Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Electrifying Tale and a little Fruit Salad...

     Sorry for the radio silence last week.  We've got a few home improvement projects going on at the moment.  I'll be sharing more with you in a few weeks, but one of the more "exciting" moments of our project happened last week.

     Our house was built in the 60's.  There have been a few digital gadgets invented since then that require electricity (you know, like everything) so when the lights in the living room dimmed occasionally, we figured there was too much stuff plugged in.  The breaker popped every time I ran the microwave and dishwasher at the same time, we figured it was all just part of having an older house.  Long about December, lights all over the house started flickering. "Probably just too many Christmas lights plugged in," we thought, "But might as well have that checked out.  Maybe get them to move the microwave to a different breaker.  And that wire over there in the living room never has looked great, we'll have someone look at that." 

     After a disappointing series of no-shows from one particular local company (4!), I asked my gal Danika who she uses.  She gave me a name and I called up the nice man at Bowie Electric Service and Supplies.  His guy actually showed up!  Random, right?  It's like he enjoys his job or something.

     He came last Friday.  It wasn't supposed to be a big deal.  Maybe he'd even be able to fix it on his first inspection.  Let me just say, friends, that when your electrician says he hears buzzing in your breaker box, that's a small deal.  When he says he has to take the meter off to check it.  That's a medium size deal .  When he yells "Oh [Expletive Deleted]!" when he opens that meter.  That's a really, really big, big deal.  When he starts throwing around words like "your house" and "fire" and "explode" just forget about it.   It's a GINORMOUS deal.  And when the deal gets to be GINORMOUS?  Well, friends, you start shoving money down your electrician's throat with wild abandon shouting, "HERE!  MONEY!  FIX!  FIX!  MORE MONEY!!  YES, GOODNESS, YES!  FIX!!"   Then he will gently extricate his lapel from your clammy death claws and quietly explain it's a two-man job and they'll be here Monday, but fortunately, "I can leave you with half power."     Or maybe that's just...uuhhh... me....

     So this weekend, I've been brewing a strange concoction of annoyance and gratitude over the fact that half the outlets in the house work.   No oven, the fridge plugged into an outlet across the kitchen, but the dishwasher, microwave, toaster and kitchen lights all worked.  But no washing machine.  And no heat.  And we've been playing a fun little game with all the light switches called "The Power's Out, Dummy!"  I expect Wham-O! will be releasing the board game version shortly.  I hear Mr. T is going to do the voice over.  It's the most fun when you're running late, half asleep, in the dark looking for socks and click the light switch three times before you remember.  It makes you feel smart.  But then the whole, "we didn't have to throw out a week's worth of groceries" thing is nice, too.  And the whole, "we didn't have to stay in a hotel for three nights" thing, you know... there's that.  First world problems...

     You know how when you're going to make a meal for someone who has dietary restrictions all you can think of is food they can't eat?  Gluten free? Let's make pasta! No.  Couscous! No.  Vegan? Hey!  Cheese covered egg dish with cream!  No.  Yeah, that's kind of how it's been with me trying to cook this weekend.  I played "The Power's Out, Dummy!" with pizza, banana bread, roast veggies, and vegetarian pot pie this weekend.  I hardly ever make pot pies, but darned if I didn't absolutely need one this weekend!  Oh well.  C'est La Vie. 

     But one thing I love that doesn't require heating of any kind is fruit salad and as it happens, it's also gluten-free and vegan! My Mom used to make one like this when I was a kid.  I usually make it with whatever fruit I have on hand, so it turns out a little different every time.  This is how I made this one:

Fruit Salad
Serves 4
1 apple, cubed
1 orange, segmented
1 tangerine, segmented
1/4 C almonds
1/4 C orange juice
2 Tbs shredded, unsweetened coconut

Combine the fruit and nuts.  Stir in the juice and coconut.  Serve immediately.

Bananas or mangoes would be great in this, and pecans or walnuts are great in place of the almonds.

     And by the way, I'm currently sitting in my home enjoying a warm room (heated by my electric furnace), a cup of hot coffee (created in my electric coffee maker), and I'm contemplating serving pot pies for dinner (made in my electric oven).  God bless Ben Franklin.  God bless Thomas Edison.  And God Bless Bowie Electric.


  1. Oh my, what a story! We had a flickering light problem in the dining room of our rental home, but we found out that the wrong type of light bulb was being used. I have heard that attic rats can chew through wiring though so I was worried you were going to start talking about rats :) Glad you have the problem under control and everyone is safe!

    1. No! Lordy! No rats!! We don't actually have an attic or a crawl space underneath our house, so we get a mouse or two every now and then, but nothing as big as a rat. ICK!! Oh man, you just made me realize how this could have been so much worse! Hah! =)

  2. Whew, so glad to hear all is ok now! Now you're making me wonder about our old wiring...hmmm. So frustrating to wait on service workers, never mind if they don't show! Enjoy cooking again. And fruit salad will always be a hit, power or no power!

    1. If anything flickers or dims, run to your nearest electrician! Otherwise, you're probably fine, Hannah!


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