Monday, June 6, 2011
Water, water everywhere, nary a drop to flush
We take a lot for granted in our lives, and are usually pulled up by the short hairs when things go awry and stuff doesn't work like it should. Recently we had such a day at our house....after working all day, then coming home and making pies for an auction, salad for a Cinco de Mayo lunch at work the next day, and throwing dinner together, I walked over to the sink to rinse something off and when I pulled up the handle on the faucet, nothing came out. Brain: "WTH?" Hand: "Do it again...you must have screwed it up!" Mouth: "HONEY....we don't have any water. Crap". Handsome Stranger looks at me from his easy chair with a blank stare. He gets up, follows me to the kitchen, and does the same thing I just did. Nothing. Mouth: "Wow. I never thought to try THAT"; he makes no comment to my smartassery, just shuffles off to find his shoes and a flashlight and heads out to the pump house. Pump comes on, buzzes for 5 seconds then shuts off. Hmmm. No gurgle, splash or trickle of water into the cistern, just a dry silence. Nuts.
We've lived with a well for about 15 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me that we are never prepared for it going down. Altho old-timey wells with a handle are nice at times like this, it's ever so much more pleasant to have one that does all the work for you....pumping enough water to use in a day would probably result in us all being musclebound freaks who have to tear the sleeves off every shirt we own. And it happens more than you'd think....we live in the black forest, have above ground electrical cables, and trees delight in falling or dropping their branches on wires just to pay us back for chopping down one of their friends and cremating the remains just to toast our marshmallows. Once we had one tiny branch that forked itself over the wire right near the house, and ice built up on it until it shorted out, burning entirely through one cable and causing a power surge that made all the lights go so bright that I thought the ATF was raiding us for two pellet pistols and some homemade kahlua in our possession. It was fine tho...the insurance company deemed our stuff too cheap to bother with covering so we cancelled our claim and got some cool new electronics that might be worth 30% of what we paid for it if it ever happens again. Not that I'm bitter...
I sat on the couch, and texted my boss, hoping for some sympathy and the words "Don't worry about coming in tomorrow, just take care of business and yourself". After several return texts taunting me about moving in with my mother, sharing a latrine in the woods etc, it dawned on me that I had recently purchased 2 cases of bottled water for just such an emergency....thanks to her callous insensitivity I was able to have coffee and a refreshing sponge bath before work the next morning with a bottle of Western Family's finest. I hear you're not supposed to wash your hair every day anyway, and that if you don't shower, eventually your natural musk stops trying to compete with your deodorant, soap and the like, and mellows to the point you only smell like a festering yak on those not-so-fresh days or after bucking hay bales and slopping pigs. And I hate washing dishes, so it's a win-win.
Later that morning the pump guy showed up at 9, did a couple tests and determined that, indeed, the pump was fried. Several hours later, a cute little "skylight" in the pump house roof, 245 feet of pipe, a new pump, and a bill which I have not yet been apprised of, and we are doin' the wave again....I flush, therefore I am. After droughts where we lugged dirty clothes to the laundromat, hauled water in a portable cistern with our truck that subsequently got a new transmission (You haul heavy water over the Sylvan hill every day and that is inevitable), and have to wash dishes BY HAND for months, and you too will tell The Man to do what he needs to get your water back, please and thank you very much.
Think of this as part service announcement (ALWAYS have a case of bottled water on hand, you will not begrudge one drop of it when your 23 year old son who lives at home and eats a lot of cheese and beans comes out of the bathroom and says "I wouldn't go in there if I was you" because the remaining water in the pipes was frivolously used by his elderly parents to take their medication). Also, make sure to pay the pump guy on time with a smile and write "THANK YOU" on the check - I"m sure they can find stock rooms to clean and company trucks to wash and detail before they come help you next time if you bitch about the bill. And how about a recipe that fits right in with this subject? Yup...it's got beans....
Chili Corn Bread Salad
This sounds really weird, and it's less like a salad and more like....well....I don't know, it's just weird. But if you never gave me a chance after my first post, you wouldn't be reading this right now, so see? Weird CAN work....
1 package corn muffin mix (8.5 oz?), prepared as per directions
1 can chopped green chilis (4 oz), undrained
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. sour cream (I always use light...if you can find Breakstone it's da BOMB)
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 cans S&W Pinquitos, drained (you can use chili beans, just make sure they have sauce)
2 cans corn, drained, or 4 C. frozen corn, cooked, drained and cooled
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 C. green onion, thinly sliced (optional if your man is all whiny about it)
10 bacon strips, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 C. cheddar cheese, grated OR mexican blend from a bag
Mix cornbread according to instructions, but stir in the chilies and then spread in a greased pan the size the box says. Bake at 400 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, let cool a bit. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream and ranch mix, set aside. When cornbread is cool enough to handle, cut in half and break up half of it into another 9x13 pan or dish. Layer with half of EACH of the beans, mayo mixture, corn, tomatoes, onions, bacon and cheese; crumble the other half of the cornbread on top and then the other half of beans, mayo, corn, tomatoes, onion, bacon and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, then have at it. So many flavors, but it just works....I just haven't figure out why they call it salad because it has everything to be a one dish meal - just extra delicious!
I have just succeeded in making myself very hungry, and Handsome stranger is gonna be late tonight...I gotta stop blogging before dinner. Maybe I should have a nice big glass of.....WATER?? Thanks pump guys!