonderful! I make one pizza per person as they disappear quickly.
Blue Cheese and Grape Lavash Pizzas with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
4 slices lavash
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh spinach, sliced thin
6 large basil leaves, sliced thin
6 slices Genova Salame (thin), sliced in 1/2″ slices widthwise
4 large mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 green pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced thin
12 purple grapes, halved
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
Sliced black olives as desired
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cover cookie sheets with tin foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Brush the top of each lavash with olive oil.
Layer in order listed distributing ingredients over the top of all four slices as evenly as possible. Dust with black pepper. Cook for 6-8 mins. or until crust is browned. Watch carefully. Slice and serve with dipping sauce.
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/3 cup cream
1/8 cup 2% milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. parsley flakes
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.