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The Switch Part V

posted 11/11/2011 12:52:12 PM |
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I thought that I would scatter shoot a few random points today including a succinct Tommy Tale. Like I said previously, it is kind of hard for me to really write these things, as it is all quite mundane and boring. If it is boring for me to write, I don’t see it as very interesting for somebody to read. I did pretty well I think in the last one at writing something that may have been remotely interesting to a few people. But I chose to make a true story interesting by being creative in my spin and approach.

I am sorry for those of you, who thought Deirdre got killed, but time really did get away from me and I was tardy at getting dinner underway. Around here, unlike my past life, dinner must be served between 6:00 and 6:20.

Part VI will have an interesting situation laid out on a peculiar aspect of life here at the moment and on into the near future. Part VII will involve another more unusual dimension of the homestead.

Anyway, on to random talking points before the next parts with focused singular themes.

There is another person here. A 48 YO male friend of theirs moved in a couple of months ago. I admire their generosity, loyalty and empathy as he is a long term friend of my son in law’s. He is receiving disability from social security for a mental condition and nervous breakdown. He recently went through a nasty divorce where he got his clock cleaned. He is a gentle soul, very nice, unobtrusive, quite passive and lazy. I can’t tell you much more. It is largely a don’t ask, don’t tell thing. So I observe that.

But part of their deal is that he resides in the small computer room (the fourth bedroom) and pays for broadband Internet connection. He lives on the Internet and I only have limited access to it. He is accommodating when I want to use it. But I only do so sparingly. I write emails and blogs off line in Word, save them out as an .rtf on a flash drive, and copy/paste these things into what I ever I send. The PC is basic, it doesn’t even have MS Office on it, just the sucky MS Works, so there all of these work arounds.

Since her night to remember, there has been no more problem with Deirdre wandering very far. I think that this paradigm shift on her part can be partially linked to her upbringing. In the past back in Irving, if a dog really acted up, they got “thrown out”. Basically, being “thrown out” involved the bum’s rush to the backdoor that was then slammed hitting the offending party in the ass on the way out. They then had to sit on the outside looking in for about a half hour, ostracized. This tactic was very effective at curbing unacceptable behavior. I am thinking that, in her mind, being left out is very much like being thrown out. Now I let them out, give them five minutes to take care business before coming inside and closing the door. Within five minutes of that, they will be at the front door wanting in.

On Wednesday night there was a little interesting animal action. A bit before nine when I let the dogs out for their evening potty break there were three deer in the front yard. That led to a brief, merry, but futile chase.

Oh, and for the last two days the cat has not bothered me. He has learned with me that if he wants me to pet him I am cool with it. But, if kitty wants to bite, kitty takes flight. I feel that I need to clarify that, in reality, I toss the cat, not throw him. He hasn’t gotten hurt much less injured, but I have gotten my point across. I realize that some cat lovers may have a problem with that, but nobody around here but the cat does, so as the old saying goes, “Tough titty said the kitty.”

A last note on the four legged residents. Before we arrived the cat had his food 24/7 and Oakie got fed once a day. Deirdre has hers 24/7. Now everybody has food 24/7 and it is a free for all. Yesterday, at one point in time, the cat was eating Oakie’s food, Oakie was eating Deirdre’s food and Deirdre was eating the cat’s food.

As long as food and dining has been cited, I’ll get into that a bit. When it was just Manfred, Deirdre and I, dinner was a snap. Whatever I fixed was guaranteed to please everyone. Half the time that would be steak, pasta, potatoes, and/or rice, and a vegi.

Beyond the vegi, none of those will please my culinary audience here if served more than once a week. Additionally, I have to often do two styles of whatever it is, one for adults and one for Ashton. For example, on Wednesday night meatloaf was requested and I had to have a separate section in the pan to accommodate him that didn’t include the onions, celery or bell pepper. A choice of vegetables is also offered, but that is no big complication, I can run a small restaurant.

As with most five year olds, Ashton’s idea of spice is catsup. So when I prepare a meat entree, his does not have garlic, onion powder, lemon pepper, etc. on it. It is plain. Making this accommodation is not hard to do. But cooking steaks is highly customized. There is, of course, the range of preference from rare to medium rare to well done to beef jerky. The spice mix is similar in individuality. To keep everything straight, I lay the steaks out on the broiling pan in a way that replicates the seating arrangement at the dining room table. I have pretty much scaled this learning curve.

Continued in comments

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Nov 11 @ 12:52PM  
The challenge this evening is, upon request, to prepare a dinner featuring an entrée that I refuse to eat and can proudly say that I have never cooked before… fish. Now, I have prepared, trout, shark steaks, red snapper, ling, tuna steaks, redfish, salmon, bass (fresh water and ocean), mahi mahi, and more in many different ways. But generic anonymous prefab fish is something I just don’t eat much less prepare. Further down I explain why (mini Tommy tale).

I asked my son in law if he had a request for dinner and he said fish. I said okay and he told me that there was some in the freezer. Upon further investigation, I found a box of fish. It was a box of Great Value breaded fish fillets from Wally World. I looked at the ingredients. It was pollock.

