Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Back to Basics

This may be short and uninspiring today. I’ve been making the final changes on my book. It’s mostly just adding or taking out commas now. It’s a lot of drudge and lots of wondering “is there anyone out there who will actually read this thing?” But I can tell you that I know of one person who will be able to say truthfully that she has read my book: Barbara Tripp. She's read it at least three times by now.

Barbara has sat behind me in church probably 15 years now; whenever we built the new sanctuary. I'm one of the few people who know what a beautiful singing voice she has but she won't take any suggestions about joining the choir. I don’t remember where she sat before but she and Pat have been members about as long as we have. We’ve watched each others’ kids grow up. And learned the parts of each others’ personalities we can depend on. And, if you can depend on Barbara Tripp for anything, it’s her uncontested and unmatched mastery of grammar and punctuation. I went to her birthday party a few months ago and her childhood friend told me she was like this as a child. By this time she had already proof-read the manuscript a couple of times already and I was about to ask her to do it again. Well, Thank God for Barbara because she was quite willing and I know for sure that the book isn’t that interesting. Maybe a second read but definitely not worth a third one. Oh, and did I mention she took this manuscript with her on a recent vacation to Greece? I can only hope that the plane flight was boring enough to make her effort half-way meaningful.

And I know for a fact that she read every single word because she found a mistake on every single page. It was like she was getting paid by the number of typos she caught. And, in truth, she's not getting a dime.

So, if you know Barbara, the next time you see her, especially if you plan to buy the book, you might want to tell her thanks for making it more readable.

In other news, I have been very “Back to Basics” lately. I made Lemonade a couple of weeks ago and had forgotten the incredible taste of the stuff made from real lemons.

When I planted the garden this spring I put a couple of strawberry plants into containers. Then threw about three pounds of seed potatoes into the ground. After I was finished I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had cooked potatoes here at home and didn't have a clue what I was going to do with a whole crop of them.I wasn’t expecting much from the strawberries but thought it would be fun to try. Imagine my surprise when the perfect strawberry appeared this morning. OK, not a crop by any stretch but tasty nonetheless.
I took a cooking class in sauces a couple of weeks ago and learned to make about six different sauces, one being mayonnaise. That’s one of those recipes that sounds frightening. There’s a lot of beating involved and having to do it all just right. But by taking the class I got over my fear and came home to make a biggo batch of mayo here at home. Then realized I couldn’t think of anything to put it on. I tried to brag about it on facebook but all I got was comments from folks who think mayonnaise is poisonous.

I remembered making butter back in third grade. So I thought about that one a bit and mixed up a batch of butter in my Kitchenaid. Voila! I was on a roll.

So the next step was bread. The last time I pulled out the bread maker I had lost the instructions and couldn’t remember which button to push and when. So I gave the machine away and got out the trusty old Kitchenaid with it’s dough hook and made bread the new old fashioned way.

So now I’m trying to figure out what you can make out of bread, butter, mayonnaise and strawberries. And potatoes. Maybe not all in the same dish. Lemonade to drink, for sure. Bread and butter can be combined. Or even a chicken sandwich with the mayo. And strawberries for dessert. We’ll have to split the one berry. Hope you don’t have a big appetite.
Oops. Too slow.

Now I'm all fired up to learn how to slaughter a hog and smoke bacon.Then I could use the bread and mayo for a BLT sandwich. But a small gentle voice intercedes with a whisper:“too much, Jane, let it go.”

It’s back to the book and hopefully I can turn it into the publisher and spend more time thinking of pithy things for this blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You could always try mayo on french fries. I just returned from Amsterdam and that's the way they eat them there....sounded gross until I tried it and now I am hooked!!
(BTW - Can't wait to read your book!)
VB