9 The long weekend, devoted to practicing talking while I cook, began in the grocery store, where #1 daughter and I skulked around looking for unfamiliar stuff (where do they keep ramen noodles anyway?) and I spent half again as much as usual. We have half again as many people to feed as usual, of course, but I think the puff pastry and five different kinds of cheese had something to do with it.

There was a game on yesterday, so the grocery store was playing the fight song and featuring great pyramids of snack foods.

We ran into several old friends, so #1 daughter had her first opportunities to cope with “How’s married life” and “Are you visiting?” and she handled it well. There was also the old man in the produce area who told me I should feed her because she was too thin.

What makes people think this is appropriate? Would he have felt that it was okay for him to tell me that I shouldn’t eat the things in my cart because I was too fat? There is really no difference.We tried to steer a course between horror and politeness. I am sure he meant no harm.

Now, do you watch the cooking shows? I used to watch “The Galloping Gourmet” as a child, but do not have clear memories of it. I have occasionally seen snippets of things as I pass through the room when #2 son is watching the Food Channel, and I have sometimes thought that the hosts sound a bit dim. nachos

I take it back.

Talking while you cook is much harder than it looks.  The natural inclination is  to quit working while you talk, and to quit talking while you work.

My first attempt was with Brunch Squares, and all I said was how the cream cheese kept getting stuck in the whisk. I said this a lot of times, with varying intonations and increasing degrees of querulousness, but I don’t think it really counts.

#2 daughter arrived from her Midwestern fastness just in time to eat these, and then we headed up to the store to visit The Empress, That Man, and The Poster Queen, and to get #2 daughter’s new classroom kitted out.

I introduced some old customers to my lovely daughters and did some checking out when the lines got long, and then we headed home to try some more talking while cooking.

My second attempt was a lunch of Jerk Chicken Nachos and Chocolate Mint Silk Torte.

9 I started them both at once. I normally do this, so I can dovetail the tasks. However, it can be difficult to segue between chopping bell peppers and pushing ganache into the decorating device. Not to mention trying to whip more blasted cream cheese into said ganache and having it get stuck in the blasted whisk again.

#2 son also helped out by popping up two inches from my face and asking whether I was really using a Pampered Chef pan (no; I was using an old pan I had, since I do not yet have a Pampered Chef torte pan, and since I was just practicing couldn’t he pretend?) and whether that knife would break easily (no, it’s not going to break, you prat, and get out of the way before you get cut).

“You need to be prepared for these questions,” he informed me.

There was a bit of a stage wait while I hunted down the chicken, and let us be frank here and admit that the kids 9 laughed at my decorating technique. I normally do rosettes back and forth across the top of a cake so that they will end up even. You know, one at 12 o’clock and then one at 6 o’clock and then 3 o’clock and then 9 o’clock and so on.

Apparently this is not how they do it on the food channel.Not only was my technique unconvincing, but they made me laugh so hard that the rosettes ended up entirely uneven and fell off the edges of the torte.

It was still quite delicious.

I must say that I don’t see any benefit to making ganache by melting chocolate with Cool Whip. Do they know what’s in that stuff? In future, I’ll just use cream. However, I can report that there was no point at which anyone said, “This ganache tastes weird. Did you make it with Cool Whip?”

We ate it while watching Eddie Izzard.

I finished cleaning the porch, that being the task for the HGP for the week that ended yesterday, and #2 daughter and I noodled around at the piano and decided what duet we would sing for today’s church service, and amazingly soon it was time to cook again.

9 I made Pork and Noodle Skillet, and  it was okay, but would have been better with Kung Fu noodles (or Wai Wai or MaMa –we are not picky) rather than Maruchan. I added broccoli and garlic and hot pepper, which improved it over the sample I had at the show Janalisa took me to last week, but it still was ordinary. Possibly some people do not eat Asian foods as often as we do, though, and would be more dazzled by it.

I don’t believe that I talked while I made it, especially since the kids were tired of the game by that time and were getting all their evening phone calls.

After dinner, the girls went out with Arkenboy. They looked so pretty.

Arkenboy has taken up a pointed ginger beard, a sufficiently striking accessory that I didn’t notice anything else about him. However, I want to report with pride that I did not brag to him about my google results or ask him any questions about the pursuit of the RLT.

I am going to go make a Warm Apple Almond Pastry for breakfast. All the kids are asleep, but I will try to talk to the cat as I cook..