Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why Does Everything Come At Once?

At the Trail of Tears Association board meeting tonight in Carbondale, Cheryl Jett arrived breathlessly with her supper in hand from a drive-through window. Our meeting after her drive down from Collinsville was just one of the many places she had to go today. This was also her first deadline for materials for her book about the city of Alton coming out sometime in 2009. She had prepared and printed out for us the agenda, treasurer’s report, and complicated minutes of the last very long meeting. She asked, “Why does everything come in the same week??!!”

Boy, did I empathize. My own agenda for today started out quite reasonable as I planned it yesterday. I’d have all morning to do laundry and get our lunch and fix a plate for Gerald to microwave for his supper. Knowing I was on my way to Carbondale anyway, it would be easy for me to be available to take Samuel to catch his bus to church camp so Katherine could keep her doctor’s appointment.

I could also return an unneeded item at the Carbondale Mall, recycle all the stuff in my garage at the drive-through recycling center, drop some letters in the Carbondale mail slot, and still arrive without pressure for the 6 p.m. board meeting. I looked forward to a busy but nor harried day. Since we have ridiculous amounts of zucchini and acorn squash accumulating in our kitchen, I also had thoughts maybe I could take a box to the soup kitchen since we no doubt will have another box full soon for me to think about freezing.

Last evening, however, Gerald told me that our wonderful neighbors had harvested a field of sweet corn in Galatia in yesterday’s hot steamy weather. The corn was picked and waiting to be shared with us. How many dozen did we want? Gerald ran over and brought back half-a-tub full of scrumptious perfect ears of corn. What more could anyone ask? Someone else raised it and picked it and gave it to us free!!

Suddenly my morning included getting down the big pans from the top of the pantry, washing corn and brushing off silk by the sink full, boiling water for blanching to stop the deterioration and loss of vitamins and minerals, fixing ice water to cool the corn after the blanching, bagging it and putting it in the freezer. As I read the morning’s paper at breakfast, I had laughed through Dixie Terry’s account of all the zucchini in her kitchen (when they had not raised a one), and decided I would get rid of one of ours by following her recipe for zucchini pie. Sort of.

I rarely follow a recipe exactly. Living in the country, if I don’t have an ingredient on hand, I make do with what is in my pantry. Even before gas became so high, I have never considered going to town just to get the items I don’t have. I did not have an onion as I’d thrown out the last one that rotted the other day, so I used onion flakes from the large container I’d bought recently. Not having crescent rolls to line the pie pan, I used a couple frozen pie shells. Usually I have a package of shredded cheese in the freezer, but I couldn’t find any, so I melted chunks of cheese food. I still had some chicken from a mesquite-flavored chicken I’d picked up yesterday, and I made the pie into a main dish. Her recipe was for one pie, but somehow I got two out of it. It baked while I was frantically trying to cool corn and carry it to the freezer in the garage.

The kitchen began to smell very nice, and Dixie’s recipe was delicious served with fresh sliced tomatoes—one from Gerald’s garden and one from the neighbor’s. I got the lunch dishes into the dish washer, and most of the laundry put away but not all. The big pans used for the corn will be washed easily in the morning. Sam was delivered to the church on time; and since I had fortunately packed all the recyclables in the trunk yesterday afternoon, I was able to accomplish that task before returning the mall item, finding a couple summer clothing items 75% off at Macy’s, and even doing a little Christmas shopping at the sale there.

Since our board meeting did not last as late as it sometimes does, I was stopped at Taco Bell and had a bite of supper and took advantage of Kroger’s senior citizen day on the way home. Most of those groceries are carried in; and tomorrow, I will put them away. I will think happily of all that tasty corn in the freezer to feed the grandkids when they come to see us next winter, and we will have left-over zucchini pie for lunch. Oh yes, I have been wanting to talk to daughter Jeannie and haven’t had time to phone her even if she were home to get the call, which she rarely is. I even accomplished that on the second try with a hands-free phone coming home from Carbondale. Everything comes at once some days, but sometimes that is a good thing to push us to more productive. Tomorrow I will sleep late and then do all the left-over tasks from today.

1 comment:

Meg in Tally said...

You're going to have to send me that zucchini recipe. Especially after making my mouth water thinking about that wonderful, fresh corn.

That's one of the things I miss by not living in a farming community like I grew up in. In my teens, I didn't appreciate all the fresh bounty like I would now.

I'm also going to head to Macy's to check out those summer sales!