Saturday, November 6, 2010

Common courtesy

Have you come out of a store or warehouse facility and had to lift that 42 pounds of litter up into your car or truck? Or that very heavy, bulky, unwieldly case of bottled water?
I did the other day.
Now getting it into the cart isn't as bad, as you are usually dropping it into the cart as opposed to lifting it up out of the high walled/sided cart into the vehicle.
Imagine my surprise while at the Coon Rapids, MN, Costco this past week and I heard a shout from the cart corral asking me if I wanted help to get the litter into my truck.
I turned around and here was a young man, Sam by name, and he was asking ME the question. At first instinct I thought no. Then as instantly as that thought came to mind, I turned to him and said that I would love some help.
Sam easily hefted both into the truck cab and I told him I could take care of the rest. And Thank You! He gave me a look that said that he was more than willing to finish the rest, but acquiesced nobly and went back to his work.
While getting into the truck after all was said and done, I dug out the cell phone and dialed Free411 to get the phone number of that particular Costco.
I called and mentioned what just had happened to me. I told the lady that answered that Sam was a great help to a 5'2.5" 68-year old woman. She was so surprised and asked me if I wanted to talk to his manager. I said that I definitely would and did so. He mentioned that the young man was standing right in front of him and I repeated that I was so grateful for that bit of common courtesy and to please Thank him again.
Sam, you will go far in your career, simply because your work ethic has allowed you to see beyond corralling carts. Your parents raised you very well. I am pleased to have been part of your life, you certainly lifted my day to the best quality for that particular incident.
Thank You.

Angel food cakes

When I was a youngster, I would ask my Mom to make angel food cakes for special occasions. Angel food cakes with berries, whether those were fresh or not, didn't matter. It was the cake, pure and simple. Now don't get me wrong, I love a chocolate cake or white cake with lemon filling along with the best of them, but the angel food cake had a special appeal for this kid.
When the cake was resting on that pop bottle, I called for dibs on the pan. Now my next youngest sibling didn't have a clue. Dee was all for the cake, berries and whipped cream. I, on the other hand couldn't wait for the pan, and I wasn't about to share that secret.
All this is brought back by today's program on PBS"s 'Cook's Country', the sister program of 'America's Test Kitchen'.
Now these two programs are the best thing to watch and learn by if you want to know the reasons why your food/meal comes out, or not, the way you want it to. Really an important method of schooling for all of us that have leanings to being called a 'foodie'. They also publish a magazine that solve all sorts of really terrific and important cooking issues, solved and perfected. Their equipment corner is a marvelous way to find equipment that will work in your kitchen, and not fall apart with usage, the best of the best. Look for it and see if you aren't intrigued by it and will buy it. A good read for any cook or budding culinary scientist.
Today's program, you guessed it, the seven rules to make a perfect angel food cake.
All said and done, for me, it is still about the dibs on the ooey, gooey remnants in the pan. The one I got dibs on. I don't know what it was and is about that part of the cake, but the cake runs a close second to the absolute delight to a child to get that part left on the pan.
Next time you make an angel food cake, snitch a bit of my childhood and sample that ooey, gooey remnant left in the pan. I still like it even when you buy an angel food from the store. Sometimes you will get lucky and that remnant left on the carton bottom is there.
You might just agree with me and bring back a wonderful memory of childhood....or create your own good memory for your adulthood.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All in a day's work

While in the Twin Cities the other day, I saw the cutest thing.
A lady was out jogging with her fairly large dog along side her on its leash.
What made it so memorable was that the dog had a water bottle in its mouth, and carrying it very proudly with its head up. AND there was water in the bottle. Now I am not sure if the bottle was for the dog or the lady jogger. Unfortunately, I was in a stream of traffic so that I wasn't able to pull over and ask.
The sight of the two of them out for a wonderful days jog made my day. It wasn't much, and I am not rubber-necking as I drive, I was stopped at a light and that's when the observance took place. I see so many things when I am out and about. It just takes a bit of time to absorb the world around you. Keep your eye on the traffic, mind you, but when you have the time, watch the Good Lord's world around you. You might be surprised at what you see and can learn.