I counted them! Crazy, I know, but it goes to show the depths of madness that one can descend into, given the right circumstances. It was the dishes, I counted.
With my own silly encouragement, the family headed off to the Dempster to do a few days of hiking. I needed everyone out of the house so that I could wash and re-surface the sad and neglected wooden floors of our home. With all the domestic industry over the past year, the floor of the kitchen was worn right down to the bare wood. In front of the tired old stove the floor was scalloped from the friction of our children’s feet, a consequence of enslaved hours in the name of processing local food. A sort of work-to-eat program for them. Which, in turn, resulted in a varathane-to-eat program for me. I think all the money we saved on food went directly to the suppliers of floor repair products.
So, back to the count. When the early morning mayhem ended and the family was happily on the road, I settled down to tidy up the kitchen. Having finished a huge stack of dishes the previous evening I was comforted with the expectation that, since breakfast was the only interim meal, there would be a modicum of toil ahead of me. I was never more wrong!
A quick glance at the clock showed that it was only 7:30 am. A glance at the kitchen revealed a culinary apocalypse. There were 2 frying pans, 4 pots, 3 cookie sheets, 6 dehydrator foils, 4 zip-lock bags, 3 mason jars, 2 one-gallon milk jugs, 1 ice-cream maker, 2 cutting boards, 1 blender, 3 chopping knives, 2 metal spatulas, 3 wooden stirring spoons, 2 rubber scrapers, 1 potato masher, 1 cheese cloth, 1 garlic press, and for some unexplainable reason, each and every one of our complete set of measuring cups! And, as for my expectation of breakfast dishes, there were only 4 plates and 4 forks…
I still don’t know how this happened. Everyone was up till midnight. I slept till 7:00 am. Did anyone else sleep or was this all Suzanne, fueled by summer and a pressing deadline? Was she up all night, making ice-cream, dehydrating food, cooking for the trip? Was she simply experimenting with each and every one of our cooking utensils, searching for their individual pros and cons? Or did she just want to leave a lasting impression of her industry in this year-long pursuit, something that perhaps, I might write about?