I have so much to report.
1. The Eggs
Our friends Josh and Katie were drafted to peel ‘n’ pop. (That’s the part where you zoop out the yolk into a bowl so you can mush it up with whatever goo you think is going to make it taste better.) They were surprisingly game about it all, but they’re like that.
The net completed deviled egg count was 41 rather than a full 48, due to some cracking during boiling, poor slicing, bad yoke placement resulting from off-center yoke float, and some pre-event egg eating done in the name of “testing.” I went with the basic mayo-mustard-sweet relish-salt-and-white-pepper (which sounds compulsive but that white pepper has been here as long as we have owned the house, so it was mostly ceremonial), and paprika for garnish.
I will tell you that I remain unconvinced that sweet relish has any place in a deviled egg. It wasn’t terrible, but even as I stirred in those two teaspoons of sweet relish, I was wishing it had been dill relish.
They got eaten, with five left after an hour of hard eating. My “friend” Cary pointed out that when SHE makes deviled eggs, there are NEVER any leftovers. And she goes chives all the way, and lumpy not smooth. Had to point it out, didn’t she? So competitive, that Cary.
The Fourth of July here is extreme, as I think it is in so many places. The unapologetic wearing of patriotically striped pants, the bringing of chairs down to the picnic area, the slightly unpleasant process of getting all the food there without dropping the flag cake–I can see how rituals embed themselves in a family. One by one, things get done again, and again, and before you know it, the Fourth of July picnic takes three days to engineer. When somebody, at the age of 92, finally suggests that it would be easier to have the picnic back at the house, he is indulged with great love, then politely ignored as the chairs are once again lugged out of the kitchen.
I think this means I will be making deviled eggs for the next four decades.
And for the record, that table of chow is a three-family effort. I can’t even imagine how to make a flag cake that tasted as delicious as that one.
2. The Tapping
Houseguest Katie singlehandedly, easily solved the mystery of The Early Morning Tapping that has plagued me ever since I arrived here. She solved it by waking up early and making coffee.
Here is the source of The Early Morning Tapping:
Maybe if I had simply got out of bed to investigate The Tapping, I would have discovered Crazy Dad bluebird having his daily freakout outside the kitchen window. Every day, I have learned, he flies at the window, defending himself against what is likely his own reflection.
I usually have my daily freakout late in the afternoon, so it’s no wonder we never met. We have so much to discuss.
I haven’t even written about the bluebirds this year. It has been spectacular, and it isn’t over this year as it has been in the past. Four babies launched on the one day I was back in Nashville, so I didn’t get to see them take off. They ditched out four days earlier than last year, so their fledging caught me by surprise. I felt so abandoned!
A week later, I was gobsmacked to discover that Dad The Tapper has brought back some of his now-flying babies to start building more nests. I don’t know why they’re doing it–they have been stuffing four different holes with pine needles and flurf–but it means that there are at least three mangy, teenage-looking bluebirds working out the window now, with Naggy Dad The Tapper providing security.
They’re less than two months old, but they’re already working like Trojans. We should all take notes here: put those kids to work!
I haven’t seen the mom; she’s likely off getting spa treatments and therapy. Are the babies practicing nest-building? Is mom going to return and fill four nests with more eggs?
Ah, you knew I was knitting somewhere in all this. I too have been bitten by the Lace Ribbon Scarf bug–it hit when I was home for a day and poking around in the stash. This Handmaiden Flaxen may remind you of our trip to Portland, Oregon last year? It’s meeting its destiny in Veronik Avery’s lovely, interesting scarf.
As for the Scrabble this summer: we’re using the two-letter-word list that comes with the game. It makes Scrabble into a whole other kind of game when you can use crazy stuff like HM and SH.