I got DOB some authentic German sauerkraut and canned sausages for Xmas. Back then, she was surviving on saltines, Velveeta and powdered milk. Except for the days I’d make us all dinner, or the things I’d tell her clueless son to add to her grocery list. She still had a tooth back then too, and we all still pretended she was independent. Since then, she’s rediscovered the joys of TV dinners and other prepared meals, liquid protein shakes and snack-sized sugar-free pudding. She has a refrigerator that actually chills colder than the cold water faucet, a microwave she uses correctly most of the time, and somebody who makes sure her shopping list gives a minimal chin nod at nutritional sufficiency. She keeps talking about making dinner for all of us, but is apparently waiting for some body to wind her up and get things going, I’m not quite sure how that works.
Yesterday I got a new German pressure cooker that kicks my old leaky-handled 35 year old pressure cooker’s sorry butt. It came with a cook book. I proposed to make German sausages (locally made artisan burgundy pork sausage with sage and warm potato salad with caraway seeds), assuming I’d make this together with DOB’s bottle of sausage and glass of sauerkraut. You know what they say about assuming. There’s no “i” in assuming, mother fucker.
Note to self: Next time you buy her food to cook, pick something you actually like, regardless of the fact that the pressure cooker will cook anything to the masticatory consistency of oatmeal.
UCC: Tonight I’ll do the German meal in the pressure cooker…
TCG: The what now?
UCC: … that DOB has been talking about wanting since Xmas.
WISIMH: And the one we talked about last night from the new pressure cooker book. And the one I was reading to you last night. And the one you got the burgundy sausage yesterday to use. And the one that I all but carved on your forehead in the blood of a freshly strangled white peacock, backwards, so you could read it when you looked in the mirror.
TCG: German Meal? No, no, no, no. SHE wants to make dinner for US. (Pause to deliberate) Iuppose it would be ok if you’d make the potatoes in your pressure cooker.
WISIMH: Give me a fucking break. You don’t know how this is gonna go down? Oh what the hell, I’ll play along.
UCC: That’s cool. Talk to her about it to confirm she wants to do it tonight. I’ll need an hour to put together the potatoes and get the tv tables set up and wine poured et. al.
TCG: Great. I’ll get back to ya.
(Insert time passing by focusing camera on institutional clock with the hands turning about an hour.)
TCG: Know how we said you were going to cook the potatoes and DOB was going to do the sauerkraut and sausages?
WISIMH: I know where this is going, but if I was to attempt to cut to the chase, he’d be left half a lap behind, puffing and blowing and being kafluffled all to hell. In the end, it’s easier to wait it out.
TCG: And how we said we’d time it to all come out together and then she’d come over here so you could put things on the same plate at the same time and serve them to us at our chair by the tv where we’ll sit and wait and drink the wine you thoughtfully poured?
Ok, I made that last part up.
TCG: Well, what do you think about putting it all into the pressure cooker using the nifty trivet and steamer try to separate the layers and whatnot?
UCC: That’s actually what the recipe I read to you and discussed in some detail actually calls for. Coincidently, it’s what I proposed both last night and just now.
TCG: Then, let’s keep the option open, and I’ll check with DOB.
(Insert scene where that institutional clock creeps ahead about ten minutes while I gouge my eyes out with an antique pin and blood pours down my silently screaming face.)
TCG: (Returning from visiting DOB’s room) Here’s the sauerkraut and the sausages. Can you do the whole thing and we’ll call DOB when it’s time for her to come over and gum dinner with us.
UCC: You betcha!
WISIMH: Didn’t that work out best for us after all? Kinda like we wouldn’t have had Camus’ masterpiece “The Plague” but for that pesky little yersina pestis? Some would say it’s karma. I prefer to say it’s a healthy shot of butterscotch liquor in my pomegranate juice.