And then the phone rang once more

Archived | March 24, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Now that spring is here and we’ve already done the Daylight Saving Time switcheroo and there’s no more leftover corned beef, it’s time to get down to business. Taxes are next on the docket, and that was my plan for Saturday. Emphasis on the “was.”
The kids thought it would be funny to plant a walkie talkie in the kitchen drawer next to where I was working. After a good half hour of quiet and focus, I heard a rustling from within the drawer. I opened it. Empty. Closed it. Rustling louder this time, almost like static. I opened it again. “WILD CHERRY SODA IS THE ULTIMATE BELCH POP.” The words blared out from the drawer. Then giggles. Lots of giggles. I lifted up the silverware tray and there it was, way in the back. The walkie talkie. I picked it up and pressed the “Talk” button and worked up my best Satan voice. DO YOUR HOMEWORK, I said into the mouthpiece. AND DON’T SHOW YOUR FACE UNTIL IT’S DONE.
Well, once the kids were out of my way, it was Regina down the road, who is one of the last great cup-of-sugar-borrowers. Sure. She’s borrowed over ten pounds of sugar since she moved to town a few years back, and I haven’t seen a baked good to save my life. She’s lonely, I think. Loneliness will take you as far as you need to go to find a loving ear. Then there was my mother, who called with news of cousin Lurv and his winning lottery ticket. Ten thousand dollars is not the biggest whoop, I told her. Sure, it’s something. It would be a nice down payment on a car. A trip out west. It would pay someone to do my taxes for the next twenty years. Or so. Depending.
And then the phone rang once more. “Do you speak Chinese?” the voice hollered in a Southern accent. It was my friend Louis from New York. He’s going to some remote part of China to teach English for a year. “I need a change in my life. Something bold, something grand,” he explained, and went on explaining. For an hour. So much for my taxes. Good for you, I told him. And good for me. Maybe there are no phones where he’s going. And if there are, it’ll be pricey. So when he calls next year to say he’s coming home, he’ll have only five minutes. Then maybe I’ll get my taxes done. Or at least get ’em started.
Fresh Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing
That time of year again. Let’s lighten up. Away with the bubbling, greasy, cheesy bakes! Bring on the greens and the citrus and the fruit. (But keep the bacon fat in this one. I’m serious.)
7 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
3 T bacon fat
3 T sugar
3 T vinegar
Fry bacon until crispy-crunchy. Remove from pan.
Pour grease into a small bowl. Wipe out pan with paper towel.
Measure 3 T bacon grease back into pan. Add sugar and vinegar.
Bring to a boil. Pour over spinach leaves and toss with dried
cranberries, candied walnuts, and a bit of feta cheese. Top with
crumbled bacon.