Saturday, September 09, 2006

“What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” - AA Milne

I am about to embark upon my second…well, it’s not a job YET. I am hoping to make it my second job. Remember my friend, Dr L, who just successfully defended her dissertation? Because I am a GOOD friend (Ok, so I didn’t bring her brownies this week, we can’t have everything!), I helped her do some research, and checked references, and organized her bibliography, and even tried to clear the way through the Byzantine path to electronic submission of a dissertation. And she thinks it is distinctly possible that other graduate students would pay good money for someone to do this sort of thing, which I, inexplicably and insanely – in her opinion – find interesting and riveting. So I made up some flyers and we’ll post them around some campuses, and I’ll see what happens. Whoo hoo!

***************

I finished Rise and Shine a few days ago, and moved right onto something else. It was the literary equivalent of a meatloaf dinner – no one is ever going to be blown away by its exquisiteness, but it was just fine as filler. Of course, I moved onto dessert next – a nice tray of brownies, plain - Katie Fforde’s newest, Restoring Grace.
And I have another Kevin Brockmeier, The Truth About Celia, but I don’t think I am ready to tackle another book of his just yet. I require some intervening fluff.
I am just procrastinating picking up Water for Elephants.
OK, ok, I’ll read it when I am done with the Fforde.

****************

Two Christmasses after we married, H and I had just bought a new house and thought it’d be a great idea to host a holiday brunch the Sunday after Christmas. Brunch sounds like it should be easy, but often it’s not – I love homemade waffles, but cooking waffles fast enough to feed forty-plus people will make you insane. Ditto pancakes. Crepes and most forms of eggs, same issue. So my solution was a giant dish of Chip’s mom’s egg-and-sausage casserole (which recently I realized is pretty much just a savoury bread pudding), and a big bowl of fruit salad, and Parmesan potatoes baked in the oven, and an apple cake, and biscuits.

First of all, let me say that I have NEVER in my life run out of food at a party - but I ran out of potatoes at that one. I made ten pounds, for God’s sake – and they disappeared. Much like locusts had descended. Only, in this case, it was the Irish. I have never heard the end of that one, let me tell you. Going on twelve years of marriage, and the day I ran out of potatoes still rears its ugly head.

Secondly, I had decided the night before to make TWO pans of the egg stuff, just in case. And a good thing, too. Imagine the hullabaloo if I’d run out of THAT. But I was nursing a migraine, and didn’t have two pounds of sausage, only one. It was about ten, and I wanted nothing more than to pop some Imitrex and go to bed, so I asked H to run to the grocery store down the street, and laid down on the couch to await his return whereupon I could fry the sausage, put together the casserole, and pass out.

I must have fallen asleep. And somewhere around an hour or so later, H returned (it should have been a ten-minute trip, tops). He came into the house, sat down in the chair, and stared at me. Bleary-eyed, I sat up and took a closer look: he was bleeding from a cut on his head. He was disheveled and dirty and the sack with the sausage in it was considerably beaten up.

“Holy shit! What happened to you?” I asked.

Silence. Stare. “I dunno. I don’t remember.”

“You what?”

“I don’t remember.”

I thought this was as good a time as any to panic, and called 911. The police came and took a report; the ambulance came and took us away to the nearest hospital where H was checked for concussion (none) and examined and x-rayed (he was fine, except for a superficial cut on his forehead).

Apparently, on the way to the grocery store, H had encountered a group of teenaged boys stealing Christmas lights from people’s houses. He returned home (I slept through this part) and called the police, and left a note on the houses to tell the owners what he’d seen. Then he headed back out the door to buy the stupid sausage. Which he did successfully.
But those weren’t nearly enough good deeds for one night, oh no.
On the way home from the grocery store, he noticed a car sitting at the stop sign at the end of our block. There were people in it, and being the altruist that he is, H was concerned that perhaps their car had broken down. So he thought he’d go check. He approached the car and tapped on the window.

