We're driving to Italy in May for a family reunion. We thought it might be fun to have new, good tires for the trip.
As I'm trying to keep mon mari's nose to the grindstone I volunteered to do the sitting and waiting whilst the tires were put on.
Some of the family is coming to our house before we leave for Italy, and more are coming back with us, so he has a bit of work to do.
Foolishly, some of them are expecting beds to sleep in.
Back to the tires.
We made the appointment and mon mari told them what tires he wanted and what other work was to be done.
At the appointed time I showed up, handed over the keys and made myself as comfortable as possible on the little plastic chairs.
The work was supposed to take an hour and I was actually looking forward to it. I haven't had an opportunity to just sit and read a good book in a long time. Usually the only reading I get to do is while riding my exercise bike.
Back to the tires.
After about 45 minutes the young man came looking for me. That was quick, I thought.
They hadn't been able to figure out how to get the tires off and could I help them.
There are two things wrong with this:
First: I'm in a tire store. Their business is to sell tires. In order to sell tires it is normally expected that the old tires be removed and the new tires mounted.
What the h*** do you mean: You don't know how to get the tires off?!?!?!
Second: The last time I changed a tire was on a beat-up old Ford I had in college. How was I supposed to be of help to people who did this for a living?
I humored them and went out to the work bay, where I remained clueless.
I called mon mari (which, now that I think of it, is probably what they wanted me to do). He, naturally, didn't answer the phone as he was busy upstairs working – as he should be.
I watched all the workers run around like chickens for a bit, then went back to my chair and continued reading.
About 15 minutes later they came looking for me again. It was hopeless. They couldn't get the tires off. What were they to do? (Again, asking the wrong person….)
I called mon mari again, being visibly irritated. This time he answered and said to remind them that if it requires a special tool, and said tool is missing, they misplaced it when we bought tires there 2 years ago.
I relayed the message.
They went off shaking their heads, saying there was nothing they could do.
I went back to my chair.
About 20 minutes later it occurred to me that my car could be sitting by the door waiting for me to leave, with the old tires still on.
Just as I was going to check, the young man came running in.
Success! They had managed to find whatever it was they needed and were now changing the tires. He explained it all to me, showing me various bits.
Frankly, I wasn't the least bit interested and didn't pay attention…..
Finally, it was done. I was there for 3 1/2 hours for a one hour job. I came within 10 pages of finishing my book. I wasted an entire afternoon of sunshine.
At least mon mari got some work done…..
How can employees in a tire store not know how to take off a tire? Shouldn't that be a job requirement?
By the way – the French word for tire is 'pneu', pronounced 'p-new'.
I always feel like I'm sneezing when I say it.
I may have mentioned that I've gone a little crazy in the kitchen lately. It happens in the spring.
I don't want to do roast chicken or beef stews.
I want to do barbecued chicken and grilled steaks.
The weather has not been cooperating.
Or maybe we're not prepared to take advantage…. Something is not working.
On the beautiful, warm sunny days I'm so busy outside doing all the spring work (again, so mon mari can continue working on the house – pressure is mounting) that I don't feel like firing up the barbecue and on cold rainy days we just don't.
But I'm bored with winter cooking!
So we end up with things like Lemon Meatball Salad….
And Quiche Pizza…. Or should that be Pizza Quiche….
1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup chicken stock to yield 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) shredded cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3oz (90gr) ham salami or pepperoni
1 fresh mozzarella, (4oz, 125gr net weight)
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) cup shredded Parmesan cheese
The rice: Cook the rice in stock. If doing in advance, refrigerate until needed. If doing now, spread the rice on a plate to cool for 5 minutes before making crust.
The crust: Lightly whisk 1 egg. Mix cooked rice, cheese and egg. Pat into a lightly oiled quiche or 10" (25cm) pie plate, working it up the sides a bit for the edges. Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 10 minutes.
The filling: Heat oil in a skillet and lightly sauté pepper and onion. Slice mozzarella and tear slices into chunks.
Whisk 3 eggs, oregano, chili powder and tomato sauce together.
To assemble: When crust is done, remove from oven. Spread the peppers and onions evenly over the crust. Top with salami and mozzarella. Pour egg mixture over all, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake, 35 minutes, 400F (200C). When done the center should be firm or with a very slight jiggle. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
Note: I usually put the quiche dish on a baking sheet to make it easier to handle.
One could even do this on a proper crust – but we all know that I don't make proper crusts…