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3:58 p.m. - 2012-05-25
Cue the 80's training montage.

I made a dream come true yesterday...I bought an eggbeater.

Seriously. I've always loved them. Eggbeaters with their toothy gear wheels, crank handle and whirling blades have always seemed wonderfully Rube Goldberg-ish to me. The eggbeater has an honored place amongst contraptions in cartoons too. Wile E. Coyote loved eggbeaters. As did Jerry of Tom and Jerry. Who can forget Fred and Barney taking off into the sky on their man-powered helicopter, which if you look closely is just a giant eggbeater with seats? Many's the time I've entertained babysitting charges with a bucket of soapy water and an eggbeater. Whipping up a good froth of suds with an eggbeater is a Good Thing.

Why it took me so long to buy one of my very own is unknown, but yesterday was the day and I am a happy girlie.

Since leaving my employ there 15 years ago, I have avoided the Woodbury Commons as best as I could. I think until yesterday I'd been there twice since Wolf was born. Each time was because one of those dratted exchange students wanted to visit this supposed retail wonderland. Locals think of the blasted place as a sore on the landscape, but it truly is famous elsewhere. Hell, even the Bulgarian kid had heard of it and was gagging to get to the Nike outlet. Since I'd been there last the Commons had grown a whole new section of shops and gotten its own exit lane from the Thruway. What I also found out, much to my dismay, was that the place has gone even more ridiculously upscale than it had been and shops which sold housewares and bedding have gone nearly extinct. I'd gone yesterday to finally have a spree at Williams-Sonoma, Oneida, Dansk (my former employer), The Kitchen Corner, the Corningware outlet, Henckels Knives, and a few of the nicer bedding places. (My quest for the perfect plain white 400 threadcount cotton sheets goes on.) What I found out was that the Corningware place had been shunted off to a dead-end up near the overflow parking lot, and all the others were gone entirely. WTF?

Sure, if I could afford them, wanted them, and they came in my size I could have bought $2,000 Jimmy Choo's, $300 socks from Gucci, $800 Diesel jeans, etc, etc. But 18/8 flatware from Oneida? I was shit out of luck. Fortunately the Corningware outlet, sad little place it is now, came through with the eggbeater and a couple other goodies I've been wanting. A Pyrex 1-cup measuring cup, a salt grinder, a lovely large glass bowl with a snap-on plastic lid (perfect for bringing salads to parties), and couple more odds and ends. The Yankee Candle outlet across the way coughed up a pretty set of crackle glass tea light holders which exactly match the candle jar shade Mick had given me a few weeks ago, but otherwise my trip to the Commons was a bust. At least as far as my lovely daydream of cooking gadgets and luxe bedding went. We did make a major score at Addidas where Mick got a gorgeous pair of sneakers for $25. All the clearance stuff was 50% off for a Memorial Day sale. We'd been willing to pay the regular clearance price and think it a bargain, so when the shoes rang up at half of that it was a lovely surprise.

But...I finally got my eggbeater. So yay!

Why the cooking goodies spree? I mean besides me being a foodie and gadget whore? Well, I've decided to take Paula's advice and use all this free time with the guys over the summer to teach them to cook. I've told them both they are going to be taking turns being my sous-chef and chore boy. Sure, Wolf makes the pasta these days, but I'm still filling the pot, salting the water and getting it boiling first. And Mick? Mick is so bereft of any kind of cooking skill it's a wonder he didn't starve to death when he was single. The man survived on take-out and badly nuked frozen dinners eaten standing over the sink.

This stops now.

Not only will I be teaching them to chop, stir and keep an eye on the broiler, I'll be taking them to the farmer's markets and weekly grocery shopping with me. Yeah, I can send Mick to the store with a list and be reasonably assured he'll come home with most of it, but why I ask him to buy cilantro and pecorino is a mystery. And how these raw ingredients translate into dinner is a bigger mystery still. It will be good for them to know exactly what kind of effort goes into the food they eat. Not that they're unappreciative now, they're not. My guys are terrific with the compliments and praise, but the nightly dinner on the table falls under the heading of Mom Magic. The same prestidigitation which produces sun block at the beach, band-aids for boo-boos, how I always know when the movie starts and what the running balance in the checking account is. Mom Magic makes hostess gifts appear, clean shirts for Picture Day, ginger ale for upset tummies, AA batteries, and the arcane knowledge of when the dog needs her shots.

Of course I'm not willing to give up all my omnipotence, A woman who can't level a knowing stare at her men and make them shift around uncomfortably until they start confessing to crimes real and imagined is simply no woman at all. But I'm willing to have them see what goes on backstage at dinnertime. For one thing since we'll be eating at home for nearly every meal this summer I can really use the help, but also even when you see how the trick is done it's still obvious that a whole lot of skill and thousands of hours of practice were involved to make it work.

My guys are in for some fun and plenty of hard reality about the patience, perseverance, and oftentimes downright danger involved in cooking.

Soup's on! (almost) ~LA

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