Monday, July 4, 2011

Power is the Greatest Aphrodisiac

Dear Elise,
As you know from the endless stream of anguished texts, my power was out for an excruciatingly long time. The sink was stacked with teetering towers of dirty dishes, the counters were strewn with all manner of crumbs and debris. Tmi, but I hadn’t flushed a toilet in 16 hours. The refrigerator was as warm as the air which was as warm as a dog's breath, and the freezers were dripping red tinged effluvia. Finally, I spotted the Power trucks at the end of the road. About time!
The power is back on, (cue the chorus) and I have every appliance going. The dishwasher is churning, the washing machine is sloshing, the freezer is refreezing my popsicles, I hope into some edible shape.

And the oven is baking a lemon poppy seed cake. The recipe called for whipped white chocolate ganache as a frosting, but I hate white chocolate. Not as much as I hate waking up at 4 and worrying that I am going to have to throw out all the meat in the freezer and wondering if I should put it out in the woods for the foxes, or if it would rot and grow bacteria and then the foxes and their babies would all die and the coyotes might also eat it and die, but just the babies, because coyotes are scavengers and must be able to tolerate a certain amount of bacteria, and so maybe I should just throw the meat away, but I can’t let it sit out in the trash bin in this heat (95 feels like the Lut desert), which means I’ll have to take it to the dump, but it’s the Fourth of July and the dump is closed. Rotten meat, dead baby foxes, and I’m wide awake. I hate that more than white chocolate but just a little.

I told Chris that I had a hard time falling asleep the other night bc I was consumed with a very vivid worry. When I had walked the dogs, Turtle had gone down into a stream bed and barked and barked. The last time he did that, he had a ground hog cornered and he wanted the other dogs to come help him dispatch it. I am trying to discourage the killing, so I didn’t let the other dogs go help him, and he stayed there and barked for 45 minutes. I didn’t think about it again until I was trying to fall asleep that night, and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t a ground hog, maybe it was a person who had fallen and was injured and Turtle was doing the whole Lassie thing, getting help, or at least trying to, and I had ignored his pleas and the poor victim was trapped, injured, possibly dead already, his hopes having soared when Turtle discovered him and then sunk away to despair when it became clear that Turtle’s exhortations were going to be written off as just some varmint harassment. I worried and fretted and considered driving back down there to see if possibly the poor man was still alive and still awaiting rescue by spaniel. When I told Chris about this, he said, “What kept you awake, the fact that that entire scenario was actually in your head?”

I’m going to make a cream cheese frosting. I’ll add some lemon zest and lemon juice. I’m pretty excited.

I’m also going to make a summer squash casserole. That is going to be recreated from memory. I made one once, and it had summer squash and onion and garlic and perhaps an herb and perhaps some broth and then it was topped with lots of crunchy, buttery bread crumbs. I can’t find the recipe, but how hard can it be?

This is what happens when you don't harvest for two days. I'm seeing zucchini bread.

Love, Margaret