dinsdag 22 november 2011

Mo's slapstick like goulash

Ingredients (feeds 2 big eaters):
- one big or two smaller onions
- garlic (as many cloves as you like.. I usually use 2 or 3)
- 1/2 fresh red pepper
- hand full of mushrooms
- 1/2 liter water
- salt, pepper
- sweet soy sauce
- 2 or 3 bay leafs
- tomatoe purée
- about 300 grams of beef
- cornstarch
- butter

Get the onions out of the cupboard, at least try to but since the doorknob flew off when you moved the dryer, you're left with the doorknob in your hand and the cupboard still closed. Bend down to open the door by hand and get the onions. Put the doorknob back on the door and close it. Slice the onions.. no need to slice them finely since they'll be in the pan for over two hours.

Walk around the old washing machine that you put in the middle of the kitchen so the new one could be put in the right place and get the red pepper out of the fridge. Walk back to the cutting board (again avoiding the washing machine) and remove the inside part of the red pepper. Slice half of it in parts (again no need to slice it finely).

Go back to the cupboard and open it.... doorknob in hand, no open door.. open it by bending down and gripping the door again and get the garlic. Put the doorknob back on, shake your head and close the door. Use two cloves and remove the skin, crush the cloves.

Go back to the fridge.. look out for the washing machine!! and get the mushrooms. You can use as much as you like or as little or none if you don't like them at all. Walk back to the cutting board, avoid the washing machine!, clean them and slice them as fine as you want them to be.

Go back to the fridge.. yeah yeah.. the washing machine I know! and get some butter. Go back into the living room since the lighter is there and you need it to light the burner. Walk back into the kitchen. Melt the butter in a pan that will hold at least 750 ml. When the butter is melted, walk around your washing machine.. and get the sliced ingredients. Avoid the washing machine again and add the onions, red pepper and mushrooms to the melted butter and saute them. Add the garlic and saute that with the rest.

Go to the cupboard to get the salt and pepper, open the door... doorknob in hand.. bend down.. get the salt and pepper.. laugh out loud, put the doorknob back and close the door. Add salt and pepper to the rest of the ingredients. Remember you forgot to get the sweet soy sauce and go back to the cupboard, open it... doorknob in hand, door still closed, bend down.... and get the sweet soy sauce. Use as much as you like, I usually use about one/one and a half teaspoon. Add to the rest of the ingredients. Don't forget to stirr once in a while! Put salt, pepper, sweet soy sauce back in the cupboard... yeah by now you know the drill... doorknob in hand, bend down, open the door, shake head, laugh, put doorknob back while looking for a screwdriver and close door. Right after you closed the door remember about the bay leaves... open, doorknob, bend, get bay leaves, put doorknob back, grin, close door. Put the bay leaves in the pan.

Heat 1/2 liter of water in a water cooker. If you're smart your tomatoe purée will still be in a tin.. but since I frooze the left over purée from last time... I have to walk around the washing machine, open the freezer, get the ice cube tray that holds my tomatoe purée, look at it wondering how to get the cubes out, feel it start freezing to my hand, use some warm water to losen the cubes and put 4 cubes in the pan (about 2 or 3 table spoons). Put the rest of the purée back into the freezer (if you like, otherwise get rid of it or store it some other way).

Stirr all the ingredients,walk around the washing machine, think of  moving it out of the way, but since you're almost done now.. what's the point really, get the water, walk around the washing machine again, and add it to the pan. Since the water is boiling hot, it doesn't take long for everything in the pan to be back at boiling point. Add the beef, get the whole thing back to boiling and then put the burner on simmer. Let it simmer for about 2 hours.

Look at the washing machine and move it to a place in the kitchen where you don't have to walk around it every single time you need something. Get a screwdriver and tighten that darn doorknob on the cupboard so it doesn't fall off every time you want something out of the cupboard. Now... take a deep breath... get a bottle of wine, get the corkscrew, tilt the bottle just a little too much while you're taking out the cork. Sigh, shake head again. Put the bottle down, walk back into the kitchen to get a cloth to remove the spilled wine. Poor yourself a glass of wine, get on the couch, take a deep breath and remember how great life is, right at this moment ;).

* finishing the recipe is easy.. after about two hours, get the beef out of the pan, slice it into cubes and put the beef back into the pan. Taste the sauce to see if there's enough salt, pepper etc in it. When satisfied, use the cornstarch to bind the sauce. You can serve this dish with rice and a nice salad. Ooh and it's a lot easier to make if your cupboard doorknob isn't broken and your washing machine isn't in the middle of the kitchen ;)

zondag 20 november 2011

Adieu washing machine

Monday, november 14th 2011

I got up on time, gathered my laundry, put it in the washing machine and while I was cleaning house I heard it making all kinds of noises.. except the ones it is supposed to make. I took half of the load out of the machine, hoping I just overloaded it and tried again, but nope... no go. My dryer stands on top of my washing machine, so I had to take that one off in order to take a good look at the washing machine. I'm 1.59m, so taking it off was like David trying to beat Goliath by picking him up from the floor.

