Sunday, November 29, 2015

Well. We lived to tell the tale.

I can't believe it. We fed twenty four people. In one house. We have 24 forks, 24 knives, 24 glasses, 24 napkins, and 48 plates (we also had dessert!) but what's truly remarkable: I've also got 24 white chairs in my house. To be clear-- they're not usually ALL in my house, but I own 24 white chairs. That blows my mind. I should start hosting weddings or something. How did I accumulate SO MANY white chairs?!? 

Our belated-Thanksgiving was awesome. And actually, our house isn't even that crazy in the aftermath. Well-- all of our furniture is in the wrong place (have you ever had 24 people over for a sitdown meal? Unless you're batman it requires a fair amount of rearranging to get all people (moderately) comfortably seated. Emphasis on moderately comfortable, because it was admittedly snug. If I'd been willing to drag my two oversized albino alligator chesterfields out of the living room, it might have been a bit more roomy, but that pretty much isn't ever going to happen unless, like, Obama wants to host his wedding anniversary at our house and really has an aversion to those big party tents. 

But we survived that. The food was awesome-- I'm just gonna own it-- I'm going to toot my own horn and say that. And I'm pretty sure Jules has kicked whatever nightmarish-bug has been making him vomit on me for the past few days, so hopefully we've got that behind us as well. I'll try to post some recipes this week, in case you're interested. Cornbread-Merguez Stuffing was a major hit, and I loved (and am still eating) a Brussels Sprout-Wild Rice dish that was just the right balance of vegetable/starchy/lemony/capers to soften the blow of so many other fatty foods. I also made a Sweet Potato Pie for the first time. Have you made one of those before? It was a cinch. I don't actually like sweet potato pie, but I think maybe it should become my signature dish, just because it's so easy to make. 

Now I just have to finish the last couple chapters of my book and I'm diamonds. The floor tile is in, the grout laid, the new sink is semi-installed. We're so close, people. And what I've learned from this most recent tiling experience: 

a.) If you can afford to pay someone else to do this kind of work, pay them! It's arduous, tedious work with a strong likelihood of cut fingers and bruised knuckles. 

b.) If you can't pay someone to do this work for you and you're planning to live in this apartment/hovel for the long term, DO THIS WORK IMMEDIATELY. I can't emphasize this enough. I've lived in this frigging apartment in Brooklyn for the past 11 years (horrifying, but true.) And I have HATED that floor tile with a deep, burning "is this what my life is like?" Hatred for 11 YEARS. Should I say that again? 11 YEARS I've resigned myself to that miserable tile, and now-- finally-- I've replaced the tile and that wretched, rotting, broken down, so-old-it's-literally-not-possible-to-clean sink-- and it's like we just added on another wing to our apartment. The bathroom is like a palace-- not only because it now feels sparkly and clean, but because the installation of the white tile and a pedestal sink makes the bathroom seem HUGE. Let me say it again: HUGE. 

c.) Do NOT save the hardest, most labor intensive project in your book for the week before the book is due. I can tell you, from personal experience, that will make a stressful situation even more stressful. 

It took about a week to accomplish, and I still have a gouge missing out of the end of my thumb that looks like a pie slice, (which hurts like a mother-f#%er, I'll tell ya) and yet despite the amount of time required, the missing fingerprints, and the number of times I said, "I can't believe how close my face is to the toilet seat right now." I couldn't not be happier with our results. Truly, truly, truly. 

So I may be many years away from being able to pay someone to tile my bathroom, but you know what, I did a pretty freaking good job myself, so to heck with that guy. I'd rather buy a plane ticket.... 

Now that I'm finished singing my own praises and applauding my own victories, I've just got to squeeze out those last chapter-- about the joys of tile installation, the reason you shouldn't hang museum posters anywhere, and how to replace your kitchen faucet-- and my freaking book will be finished too. No problem. I got this... 

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