Friday, January 18, 2013

Lady C the Weevil Slayer

I had an unexpected free day today; first my lunch date bowed out (with apologies), then my Math Practice boss canceled our weekly meeting. So I slept in a little, then I had a nice breakfast chat with Husband, and then I did a little paying work that showed up at the last minute (which, thank God; otherwise next week's paycheck would barely have broken $100).

But then a free afternoon loomed before me, all bright and shiny with promise, and I decided to do something I've been thinking about for weeks: deep-clean my kitchen (or half my kitchen; I didn't touch the stove, microwave, or refrigerator; they'll be Round 2). I emptied every cupboard, got rid of stuff that we never use, eradicated dust and crumbs, and killed about a trillion weevils. Ohmygoodness, they were everywhere — in the Bisquick, in the flax seed, in the white-whole-wheat flour, in my toffee bits. I threw out anything that looked the least bit suspect, and set out new "moth traps." All will be well, but it was truly gross.

Part of the problem is that my "baking shelf" holds every single product I ever use for baking and is therefore almost unusable, it is so crammed with stuff. I always think of adding some whole-wheat flour to whatever I'm baking, but that bag of flour was so hard to get to. (Which meant that it sat for many months without being opened, used, or even moved — and hello, weevils! Come right on in, and bring a friend!) So I reorganized and it is now two shelves — and oh what joy it is to simply reach in and grab bittersweet baking squares or light corn syrup or tapioca or lemon extract, without having the bag of powdered sugar and the can of Pam fall on me!

I'm also happy because I found a place to put our chips, tucked away in a cupboard rather than sitting on the breadbox, as they've done for 14 years. All snack foods — chips, crackers, nuts, popcorn, and the like — are together on one shelf, which pleases me. Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips, you are the devil's handmaiden; I need you behind a door.

I also did a serious scrub of the toaster oven, and while it doesn't look brand new, it is nonetheless a thing of beauty. As people returned home today, I made them follow me to the kitchen and admire the toaster oven. (Good Neighbor Anne! Come over and see my toaster oven!)

And then I faced my favorite dinner challenge: concocting a delicious and satisfying meal when the cupboards and fridge are practically bare. I already had some chicken thighs thawing, so I made Lady C's Perfect Chicken (dipped in flour and seasonings and then pan-fried in a bit of butter and olive oil — so good!!!), and we've slowly been chipping away at the world's largest head of cabbage, we've had both traditional coleslaw and Asian coleslaw in the past week or so and still had a good portion of cabbage left, so I decided to roast the rest of it with some onions, and we had leftover cheesy biscuits that went with the split pea soup I'd made on Sunday, so I split, buttered, and broiled those, and we always have apples, so I made applesauce with cardamom and candied ginger (homemade applesauce is always tasty, but this is through-the-roof good —we all gobble it up!), and then I concocted a big green salad, full of colorful crunchy veggies — which we really needed, since every other thing on our plates was the exact same shade of goldy beige. Martha Stewart would not have been pleased.

The dinner hour was especially hilarious; for some reason, Li'l Martini suddenly recited the following poem:

Here comes the candle
To light you to bed
Here comes the chopper
To chop off your head
Chop! Chop! Chop!

To which I replied:
To little boys that suck their thumbs,
The great tall tailor always comes
Before they know what he's about.
He takes his long sharp scissors out.
Snip-snap! Snip-snap! They go so fast
That both his thumbs are off at last.

"Dark," Mimosa commented. Her contribution:

Swimming in the swimming pool
is where I like to "B"
Wearing underwater goggles
so that I can "C."
Yesterday, before I swam,
I drank a cup of "T"
And now the pool is just an "ool"
because I took a "P."

I had one more:

A man is dead
He got shot
He bled
A lot.

We all laughed so hard. We are a foul, foul family. (Well, three of us laughed; Husband had his napkin over his face, so I'm not sure what was going on there.)

Then it somehow turned to knock-knocks:

Li'l Martini: Knock knock.
Husband: Who's there?
Li'l Martini: Me!

Husband: Knock knock.
Mimosa: Come in!

Me: Knock knock.
Li'l Martini: Who's there?
Me (with an evil leer): Not you much longer!
Li'l Martini: Auugggghh!!

Husband (to Li'l Martini): Say "knock knock."
Li'l Martini: Knock knock.
Husband: Who's there?
Li'l Martini: . . . Wait, what?

Memories are made of this, my friends.

And also, dinner was delicious — every goldy-beige bite of it.

TGIF! It's the Friday of a three-day weekend, I have four wonderful library books, we have tickets for Improv tomorrow night, and I'm having dinner with a friend on Monday — nothin' but good times ahead!

And a shout out to my friend Handsome D, whose birthday is today! Many happy returns, my dear smart awesome witty wildly talented pal. (And did I mention the handsomeness? Just saying.)

Love to all,

Lady C, she of the squeaky-clean half kitchen


  1. Ahh, miss those family dinner moments - although my clan is (was?) not nearly clever as yours. Now we (a small we, many times just I) gather around our respective spots in the family room with plates juggled on our laps and get our jollies watching funny TV. It's the Hallmark version - comforting in spite of its third party intrusion and lack of creativity.

    1. I am totally down with plates on laps and good TV! That is our Christmas dinner ritual, I somewhat shamefacedly admit -- a yummy dinner and watching "The Christmas Story" together. e are not the Kennedys, we'll never be outside throwing a football around. I'll take fun family time where I find it!

      Great talking to you this morning!


  2. Oh I am jealous of your three day weekend! So very jealous! Dinner sounded fabulous and I'm so glad that you got to clean out your kitchen. I've been meaning to do that myself for a very long time and you may have just given me the inspiration. Thanks, Lady C!

    1. Aren't three-day weekends the best?? I'm so sorry you didn't get one! Good luck with your possible kitchen clean-up -- I'm in the background cheering you on, if that helps. And the results are just so satisfying!!

      I haven't commented yet on your new-found *Huffington Post correspondent* fame, but I'm so proud of you!! So you're not a doctor or lawyer - being a famous blogger is way awesomer than being a famous hypochondriac, for sure. :)

    2. You really are too sweet to me. I'm hardly famous, but someday, maybe we all will be! It was an exciting opportunity and I hope to get to do it again!