Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ups and downs

Today I spoke on a panel at NYU Law School's Family Day, when students' parents, significant others, siblings, etc. come to the school for a series of events. Pretty big crowd for the panel - probably about 500 or so. My topic was the long-term fiscal problems we face, and what the Obama Administration is (or isn't) doing about it. I showed them such charts, explained healthcare's role as an important contributor but not the sole cause, expressed extreme skepticism about how it is going to play out, based however on my read of U.S. politics rather than anything about the current forecasts, and so forth. I thought it went well & that I was in good form; this is something speakers (or certainly I) naturally care about. Makes one feel good and indeed invigorated.

Then I came home to do a baking project I had in mind, making a couple of plum loaf breakfast breads using very ripe and flavorful but too-soft late-season Italian plums that I had purchased precisely with this in mind. You mix the batter (dry and wet ingredients separately and then together), and the last step is to add and mix in your defining liquid ingredient, in this case the plum puree.

Only, I took the wrong container out of the fridge and mixed in instead some very garlicky tomato sauce. Once I had done this, it was too late to do anything but either (a) throw the whole thing out (two whole loaves' worth) or alternatively (b) bake it anyway and see what happens.

I chose option (b) but was physically revolted by what came out of the oven an hour later. (Though others get the final word before we throw it out.) The problem isn't the tomato, I suppose one could substitute it for a more conventional dessert-style fruit though I certainly wouldn't try it without good reason to think it would work. But strong garlic plus sweet in the same food item is for some reason revolting, at any rate to me, and even if it does all mix in the stomach later on anyway.

Score one good experience for the day and one embarrassing if moderately amusing botch.

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