Be Running Up That Hill

Pete’s a DIY guy. Yesterday, he sanded half the porch and re-stained it a lighter, warmer color. He’d carefully planned it so an upstairs tenant would get home after 10 p.m., well after the stain would have a chance to dry. We went out briefly to look in where we’re housesitting, and to pick up a bottle of wine. When we got back, Pete noticed a familiar car and ran to look at the steps. A tenant we haven’t seen in two weeks had left footprints in the stain. We went in through the back door and found him in the kitchen.

Dude, we said, Did you notice the stain on the porch was wet?
Yeah, he said, I noticed my shoes stuck to the porch. Don’t worry about it.

You will be pleasantly surprised to learn neither of us shellacked him.

On Sunday, Pete and I found a couple of food-related questions answered on one shelf in the Goya section of the Milltown, NJ Acme. They’re proud of their double coupons everyday! policy, but better for my purposes was a whole shelf of cornmeals ground differently. On the left, fine. On the right, coarse. In between, degrees of fine and coarse. The bags cost $1.39 apiece. We bought one of each – for SCIENCE!

Tonight, I made polenta with the coarsest grind. Every first attempt is fraught with tasty peril! I started with water. Next time, I’ll start with chicken stock, but I wanted to get at the flavor of the corn. I like the texture, which is more like minced, dried corn than the fine cornmeal I’ve always used to make polenta. This is also a completely different beastie than the instant polenta my grandmother used, because why not?

A fine thing to do is make more polenta than strictly necessary for dinner because – you know – you’re going to eat breakfast. You have two options: fried or toasted. We had fried for dinner. The polenta had a buttery texture but lost its significant corniness. Clearly, more SCIENCE! is in our future, and by that I mean in the toaster for breakfast.

This weekend, Pete plans to sand the other half of the porch and re-stain that. A quick glance at the long-term weather report hints that rain will never stop falling. We should ditch the porch and build an ark. I doubt the cats will be amused when we fit them with tasteful booties and floatation devices.

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