The other day when it was 75 degrees in East Hampton, I felt like doing some chores. Chores are easier than writing and with almost the same satisfaction. By seven am I was already looking over my front yard to see if the clean up I began two days ago still looked good.
I get a little ocd when I clean up the yard. The first day it was a quick rake of leaves, sticks, debris. The next morning I picked up the leaves left by the rake. Today, I scoured the area and did a third pick-up. When I was satisfied I stuffed the debris into two old sheets and took it to the recycling center. The yard waste area in the East Hampton Recycling Center is a marvel of industry. There are huge task specific machines processing everything. In one area there is a mountain of wood chips made from all the twigs and branches. In another area there is a mountain of black gorgeous dirt made from all the rotted leaves. In a third area, where I am headed, there is the current dumping pile. I left my contribution and headed home.
After ten minutes of checking my e-mail I debated whether to put in new ceiling light bulbs in the kitchen and the vestibule seeing as the lights have been out for a couple of months. Yes, I’ve been using the kitchen without overhead light. I cannot quite reach the fixtures by standing on a dining room chair. Normally I would put a phone book on top of the chair and wobble around while holding the glass fixture in my non-dominant hand. Today I went to the garage and got the six-foot ladder, hosed off the muddy feet and brought it into the house. I changed both light bulbs, washed the fixtures and said, “Let there be light.”
As long as I had the ladder out I noticed some sticks peeking out of the gutters on that side of the house and realized I had not cleaned the gutters the previous fall perhaps not even since Hurricane Irene although that seems impossible. I made do with the six-foot ladder and by stepping on the last rung was able to see inside the gutter, grab the matted debris and run the hose down the spout to clear it. It was lunchtime. There was nothing to eat in the house except some stale cheese and a bag of “power greens.” Usually when there’s nothing to eat in the house I make oatmeal or pancakes or cream of tomato soup with a can of crushed tomatoes and some evaporated milk. I made the soup and put in some “power greens.” I also salvaged a piece of the cheese and melted it on a Mission Jalapeno wrap.
While I was eating I watched the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Channel. Ina Garten is so darn classy, she could be making a bologna sandwich and I’d watch just for the ambiance. On that show she was making crab cakes and celery root slaw (she called it remoulade) for her friend Tess who was coming over. She took this huge gnarled looking root about five inches wide, peeled it and then julienned it in her processor. That took about 30 seconds. She sprinkled lemon juice on it so it wouldn’t turn brown and then proceeded to make a sauce that even with my love of all things Ina, I couldn’t agree with. A cup of mayonnaise???? I was also shocked to see her use 4-C breadcrumbs in her crab cakes. Maybe shocked is too strong. I was interested in a twisted way. After lunch I put the ladder back and began to tackle the back yard that is still a mess. I raked half of it and loaded the leaves onto a sheet before calling it a day. I decided to itemize my actions on this sunny day and make a blog out of it. Some times you just want to hear about how people go about things and this is how I went about things on a bonus sunny day in March.