Apples & Reunions

You’ll have to forgive Jerrie for his absence the last few days, but he’s just now recovering from a catatonic state of mind caused by the near fatal crash of his beloved Apple computer. It was scary to watch as he frantically searched for answers for the problem he experienced and we even took him to Best Buy, where he got it, to speak to a Geek. Turns out those Geeks aren’t allowed to work on Macintosh hardware … they can just install, or reinstall software.

Since Jerrie’s hard drive was essentially dead, according to the message he received when attempting an upgrade to Apple’s newest operating system, he was seeking assistance at the highest level. At best buy he was provided help by a Geek who had difficulty getting Jerrie’s iMac back into the box in which it was delivered, and was then told he’d have to go to an Apple Store at one of the biggest malls in the Portland area. Not totally pleased, he went there, dropping Diane at a handy Costco on the way, and arrived 2 minutes late. Because of that he was removed from the Apple Help queue and told he’d have to wait another hour for assistance.

For Jerrie, that wasn’t an option because he was parked in a 10 minute zone and Diane was certainly getting jittery at the unfamiliar Costco at which she was dropped. The jitteriness was caused by the architects and builders of that particular Costco because the floor plan is the exact opposite of every other Costco floor plan in the know universe. What were they thinking?

Jerrie safely made it back to retrieve Diane, after getting lost only twice, and they returned, happily, to their quiet corner of Oregon. When they got home, Jerrie made six last attempts to resurrect his Apple, earning success on the third try. He did it three more times just to make sure it worked. He was able to restore his system, recovering all 77,892 photos from his backup drive. Now he will make himself crazy trying to save them to a portable form of media now that he knows, for certain, that Apples don’t last forever, and the skill level of Best Buy Geeks are suspect. This was proven when Jerrie managed to resurrect his Apple using a software solution, which is apparently all his assigned Geek was allowed to do.

The resurrection wasn’t quick. It took, like 3 days. Seriously. Thankfully, Jerrie had his MacBook and iPad to keep him company as he worked through his mental issues regarding the possible loss of every photo he’s taken in the past 4 years. He sobbed for hours on end and, at one point, was told to knock it off her someone was going to call 911. He did, they didn’t. Still, he sobbed quietly when he thought no one was looking. He blamed the little black dog for all the little drops scattered around the house.

Ooops! Here he comes so I must quit. He’ll surely want to get an entry out there for all of you who are just riveted with amazing wonderment at what he might “say” next, so don’t tell him what I’ve been telling you … OK?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hey! What’s going on here. Looks like someone, or thing, has been using my computer without my permission. It’s still warm from someone’s lap, and it wasn’t mine. Dammit, Jim! (that’s a Star Trek reference, by the way). My laptop should only be warmed by MY lap, not some interloper’s.

Let’s see … ah … yesterday Diane invited everyone we knew to her Mom’s house to celebrate her Mom’s 85th birthday. The birthday was actually on the 8th, so at the time of the party she was already well on her way to 86. That didn’t matter. And, it turns out that the only people we know well are family members … 25 of them, to be precise. Well, not all of them were family members, but that didn’t matter because it was pot luck and the food was welcome.

Diane wanted to do this at her Mom’s house because she has a creek running through the back yard. It’s real low now so the little kidlets would have a place to splash around.

Here’s Lydia in the creek with her cousins, Gilligan and Baylee …

Here’s a picture of all the small children at the gathering …

That’s Danyell, Baylee, Juliette, Gilligan, and Jerrie. Danyell and Juliette are our two Great Grand Daughters. Baylee, Gilligan, and Jerrie are their aunts. Neat.

Here’s a picture of the whole gang … our kids and their kids … and their kids’ kids …

Diane’s Mom is on the left, back row.

The day before this momentous event, Diane made me stay up until almost midnight to make my patented nationally acclaimed potato salad. She won’t let me make it during the day when someone might be able to see how I do it.  So, at risk of life and limb, I’m going to share it all with you, here and now.

It involves potatoes, oddly enough, onions, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, mustard, celery seed, a big bowl, a potato peeler, and a little time. Oh, and a big pan half full of water.

