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A Good Grip
4:04 p.m. - 2005-11-27

Saturday I had to make mashed potatoes for an army and about 88 deviled eggs. He told me that he would be available to peel the potatoes and the eggs, so I planned my day accordingly, including time for a nice shower and sprucing up for the party at Jason's. I had already made the Sun-dried Tomato Dip (from the Barefoot Contessa show) and whipped up a few potato pancakes to run past January. He started to go for a bike ride, but after he ran into bike tire trouble, he decided to take a walk. When he returned from that, he decided to take a nap. I pondered the difference in holiday life experiences between men and women. I was slaving in the kitchen and he was sleeping. C'est la vie.

He did wake up in time, though, and came into the kitchen to take over the potato peeling task. He peeled maybe two potatoes, when his grip on the OXO Good Grip potato peeler went wrong somehow and he slashed his finger. He yelped and dashed for the back bathroom to patch himself up. Back he came, with a martyred air, and tried to continue peeling potatoes, but since he was dripping blood onto the unpeeled potatoes, I told him to go sit down and apply pressure. And I am ashamed to say that this all struck me as hilarious, so I finished the 20 lbs of potatoes while snickering to myself. I then realized that I would never find the time for the nice hot shower, or anything else for that matter. I got the potatoes started and peeled the eggs. Most of the deviled eggs looked OK - I was in a hurry so I snipped off the corner of a ziplock bag, stuck in the piping tip and got 80 percent of them done before the tip exploded out of the bag. After that, the appearance of the eggs declined rapidly, but paprika covers all. We packed everything up and headed to Jason's. The huge pot of mashed potatoes (containing about a pound of butter) were in the back seat and on my lap I held the relish dish, the latkes, and two huge trays of eggs. On the way, I apologized for laughing at his mishap, then it struck me funny again, so I apologized for STILL laughing at his mishap.

My dip was very popular, and there was shortly none left. When the meat was done (lovely prime rib, done to a turn), Joel carved it, then cut a piece or two of it into cubes, stuck a toothpick into each one and sent the dish around as the best hors d'oeuvre you will ever eat.

Auntie M told me a funny story. Matthew has been visiting various universities to see which will suit him, and at one down in S.Cal. he took time out to run on the beach. His current favorite sport team is Miami, which he watches on TV. When he was running on the beach, he ran by a man, then came back to look at him again, asking the man, "Aren't you .....(starting quarterback for Miami last year)?" The guy was surprised to be recognized 3000 miles away from the scene of his glory, on a quiet beach, but was very pleased. Matthew was thrilled.

Alex was there with Mary, whose hair is now black. Someone says "Hi, Mary!" then we all look around and don't spot her, so used are we to the blond hair. I tried to talk her into going red, so we will see. I had an informative talk with January about latkes, then sneaked into the back room to watch my Japanese show with Michael. I am beginning to notice that what the characters really say is not what appears in the subtitles. For example, the mom says "Another one" and the subtitles say "Give me another strawberry please."

Today I went shopping for stuff for the kitchen, and bought a Christmas present for myself with my Christmas money from last year. I got myself the Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit, which is a countertop slow roaster. The reviews I have read were encouraging, so he and I are looking forward to trying it out. It is, however, huge and heavy. I bought a nice red dish rack and drainers, and some organizational tools for the butcher block cabinet. I can't stopped myself from admiring the new spice rack, all 16-plus feet of space for my many spices, all out in the open now for me to grab. Also filled up the new Pfaltzgraff countertop salt and pepper shakers, and am loving that too.

Time to go finish my laundry, cook dinner, and watch some quality television.

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