July 2, 2011

Handbag Gravy

Yesterday was Canada Day. July First. Used to be called "Dominion Day" when I was a kid, but has been modernized to minimize the British Colony implications. (And to people in Quebec it's still secondary to St. Jean-Baptiste day, which comes later in the month. July 24th, I think.) A day of parades, Salmon Festivals (well, in my 'hood, anyway), face painting, underage public drinking (again, maybe that's just my 'hood), wearing red, wearing flags as capes. waving flags, and meeting the neighbours out in the sunshine.

And the weather was decent, which makes for a nice change this summer. And as we often do of a weekend, we got together with our friends Dana & Dave, to cook things and eat things. At their house this time, because half the city was already parked in our neighbourhood. Dave had bought a three-rib roast, and was going to do it on the barbecue. Dana expressed concern that there might not be enough dripping and pan juices to make gravy, so I assured her that my Beloved can whip up a gravy out of the most trifling of ingredients*, and I'd bring both him and his favourite magic gravy powder, Bisto.

So I fling the box of Bisto in one section of my purse and off we go, via the cold beer and wine store, and the grocery store, to pick up some essentials. And we get to D&D's and have a couple of drinks and try to keep Dave from opening up the barbecue too often, and things progress nicely. And then it comes time to make the gravy. I pull the box of Bisto out of my bag, and realize that the stupid thing is empty. The box top is open, and the bag inside is too, and there's the merest trace of powder at the bottom. Oh, for Pete's sake! Who puts an empty box back in the cupboard?

I say to my Beloved, who is the one who took the box out of the cupboard: "There's nothing in here; it's empty!" (This might have been said somewhat accusatorily. Maybe.)

He: Well, it wasn't empty when I took it out of the cupboard.

Me: Oh. Well, I hope it's not all over the bottom of my purse! [This might have been said with a tone that implied that such a state of affairs might be anyone's fault but my own.] *opens that section of the purse* Oh, God. It's all over the bottom of my purse.

He and Dana: *fall over laughing*

Fortunately, that purse has only just come back into the rotation, and was clean. You know, apart from the fine light-brown powder throughout the one section. So I took out the few items that were swimming around in the powder, got a big spoon, and transferred as much of the Bisto as I could from my bag to a bowl. And then, while my Beloved and my Bestie were wiping away their tears of mirth, I emptied everything out of my purse, wiped it down, and reassembled both my handbag and my dignity.

The dinner was delicious, and the gravy hardly tasted at all like the pennies we found in the powder in the bowl.

And we have an apocryphal cooking story to pull out on future occasions involving gravy. "Hey, Wendy, where's your purse? All we have to do it soak it in hot water for a delicious, beefy treat!"

I might be miffed if I wasn't laughing so hard.

*He really can. He's in charge of gravy, at our house.