First, get a 10 pound bag of potatoes and remove 4 of them from the bag. Put them in a special place in the garage, or basement, where you won’t forget where they are until they start smelling real bad and are hard to pick up. Peel the rest of the potatoes. I had to do this because my pan isn’t big enough to hold the entire 10 pound bag. Perhaps you have a larger pan.

After peeling them, get the large knife that I failed to include above, and cut them into fairly small cubes then place them into the pan of water into which you have already dumped a bunch of salt. The amount of salt is subjective, based mostly on the condition of your blood pressure.

“Why,” you may ask, “must I cut the potatoes into ‘fairly small’ cubes?”

“Actually,” I would respond, “you don’t. You don’t have to cut them up at all. Just put them in the pan entirely whole”

The problem with that, however, is doing so wastes space in the water and makes it take longer to cook them. Fairly small cubes cook much quicker, but you must be weary, watching them every minute so they don’t cook into mush which will result in mashed potato salad.

Considering that you chose the proper path for deconstructing the potatoes, once the potatoes are cooked and you have spread them out to cool, they might look something like this …

I used five normal dinner plates, one platter, and one smaller dessert plate. There was no conscious thought given to the selection of the plates. That’s just the way it worked out. If you have a big enough pan to cook the entire 10 pounds of potatoes you may have to use bigger plates, or more of the smaller ones. I don’t know.

While the potatoes are cooling you’ll have time to mix up the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, mustard, and celery seed. Doing this will require the use of a smaller bowl that I failed to mention above in the list of required participants in this exercise.

Oh … did I mention eggs? You’ll need eggs, too. About this many …

I’ll explain the eggs in a minute … right now, you’re mixing the mayo and other stuff.

To get the right amount of mayo, use a large spoon and dip out about half the jar, if it’s a big jar. If it’s a smaller jar, use two of them. The mustard is used to give the dressing a little “zing” and some color. Salt and pepper to taste, and mix it all up. Once that’s done, get your celery seed container, and sprinkle on the mixture until it’s covered with the seeds. Mix thoroughly.

Leave all this on the counter and take the eggs to the sink where you will be peeling the wrappers off them. What I forgot to tell you was how to cook the eggs … put them in a pan, cover then with water, bring water to a boil, turn off the burner, cover, and leave them alone for a while, until you’re ready to peel them.

Peel the eggs under cold running water. eat all those that don’t peel cleanly. You should wind up with almost 8 of them for the salad. Put them aside for later use. It doesn’t matter if you put them in in a container or just leave them on the counter.

While the potatoes were cooking, you should have been chopping up a bunch of dill pickles and 1/3 of a very large onion. I use a chopper thing, but you can use anything sharp, like a knife. Any kind of knife that will cut an onion. Even a plastic one. When done chopping, put them aside for later use.

Now the potatoes are cool, and it’s time to start mixing everything together. Here’s how.

Get the large bowl. The biggest one you can find. The one I use is a yellow tupperware one. Maybe you have one of those. If so, use it.

To begin, dump one of the plates of potatoes into the bowl. Go find the bowls of chopped pickles and onions, and put a small handful of each on top of the potatoes. Then add a couple of large spoons full of the dressing mix. Chop up  two of the eggs and put them on top. Do this for each plate of potatoes, until everything is all in the bowl. Then get a large spoon with holes in it and mix it all up, but don’t over mix it because it will turn into mashed potato salad, the same as if you had over cooked the potatoes in the first place. You don’t want that. Trust me, no one will eat it … unless you make some kind of gravy for it. I don’t know how to do that.

Now that you have everything mixed up put the bowl in a refrigerator overnight so the flavors mix properly. If the reason you made the salad is for a more immediate use, that’s OK. I’ve actually served my potato salad warm which adds an unexpected element that people normally don’t expect. Maybe that should be “… that normal people don’t expect.” Whatever.

OK – that’s about it for potato salad. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of what I made but it was all eaten. Now I have to make something else, but don’t know what it’s going to be. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Oh .. you may have noticed the bottle of ketchup in one of the pictures. That was just there for added color. It needed red.

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