The Daily EO: March 12th, 2013

When was a kid Grandpa and Grandma would visit and always bring fruit from the Okanogan.  I’ve told you this before and I also told you of my love of Macintosh Apples.   I have always preferred Macs, Spartans and Granny Smiths above all others especially Delicious Apples.  I am not sure what it is about Delicious apples, but I don’t like the yellowish flesh, the mealy mouth feel, the thick skin and the flavour seems not appley to me.  So when ever I see those tell-tale bumps on the bottom of that dark red apple, I pick up a banana instead.

I do the grocery shopping in our home because I actually like grocery shopping.  Emile does most of the dinner cooking and I do lunches.   It seems to work well for us because Emile gets home earlier than me and the best grocery stores are out by my work.  When I make a grocery list – unless I need specifics – I usually write “fruit” and”Veggies”.  I am not sure why I am compelled to write that – because if I know I’ll remember what fruit to buy, why don’t I think I’ll remember to buy fruit?  Hmmm.  I’ve not thought of this before.   Well, reflection for another time.

Anyways, as you can well imagine when I buy apples, I buy my preferences.  Macs – if they aren’t end of season, Spartans if they look good or Granny Smiths (because they taste to darn good with sharp cheddar or peanut butter).  I eschew any apples with bumps on the bottom.  No thank you!  I assume if they have bumps on the bottom they are related to a Delicious and I can’t take that risk.    I’ve never considered apple selection implications on Emile until for some reason I went rogue in the apple aisle.  My normal selections weren’t looking that good, so I picked up some Gala, Pink Lady’s and Ambrosia apples for that week.   I figured Emile would have to make do with these until better stock was in place.  (incidentally, I threw them all into the same bag, cashiers hate me)

When it comes to the lunches I make, I really like feedback.  No, strike that, I really like appreciation.  And so Emile does his best to say “hey, liked my lunch today”.  He came home on rogue apple week and said “I really liked that apple you packed.  One of the best in a long while”.  Wha?!

March 12th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  “Bumpy” apples get added to the rotation – but just not Delicious, I am not sure if I could actually take paying money for them.  All this time, I have been thinking only of myself and protection from Delicious apples and Emile has been suffering.


The Daily EO: June 15th, 2012

Sorry for the delay, I was without a computer since Saturday (travelling).  Writing on my smartphone is like using a stick in the sand.  Slow and hard to read.

Friday was busy.  Due to our flood.  Nay, our trickle, or perhaps our moistening is a better term.  Nonetheless, the our landlord contacted insurance and disaster clean-up as the damage was done.  They responded quickly and by 10:30 am, I showered (at a friend’s house as water was off here), picked up a key for the storage locker, co-ordinating the stuff to be moved out, and agreeing to bring dessert for dinner out that night.

By 10:30 am, Emile had been at work for 2 1/2 hours needing to tie up all loose ends that day.  After all, it had arrived – his final day with the company.

At about 11:30 am, I was standing downstairs with my friendly landlord discussing whether the laminate flooring in the basement should be replaced with laminate or perhaps Berber carpet for warmth.  We were undecided but leaning towards the carpet.  The disaster clean-up team was moving boxes/furniture out, starting the ripping out process, and their equipment was all over the front porch.   The entranceway was filled with furniture and items that were not leaving, but just pushed out-of-the-way for ease of passage.

The doorbell rang.

A friendly looking fellow was standing there.  He said “We were just driving by and saw your sign, would this be a good time to look at the house?”.  We stared as him, somewhat dumbfounded – not because he wanted to see the house – but because after weeks of everything being just so, the house was not exactly show ready.  Well, never turn down a showing – and this way, they could see the work being done professionally.

Deb & Glen toured the house and were unfazed by the mess (“One time when were selling a house, we had a flood AND I was 9 months pregnant”).  They loved the place, and stayed as long as they could until they had to get to their next showing.  I casually invited them back if they wanted a second look in the afternoon, and off they went.  We forgot to even get their phone number.

That afternoon, I started making Strawberry Cake and Blueberry Muffin Cookies for dessert that evening.  Try to make dessert without water and see how that goes for you.   I was coated in butter, sugar, floor and the kitchen was completed covered in dirty dishes.

The doorbell rang.

Deb & Glen wanted to see the place again.  This time, the basement was cleared up – the crew was gone, the floor ripped up and the furniture all placed back.  But now the kitchen was a mess and I wasn’t the cleanest either.  I let them have run of the place – afterall, if this was a scheme to steal our stuff, they deserved it after executing the perfect plan.

They wandered around, discussing rooms, asking questions and I baked a cake.  This time, I remembered to get their number so we could follow up later.

June 15th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Less than 24 hours after showing up unexpectedly, Deb & Glen entered a verbal offer (no conditions) on the house.  What is the point of doing all that cleaning?

AND:  Emile finished his contract and is ready for our next adventure.  I’m proud of how professionally and well he worked to set up robust systems that needed little support.  And with little to no direction from headquarters.  If you need a Systems Manager, Emile is one of the best.

The Daily EO: June 12th, 2012

The Independent (“Promising you low prices”) recently tricked me into purchasing a bag of sweet cherries.  They put the cherries in their flyer – with no price – and then put the cherries on the end of a row – with no price.  Both of these actions made me believe the cherries were on sale.  But they were not.  The cherries cost me $8.99.  Gasp.

I’ve been telling people this story and pretending that I didn’t notice the cost until I was at home.  But that is not true.  I noticed when they were rung in.  And for some reason – be it social pressure, fear of looking cheap or a pulsing desire for cherries – I didn’t say “No, Thank You”.   Shame.

This bag of cherries was the same size that I previous purchased at Fresh Co. the week before for $3.99.  So, with the trickery and memory of the previous purchase, I ended up with another bag.  I told Emile the cost, but he did not seem to like the $8.99 any more than the $3.99.

I sat down with a book, the bottom half of the pricey cherries and a pit bowl.  My fingers skimmed across each cherry – looking for the smoothest, firmest and sweetest cherry to savour.  To often, my fingers skipped to the next one.  And I found myself staring into a bag of fruit that while edible, had lost its peakness.  I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy every single one of these cherries, so I started considering options – jam or baking.  Not enough for jam, so baking it is.

I found a great recipe and started off.

When I was a kid, I grew up near the Okanogan Valley and Creston, BC.  These two places were – and still are presumably – is where you got your fruit.  Strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, grapes, apples, raspberries.  Every year we’d have fresh fruit so sweet and warm and often delivered by my grandfather.  I remember my little brother eating cherries until his face was purple and he couldn’t spend too much time away from the bathroom. I remember BC MacIntosh apples in the fall – that we kept on the porch.  So sweet, so small, so crunchy.  No matter where I get apples now, none compares.

I’d make jams with my mom.  And I loved using her strawberry huller and cherry pitter.  Vintage now, they were simple metal tools that easily did what you needed them to.  And I missed that hand-held cherry pitter today.

I sliced each cherry with a knife and then picked out the pit with my thumb nail.  Over and over again.  My determination did not waver.  Every single one of these cherries would be used.

I made three little cherry crumble ramekins – one for me, one for Emile and one for our guest Jefferson.

June 12, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Perfect Cherry Crumbles.  Purple fingers.