wasabi-breaded crimini mushrooms
Thursday, March 23 2023
This evening Ray and Nancy and their dog Jack came over for dinner. Gretchen had spent part of the afternoon cooking in the kitchen and I'd conducted a mini cleaning jihad in the living room, working with our 13 year-old Dyson vacuum cleaner that has suddenly started falling apart in several different ways (though patching a torn hose with duct tape and knowing how the linkages work meant I could still get some use out of it). We had a nice hot fire going in the woodstove and Ray and Nancy had brought over a bottle of white wine. We sat in the living room near by the fire and ate things that could be dipped in a sauce flavored with sundried tomatoes that Gretchen had made. Ray was experiencing some dental pain related to a cracked molar and wasn't really able to eat anything that wasn't heavily processed. He said he needed implants in order to be able to chew once more on both sides of his mouth and had been quoted a figure of something like $4000/per tooth.
Fortunately for Ray, Gretchen had made a hearty lentil soup as an appetizer and wasabi-breaded crimini mushrooms (cooked in the air fryer) as the main course. The salad, though, required too much chewing for Ray.
Later, back in front of the fire (I was burning vintage firewood that had been drying for four years in the top rear tranche of the woodshed), we all talked about how it was we came to end up at the colleges we went to. For Gretchen, as you might imagine, there was extensive involvement from her parents when she applied to Oberlin, and she ended up sending them a package that included art she'd drawn, a tape recording of her playing guitar, and perhaps other media in addition to the written essay they required. For Nancy, Ray, and me, however, our parents played almost no role in our application process. Nancy admitted that she'd lied in one of her essays and said she'd been deeply affected by seeing someone gunned down in the street. Ray then went on to describe the fairly neglectful and occasionally abusive behavior of his parents, two medical doctors who emigrated with the kids from the Philippines when they were all quite young.
I didn't bring up my recent terrifying thoughts about the rise of artificial intelligence, though I did regale those in attendance with my recent discovery of the amusing fact that there are men in American society who don't wipe their assholes after going number two because they fear it will make them gay.
Meanwhile outside, it was maybe 50 degrees and raining, which meant the roaring fire in the woodstove didn't have to labor much to heat the entire house.
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