I got the dryer off without hurting myself too much.. (still have to repare the doorknob of my cupboard though that came flying off when the dryer hit it). I took all the laundry out of the washing machine and took the top off, to take a look at it (all the while searching on the internet for things that could be wrong with it and solutions for those problems.. it seems that there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a washing machine... and not that many solutions that you can implement yourself). I stared at the inside of the machine and knew that there was nothing I could do that wouldn't involve taking the machine apart. Don't get me wrong.. I'm very good at taking things apart.. it's the building them together again part that doesn't go too well with me. I always have screws and bolts left by the time I'm done. But hey.. if it works without those.. then they shouldn't have been in there in the first place!

I gave up on the idea of being able to fix my machine myself and started doing my laundry by hand, women all around the world have been doing that for years and years and some of them still are doing that, so no problem for this girl! (it sucks though, I mean rinsing the clothes, getting the water out as much as you can, still  left with a pile of dripping wet clothes, wondering if your dryer is gonna die too if you put those in there, your arms sore, sweat dripping from your head... ok ok I'm being drama queen about it, but lets just say 'hooray for the invention of the washing machine!'

After having done my laundry by hand, I started to think about how old the machine was, how many moves it survived, how I put in a new pump, replaced the belt, tightend the seal on the drum so the leakage would stop. I know my washing machine better than I know some of my friends! So with pain in my heart I say: thank you my dear washing machine for the good times, the bad times, for all the loads of laundry you cleaned for me, for all the times I had to tip you over to see what was wrong now. For the times you shocked me because there was something wrong with the wiring. For the sense of accomplishment you gave me after I fixed you once again. For making me feel like a winner, because you would work perfectly after I replaced something. I'm sorry I can't fix you anymore, but you've played your part in my life and it's time to let you go. Bon voyage, wherever you end up!


Maandag 14 november 2011

Ik stond op tijd op, verzamelde mijn was, deed het in de wasmachine en terwijl ik de rest van het huis schoonmaakte, hoorde ik dat de machine allerlei geluiden maakte, behalve die geluiden die hij hoorde te maken. Ik haalde de helft van mijn was uit de machine, hopend dat ik er gewoon teveel in had gedaan en probeerde het weer.... dat hielp niet. Mijn droger staat bovenop mijn wasmachine, dus die moest ik ervan afhalen zodat ik eens goed in de wasmachine kon kijken. Ik ben 1,59m, dus het verwijderen van de droger was hetzelfde als wanneer David had geprobeerd om Goliath van de grond te tillen.

Ik kreeg de droger eraf zonder mezelf al te erg zeer te doen.. (moet trouwens nog steeds de knop van de kastdeur weer goed vastzetten aangezien die eraf vloog toen hij geraakt werd door de droger). Ik haalde alle was eruit en haalde de bovenkant eraf, zodat ik de binnenkant eens goed kon bekijken (onderwijl zocht ik op het internet naar dingen die mogelijkerwijs de oorzaak waren en naar de bijbehorende oplossingen. Nu blijkt dat er erg veel mis kan gaan met een wasmachine en dat er erg weinig dingen zijn die je zelf kunt doen om dat weer op te lossen). Ik staarde naar de binnenkant en begreep als snel dat er weinig was dat ik kon doen waarbij ik niet de hele machine uit elkaar moest halen. Begrijp me niet verkeerd.. ik ben een kei in het uit elkaar halen van dingen... het is het weer in elkaar zetten waar ik moeite mee heb. Ik heb altijd schroeven en bouten over als ik klaar ben. Maar ja... als het ook werkt zonder die onderdelen... dan hadden ze er sowieso niet in moeten zitten!

Ik gaf het idee dat ik mijn machine kon maken als snel op en begon mijn was op de hand te doen, vrouwen over de hele wereld hebben dit jaren en jaren gedaan en sommige vrouwen doen dat nog steeds, dus geen probleem voor deze meid! (het is wel lastig hoor.. ik bedoel, uitspoelen, zoveel mogelijk water eruit wringen, toch nog een stapel natte kleding hebben waarvan je je afvraagt of het wel een goed idee is om die in de droger te doen en of je je droger niet vermoord als je dat inderdaad doet. Zere armen, zweet op je voorhoofd.. ja ja.. ik weet het.. ik ben een drama queen, maar laten we zeggen 'Hoera voor de uitvinding van de wasmachine!'

Nadat ik mijn was op de hand had gedaan vroeg ik me af hoe oud de machine eigenlijk was, hoeveel verhuizingen hij overleefd had, ik herinnerde me dat ik de pomp en de aandrijfsnaar vervangen had. Hoe ik zelf de band om de trommel steviger aangedraaid had zodat hij niet meer zou lekken. Ik ken mijn wasmachine beter dan ik sommige van mijn vrienden ken! Dus met pijn in mijn hart zeg ik: dank je lieve wasmachine, voor de goede tijden, de slechte tijden, voor alle wasladingen die je voor me gewassen hebt, voor alle keren dat ik je schuin tegen de muur moest zetten om te kijken wat er nu weer aan mankeerde. Voor alle keren dat je me een schok gaf omdat er iets met de bedrading niet goed was. Voor het gevoel iets echts gedaan te hebben als ik je weer gemaakt had. Omdat je me als een winnaar liet voelen omdat je het elke keer weer perfect deed als ik een onderdeel vervangen had. Het spijt me dat ik je dit keer niet kan maken. Je hebt je rol gespeeld in mijn leven en het wordt tijd om je te laten gaan. Bon voyage, waar je ook terecht komt!