Now I have heard of pollock, but I have never seen it specified on a restaurant menu and I have been to a lot of seafood restaurants. That told me all I needed to know. I dug deeper into the freezer in search of an alternative variety of fish. No such luck. Yum, yum!! There is nothing tastier than cheap, prefab, pre-breaded industrial baked fish!!!

Now, I need to digress into a brief Tommy tale, but this one involves something bad happening to me, not Tommy. In our youth my dad was a football coach and would not be home on Friday nights. That would be an opportunity for us to enjoy a dinner that he didn’t like. I loved lamb chops and still do. My dad had to eat too much of it during the depression, so it fit the bill. One Friday that would be my request, but the next week it would be Tommy’s turn to request what was served. He was and remains a picky eater with a preference for what I consider crap. He would consider prison food fine dining. Even today, the cheapest hot dogs with filler augmenting unknown chicken and pork products are particular favorite.

Well, often he would request those delightful late fifties/early sixties fish sticks. What the fish of unknown origin lacked in flavor with its mushy texture, it made up for in repugnant aroma. I refused to eat it one night and my mom gave me the lecture about the poor people in China. I said, “I don’t see you eating it.” SMACK!!! “You are going to sit there until you eat it!!” I pushed the plate away and said, “Fine, but can you take it off the table so I don’t have to smell it?” SMACK!!! I didn’t eat it and eventually got sent to bed. After that, she wouldn’t make me eat it and I would have hot dogs or leftovers.

Fortunately for me, there are leftovers from last night that I can enjoy. I had made a variant of turkey alfredo over pasta. Last Saturday I discovered a freezer burned range free turkey buried in the chest freezer. I deboned it, removed the skin and freezer burned exposed meat, then pressure cooked it. It was okay but dry. It produced a gallon freezer bag of meat that would be good if rehydrated in a recipe. In addition to about a third the turkey (mostly dark meat), I used some jarred alfredo sauce, a can of mushroom soup, a half of a cup of milk, mozzerella and bleu cheese, fresh peas and carrots with excellent results. Almost all of it was eaten with many having seconds leaving just enough to spare for yours truly to avoid tonight’s fish and distant unpleasant memories coming to life of bygone Friday night dinners.

Nov 11 @ 1:20PM  
Bruce I can't do that box fish ether! Sounds like the dogs are adjusting to country life! It also sounds like you may be doing so also! Enjoy your family and your new surroundings!

Nov 11 @ 1:25PM  
I found a box of fish. It was a box of Great Value breaded fish fillets from Wally World. I looked at the ingredients. It was pollock.
Damned Yankee in a fish box go figure.

Nov 11 @ 3:48PM  
Actually Part IV was an effective Cliff-hanger. I didn;t think anything bad happened to Deirdre -- but wanted to know for sure!

generic anonymous prefab fish
I share your disdain for this. I put the pre-formed McRib sandwiches in the same group. Part is parts...NOT!

I enjoy the texture of real fish, preferably grilled or pan-fried in real butter, and if it still has the skin attached, all the better. I don;t mind dealing with a couple of bones or fish scales, as long as it is REAL and FRESH! It doesn't matter to me if it is Pollack or of other ethnic origin, just as long as it is not
generic anonymous prefab fish

Nov 11 @ 4:36PM  
My mom still loves those fish sticks. Luckily I am happy with just eating the vegetables as usual. I still remember them from school lunches where they were always cold served with corn that was usually also cold and slaw that was mostly cheap mayo and a little grated cabbage floating around in it. I learned to take my lunch on Wednesday soup day and on Friday fish day.

Nov 11 @ 6:23PM  
I hate those frozen fish sticks. My mom used to get those for my sisters and I when we were little. I refuse to have those things in my house. As for hot dogs, I like Kogel viennas.

But, if kitty wants to bite, kitty takes flight.

That just hit the funny bone. And yes, I love cats, I have 2 of them. My older cat, Apache, likes to do that "love bite" while he's being petted. Throwing him is NOT an option. He's 16 yrs old. Besides, he doesn't really "bite", it's like he grabs, and then pushes against my arm. He's a goofy kitty.

So, Diedre doesn't wander so far anymore now?

Nov 12 @ 2:42PM  
For example, on Wednesday night meatloaf was requested and I had to have a separate section in the pan to accommodate him that didn’t include the onions, celery or bell pepper.

As with most five year olds, Ashton’s idea of spice is catsup. So when I prepare a meat entree, his does not have garlic, onion powder, lemon pepper, etc. on it. It is plain.

MY KINDA KID.... Who needs all that other's barfsville in the making... (So my tastebuds never grew up....'n what's wrong with catsup I might ask??? )

Nov 12 @ 10:39PM  
But, if kitty wants to bite, kitty takes flight.

Now be nice to the cat, Bruce!

Nov 13 @ 9:15AM  
Jack, the cat, is a year and half old and at that kitty asshole adolescent stage.

Nov 17 @ 10:19AM  
I'm glad you're settling in there, Bruce

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The Switch Part V