Chicago, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
I was hanging out the sheets the other day when I realized that it wasn’t Saturday, I was a day early. Before the lockdown, I knew it was Saturday because I swam at the pool early. Sunday was John Miller on afternoon baseball, Monday was my day off swimming, Tuesday was questionable, Wednesdays were for groceries, on Thursdays we went vegetable shopping at the Farmer’s Market, and Fridays were David Brooks/Mark Shields night. I obviously don’t work anymore; these days, it seems like every day is Saturday. When we start school or enter the workforce, we march to the tick of the clock, to the pages of the calendar, and are at the beck and call of time. When you have a job, Tuesday and Thursday may be drifty, Wednesday has its own nickname and everyone knows when it’s Monday and Friday.
I have adhered to Saturday clean-sheet day since I was a kid. My mom taught school so housework revolved around her schedule—Saturdays were for clean sheets, vacuuming, and grocery shopping. In fifth grade, days of the week underpants were a big deal. My friend Barbara Kilzer got a set for her birthday, setting off a chorus of must-have pleas among my circle of friends. Muth wasn’t convinced, but one day the underpant package from Sears showed up in the mail. I stuck faithfully to the weekly plan and tried my best, given the fact that laundry day was Saturday, to wear the correct day. I forgot all about DOTW underpants until the late 80s when I saw When Harry Met Sally.
If you work in a restaurant, there are no weekends. Cooks don’t look forward to Friday, only the servers, who fatten their wads on the busy weekends, are glad to see the end of the week roll around. Saturday and Sunday bring on the crowds and dreaded brunch, Monday will be your day off, if you get a day off, Tuesdays add checking in the orders to the already packed day, Wednesdays mean a spirited meeting with the manager about food cost, Thursdays are a bit of a breather, and you’re back to Friday.
When we lived in the 501, I knew it was Tuesday because the garbage collectors clanged us awake, Thursdays announced themselves when Rai, our flight attendant neighbor, returned from a scheduled trip. I could hear his call-out, “Cat, I”m home” and the metallic thump and roll of his suitcase as it hopped up the stairs. Julia, our next door neighbor’s granddaughter, announced Saturday mornings with, “Gramma, I’m ho ome” and it didn’t take long to remember that lawn guys mowed early on Monday morning—I could hear the groans from upstairs guy.
These days, it seems like every day is Saturday. In the stay-home-stay-safe mode the sun comes up, the sun goes down, we walk our daily walk, vacuum the rugs any old day, watch sporting events from the past, and there it is, time to change the sheets again. But if it were all to be taken away, the things I’d want back are the mundane, the every day: chipmunk viewing, morning chats with my sister, sunshine visits with my neighbors, snuggles at night with the sweetie, and hanging out the sheets. The rhythm of daily life—what could be better.
Here are a few morning-walk shots of Spring flowers.
Incidental beauty in the woods
And, incidental visiting frogs
- Flour tortillas—lightly buttered
- Cooked, pulled chicken (canned chicken is just fine) mixed with barbecue sauce (my fav is Jack Daniel’s Original BBQ)
- A couple squirts of Mexican crema, sour cream, plain yogurt (what the heck, strawberry would work), cream cheese, mayonnaise, bottled Ranch dressing—anything white and gooey will do
- Diced green onion (I seldom find green onions in the bin and usually resort to finely diced white onion)
- Diced green chilies in those little cans are a great addition as well as canned, sliced black olives
- Chopped cilantro (use the stems too, they’re crunchy and sweet)
- Grated cheddar cheese (or a shredded mix in a bag—who’s to know?)
Combine chicken and white gooey stuff.
For one quesadilla, spread a bit of cheese, ¼ c. chicken mix, ¼ c. green onions, chilies, black olives, cilantro, and more cheese on one buttered tortilla. Top with second tortilla—press firmly to seal edges. Cook over medium-low heat until down side is golden brown in heavy skillet, turning once. Finish in 350° oven for 10 minutes.
Another method, which is easier to flip, is to spread toppings on one half of tortilla, fold the empty half over the full half, slide into buttered skillet, brown bottom side, butter top side, flip over and finish in the oven.
Serve with black beans, fresh tomato salsa and more white gooey stuff.