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:
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.