Thursday, August 6, 2009

repairs and recipe

The saga of the shattered spreader continues. If you are a loyal reader, you may remember that we broke our Amkus hydraulic spreader early in July, and sent it off for repairs (see my July 5 and 8 posts). On Monday we found out that Amkus recommends that we replace another worn part, which will increase the total bill to $3000 instead of $1000. Soooo . . . I spent the day hunting for bargains on used extrication equipment, which is different than looking for a camera or an ipod on eBay, mostly because Amkus spreaders don't play music or take photos, and don't travel well in teenager's pockets . . . therefore they are in much less demand.

I phoned a few suave salesmen who had the deal of the century, but not quite exactly what I was looking for (at least not until I looked around some more). I made hopeful excursions down numerous Internet rabbit trails, only to find that the rabbits had been gone for quite some time. When the web page says something like, "this page has been out of use for 48 years," you know you took a wrong turn somewhere. The search continues, and we'll undoubtedly spend our hard-earned cash eventually.

The good news? We'll be doing our part to help the languishing economy. How patriotic.

I have another recipe, created (like usual) from the hip. I'll give you the step-by-step process for making "Mexican Pilaf" so you can savour the full experience (I don't think "Mexican" and "Pilaf" are supposed to appear in the same recipe, but oh well).
  • realize that your wife is gone for the day and you need to make supper for your starving kids
  • put some rice on to cook (I made a cup and a half, which was about a half cup too much)
  • add some chili powder, a couple good shots of soya sauce (I like Kikkoman), some garlic, and a few dashes of Tobasco to the rice water
  • dig out the half-pound bag of ground beef that's been hiding in the freezer for the past month
  • put the frozen beef in the frying pan on low heat
  • do a Google search as follows: used; Amkus; spreader; for sale (this step is optional unless you're in desperate need of a used spreader)
  • keep an eye on the ground beef - you want to thaw it not burn it.
  • fry the beef until it's nice and brown, and is starting to stick a bit
  • realize there's less ground beef than you thought, and dig a bag of frozen shrimp out of the freezer
  • thaw a handful of shrimp under cold water, dice, and toss in with the ground beef (don't forget to put the rest of the shrimp back in the freezer)
  • add enough water to cover the bottom of the frying pan
  • sprinkle some chili powder over the beef and shrimp and stir everything together, scraping up the bottom of the frying pan
  • add a handful of frozen peas, cover with a lid and let sit on low heat for a bit
  • do another Google search as follows: used extrication tools (again, optional)
  • see if the peas are warmed up . . . if not, wait a little longer . . . if so stir everything together
  • add the cooked rice (you might only need part of it)
  • go out on the porch and pick some fresh oregano from the flowerpot (make sure you don't get the marigolds by accident)
  • chop the oregano, dump it on top of everything and stir it together
  • sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and leave on low heat until the oregano is slightly cooked
  • get invited out to dinner, put everything in the fridge, and save it for tomorrow :-)

By the way, if you happen to have a used Amkus spreader that you don't need, let me know.

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