Monday, October 28, 2013

A few selected (redacted) Weekend Highlights

First off, we had a visit from Jerry H., Librarian of the Northern Nutgrowers Association and passionate advocate for nut trees. He came by with our new industrial strength nutcracker – capable of cracking the black walnuts that fall on the back porch and on the driveway, and dent the roof of any car parked beneath. It turns out that, after all these years of thinking otherwise, the black walnuts are actually edible. In order to derive an edible walnut, all you have to do is:
1. Gather the fallen black walnuts. They will be soft and mushy. They will stain your fingers and anything else they touch.
2. Step on them with shoes you don’t mind discoloring and roll them around on the driveway to remove the outer green skin and pulp, leaving the nutshell. Do not do this if you suffer from vertigo, dizziness or labyrinthitis.
3. Soak the partially cleaned nutshells in a bucket of water and scrape them clean with a wire brush. OR, if you happen to have a washing machine you have no other use for, you can put the nuts in that. Do not under any circumstances wash the walnuts in the same washing machine you will use for your clothes, as the nuts will dent the drum and stain everything else.
4. Lay out the cleaned nutshells on a screen and allow them to dry for 2 to 3 weeks in a cool dry place.
They should now be edible.
5. Bring out your industrial strength nutcracker to open them, but be careful of flying bits of nutshell that can be very sharp and could pierce your eyeball.
6. Enjoy the nuts.

I particularly liked Jerry’s jacket.

Next, I went to see CINDERELLA on Broadway with Numero Uno Granddaughter, Leda G.G.H.B. I expected every little girl in the audience to be dolled up in colorful and slightly tacky versions of Cinderella attire, and was somewhat disappointed at the preponderance of blue jeans. Though not on Numero Uno granddaughter, whose version of Cinderella Attire included: a long gown apparently from the 1970’s, a tasteful sweater with a deer (faun?) on it, a glitter headband and missing front teeth. We loved Cinderella. I appreciated that the stepsister with wanderlust and political leanings wore glasses.
Updated fairy tale was followed by a Sushi picnic on Metro North. Numero Uno granddaughter loves sushi. Not photographically documented was the miso soup spillage, which made rather a large mess but did not dampen our good spirits.

Then on Sunday, we walked out back to appreciate the 13-FOOT AFRICAN PYTHON SKIN. (I wanted CSB to lie down next to the python skin, for scale, but his dignity forbade such a ridiculous performance. My dignity would not have minded, but this was not suggested.) This was not our python skin, I regret to say, but our friend Merrill’s python skin. This python skin required the application of glycerin to soften it, and she thought our backyard would be an excellent place to accomplish this. We agreed, naturally. I did not learn if live pythons, that is pythons attached to their 13 feet of snakeskin, like to be rubbed all over with glycerin. But this snakeskin certainly gleamed after the application.

I could include in the highlights last night’s dinner chez Camilla and Aldo. But in the interests of brevity I will simply say: Antipasti by Aldo; Gnocchi a la Romana by Camilla, Rabbit stew (there must be a better word than stew) and caramelized onions by Aldo, Plum tart made with Zinfandel grapes by Camilla. Honey tasting by the bees of Montenegro, Rwanda, Southern Colorado, Bolivia, Block Island, Ontario and Hastings on Hudson.
Also of great interest was the ensuing discussion of the difference between and meaning of CHEF and COOK.

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