It’s been a somewhat atypical weekend in Johan-land.. Man, things were simpler when describing my weekends usually just entailed doing a write-up of whatever I remembered of last night’s drunken escapades.. It kinda seems a while since I’ve done something like that.. Maybe I really am growing up and turning more mature?
Naaah! Maybe I’ve just been a little too busy.. Either way, the most normal thing to happen during the weekend was actually me spending (yet another) Friday night in the comfort of my home working on my assignment and resisting the urge to go out and part-take in mindless intoxication activities.. I know, boo, but a boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do! Either way, the spending 12 hours of the day on school work aspect aside, it really wasn’t too bad.
Saturday, in stark contrast, started off in a somewhat badder manner. Now, I don’t know what the fudge I’d been up to whilst asleep at night, but whatever it was it involved pulling my triceps muscle in my left arm which makes for an interesting experience especially for lefties such as myself. The pain I experienced when I woke up wasn’t actually too bad.. As long as I didn’t try to either fully extend or bend my arm. It was the every day activities that proved a bit challenging.. You know you’re in trouble when activities such as washing your hair (however long) becomes a painstaking experience, and it wasn’t till after chowing down on a healthy serving of painkillers that I managed to actually pull a t-shirt over my head.. The swallowing of the painkillers themselves being a bit of a problem as taking a gulp of water with a non-functional left arm is a bit of a challenge for a leftie..
Either way, I didn’t have much time for complaints as I had rather unusual plans for the day.. I was to spend my Saturday afternoon at uni doing proof reading, printing and stitching together of my assignment. Unusual, you say? But why? Lemme tell you, my dear friends.. In my five years at university, this is the first Saturday that I have spent at uni which didn’t involve being intoxicated in one way or another and rather centered around serious work.. For shame! But hey, contrary to my expectations, it wasn’t all bad.. I had Christian there for company, and Lea, too, as she just happened to drop by for a nice, loving exchange of insults and catching up.. Actually, all we were missing were a couple of beers and we could’ve had ourselves a healthy, good time!
I ended up leaving uni at around 4 PM, heading to the store on my way home and picking up some edibles and heading home to do dishes and clean up a bit. I’d made dinner arrangements with my mom and her new boyfriend, Klaus, so my mom was to arrive to pick me up at around 5:20 and drive me back to her place – which she did pretty much on cue. I didn’t know, however, if she’d be bringing Klaus along so I figured I’d better tidy up a bit.. An activity I could’ve spared myself because not only did she not bring Klaus, she didn’t even come in.. Oh well.. Off we went!
When we arrived back at my mom’s, I found out that the reason Klaus hadn’t tagged along was that he’d brought his lil’, ol’ dog, Viktor, for the weekend and wanted to stay back and watch him which was fine by me coz I love dogs and apparently Viktor loved me, too, spending most of the night clinged to my leg.. For reasons totally unrelated to me continuosuly scratching him behind the ear and slipping him pieces of roast pork, I’m sure!
Speaking of roast pork, it was what was for dinner. Admittedly, it’s not a cut I’m too fond of, but it can be good at times and last night was actually one of those surprising exceptions. Interestingly enough, for someone being invited over for dinner, I reckon I ended up doing a lot of work. I’d barely even made it in the door before I was asked to help cover up my mom’s far and then walk the dog.. Which was actually pretty fine for me because I love walking and I love dogs, but eh.. I’d barely made it back in from the walk before Klaus wanted to show me the “perfect pancake batter to impress anybody”. I told him he’d be more than welcome to but that it’d be futile as in my world, Tina makes the pancakes, and that’s just how it is.. There are things I’ll go to extreme lengths to experiment with and try to perfect and things that I just don’t touch because Tina already does them so well.. Pancakes being one of those.
