planner 006 My consultant kit for my new business arrived a couple of days ago. So yesterday, when #2 son got home from school, he looked around in theatrical consternation and said, “I would have thought that you would have been practicing using your new tools. Where’s the cake and cookies?”

I admitted that I had been working on the store’s publishing project instead.

“You know,” he continued, “Right about when I get home would be a good time to practice those cakes and cookies.”

He was right. I went ahead and made a panful of Danish Almond Sheet. This recipe comes from an old, out of print cookbook. You melt 2 sticks of butter, stir in 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 lb of finely chopped almonds, 1 egg,  and 2 cups of flour, spread the batter in the pan, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

This allowed me to practice using the wonderful chopper tool and the way cool mixing bowl, but I still needed to practice the remaining cutting tools.planner 008

The knife is no problem. The grater required a little bit of thought to assemble it correctly, but otherwise was quite easy. We ended up with a nicely grated lemon peel.

The mandoline, which you see on the right, nearly defeated us.

“You put up the kickstand,” said #2 son, “and then you impale the lemon on the spikes.”

This is not how the instructions put it, but he was right. However, we had some issues with the safety features. Namely, unless you actually put the thing together correctly, it will not cut anything.

If you put it together correctly, it will cut the lemon but not your fingers. My husband doesn’t look at directions. He approached the machine with complete confidence. He is good at this sort of thing. He couldn’t do it. We kept peeking behind the mandoline to see whether it was producing slices yet, and it kept not doing so. He went out for planner 009 a smoke.

At this point, I read the instructions, saw where we had made our error, put the blades in correctly, and was indeed able to slice that lemon we had impaled on the spikes.

I foresee that we will be eating lots of sliced things between now and when I use this machine in public. I am debating whether to use the words “kickstand” and “impaled” in public presentations of the thing.

As you see, dinner did take place.

Afterwards, I went walking with Partygirl. Her daughter’s wedding is just over the horizon, so we had a lot of discussion about wedding music. #1 son needed some help with his first college essay. And #2 daughter needed help with a piece she is having to write as part of her job application for the job that she first applied for back in May.

They have been winnowing out applicants at a very leisurely pace. I think that by now they would have winnowed out anyone who actually needed the job to live on.

#1 daughter also applied for a job which seems to involve some winnowing, but she just applied yesterday. She goes back for a second interview today. It is a front office job at a weight-loss clinic. Her daddy laughed uproariously at that, and cautioned her not to give in to the temptation to follow the diet. We both gave her plenty of advice for her second interview.

I had many opportunities to feel helpful over the course of the day.