Tuesday, May 29, 2012
It is pouring down buckets of rain. The powers to be claim we are in a drought, but after today, I bet they change their tune!
The outer bands of Beryl are simply giving us a deluge.
Yesterday, I was so confused. I thought it was Sunday. Suddenly some friends and their dog turned up in my driveway. I was a tad surprised as they had driven 60 miles on a whim to come see me. At some point they told me it was Monday, which really gave me pause for the cause as apparently I lost a day some where. How does that happen?
What's really strange is that I had previously invited them both verbally and in writing by email, for a cookout this weekend and only received mumbled maybe's and don't know's in their verbal reply.
So, I didn't bother to get organized for anything. Last time I got organized for a cookout, (last weekend!) there was a problem too, and the folks didn't show. So to heck with it. Grumble, mumble, rumble...
In the Caribbean I had the reverse problem. I could invite 4 for dinner and have 8 show up. People were always eating at my place. Matter of fact, sometimes when I fed 8-10-12 people, later someone who heard through the coconut telegraph that I had a little party, would run into me and act offended that I had not invited them to come eat too. It seems on that little island if you invited anyone to come eat, they almost always said YES 99% of the time and actually showed up too. Of course everyone on the island is late for everything, so you have to lie by an hour. In other words if you want them there at 4pm, you invite them for 3pm.
Other times I didn't invite folks over for lunch or dinner at all, but they would stop by to visit and invariably we would end up cooking and eating anyhow. But, this little island had NO fast food joints. People actually sat down and savored their meal for hours. It was fun!
One time I was at a beach bar, giving some friends a verbal invitation to come eat at my place the next day that also included a "surprise". A tourist couple overheard us and mentioned the party sounded like fun. So I invited them too, drew out a map and they showed up the next day too.
I am like that as well. If you invite me to come dine, chances are 99.9% that I will say yes and show up too.
The surprise turned out to be live entertainment, in the form of some of my other fabulous friends were visiting on island. One happened to be retired from a famous band and he had agreed to come play as a "surprise" for the guests.
Indeed they were surprised and delighted. We had a load of fun!
I love America, but this business of woofing down your food in 3 minutes or less, while driving your car and texting on your cell phone at the same time, is just not my style at all. I don't even like fast food joints. First of all, if you want to have lots of diseases and health problems, then by all means eat at the fast food joints as much as possible. It supports the health care system, which isn't very caring at all. Your doctor is getting huge kickbacks for prescribing designer drugs. Commercials and advertisements encourage you to run to the doctor begging for drugs.
OK, let me get off my high horse and step down to my soap box...
But in America, it's different I guess. Many people seem very indifferent about food invitations.
I planned on a quiet weekend, since I couldn't get a "yes" out of anybody. I didn't go shopping, I didn't clean up, I didn't expect any company.
Binga banga boom. Here they are!
I told them I was THRILLED they came to visit, but uh, um, since I didn't realize they were coming, I hadn't prepared a thing, had not gone shopping and was totally disorganized, but if they gave me a few minutes, I could throw something together.
Luckily, they were feeling very flexible, so we loaded up the dogs, hopped in their car and went grocery shopping. This is no small feat, since the closest grocery store is 9 miles of country roads away. But it's a real pretty ride until the last half mile.
Harley was thrilled to ride in their car with their doggy, though he hung his head and half his tiny body out the window while I held onto his harness. He is clueless how easy it would be for the wind to suck him right out and he would become the next little greasy spot on the road.
We came back, threw charcoal on the grill, then cooked up a mess of food. Normally I would have dragged them on foot all over the day use park where I workamp, but since one of the visitors can't walk so well, so far, we settled on a couple of rowdy games of Scrabble which they brought with them and loaned me for the summer. They also brought their big recliner outdoor chair for me to "borrow" for the summer too. Yippie!
One thing I did that was "new" to them. I was able to buy corn on the cob still in the husk. I ran it under cold water, then placed it on the grill (in the husk) while the coals were heating up for cooking. The corn stayed on the grill until just before everything else was done. Then I sliced off the ends, peeled off the husks, cut each ear into thirds, then drenched it all in real butter. I grew up on margarine, why I have NO idea. We never had real butter at all. We were lead to believe that margarine was king. But it's not. In my book, it's evil. Nothing compares to real butter. When I discovered real butter as an adult, I have refused to buy margarine ever since.
Matter of fact, when I first arrived in the Caribbean, NOBODY sold margarine anywhere at all. I once asked for it and someone said "What is margarine?" I said "It's fake butter." Someone else said "Eww! Why would anybody want fake butter?"
In reality, a little REAL butter goes a long ways. Margarine tastes so flimsy, you need a pile of the stuff just to get any flavor. So why bother? Furthermore, modern studies have shown that it's far healthier to enjoy real butter than margarine. Yet incredibly, the stores in America are stocked with loads of exotic margarines and just a small pile of butter. It's mind boggling. But then again, I am appalled that most of the grocery stores seem to devote aisle after aisle of junk foods, with the healthy foods taking up a tiny little space called "produce".
OK, I have really got to get off my soap box.
That was the most fabulous tasting corn ever. Something about cooking it IN the husk really gives it great flavor. I've done this in the microwave too. Cook the corn in the husk, in the microwave, then peel it. The taste is absolutely awesome.
We cooked a mountain of food, so much that their dog and mine were overfed too. Nobody had room left over for the watermelon, so I chopped it up, placing it into big ziplock baggies and everybody took some home, plus of course I kept some. But as you fellow RV-ers know, RV refrigerators are smaller than most house fridges. No way I could fit the entire watermelon into my refrigerator anyhow. Well, I could have if I peeled it completely and chopped it all at once. But that would have been more watermelon that I could eat, though I must say, the stuff is addicting.
Well, I have learned my lesson. Next time I issue food invitations, it will read: