Saturday, February 19, 2011

In search of...

I love egg rolls. More specifically, I love egg rolls in the same way that I love shrimp cocktail: I use them as a socially acceptable means for transferring a tasty condiment from the plate to my mouth. With shrimp, it's the tangy, horseradish-laced cocktail sauce that I want. I can't get enough of it, but dipping my fingers directly into the sauce dish would surely cause some uncomfortable glances to be cast my way.

With egg roles, it's the hot, HOT Chinese mustard. You know, the stuff that you can feel all the way up into your sinuses. So far up there that you can feel the burn behind your eyes. I just love the stuff. Even when the egg rolls are gone, I hoard the little dish of mustard until after the meal when I can dip pieces of my fortune cookie into it. Unfortunately, ostensible mustard they sell in grocery stores is no good.

It simply doesn't cut the mustard, as it were.

I've tried every brand, and found none that can provide the burn I so crave.

When we vacationed in Chicago last year, I made it a point to set aside a day to visit Chinatown. I thought that I would be able to get some of the real stuff simply by visiting a Chinese grocery store. That proved to not be all that simple. The problem was not in finding an authentic Chinese grocery store; there were dozens of them. And by authentic, I mean two things: the aisles were packed with all kinds things I had never heard of, and even if I had heard of them, I had never considered them to be comestibles. Second, the stores were so authentic that no one working in any of them spoke English. That put me in a bit of a quandary: we had spent a couple hours going from store to store and I couldn't find anything that looked like mustard. My futile attempts to ask the grocer were met with looks of complete and abject confusion. They had no idea what I was asking them.

I finally hit upon what I considered to be a brilliant idea. We would go have lunch in a Chinese restaurant, order some egg rolls, and ask the (presumably) English-speaking waitress to write a note explaining what I was looking for. I'd then hand her note to one of the grocers and we'd be done! And I think that idea would have worked, except for one little detail that had never even entered my mind. When I asked the waitress where I could buy the Chinese mustard that she brought out with the egg rolls, she said,

"It's not Chinese mustard. Chinese don't use mustard; this is an American thing. We buy it at CostCo."


All of this is a long way of saying that I finally found the little wrenches that came with the new air riveter. I remembered putting them away somewhere safe so I wouldn't lose them, which virtually guaranteed that I would. I've made the rounds from toolbox to workbench shelves to other toolbox to storage cabinet at least a half dozen times. Then I noticed the original box that the riveter had come in pushed way to the back corner of the shelf under my tool bench.

Could I have left them in the box? Could it have really been that easy all along??


But soon thereafter I did find them pushed to the very back corner of the tool drawer where I keep the pneumatic rivet driver.

With that problem solved (and the wrenches tossed casually into a pile of unrelated detritus so it will be easier to find them next time I need them), Co-pilot Egg was able to rivet the leading edges. Once that was done, I installed the flaperon hinge braces using the much-easier-then-last-time method of not riveting the bottom flange of the little doubler to the skins until after I got the beefy part of the hinge brace inserted up through the slot in the skins.

That took us up to lunchtime. We went to Skyline for some coneys and decided to call it a day.

1 comment:

Rick Lee said...

A few years ago in England, my wife and I were looking around for something not too unhealthy to eat for lunch and we happened across a little sandwich stand and ordered chicken sandwiches with just mustard on them. In the US, this wouldn't be considered an odd request but this gentleman looked at us like we just ordered a possum sandwich. He made the sandwiches and gave them to us, and we proceeded to attempt to eat these sandwiches with the hottest horseradish mustard I've ever encountered in my life. We were crying our eyes out. It was like pure horseradish with a little mustard flavoring added. We learned that day that the term "mustard" can refer to wildly different substances.

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