So, Klaus set out on guiding me through a no-measure recipe for pancakes that I will probably never use and after that he set out to create an appetizer of smoked salmon which he got about half-way through before realizing that my mom was out of any kind of dressing that’d suit the salmon at which point he looked at me and shrugged his shoulders in a “well, you do something!” kinda way.. Which meant that it was apparently now up to me to come up with an on-the-fly dressing for smoked salmon.. Um, okay, a quick rundown of ingredients in the fridge revealed some dijon mustard as the best base for the dressing to be.. I decided on a bunch of brown sugar to cancel out most of the heat and found some black pepper and sea salt for seasoning. Looking around, I discovered (much to my surprise) some basil infused vinegar and eventually decided to stir everything into a vinaigrette, using sunflower oil for the oil as my mom apparently doesn’t believe in the wonders of olive oil, and adding a bit of herbes de Provence for flavor.. The result was actually approved.
By now things turned even more fun as my mom apparently cracked under the pressure of having to cook for all of two people and suddenly found herself not knowing what to do.. Especially not when she realized that the crackling on her pork roast had turned soft rather than crunchy.. After having told her not to worry and demonstrated how proper leveling of the hunk of meat and a few minutes under the broiler could crisp things up, she apparently deducted that I’d finish things up for her and sat down to have a smoke, leaving me to worry about resting the roast, heating up a side dish, frying some potatoes she’d completely forgotten about and building a sauce.. Strangely enough, it wasn’t even till I’d started heating red cabbage, gotten the first strage of reduction for the sauce going and a bunch of potato rösti sizzling away that I turned around and went “Hey, what just happened here? This all seems oddly familiar”
Eh, either way, good times.. We slipped in the smoked salmon appetizer while the sauce base was simmering away, I then added more meat juice happiness and a bit of cream while forcing my mom to take part in her cooking adventure by actually slicing the roast which was then served up by Klaus.. Just to, y’know, get everybody involved in the process, I’m sure.. Either way, the result was good and my sauce even recieved praise from Klaus who had, in his days, apparently trained under a rather talented French sauce chef.. So being praised by him was pretty cool, and eventually resulted in a rather lengthy discussion (as in about half an hour) about the wonders of reduction in cooking, demi-glace and grande glace which left my mom shaking her head and looking a little perplexed.
The dinner experience culminated in Klaus’ no-measurements needed pancakes which nearly ended in disaster after Klaus, following a few glasses of wine challenged me to do an in air flip of the pancakes. I told him that while I know how to do said stunt, it wouldn’t be possible given the shape and the size of the sides of the pan he was using. He, in turn, wanted to prove me wrong and ended up nearly scrambling all three pancakes in the process.. Nice attempt, though! 😛 Even so, they still made it to the table and while they were good – I especially dug the addition of Cointreau – I’m sorry, Mr French Chef, Tina’s pancakes win this challenge – no comparison.. So, on the rarer occasion that I crave pancakes, I think I’ll turn to her..
Good things did come from the pancakes, though, such as a nice shot of Cointreau and another geek meets geek moment as Klaus and I started discussing the wonders of Islay whisky for a good hour or so. Klaus, apparently, is leading a trip to Islay this spring which not only impressed me, but also served to piss me right off.. Because, damnit, I wanna go.. On the other hand, though, I managed to stump and impress him by (through my membership of the Friends of Laphroaig club) being able to show proof of ownership on a piece of land on the fair island of Islay.. Again, I feel like we really connected, and left my mom feeling ever so slightly confused and out of the loop once again.. Good times!
In all honesty, I’m glad my mom has found someone who makes her happy and that I can actually relate to and share common interests with.. I know this surprises a lot of people, but that’s just how it is.. And I hope it’s at least a good kind of surprise. All in all, I ended up feeling pretty happy with the experience but rather worn out as I walked on home.. And still, as I arrived home, I wasn’t able to get to bed.. Which was really just typical.. So I stayed up till about 5 AM, watching random videos on Youtube and what have you before finally turning in.
Wow, this rant is turning rather long, huh? Well, that’s probably owing to the next and final weird aspect of this weekend.. Me actually having an entire Sunday to spend with no plans what so ever and no things that crave my attention or need doing.. I’m not even ignoring or postponing things, I really have an entire day off with nothing to do.. Wow, I’d kinda forgotten how that was like.. And my mom is right, I’m having a hard time finding out how to spend my time.. But I won’t let you, dear readers, suffer under that much longer, I’ll cut offf this post by now..