Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saturday's Struggles

I woke up early Saturday morning and could not fall asleep for hours. But, I finally did and woke up officially at 7:00 a.m. I freaking HATE insomnia!

One thing I keep forgetting to mention is that I have had a beautiful full moon for the last few days, shining down on the snow in my back yard. I keep thinking that I should take a picture, but I am usually busy, trying to get to work. Unfortunately, it was too late today for photos.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and then started on dinner. I rinsed off a nice corned beef brisket and put it in the oval slow cooker. I sprinkled the pickling spices on top. Then I added the following layers (in order to ensure they are cooked even): one medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into wedges; one pound of large carrots, peeled and cut into big hunks; 1 1/4 pounds of fingerling potatoes (left whole, of course) and one leek (white and light-green parts only) cut into 3-inch lengths. I put in enough water to cover the meat one inch (about five cups) and turned it on high. I will let that go for at least seven hours.

Sidebar: I debated long and hard over the beer issue. A lot of people and recipes say to add a beer to the liquid and I get that. But this is a Food Network recipe and I didn’t want to mess it up. Besides, I had no beer.

Another sidebar: You will note that there is no cabbage yet in my corned beef and cabbage. And, that’s not how I would usually make it. But, in this recipe, you steam the cabbage with the cooking juices at the very end. Not my usual method, but I’m going with it…

I got another cup of coffee and made my breakfast: soft-boiled eggs. I love soft boiled eggs!

I watched the morning news until it ended at 9:00 a.m. and the cartoons started. I switched the TV to the DIY channel and then shaved, showered and got dressed. I did the first load of weekend laundry.

Since I was dressed, I put on my coat, hat, gloves and boots and trudged out to the bird feeder. They have been out for a while, but I just haven’t got around to it. So, I filled up the feeder, sprinkled some on the snow for the mourning doves and used the last of the peanuts to fill the squirrel feeder. I trudged back inside (I still have big drifts out back) and took off my outdoor gear. I slipped into my crocs and into my “installing the dishwasher” mode.

First step was to install the electrical cord. So, I flipped it on its back, took off the kick plate and joined its wiring to my new cord.

Note: I may have invented this (maybe not) during my furnace problems. When reaching far in somewhere with a nut driver and a socket and a tiny 1/4-inch screw (or in the case of the dishwasher, down an inch in a small area) where you can’t get your fingers in there, the screw keeps falling out of the socket. That’s frustrating! My first thought was to stick the socket onto my garage floor magnet. But that would take a while for it to work. So, instead, I ran some water in the sink and then shut it off. Then I took two ply of toilet paper (four for Jake and Carla) and wiped it. I covered the socket with the damp toilet paper and stuck the screw in it. That totally holds the screw in!

I put on the wire nuts, grounded it and put electric tape over everything. Then I sealed the box back up. It was 12:30 p.m.

Next, I needed to address the drain issue. My existing drain hose does not fit on the new dishwasher (of course not…) And, the one on the side of the dishwasher is too short (of course it is…) But they did give me an extension hose. So, I pulled off the old hose and installed the new extension one.

Sidebar: Why the hell are the clamps they give you so tough to use??? I dunno…

But, I was hungry. So, I warmed up some of the chili I had made back in October and froze. I ate that sitting on the bed watching other people work on TV. Sitting on the bed gave me another idea and I decided to take a nap.

It was almost 4:00 p.m. when I woke up, so I went and switched the slow cooker to “warm.” Then I got back to work.

Now, you may remember that there was a height issue and I was debating grinding on the bullnose tile or the metal flange. Well, both seemed fraught with peril. So, I have been thinking about it; mulling it over as it were (and you thought I was just fncking off, LOL!)

I decided to remove the floor tile. Now, I bought expensive tile (not that you could tell now, after pushing this dishwasher without wheels here and there). They were almost an 1/8 of an inch thick, so if I pull them out, I should get the height I need.

I got the heat gun and a wide putty knife. I warmed the tiles up and then popped them off. I mixed up some dish detergent and warm water and sprayed the raw wood. Then I scrapped off as much of the leftover adhesive as I could. I let that dry while I put the adapter (for this style dishwasher) onto the flexible water line.

Okay, the floor was still tacky, but I thought I would try to dry fit it before I hooked the drain and water lines up. Damn! It fit under the counter!!!

Uh, oh… it wouldn’t go all the way back, though. Something was holding it out about two inches. I got the flash light and laid on the floor (at that point of the install, the front kick plate was still off). The damn thing was hitting the copper water line!

[Insert a LOT of swear words here]

Now if there’s one thing I know about myself is that I absolutely suck at sweating copper pipe. But, I have to move the line back at least two inches. It was 7:00 p.m. and I decided to quit for the night and think about it.

So, I went back to dinner (that I can do, LOL). I cut half a head of cabbage into thin wedges. I put them into my Tupperware steamer. I put three cups of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into the bottom of the steamer and then put the lid on it. I microwaved that for seven minutes. I taste tested it and it was perfect! Soft, but still a bit crunchy.

So, I plated dinner. I cut two slices of corned beef, added some fingerling potatoes, carrots and rutabaga. I added two wedges of cabbage. Then I mixed some horseradish with some sour cream (should have been crème fraiche, but I don’t have any) and drizzled that on top for a sauce.

It was excellent!!! First thing I had all day to cheer about.

I finished up and went in to watch the Red Wings game. It was probably the most bizarre hockey game I ever watched, but we won! I celebrated by going to bed.

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