Wednesday, October 6, 2010

San Antonio Trip -- I Know Where I Am Now!

Ah, cool, sweet air, just a bit of a chill, perfect gumbo weather. In Texas in September? Who are you kidding? It was getting nice and warm while I was there, just like back home.

Still, they wanted gumbo, and I had brought my cast iron pots and tons of ingredients. So when I woke up again Saturday morning rather early I knew if I was going to cook gumbo after we spent a day doing all kinds of other things, I needed to get going.

Also, a request had been put in for vegetarian gumbo. I had never heard of such a thing being attempted, but I am willing to try almost anything legal and non-lethal once. Even if MawMaw Couvillion is rolling in her grave, I had to at least try.

A roux takes time, and I needed more bananas for me and some vegetable stock to fall back on if I didn't end up with enough of my own. I am also used to getting out and going shopping on Saturdays, so I set out in a spirit of adventure and went back to the little gas station where the lady had been so helpful when I first arrived.

As soon as I asked my question, a man started giving me very confident directions, but I knew something was wrong as soon as I set out. I drove around and found a couple of short cuts back to where I had started. I also stopped to ask another person who said there was no grocery store in the area, that I had to get back on the Loop to get to one. Back to the service station I went, to ask the clerk herself.

She smiled when she saw me and said, "He sent you the wrong way, but I couldn't say anything in front of him." I understood, you don't insult a paying customer, so she told me the simplest directions in the world. I followed them to the letter, and there it was -- grocery, Game Stop, Sally Beauty Supply, a couple of restaurants and various other shops, I know where I am now! Middle America!

I found what I needed and got change. Sweetie loves big bills for travel. I hate them. No gas stations want them, and if they don't have enough change in the register, you are stuck. So now that I had change I thanked the nice people who had helped me out twice and went back to their station to fill up.

Back at Grace's house I made coffee, started the roux, and got to chopping. It was so ordinary, just like at home. I used some of the leavings from the veggies, and a few carrots I snuck from the fridge, and made more vegetable stock to add to what I had bought. I also got Grace to help me find the radio station I like.

As I chopped I had to work quickly to swoop down on every bit of onion that I dropped. I don't spill much most of the time, but I know that dogs love onion, and it is poison to them. It was close, but as quick as Mo and Lo are, I managed to get it up before them each time.

Since I filled the garbage bag again, I asked Grace where the broom lived and swept under the counter where the can is, as it looked like Neil had missed with half a bag of chips at some point. I also got the rest of anything I might have spilled, because I didn't want to come home to sick doggies.

By the time I had stock and roux and veggies and everything in the fridge for later with a tidy kitchen, it was time for us to head out and meet up with the others. A restaurant was selected, and we left in good spirits.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Egypt

German Pioneer Day -- Pennsylvania

Ivy Day -- Ireland

Mad Hatter Day (A second crazy day in the year, to balance April Fool's Day)

National German-American Day

National Noodle Day

Physician Assistant Day

St. Faith's Day (patron of prisoners, soldiers)

St. Bruno's Day

Anniversaries Today:

American Library Association founded in 1876

Birthdays Today:

Elisabeth Shue, 1963
Britt Ekland, 1942
Carole Lombard, 1908
Le Corbusier, 1887
George Westinghouse, 1846
Jenny Lind, 1820

Today in History:

The Cimbri inflict the heaviest defeat on the Roman Republic army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus in the Battle of Arausio, BC105
Founding of Germantown, Pennsylvania by 13 Mennonite families from Germany, 1683
The Americans and French begin the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, which becomes the last battle of the American Revolutionary War, 1781
Benjamin Hanks patents a self-winding clock, 1783
Louis XVI accedes to the demands of the women of Paris and returns to that city, 1789
Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead begins shortly after midnight, leads to 53 deaths and hundreds of injuries, 1854
The American Chess Association is organized and holds the first major US chess tournament, in NYC, 1857
The American Library Association is organized in Philadelphia, 1876
Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture, 1889
Nabisco Foods debuts its Cream of Wheat, 1893
Beatrix Van Rijk becomes the first licensed Dutch woman pilot, 1911
Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent talking movie, 1927
Egypt launches a coordinated attack against Israel to reclaim land lost in the Six Day War, 1973
Massacre of students gathering at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand to protest the return of ex-dictator Thanom, 1976
Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit the White House, 1979
President of Egypt, Anwar al-Sadat is assassinated, 1981
51 Pegasi is discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting around it, 1995
Jason Lewis completes the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe, 2007

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