Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Half Cup of Sugar

Today I was feeling a lack of inspiration for cooking dinner. I called Jason to test the waters for some sort of option like Subway and realized that with his busy schedule including a surprise trip to Coldfoot Thursday there was no way he could stop and get food tonight. That along with his admission to eating nothing but cheeseits all day (he left too early to get breakfast and was too busy to stop for lunch) brought forth renewed motivation/compassion and I thought I would make a grand effort and whip up (ha) some potato salad to go with our chicken strips. Potato salad is one of his favorite foods and it takes a considerable amount of time to prepare. My first indication that things were not to go perfectly was that I could not find my potato peeler. I looked everywhere in the kitchen, checked the bottom of the dishwasher. I called Jason to see if he'd seen it. He hadn't. Then I remembered I hadn't really seen it since before our trip to Valdez... it may be in some Safeway bag somewhere since I may have taken it out of the house to do food prep. Regardless it is truly gone. I thought back to Laura Ingalls and told myself that thousands of women before me have peeled thousands of pounds of potatoes without a peeler and I could too. How long could 5 lbs. really take with a knife anyway. So I went to work. Things were going quite well; my celery had not gone bad so it was thrown in. I had plenty of relish in the fridge, mayo was not in short supply, the hard boiling of the eggs was accomplished with little drama and a few bites for Mia. I bustled merrily along until I realized I had no white sugar. Just a half a cup is all the recipe (from my mother-in-law's kitchen - Thank you Ilene!) calls for. I have brown sugar. I have powdered sugar. I have honey. These will not work. I thought I had a whole bunch in the pantry but I guess I used the last of it to make cookies. I called Jason (yes for those of you counting it was the third time in about an hour) to see if he was still at work and could borrow some from his parents. But he was unreachable. I then gathered up my courage and decided to call my next-door neighbor. I only recently got acquainted with her and I was not sure this was appropriate to ask, but I was desperate. The only thing holding me back from a delicious surpise for my dear/exhausted/starving husband was a half a cup of sugar! "No more twist, no more twist..." but I digress. I called her cell phone, but got no answer. I then called her home phone. A woman answered. The conversation went as follows:
Woman: Hello?
Me: Hi. This is Sheila.
Woman: silence.
Me: (Plunging ahead very nervously.) I was wondering if I could borrow a half cup of sugar. (Hitting self in head with hand thinking I made a big mistake.)
Woman: Who is Sheila?
Me: I think I have the wrong number. I don't think you know me.
Woman: I think so.
Me: This does not bode well for me getting my sugar.
Woman: laughing.
Me: (Gaining courage...) If you don't know me, I am probably not getting my sugar. (Holding out a slim hope that she is a neighbor that might have sugar???)
Woman: laughing more.
Me: Ok, well have a good evening.

So what started out to be just a slightly embarrassing phone call turned out to be... shall we say, super humiliating. Some woman out there is laughing her tail off and I still don't have my sugar. I could have just gone next door and knocked, but like me, my neighbor has kids and a busy life/nap schedule and stopping by is not kosher. So the partially constructed potato salad is buried in the back of the fridge waiting for Jason to return from Coldfoot sleep-deprived and hungry for real food and I am sure it will be appreciated then. Sometimes timing is everything. Of course I had to explain that due to technical difficulties all we would be having tonight was chicken salads. And the mess in the kitchen did not parallel the dinner. But if you feed a man cheeseits all day, chicken salad is equivalant to nectar of the gods. Tomorrow Mia and I will venture out to the store and hopefully we'll remember the sugar!

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