Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Aged Apprentice GoFer

I have mastered quite a few things in my life, but have, most unfortunately, neglected to get my Papers qualifying me as a Journeyman GoFer.

However, what I lack in learning I am making up in experience, and I am just about the best apprenticing GoFer around these parts.

Ask anyone (except the Master Mechanic, my husband).

After my latest learning experience this morning, I feel I should make up a list of requirements for anyone else who wishes to make GoFering their Career. I would advise you to find another Master Mechanic to apprentice with, however. This one is busy with his own novice, and frustrated beyond belief.....

These are the Requirements for being a Successful GoFer, - as I perceive them to be!

1. Keep your eyes bright, your tail bushy, and cultivate your best bedside manner, especially when the situation is grave.

2. A cheerful and calm demeanor is a great asset.

3. No tears or brimming eyes when the Master Mechanic addresses you through clenched teeth. (It is O.K. to go around the corner and sniff a little)

4. Train your ears to hear only instructions. Shut out any extraneous comments from the Master Mechanic, no matter how profanely creative they are.

5. Avoid looking bewildered, - maintain an attitude of competence and understanding at all times.

6. As a consequence of this you will NEVER ask stupid questions (like, where will I find the jiggery thing-a-ma-bob with two greasy knobs on it? - any fool Apprentice would know that it is under the g-d hood somewhere!)

7. Don't ever be a wiss about greasy hands or broken finger-nails, - they are a mere bagatelle to the pure Apprentice.

8. Try to ignore the sailorly language the Master Mechanic uses, - he learned it as his Father's knee when he was a young Apprentice Lad himself. (I can attest to this, having heard his gentle father cursing at his own tractor when he thought everyone had gone to town!)

9. Remember that your hand is probably smaller than the Master Mechanic's, so don't be shy about offering to snake it into the innards of whatever machine is being attended to, - if you are successful you will be the recipient of the slightest approbation. If not you will only get the clenched teeth treatment once again!

10. Most importantly, keep your eyes bright, your tale bushy, and cultivate your best bedside manner. If you follow these instructions you will be able to retire to the kitchen and assume your own Master Mechanic Mien.

One more mere piece of advice, - if the Career as an Apprentice GoFer appeals to you, I would strongly advise you to enter the field before you are an Octogenarian. And be careful who you choose for your Master Mechanic, - based on experience I would not usually recommend relatives, - definitely not Husbands. They have such a clenched teeth way of saying "No, not that way HONEY - ! Remember, the older the Master Mechanic the longer he has held this position, and the greater his grasp of the task at hand. Ergo, the greater he condescends - patiently, but grimly!

It's an experience no eighty year old wife should miss......

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Togetherness and apple pies

We are coming to the end of apple picking time here in the Similkameen Valley.

David brought us two or three small boxes of Gala apples, and they sat in the pantry for a week or two before the spirit moved us to turn them into apple pies.

Lovely apples, - they are a mixture of red and gold, - small and round, fragrant, and wonderful for holding a tender shape in scrumptious apple pies.

We decided to tackle the job together, husband and I.

I didn't know that making apple pies in tandem could be such a pleasure!!!

Imagine - Husband all set up at the baking table with the apple peeler/corer/slicer (what an amazing machine) and a box of perfectly shaped Gala apples. Along with an ice cream pail and a couple of sharp knives.

Here am I, taking the previously mixed pastry out of the fridge, rolling it out into rounds and fitting it into the pie plates, - piling Husband's apple slices into the pie plate and sifting on the sugar, flour and cinnamon mixture. Then on to the next production pie, and the next. When all three have been filled we fancy up the top crust, and into the oven they go! These are to eat immediately!!! For Thanksgiving!!!

Are we finished?
Are there apples left in the box?
Onward and upward........
Husband continues peeling, coring, slicing, and storing the prepared apples in the ice cream bucket.

I tear off large sheets of foil, - fit them into pie plates, and pile them with apple slices and sugar mixture. I cover the unbaked pies tightly with the surrounding foil, tuck them in layers in the freezer, and when they have frozen rescue the foil pie plates for another batch - another day.

What a treasure in the freezer, - stacks of apple pie fillings all ready to pop into pastry and begin wafting the fragrance of cooked apples and cinnamon pie throughout the house.

Precious time together, and then a nice cup of tea and a sigh of relief from the little dog who finds the occasional noises the production line makes hard on his little old ears. And besides, it's treat time!