HOUSEKEEPING BY MAGIC – Marilyn Armstrong

One night, I explained to Garry about house-elves. He isn’t a big reader of fantasy, so some of this stuff was news to him. I told him if we left milk and cookies out, the little folk would come to our house.

Overnight, while we sleep, they would clean, scrub, repair, and cook. Fix the roof. Clear the snow. When we got up the next morning, the coffee would be ready along with delicious, fresh-baked goodies.

Homemade pound cake.

He looked at me. I think he wasn’t sure if he had heard me. “Is this like, real? Has this ever happened?”

“No,” I said. “Only in folk tales and fantasy novels. And Harry Potter. But wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? We could leave out milk, cookies, and an old pair of socks. Just in case.”

“Socks?”

“Yes. They use them as clothing.”

“Oh.”

Dobby_the_house_elf

One eyebrow went up. “You know some furry family members who would surely eat everything. And Bonnie would steal the socks. They might leave us a gift, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be freshly baked croissants … or a clean house.”

I’m sure I had him, if only for a few minutes. I think I could have turned him into a believer. Underneath our rationality, we want to believe in magic. Raw reality has such rough edges these days. It’s exhausting and frightening.

Give me myth and please pass the magic. It’s so much better than reality, isn’t it?

TASTING EVERYTHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m a firm believer in tasting each item on your plate separately. Why? Because I put effort into cooking each part of the meal and I want you to taste it.

I’m in favor of not mixing your whole meal into one gloppy mess. If I’ve made the effort to cook three or four separate components to make a meal for example chicken limone, garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh asparagus with a hint of butter sauce.

I want to be able to taste each part of the meal separately. I want YOU to taste each of them separately, too. If you are one of those people who mixes everything into one heap, I will sit across the table and glare malevolently at you until you finally ask me what’s wrong.

I will then tell you what is wrong. In considerable detail, probably more detail than you want to hear.

I will explain the intricacies of the preparation. not to mention the labor I put into producing these gourmet delights.  And how by mixing them, you have nullified my efforts and personally offended me.

Telling “But that’s the way I like it” will win you an invitation to go buy an everything pizza. You are not worthy of my table. If you have, perchance, put ketchup on it, just back away from the table and leave quietly. It’s for your own safety.

I have figured out that I’m not “typical” as far as this style of eating goes. I often feel like I should never bother to cook anything more complex than pasta or chili. Or stew. Why bother to make separate items if no one can tell which is which? Why not just throw it all in one pot and cook the hell out of it? It’s one of many reasons I’ve lost my interest in cooking.