Thursday, October 15, 2009

- LOL: Meg channels Steven Wright

We may have had miserable weather this past weekend, but we made some great memories. Chief among them was Meg’s tale of her foray into the world of car maintenance.

First, for those who are not familiar with my older daughter, it is important to set the scene. Meghan is a human resources generalist at an Austin hospital, which is a very serious job. She drives a Volvo S40, purchased six years ago after she and our faithful Volvo 850 parted ways following a nasty accident. Since the 850 had pretty much saved her life, Meg became a serious Volvo fan.

But Volvos do have a reputation for electrical problems. In the past, Meg has regaled us with tales of her turning signal, which has an on-again-off-again habit refusing to work on demand. Her solution, arrived at by watching a mechanic test her car’s blinking capacity, involved turning on the emergency flashers whenever the turn signal didn’t work, then turning them off which, for whatever reason, usually resulted in a functioning turn signal … for a while.

Volvos also eat brake lights for breakfast, so our family is accustomed to keeping a good supply of spare bulbs on hand (we got our S70 at the same time Meg got her S40). As we sat around the table talking this past weekend Meg confessed that she had wearied of asking Paul to help her with replacing the bulbs, which has to be done in a timely manner as Meg’s brake lights have an uncanny ability to attract the attention of law enforcement personnel.

Meg decided she would respond to her latest dashboard warning herself. Step one involved single-handedly determining which bulb was burned out. Placing a can of paint on the brake pedal seemed like a good idea, until Meg realized the can was leaking onto the floorboard. Her second attempt involved placing one end of the hedge trimming shears against the brake pedal while moving the front seat forward until the shears depressed the pedal. Having thus activated the brake light, Meg determined which bulb was burned out and then liberated the hedge shears.

Continuing the story with dead-pan delivery, Meg proceeded to demonstrate what it took to remove the burned out bulb from its recalcitrant housing, replace it with a new bulb, and then test the new bulb with the aforementioned hedge shears. Fans of comedian Steven Wright will understand what I mean when I say that Meg kept a perfectly straight face while the rest of us laughed until we were gasping for air. For those who haven’t experienced Steven Wright’s style of delivery, get thee to youtube for a sample.

And so, with thanks for the memory, I dedicate the following recipe from Sunday brunch to Meghan, storyteller par excellence and darned good light bulb changer.

Bacon Potato Omelet (with a tip of the hat to the Frugal Gourmet)

2 slices of bacon (preferably dry cured)
2 small new potatoes, nuked and cut into small cubes
1 scallion, sliced into thin rounds (I found purple scallions at the Wimberley Farmers’ Market)
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 cup coarse grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (yes, it’s worth $12 per pound)
1/3 cup diced tomato (the ripest you can find)
3-4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbs. butter

Fry the bacon until crisp, then chop coarsely. Nuke the potatoes until tender and cut into small cubes. Fry the potatoes in the bacon fat until lightly browned. Stir in the bacon, garlic and scallion, then turn off the heat.

Heat butter in a separate omelet pan, cook omelet until eggs just begin to set. Top with potato mixture, cheese and tomato. Fold omelet over the toppings and serve immediately, with toast and extra bacon if desired (and when is it not?)


Charlie said...

I am forwarding this posting to Sondra Awad of Richmond, VA who has just bought a Volvo of her own but can't seem to resolve the paperwork issues that will allow her to drive it home. What is it with Volvos? Does trouble follow them around?

By the way, what color was the paint used to hold down the brake?

Liz Ackert said...

Meg's response: "Oh it was gray it blended nicely:) Luckily I grabbed that can and not the chocolate brown."