My friend Angela was the third person I called, and the first to pick up the phone.
"I'm calling on business," I said. "Sautéed vegetables. Go."
I haven't quite forgiven Angela for moving to North Carolina, even though it was to be with her now fiancé. This call is part of her penance.
"Heat the skillet first", she advises without missing a beat.
Now that is just weird. Why would anyone heat a pan with NOTHING IN IT? But I think, I called her because she actually knows how to cook. She used to trust me to teach her piano; now it's my turn.
While the pan is heating she tells me that the word Sautée means jump. I flick water into the pan as instructed to see if it is hot, then ask her suspiciously, "Wait. How did you know that?" "I like to cook," I can practically hear her shrug.
I have a container of veggies from my old standby Trader Joes. I've got rice in the cooker (I admit, I did Google how to cook rice in a rice cooker. Anyone surprised by this should read my first post).
She coaches me through pouring in a bit of olive oil, adding the veggies to the skillet, then a pinch of salt and pepper.
At this point I say doubtfully, "I have a garlic press here and put a half-moon thing of garlic inside."
(A few weeks ago my husband asked me to bring the garlic press downstairs to the grill. It took me a while to figure out what it was. Again, see previous posts).
I squish the garlic out (FUN) and put it in the skillet. Veggies jumping!
And-voila!! Sautéed veggies! Rice! (kind of burned. I am a work in progress, people.)
At which point she proudly shows off her "Christmas tree". I am lucky my baby, seen in the background, is a good sport.
Angela, you have my eternal thanks! You now have permission to live out of New York City but ONLY IF you continue to answer my cooking calls.
I came out of the kitchen to hear Traffic's "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" playing on the CD player. Lord knows where Big Sis found that CD. But I suppose it does combine her three favorite things; high heels, sparkles, and boys. Look out.