“Dianna, just leave me alone.”

“Dianna, just leave me alone.”   This is a direct quote.  A favorite plea from my husband, the erstwhile, Rayman.  He engages a slightly higher octave when spitting this out and he slows down his twangy drawl in order to, I suspect, deliver the message with great frustration.  It rarely works.  That’s because I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am not going to ever leave him alone.  It’s not what I do.  He is my husband, for heaven’s sakes.  He is conveniently present most of the time.  We live in close proximity.  There is no one else around most of the time.  So…he gets my full attention.

This morning I had much to do in the kitchen.  Company was coming for dinner so I needed a good running start for the event.  The menu included achiote-based marinate for the chicken parts.  The other item on the menu was home made ice cream.  You see, this is what an on-top-of-it cook does.  Meringue has no use of yolks, and it requires a copious amount of whites.  See chapter on E is for Eggs.  So, what to do?  Flan, creme brûlée, ice cream?  Three great uses for egg yolks.  I settled on ice cream.  From the same cookbook, Two Hot Tamales, I found an ice cream recipe with kuala and chocolate.  Yummy.

The ice cream required 3/4 cup of double-strength espresso.  After searching the cupboards for instant espresso, all that I found was old Folger’s coffee crystals dating back to what looked to the be the age of the dinosaur.  That’s when I asked Rayman if he would make me some espresso.  That was at 9:10 a.m.  “Sure”, he said.  After a few minutes Rayman pleaded, “What the heck is wrong?  I can’t get this to work.”  Backing up for a just a minute, he had unearthed an espresso maker that has been gracing the counter for years.  That’s all it has been doing.  Gracing the counter.  Rayman has not used it in years.  It’s one of those appliances that are the rage so you buy one.  Then after a year or so, it just graces the counter.  Novelty gone.  Espresso not required.

But I digress.

So, I went over to him and surveyed the situation.  After jiggling the plug, the machine came to life.  Oh, my.  Was there male pride involved?  Perhaps.   At this point, he cheerily started brewing the espresso.  And I returned to making my marinate for the chicken.  But them, calamity broke loose.  Rayman had placed a measuring cup underneath the “spiket” where the brew comes out.   And most of the espresso was missing its intended target.  That’s because it was leaking out of the sides of the filter holder”.   “Good grief”, he muttered.  And that was about the time I contributed the idea of reading the directions.  “I don’t need the directions.  I know what I’m doing.”  Right.  Espresso was everywhere.  On the granite, on the espresso maker itself.  On the Rayman.  “I may have loaded it too tight.”  That was followed up by, “I’ll do it again”.  This was followed up with him doing it again with the same exact results.  Only this time, he was inflicting damage on himself.  Coffee stains on his sweater.  “Should I find the directions for you?”, I inquired.  It was about this time that he said, “Dianna, just leave me alone.”  And that’s about the same time that the espresso maker did it thing and erupted, more or less.  Coffee was everywhere.

And we both just howled.

I rushed to the computer to get it all down and he went about cleaning up the mess and then cleaning the espresso maker and then brewing a perfectly nice cup of espresso.  It was 10:20.


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