Thursday, October 05, 2006

Come Sail Away

Here, finally, is the picture of the 3-day-old calf I took two weeks ago:


I've spent the past three days being domestic. If you know me at all, you know that I'm not one to prefer cooking, cleaning, or vacuuming over sitting on my butt and watching movies while knitting. But it's The Libertarian's birthday on Sunday and he'll be gone to visit his parents, so I had him over last night for dinner. Yup, I cooked. Be scared, be very scared!!!

And as is normal for me, I did not come out unscathed. I usually cut half my thumb off when cooking (okay, chopping), but there were no interesting additions to the recipe this time. Nope, I managed to burn my thumb taking the cheesecake out of the oven on Tuesday. I'm so pathetic that even though there was a bloody potholder in my hand, my thumb escaped its safety net and grabbed the pan. OW!!

Yes, I not only made dinner, I made a cake. Are you impressed yet? You should be as the usual extent of my cooking is grilled cheese or ramen noodles. As I've told people, it's not that I don't know how to cook, I just choose not to because cooking for one person is just not fun and then I'm stuck eating the same damn thing for a week.

Of course, there has to be drama when I cook and this time it was when my electric mixer refused to work on Tuesday when I was trying to beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into submission. I thought maybe it was the outlet, but I tried two others and still nothing. I went through the building knocking on doors, trying Schneider first, but Schneider's wife told me she doesn't cook at all, not a lick, so no go. I then tried Ursamajor. I knew she'd still be at work, but I could tell OOMA was home because there was music emanating through the door. Unfortunately, I think he thought I was knocking on the door to tell him to turn it down, because all of a sudden the music was gone, but he didn't answer the door. ARGH!!! I called Ursa at work and she couldn't get him to answer his phone, making us conclude that instead of turning the music off, he simply put on headphones. DOUBLE ARGH!! I then tried Bob, but when his son Rob moved out he took the mixer. I tried using the old fashioned hand mixer I got from my Grandma, but it was a bit difficult being cream cheese and all. I was a little frustrated at this point, but Ursa promised to bring it to me once she got home. While I waited for Ursa to get home from work, I called Jen and Irean and left messages for both of them. It's so nice having a friendly building. Jen called back pretty quickly with the news that she doesn't own a mixer, but definitely needs one. Irean was next to call me with the news that "I don't bake, girlfriend." Thankfully, while talking to Irean, OOMA and Petey appeared at my door holding Grandma's electric mixer. Yippee!!! I almost wept tears of joy.

The damn cheesecake was done within minutes of the appearance of the magical mixer and into the oven it went. I have determined over the past two days that my oven does not get as hot as it's supposed to (unlike my downstairs oven which was over hot), as it took a good extra 20-30 minutes for the cheesecake and the quiche.

Quiche is so darn easy to make. I should make them for myself more often – especially now that I found my Kroger has frozen pie crusts made without lard. Oh happy days!!! I bailed out of work right on time yesterday, cut up and steamed the broccoli and then went off to the gym where I ellipticalled for my usual hour and saw the Libertarian where I told him that he could come over earlier than 6:00 if he needed to. Yeah, I didn't mean 5:15. Ah well. Can't complain when he brought tools to help me hang the coat rack I had bought over a year ago. I'm so tired of all my coats/jackets/fleeces taking up space on my dining room chairs. I had gotten the quiche in the oven right at 5:00 and it was supposed to take 60 minutes to bake. Uh huh, we finally sat down to eat at 6:45. Now, if I were Martha (my friend, not Stewart) I would have had more than just quiche and mixed green salad, but hell, I think I'm doing well when I turn the freaking oven on, so no fancy French bread with dinner. Who has time for this stuff?

The verdict was that everything (all two items) was excellent, and since we were eating dinner we talked about foods we liked, so now I know he likes the dark meat of chicken and turkey but not white meat. He loves casseroles (I got a whole dissertation on why the casserole is the perfect food), hates lima beans and walnuts (we're kindred spirits on this score), doesn't like bleu cheese or balsamic vinaigrette salad dressings, thank God I had Thousand Island in the fridge for when I make myself veggie Reubens, and needs milk when he eats cheesecake, and will make do with the ¼ cup I had left without complaining.

All in all, I think it was a good evening and he graciously accepted his Champ Car t-shirt present even though he doesn't watch or really care. I did not finish the scarf I was making because I lost a boatload of time on Monday by going to bed at 7:30. Ah well, I'll just have a Christmas present done way early!


At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger trinamick said...

Congratulations on a meal well served. I feel the same way about having to cook, but I've gotten better about forcing myself to cook once a week or so. I don't mind leftovers, so it takes care of the rest of the week!

At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Trina - I don't mind leftovers until it's three days later and I'm still eating them. That's when they go in the garbage.

At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Anonymous Suzy said...

I couldn't stop laughing at your cooking escapades! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's a danger to myself (if not others) while I'm in the kitchen! ;)

At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Suzy - I was just proud of myself for not chopping my thumb into the scallions!

At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Congrats on a successful meal! Glad it went well. I recommend you invest about $5.00 for an oven thermometer (they hang from a rack). You can get much more accurate cooking temperatures when you rely on them rather than on an iffy thermostat. Considering the age of your apartment and probably your stove I'd definitely consider it. I'm assuming you have a gas stove??? Gas and electric also bake differently. A gas oven provides moister heat which means things dry out less easily, also it's easier to maintain constant baking temperature with gas. The foodie geek will shut up now...

At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger Scott said...

I was getting pretty good at cooking until my girlfriend/future-wife moved in. I was just good enough to impress her with my bachelor skills, which suddenly deserted me when she took over. I just had to mix up baking powder with baking soda, and voila!

At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jason - Newer electric stove, but the whole in-oven-thermometer doohickey sounds quite helpful. I think the Quiche was fine without the Worcestershire sauce.

Scott - Did you do it on purpose? ;-)

At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

I could see it all in my mind, your frantic search for a mixer!! Glad you finally found one! I just don't cook at all - I leave that to Collin.

At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger Dave said...

Cheesecake!? I'm impressed. I consider myself to be a pretty good cook and baker, but for some reason I've never tackled an authentic cheesecake. Odd.
I remember when I first moved out of my parents' home and got an apartment with a couple of friends. We all brought a number of the necessities. I had pots & pans, Shannon had plates & glasses, and Tim proclaimed "I have spring-form cake pans". Yaaaa....that's...good. We'll have a lot of use for those, I'm sure. It's hard to believe he was the straight one.
There are some cooking-for-one or cooking-for-two books out there. You should check one out!

At Monday, 09 October, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - That's always been my dream - to find a man who cooks. Ah well.

Dave - Cheesecake is mind-numbingly easy, truly!


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