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October 26, 1998

Mostly Done. Almost...

I woke up with just a single image in my head of my dream. I was male, built medium height, slender, wiry, strong, in a bloody, ripped, grey pinstriped suit. I had a bloody sword in one hand, the writhing snake haired head of Medusa in my right, and deep dark shades over my eyes to keep me from being able to see the Medusa's head directly. There was War zone all around me, and enemy to the right, left, and front and center and I had the feeling that I was guarding something that was at my back. The Head was turning all my enemies to stone, our enemies, and it had been a nasty, hard, long battle.

Document check day. Done with pretty much all the software things, a few things a few people are fixing and finishing up, but a thousand loose ends to make sure are neatly cut and tied down. Including nearly 13 pages of things to verify as really fixed in the last release. Things that we have to make sure still work and would work as planned on all three operating systems. Yes, it's a paint to have things work on 95, NT and 98, but, yes, it's necessary to test on all of them, too, for the whole testing period.

I have to admit to loving our testing procedures. We test on all the platforms on clean machines that have no development environment crutches. We test when we develop, but it's always good to have a machine completely unlike the development environment around to make sure it still works on that.

Anyway. The whole day was spent fixing all that up. It wasn't until after 7 p.m. that John and I got to go home, and we stopped by the grocery store, because I really wanted filet mignon, but they had none. So, instead, we got crab and Japanese 'imitation' crab instead, so that I could make Pepin style crab cakes, a tub of cole slaw and nothing much else. I was also shaking, it seemed from low blood sugar and dehydration, so I bought myself a bottle of some no-caffeine soda and sugar, and when I drank it I felt a heck of a lot better. Rational even. Almost.

In the midst of the prep of the crab cakes, I ran completely out of mayonnaise. I usually just use Best Foods mayo from the bottle, but with no hope of getting any more of that, and none in the house, I finally cracked and made my own. And, in my own way, I used balsamic vinegar instead of white vinegar, and we had extra-virgin olive oil, which I liked the taste of better than normal canola, and the cookbook mentioned putting a dash of cayenne pepper in instead of normal, and and and...

Well, I ended up with a mayonnaise that was really, really good and unlike any mayo I'd ever had in my life.

I used it to moisten crab and spices, with just a touch of Tabasco and Bay Spice, then added about a cup of crumb from the fresh sourdough bread, then the egg white left over from making the mayo. The whole thing smashed into uncertain patties, which then cooked in just a bit of peanut oil. The result was astonishing, crisp, flavorful, tender with crab and gently flavored by the mayo's vinegar in ways I hadn't expected, but turned out beautifully. The coleslaw was good with it, but not nearly up to the same level.

I think I'm cooking better, now that I have some idea of what a true ideal can be.

We took Fezzik for his walk and he was really happy. That was good.

We saw Jurassic Park as, for some reason, we had it on tape, a bought tape. So we just lay around and watched it for most of the evening. For some reason I had no dreams after it.

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