Monday, July 03, 2006

Martha's got nothing to worry about

Because tomorrow is the 4th of July as well as my son's 18th (Jesus H. Christ, how did THAT happen??!) birthday, I needed to make something to bring to the party. Since I had two dozen eggs in the fridge, I thought "Aha! Deviled eggs."

Have you ever made deviled eggs? Do you know how many kinds of a pain in the ass it is?

Boil the eggs. Ok, I did that, without cracking one.

Then, let the eggs cool and peel them. Yeah. My eggs look like they have leprosy. There are chunks missing and there are splits in the whites. I have no clue how people get those lovely, glistening orbs, but I sure as hell can't do it.

I really think I'm missing some essential house-keeping/Harriet Homemaker gene. I have no idea how to do many of these basic tasks. Get mildew off the bathroom ceiling? I don't know - bleach? Ammonia? I know you can't mix the two, but that's about all I know. Get ink out of a shirt? No idea. I'd just go buy a new shirt. Mop? Honest to god, I'd never mopped a floor in my life until we bought this house four months ago. I'm not very good at it. In fact, I kind of suck.

I can tell you all about Henry VIII. I know a lot about words, grammar and spelling. I know more than I ever wanted to know about having a child with Type 1 diabetes. I have a wealth of pop culture knowledge stuck inside my head. I will kick your ass at Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble.

But I can't mop. And making beds is anathema to me. As I've just discovered, I'm pretty bad at deviled eggs.

I just don't have it together that way. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. If I want to take part in the competitive mommy thing, then I suppose not knowing these things is very, very bad. The thing is, I don't care that I can't do these things. Yes, the deviled eggs is frustrating, but I'll just make egg salad finger sandwiches. And my floors are generally kind of yucky. But I don't want to be a slave to my house. I want to blow bubbles with Boo. I want to go outside and inspect bugs in the grass. I want to have tickle fights and blow raspberries and listen to my kids laugh. I want to curl up with a good book at the end of the day, not go scrub the bath tub. I want to listen to NPR so I can stay informed; I don't want to watch Oprah and Judge Whoever and soap operas. I don't want to feel that, because I've chosen to stay at home, I should automatically shut off my brain.

And I don't want to learn how to mop.


Sandra Miller said...

Julia, I'm right there with you on the lack of good housekeeping skills.

The only time our place looks really good is when we're about to have house guests... or my mother-in-law (who is very clean) comes for a visit.

And even then, Ryan is the one who mops, and cleans the kitchen (I think he inherited some of those "clean genes"), while I pick up and vacuum-- and I really hate the picking up part, as Evan seems ever more inspired to bring out and scatter toys just as fast as I try to gather and put them away.

And don't get me started on the laundry-- like Sisyphus' rock, that pile just keeps reappearing... day after damn day.

Ah well.

But you know, these kids are gonna be with us for just so long before they're out on their own-- so I figure we (and they) will remember the time we spent together a hell of lot more than the relative cleanliness of the house.

Anonymous said...

As far as the eggs go, make sure you definitely don't use fresh ones, they should be at least a couple of weeks old. I usually use ones that are near or past the date on the carton (if they don't float in water, they're fine to eat) If they stand on end on water, this is supposed to be best, actually. Put them in cold water, bring to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes for large eggs. Then take the eggs and immediately put them straight into ice water, this helps them peel easier. Most of the time, this works very well for me. You will still get the occasional stubborn egg that doesn't want to peel, holding it under running water while peeling can help some.

I can't cook worth a damn, but I can make wonderful deviled eggs! :)

If you put the filling in a sandwich bag, and then cut the corner off and squeeze it into the eggs, it makes them easier to fill, and you can make them look pretty, too. (Mine always come out with a sort of rose petal look.) That is, if you don't already have a real device to squeeze the filling out of, whatever that thing is called. :)

Angewl said...

I make damned good deviled eggs. One of my few culinary talents.

I'm sorry yours did not turn out. The finger sandwiches are a great idea. I hope A has a wonderful birthday tomorrow.

I suck at housekeeping. Embarassed everytime someone knocks on the door. :(

Joke said...

So you're not Mrs. Cleaver.



Washington Crunchy Mama said...

What Margaret said :)