Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Last Words, First Words...

Last Words for a Long Year:

Seen on Facebook on New Years Eve:

Really funny story, this is sort of how GingerMan and I actually first met.  I was managing a local WaldenBooks and had just stocked a trade paperback copy of Ender's Game. Trade paperbacks are the soft-back editions closer in size to hard backs, so it was a mistake that the company sent us this one, and I was grumbling about it to my cohort, Bern, (yes, the progenitor of my Inner Grumpy Old Man).  A guy walks in, asks for Ender's Game, and I explain this is the only copy I have in stock.  He had just moved to the country and needed something.  So he took it.  Two years later, when we were moving in together, I found the book.

Me: "Huh, a TP of Ender's Game, that's unusual!"
GM: "Yah, I bought that at Walden's when I first got here."
Me: "I sold you that book!"
GM: "You were cute."
Me:  "Right Answer."

New Words for a Squeaky New Year:

Write. It. Down.

As I'm writing this, a double-double batch of Apple-Cranberry Crisp is baking in the oven.  It's hobbled together from my memories and recipes from America's Test Kitchen and The Joy of Cooking.  Crisp  was the first thing I cooked from instinct, over the holiday break when I was 14 or 15 years old.  It was Apple-Raisin and I completely made it up out of reverse-engineered memory.  I remember so clearly the semi-dark kitchen of a relative's house in the Northern California countryside--a house made entirely from one redwood tree harvested from the Hoover estate--a tiny kitchen with a wood-burning stove over in the living room we could proof bread on top of.  

I did it on the sly, at first just mooching around the place, looking for something to do, then spying some stray apples.  What do you do with apples?  I can't make pie, I know nothing about pie.  What was that thing with the crumbly stuff on top? What did that taste like? I wonder what was in it? I wonder...

So I started slicing apples and adding spices and a little OJ and, of course, butter.  Then the topping, which was a fiddly affair involving guesswork about flour and brown sugar and oats and pinching a lot of butter into the mix.

And the smell was the smell I smell right now.  But I forgot to write it down.  Then and now.  

I was going to write you a very lovely treatise on why you should watch three versions of A Christmas Carol (the Disney animated version with Jim Carrey, the Muppets version and the Patrick Stewart one), and I didn't write it down when I expounded upon the subject at a Christmas party.  Therefore, I ran out of time.  Suddenly it's 01-01-14, not 12-13-13. As in cooking, math counts as well as words.

I need to start writing down things small and large, some sort of actual diary, a line or two, even if, as last year's did, almost every line goes all Eeyore-y.  Because some will go sweet, and I want to share them, like finding out I sold The Love of My Life his first book in America.  He was very cute, too.

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