Five Fairly Good Things About 2010

1. 2010 adds up to 3, which is a factor of 9, which is my lucky life number. So even though 2009 looked like a lucky year, in fact it was not. Because it added up to 2. 2? Fuck you, 2.

2. Chinese Zodiac year of the Tiger. That’s the year I was born. Rawr.

3. I bought a month’s pass for the fitness centre a block away from my house and for an extra $6 you get to use the pool too! If you need me, I will be in the hot tub.

Today I took Trombone to the pool and he spent the whole time hopping up and down and pretending the pool was a store and going up to other people in the pool and offering to sell them a pool toy for only $4. Everyone said no. I wonder if they thought he was serious? He’s not even four feet tall; how serious could he be?

OK: At the pool, I smile at the other peoples’ kids. If they talk to me, I talk to them. Not everyone does this. Do you do this? Do you talk to other peoples’ kids? If not, why not? Am I missing something? Here are some reasons I can think of:

– bad day
– your own kid is a major pain in the ass, you want to be anywhere but near kids, last thing you need is more kids talking to you
– other kids carry disease
– you are afraid you might have bad breath

If someone else’s 3.5 year old tried to sell me a pool toy for $4 I’d bargain him down to $2, that’s all I’m saying. I wouldn’t say “no thank you” with a snotty look and turn away like he just asked me for spare change in front of the Hoi Palloi Building.

4. Picked up a copy of “What Colour Is Your Parachute, 1986 Edition” from the lobby of the building next to us.

One of the things I loved about living in the west end of Vancouver was that you could walk down an alley and find all manner of free stuff. Record albums, books, odd clothes. Or there would be dudes selling stuff in the park – I know, lots of it was stolen, but my Big Ozzy doll who sings Bark at the Moon and has only one foot, I PAID for that and I believe I paid the original owner. The west end was like a perpetual yard sale and the Mizzle isn’t like that. I mean, when there’s a yard sale, there is a whole neighbourhood participating at a time and it’s quite fantastic, I recommend the Queen’s Park Annual Garage Sale (usually in May) and the Westminster Quayside one too (every August) but if I went out today, there would probably not be anyone selling their junk (hee hee, junk) on their lawns. I betcha my Big Ozzy there are some people selling stuff in the west end right now. Or putting bags of random crap out by the dumpster.

Which is a long winded way of saying that I like acquiring strange free or cheap stuff and having this hokey book from 1986 in my house makes me happy. No I don’t plan to read it; I have only one week to finish “My Father’s Son” by Dan Hill.

5. Fresh cornmeal.

On New Year’s Eve I tried to make focaccia bread from a recipe in one of our Alton Brown cookbooks. I could tell SA had made it before because he had attached a page of his notes, which I could not read because SA has illegible handwriting, but I figured it was a safe bet. It didn’t have a big red X through the page or anything and we have had success with most of Alton Brown’s recipes. Especially the whole wheat pancakes, they are awesome. Anyway. This focaccia recipe included cornmeal. You had to cook the cornmeal and then add it to the flour and then let it rise. Easy, so I did it. Except when I added it to the flour, it made this big, heavy, horrible lump of awfulness and even 10 minutes of sweat-inducing kneading did not yield anything resembling dough.

So I let it sit for 2 hours and rolled it into biscuits anyway, which biscuits would be good for teething or possibly dogs. Except I like dogs.

I was mad. It was a bad day anyway, with the full moon children and general panic in the streets and I recalled trying a pizza dough recipe a few months ago that also included cornmeal, dry this time, and also created the same unyielding horrible dough of awfulness so I was Real Mad at cornmeal in general. Which, of course, is highly effective, being mad at a grain. I got over it eventually and we ate appetizers for dinner and yelled at the TV for being stupid and went to bed at 10, which was still too late for us because we are old, lame and chronically underslept.

Next day we were at my parents’ house and I’m telling my dad, an Italian and a former farmer, about this so-called focaccia bread. And he says, how old was the cornmeal? Because at our house, back in the day, we used to give it to the pigs if it was older than 3 months.

So now I need some pigs.

Yesterday we bought fresh cornmeal and shortly I will be trying the focaccia again. Hold your breath for me. If it works, I’ll go back and try all the cornmeal recipes I fucked up last year. (Especially the pizza dough because I love me some pizza dough.)

Is this a thing? Do you people know about this? I had no idea cornmeal was so sensitive but then I don’t cook with it a lot. Even less, lately, go figure. A quick google for “stale cornmeal makes bad dough, man” yielded not much except advice to not use cornmeal that was rancid, but I associate rancidity with an odoural or textural change, not with looking exactly the same as non-rancid cornmeal but having the effect of breaking any recipe you put it in.

I think this year I might just write my own dictionary. ODOURAL indeed.

And so, 2010, you are all right so far.

This entry was posted in and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Five Fairly Good Things About 2010