Unfortunately for H, the car was occupied with what we surmised later were drug dealers, who saw fit to get out of the car, give H a hard time, and proceeded to knock him down, rather forcefully. (Also the sausage.)

And so – when we got back from the hospital (I had vomited copiously in the ER and felt marginally better, as any sufferer of migraine-induced nausea can tell you will happen), H went to bed and I fried up the goddamn sausage and put together the goddamn casserole which I fed to forty-some people the next day.

The end.

And here, as requested, is the recipe.

Chip’s mom’s egg-and-sausage casserole

6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
3 slices bread, cubed
1 pound bulk sausage
1 cup sharp cheese (Monterey jack or cheddar), shredded

Brown sausage thoroughly, breaking up as you fry. Drain on paper towels.
Place sausage in an 8x8 pan (I double it and use a 9x13).
Scatter bread cubes on top.
Beat eggs, milk, salt, and mustard together.
Pour over bread cubes.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, or at least for a few hours.
Bake uncovered at 350 for around 40 minutes, until puffy and golden.

16 comments:

yt said...

I love recipes that come with a story.

Suse said...

Ouch.

Also, good idea on the second job front! I do bibliographies and proofreading/editing of peoples' theses too. I love all that fine detail stuff that makes other peoples' eyes glaze over.

Sarah Louise said...

My goodness. Pain and more pain.

Oh look! A recipe. So all is better, for food heals many a wound...or maybe that was love?

Same thing...

Gina said...

*Still* feeling guilty over my cheese wheel suggestion a while back. Ince a Catholic . . .

Joke said...

What kind of savages would knock down a defenseless sausage?

-J.

P.S. I once had a ::cough, cough:: job in college writing made-to-order term papers.

P.P.S. You know you can PREcook waffles and keep them warm in teh oven for about 2 hours with no loss in quality, right? (But they have to be the yeasted, not baking-powdered waffles.)

kilowatthour said...

ok i HAVE to go to bed right now but i am so excited about the recipe that i have to say hi and thanks and goodnight.

Suse said...

Joke, I am SHOCKED.

Rogue Librarian said...

Leave it to H to do enough good deeds to get is ass kicked.

I almost feel I shouldn’t use this recipe given the trauma that preceded it. No wait, I’m over it and will make it for brunch this Sunday.

Lazy cow said...

Love those American breakfast recipes. I've collected a few over the years, but never made any. Maybe now is the time.
Good luck on the 2nd (why? why?) job front. I just told some girls at lunch yesterday that I'm retired.
(Was just about to send you a whiney email asking why you haven't posted, don't you love us any more, blah blah).

blackbird said...

Can everyone just stop being so "ironic" with the 'teh' business?
It's giving ME a headache.

Goshwhatastory.

Is this dish like a fritatta?
A fritatta which comes out too wet at my house?
As such, I may have to try it.

We do Christmas breakfast for 20 (because we are funny like that) and it IS difficult to cook and keep warm for that many.

kilowatthour said...

ok, i'm back and it is morning and i have time to comment appropriately.

which is to say: OHMYGOODGRACIOUS what a story! your husband, he is a keeper. and i am glad the story had a happy ending, despite the tragic shortage of potatoes.

Amy said...

I love the story that accompanies a recipe!! What a story!! I feel so badly for H.

Carolyn said...

That was a great story.

Feeding large crowds is DEFINITELY like serving locust swarms.

Tell the truth. You popped him on the head, didn't ya?

Carolyn said...

That was a great story.

Feeding large crowds is DEFINITELY like serving locust swarms.

Tell the truth. You popped him on the head, didn't ya?

Joke said...

Suse,

Were you shocked at the waffles (which you do not cook through, you leave them underdone on the inside and the oven does the rest) or the writing (I couldn't possibly keep up a decent lifestyle on the paltry allowance I was given)...or both?

-J.

P.S. So I can't type "the" half the time. [shrug]

ssheers said...

I just started down the path to getting a PhD. About a million years from now, when I'm finishing, I hope I remember about you and your skills. I'll hire you if you're still interested.