Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Gift of Time

At least one of my brothers will join my wife and me for Christmas this year, which will add to the festivities of the season. He'll bring home-made chili with him, the results of a recent chili-making binge. I am a fan of chili-making binges, having been involved in such things more than once in the past.

I've grown into a fan of "layering" the flavors of different chile powders, something I'd once suspected was a scheme to sell more expensive chile powders without actually having and effect on flavor. My wife's efforts one year to replicate an award-winning chili recipe converted me. She blended about four or five different chile powders during the course of the chili-making, adding each one at a precise time before "finish time" so that the flavors of each of the spices could reach their peak at precisely the right moment. I don't yet understand how that all works, but I can attest without any reservation that it does.

Something else I may do during the one-week hiatus from work over the Christmas holidays is to tackle re-doing the little wet-bar adjacent to our two living areas. The counter is black laquer (obviously a refinish of the underlying formica counter) and the cabinet paint is shiny black laquer, as well. The back and sides (and even the top) are mirrors. I don't attempt to remove the mirrors, as that would entail tearing out the walls (the mirrors are affixed with construction adhesive, I think). But I may take out the counter or, if that proves likely to result in mirror breakage, tile over it. I'm thinking of using a mottled black and reddish-brown granite tile, if I can find it. And the black laquer paint will be stripped off and replaced with something much lighter. My wife wants the sink to remain (I hate it), but she likes the idea of installing a small wine refrigerator-cooler in the space, too.

We'll see. I could just as easily devote my time to something more productive and more urgent, but I think I'll leave those tasks to someone more capable than I (tile-setters, plumbers, sheetrock pros, etc.).

A gift of time to do this sort of thing is all I want for Christmas.

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