Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dinner Time

I really don't like to cook. I haven't quite figured out which part is worse: coming up with the idea of what to make for dinner in the first place, standing over a hot stove creating, or digging out all the mixing bowls and pots and pans, only to have to wash all those dishes after this meal is consumed.

Think about that for a moment. 1 hour prep time, 15 minutes for it to disappear, followed by another hour of clean up time.

Trying to improve on the previous nights frozen burrito dinner, last night I decided to make my hubby a nicer dinner. I decided on turkey, mashed taters, gravy, and cranberry sauce. When Hubby calls to say he is on his way home, he gets excited to hear what awaits him for dinner. That makes me happy.

I get out a pan for the potatoes and one for the gravy. I need one mixing bowl and one measuring cup. A two pan dinner, ugh....dishes.
First I start the potatoes, water in the pan...boil...add milk...stir in potato flakes.
Next start the gravy, water in the pan...boil...water in the mixing bowl...add gravy mix...stir...add to boiling water...whisk until thick.
Hubby arrives just in time to open the cans of turkey and cranberry sauce. I don't like opening cans either.
Next I put some bread on the plates. Then scoop some taters into the middle of the plates and cover the bread and the taters with gravy.
Finally, I put a couple of slices of cranberry sauce on the edge of the plate.
Serving the plates, I admire them and think they have a nice presentation. After all, our food should look good if we expect anyone to eat it.

Fifteen minutes later, my son gets up from the table and takes his plate to the sink and says...."What's this can of turkey sitting here for?"

Oooops...I forgot to put the turkey in the gravy. You know what else? We all sat there and ate our food, none of us noticing that there was no meat.

The best part of the meal came later when Hubby and I were recapping the event. I laughed so hard I cried. Another story to be held over my head has been added to the archives, filed right next to the one where I made paste instead of Creamed Tuna on Toast.

Well, I guess I better go do those dishes I didn't do last night.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Not So Do It Myself

I am one of those do it yourself people. My way of thinking is that if they can do it, then I can google it and learn how to do it myself. No expensive labor costs that way. I usually do pretty good with this philosophy. Sure it takes me longer and can be quite physically demanding at times, but I save a ton of money. I also believe that since I have a personal stake in the project that it is finished with better quality.

We are putting in flooring in part of the basement. Snap and Click not to intimidating. Whaaat! We have to level our wavy cement floor. Ugh, that stinks! Ok...I can do this.

Did I mention that I was also cheap and impatient.

On Thursday I got the flooring supplies at the store. The floor leveler was almost $30 and the salesman told me I also needed this $7 bottle of primer to make it stick to the existing cement. In my mind I was thinking, "Yeah, sure I do. You are just trying to get me to spend more money." Remembering that Kirk once told me that cement doesn't stick to cement, I grudgingly bought the primer.

Friday, time to level that floor. First, Aaron and I emptied the room. Next, it was time for the primer. I read the directions...easy enough, now all I need is an applicator and some rubber gloves. I put Aaron on the search for the applicator while I looked for gloves. He comes back with a 1 inch paint brush and paint roller...handle only. Thinking that he did a bad job of searching, I went on my own search... I decided to use the 1 inch brush. Aaron offered to go to the store to get a bigger brush, but I didn't want to spend another $5. So I applied latex primer to roughly 180 square feet with a 1" paint brush while wearing plastic bags on my hands. Oh yeah, I didn't have any rubber gloves either and I am allergic to latex.

Next, it was finally time for the floor leveler. As I was applying the primer, Aaron was reading the directions for the leveler. There were only directions for making a complete bag and I didn't want to do that. I wanted him to see if there was an easy water to leveler ratio to use. Well apparently the directions were first written in Chinese and then badly translated to English using the European standard of measurement. So I sent him to "Google It". I could figure it out on my own if he could find a video showing me the consistancy it was suppose to pour at. He was successful.

First, we filled the bucket with a couple inches of water, then slowly added the leveler powder. I used a hand held garden shovel to mix it since I didn't have a drill mixer like the directions said to use. Afterall, they cost money. We continued to add powder. Soon I was elbow deep in cement that wouldn't seem to get thick and my arm was hurtin'. It finally got to the consistancy of gravy and I considered pouring it at that point, but the directions said it should be like thin pancake batter. So I added more leveler powder. Apparently, some people make thin pancake batter thinner then others. It suddenly started getting real warm and thick. UGH!!! Aaron get me some more water! Suddenly, it was more like homemade icecream. He splashed in some water. Have you ever eatten a piece of meat and the more you chewed it the bigger it would get in your mouth? This was like that. It just kept expanding and getting warmer. Panic has set in! I'm yelling at Aaron to add more water, now quick let's put some on the floor. UGH, still too thick. Find something to clean that off there! UGH!!!! Why is this happening!? It's too thin, too thin, then blammo too thick!
This is where Aaron gives me a key piece of information.
After stirring on this stuff for an hour...

"This sets in 5 minutes" says Aaron.
"What!" my reply.
"That's what RS means, I thought I told you that." states Aaron.

For clarification: It didn't set in the first hour I was stirring because it was too thin, like water, but as soon as there was enough leveler power, it thickened right up.

Well, Kirk came home in the middle of the big panic. As soon as the mess was cleaned up, off to the store we went. I suppose the $13 for the mixer is worth it after all.

Anybody need a bucket of cement?