"Summer! You are welcome to join us ANYTIME now!"
In case you can't tell, the sun hasn't made an appearance in quite awhile. But the rain, oh I have seen the rain and felt it's damp chill everyday for almost two weeks now.
Last night was particularly chilly, so that called for some good old fashioned comfort food in the form of potato gratin.
As I was making preparations for my potatoes to take a dip in their garlic-infused milk bath, I did something really stupid, which caused me to remember a truly embarrassing moment from childhood that up until last night I had successfully repressed for a number of years.
Last night my onions were quietly sauteing in the frying pan, and I needed to give them a stir so I attempted the frying pan 'flip'. In all my years I have never mastered the frying pan 'flip', but last night it came together for me. Maybe it was because last night I had an air of nonchalance about me? Who knows? But as I stood over the stove and gave those onions a good shake, and watched them all brilliantly 'flip' through the air and land back in the frying pan, I got positively giddy over my achievement.
Which meant I had to do it again. And again. And again. And as each flip got more successful than the last, I got extremely cocky and thought, "Self, I don't know what your big problem was before. This is so EASY!" And as soon as I let myself think this arrogant thought, I tossed those onions too high and watched helplessly as they spread through the air, and dropped in slow motion all over the floor, all over my arms (BURNING HOT! BURNING HOT!), and all over the stove. About three little onions fell back in the pan.
But why would this onion catastrophe bring me back to childhood? Well I certainly wasn't attempting any frying pan 'flips' when I was a kid, but I was a cocky little bugger.
I was a terrible show-off until about grade five, when I could no longer handle the humiliation that all show-offs endure when the very thing they are bragging about, goes terribly wrong. After grade five, I sort of reverted into a shell of shyness, and have pretty much stayed their ever since.
But before grade five, oh I was a lime-light seeker. And the first instance that I can remember when my attempt to look "so cool" made me look like "such a looser" was in grade two.
At some point in my life prior to grade two, I had managed to successfully roll under a barbed wire fence without getting snagged. And when I got to the other side, I hopped up and down and said, "Dad! Dad! I rolled under the fence, and it didn't bite me!"
And my Dad said something vague like, "Oh great Cait, you sure can roll under those fences. Just be careful though."
But all I processed was I sure CAN roll under these barbed wire fences. In fact, I can probably do it the BEST out of any kid that ever lived!
(I kind of thought I was a superstar, in case you can't tell.)
My opportunity to show all my peers about my mad skills came on an walking adventure with my class. We were going outside of the school grounds to collect leaves (which we later laminated and turned into awesome book marks!), and we had to cross a barbed wire fence.
"Everyone be careful going through the fence. Watch you don't snag your clothes." My teacher called to us.
In my mind I was all, Whatever Teacher. I'm the BEST at rolling under barbed wire. And I literally RAN ahead to be the first one through the fence.
When I got to the fence my heart was pumping like crazy, so excited was I to show what I could do. I lay down on the ground and absolutely flung myself at that fence in an effort to get under it.
Except, I didn't get under it.
As I was G.I. Joe-ing my way under at unsafe speeds, my stringy blonde hair got wrapped in the barbs, my pant's got caught, and I scratched up my ankle when my leg failed to stay tucked into my person and instead wildly kicked up to greet those spiky-barbs.
As I lay snagged and caught in the fence like some animal in a trap, my teacher huffed and puffed her way over to me, along with the parent supervisor.
"What did I tell you about being careful! You are strung-up in this fence!"
I was helpless. I had to lie in the dirt, while my classmates all stood around and laughed at my predicament, and the teacher and parent supervisor carefully tried to unsag my clothes and pick my hair out of the barbs.
And the worst part about it? It took me at least three more years of other humiliating moments before I decided I couldn't keep 'breaking a leg' on that theatrical stage.
And how did the potato gratin turn out? Well, after a second batch of onions were fried (and stirred with a spatula) it served its purpose by warming us on a chilly night.
Hey, do you want to come over for gratin? I'm pretty sure I make the BEST gratin that ever was, and I will totally impress you with my culinary skills.
And because I made gratin once, totally means I can do it twice, right?