Sunday, October 23, 2005

Manicotti on the Square

I made manicotti for our company last night, that and sweet potato soup. It's a very good soup recipe that never fails to please. The manicotti is good too, but, due to the intensive preparation that it requires, I seldom make it.


Some of the ingredients were already at hand — garlic, onions, chicken, carrots, and spices — but I had to shop for the rest on Friday — manicotti, cream cheese, ricotta etc. Sadly missing from both lists was mozzarella. It's hard to be me. As careful as I think I'm being, as careful as I try to be, I have a dreadful propensity to forget one ingredient. I have lost count of the number of times that I have been forced to return to the grocery store for just one single, solitary ingredient, an item that I forgot just the day before or even just hours ago. It always seems to be just one ingredient.


Some of us you are greatly blessed to possess the meticulous gene. I am sure that there is such a gene, and, no doubt, by now it is clear to you that I have missed out; I simply and clearly am not imbued with this little genetic wonder. My life is full of examples of careless oversights. Fortunately, however, I also am also bereft of the memory gene, so I forget most of the more embarrassing predicaments in which I have become embroiled.


I do remember one incident, however. It serves as a good illustration of how careless I can be. I was a teenager writing an algebra exam. You know how they always give you a few easy questions at the beginning of math tests, questions to get you on a roll, questions for the non-brainiacs who are sure to wipe out on the more demanding problems as they build in complexity? This one was in that first section, the gimme section. I remember it well: 52= ? While I freely and readily confess to never having a particularly sharp aptitude for math, I wasn't all that terrible at it either: not as good as at English, for example, but even I knew the answer to the square of 5 (25 in case you doubt me). Can't get much simpler as a matter of fact.


Except that I wrote down, 10 — which is exactly what the answer would have been if the question had been: 5 + 5 = ? Which is, of course, how my brain happened to skew the question in that particular moment. As soon as I got the paper back, my error jumped out at me, and, not for the first time, I began to bang my head on the desk. The best thing about doing that, I can now report, is that it feels very good when you stop; it feels most excellent actually.


Regardless: the example serves to demonstrate that I mean exactly what I say when I confess that I am prone to making careless errors. I do this with such regularity that I have a hunch that my extra trips to the grocery store have now consumed enough gas to have paid for a flight to Tahiti and an ensuing two-week, luxury vacation. I'm not sure that it would have paid for the return flight as well, but who really cares? It's all only a hunch though because my forget gene doesn't really allow me to accurately count the number of needless grocery store runs that I have made.


 

9 comments:

Simply Coll said...

I bet the manicotti and potato soup tasted great!
From one who is missing the cooking gene :-)

Christi said...

I have that same gene missing! When I used to teach at DJJ, we would have reward lessons where I taught functional skills, and I would let the boys cook something and eat it. It never failed, and they always had a good laugh about it (or sometimes got mad depending on what it was!), that I would forget one important ingredient needed to make the item that day! We made the best out of most of our meals, though, and it actually taught them a lot about adapting and adjusting. Surely, if you think about it, somewhere or another you've pulled out some lesson or something....like don't forget the mozzarella next time!

I've never heard of sweet potato soup. Is it hard to make? I absolutely LOVE sweet potatoes!

Chelsea said...

Thank you for this technical explaination. Now I can rest easy knowing why I am the way I am.

Sweet potato soup sounds wonderful. Would you share your recipe?

defiant goddess said...

Aw, poor thing. Well, admitting it is the first step. :)

methatiam said...

Lord, if I must continue to do stupid things, give me the bliss of a bad memory and good friends who won’t keep reminding me!

Bonita said...

If your gene theory is accurate, and we inherit the genes for good cooking or 'forgetting', why is my twin so great as a cook, and I'm not? And, she is so bright! I wish I could be just like her, but, I'm not...

Loner said...

I have absolutely missed the meticulousness gene - thus my Martha Stewart envy...

Heather said...

Right there with you, AC. I could probably join you on that vacation, having made many return trips myself. Fortunately, there is a grocery store within walking distance, so I at least can get some exercise while I'm returning to the store.

And my worst memory of carelessness in school was when I got 99 out of 100 on a spelling test because I FORGOT TO CROSS THE "T" IN MY NAME!

Lora said...

I'm always forgetting that one ingredident at for a recipe too. I have my husband convinced that I can't be confind to follow a recipe due to my culinary creativity, but really it's because I'm a little absentminded.