About a week ago - also on an early Saturday evening - we were watching one of the Two Fat Ladies episodes on DVD (we have a box set). The particular recipe which caught my attention was their Boeuf Stroganoff. It reminded me that I once included that recipe in my limited culinary repertoire (the others being Caesar salad, Caribbean pasta - one of my own creations - and fettuccine Alfredo). Today, when we were shopping for groceries, I suggested that I could make Boeuf Stroganoff for dinner tonight, which Denis accepted as a proposition. I should have known, however, that it would be impossible for me to usurp his jurisdiction in the kitchen. The evidence against me began mounting innocuously enough, with Denis making enquiries about whether I would dust the filet with flower before frying it, and whether I intended to use Dijon mustard, little things like that. He then disclosed that he had been doing some research into the recipe, both on-line and in his collection of cook books. When I replied that I intended - as I do in all my recipes - just to wing it, that pretty much put him over the edge, and he insisted that I must seize this opportunity to turn from my vagabond ways and adopt the preferable habit of reading a recipe. In an instant I knew I was doomed. Asking me to read a recipe is equivalent to asking me to play the piano (which I play by ear) by reading sheet music. In either case, the result is assured to be a failure, if not indeed a disaster.
As it turns out, I am just as happy to extradite myself from the kitchen to my study, where I can affect to placate my grief by writing these resounding nothings I call my journal. I expect I derive the same satisfaction from writing as Denis does from cooking. For each of us, our respective undertakings are always a pleasure, never work; and there's a good chance that the product of what we each so enjoy doing will be the better for our choice.
Saturday evening has become a ritual routine with us. Come to think of it, Saturday - the entire day - is now a routine with us. The mornings, for example, are usually filled with chores, picking things up and dropping things off. Often we eat our lunch in some inexpensive restaurant (though today we stayed home because we were here already, having had to return to Almonte to drop off at the office the IBM Selectric typewriter which I collected in Ottawa). Early afternoon - and the continued fine weather - permitted me the opportunity to bicycle to the Village of Appleton and back. Yesterday Denis had commented that my back tire needed some air, so I had replenished the supply to both tires after work. As a result, the ride to Appleton today was firmer than it had been previously, especially noticeable when I took to the shoulder of the road and encountered the ridges left by tractor tires.
Normally upon my return from the afternoon bike ride, I would begin settling in for the remainder of the day. Today, however, I invited Denis to join me on a quick excursion to Bennett Motors in Carleton Place to enquire about what's new on the General Motors scene. Unexpectedly, when we got there, we discovered that the salesman to whom we were directed by the receptionist is the brother of my capable Assistant's husband. In fact, he reminded us that we had not only met him at my Assistant's recent wedding, but he previously worked on our property for our landscaper. He naturally embarrassed us by his keen memory. Anyway, once we got beyond those niceties, he informed us that the dealership (which had previously been restricted to flogging Chevrolet and Oldsmobile) would soon begin carrying the Buick line as well, part of GM's strategy to give all their remaining dealerships a level playing field. This of course suited me perfectly, since I have decided that I'd be just as happy to have another Buick Enclave, even though I won't be making a move for almost another ten months when my current lease expires.
After our sally to Bennett's we diverted ourselves to a grocery store in Carleton Place to pick up a few things we still required.
Back in Almonte, we downgraded our wardrobe to what we affectionately call "nos comfortables". Denis immediately began preparations for the Boeuf Stroganoff. We have advertised to one another our respect choice of hors d'oeuvres. The clock is about to strike six, so I'll descend to the main floor to see if the fire is lit, then likely follow suit!