Monday, December 22, 2008

Chili Weekend

We've had snow off and on (mostly on) for a week now. Monday was especially chilly when we woke--our heating system was on the fritz. CrafterKat had been up since 5:30 and the house seemed to get colder by minute. She woke me at 7:00--the house was 59 degrees.

The pilot light seemed to be working but the clear water condensate tube that ran from the heating unit along the wall and to the outside was clogged up--it had frozen solid outside the house. CrafterKat got an extension cord and her little heat gun--a mini hairdryer used for embossing--and warmed up the tube until the water started flowing again. The house finally got up to temperature around 10:00 a.m.

When I woke on Friday there was a note from CrafterKat asking me to head to the grocery store. "We're expecting near blizzard conditions," she wrote. Time to make grocery lists, figure out advanced food cravings, and stock up.

The snow had turned to slush by the time Critter and I hit the road at lunch time. Winco was packed--Critter and I methodically went through the list, loading the grocery cart with crackers, cheese, soups, cereal, bulk red beans for chili, bacon, chicken, yogurt... The cart was so full we could barely push it to the checkout line.

CrafterKat got home a few hours later. I spent the afternoon cooking the last of our Craft Party cookies. "Let's go get some dinner before we're snowed in," CrafterKat suggested. We took a bag of cookies to her brother's house on our way. Instead of pizza (our original plan) we joined them for dinner at Busters and caught up on the news. The Golden Poet shared her cookie baking stories--green Grinch cookies!--and The Renaissance Man shared his adventure cleaning out the dryer vent. The boys shared various tales of how bored they were; Critter agreed.

After dinner we dropped Critter back at the house and went out again for some final shopping, dodging snow flakes right and left. I explained to CrafterKat that I intended to make my Mom's chili for lunch on Saturday, pulled pork sandwiches in the slow cooker for Monday when her parents arrived for Christmas, and lasagna somewhere in between. CrafterKat frowned slightly. "You're not planning on making chili in one of my good pots are you?"

We have only two large pots. Large and EXTRA HUMONGOUS LARGE, purchased at one of those fancy cooking stores at the outlet mall. "Fine. Let's go to Linens and Things after we go to [store redacted in case my mother is reading this]. They're going out of business so we can probably find something there for cheap."

CrafterKat stayed in the car while I scouted the store. I found one pot with a strainer, took a pic of it with my cell phone, and sent it to her. She texted back: I come in. We poked around some more and decided upon a pot and pan set, marked down to $100.

"You know," I chuckled, "this will be like the Evil PXE's bread maker. He had a $100 bread maker which they never used. Six months later he was handing out $30 loaves of bread because he had used it so few times."

CrafterKat chuckled. "One hundred dollar chili!"

We made one final stop at Trader Joe's and called it a night. The snow was starting to fall pretty steadily by now and we were happy to be home.

At 3:00 a.m. I woke up with a start. I did not recall paying for the bag of red chili beans; they'd fallen out of the cart before I reached the cashier.