To children, some decisions seem far more important than they really are.
I’m legendary in my house for how great my vision was as a small child. According to my mother, I used to be able to identify the different planes that flew over our house (we were lucky enough to be on the flight path for a major airport) by calling out the colors on the wings and tails. I could identify birds and squirrels in trees all the way across a gigantic field.
And then my father’s genes took over after my visual peak in kindergarten.
By third grade, I had become the child that had to sit in the very front of the room, or else I would have to walk up right next to the board to read the chalked instructions. My first vision test was right before my class was scheduled to take a standardized exam, and the start time for everyone was delayed for forty-five minutes while the school staff became aghast at how bad my vision was at the old age of 8.
You know the big letter “E” on the vision chart? The one that everyone assumes even a blind person can see? My eyes, it turns out, were worse than that (though it’s a good thing that, at my current age, my eyes don’t appear to be getting any worse).
I should probably take a moment to say that I was legendary in my family for another trait- it took me FOREVER to make a decision. It was though my entire life would be completely dependent on what I chose to bring for lunch that day or what I brought to show and tell.
Therefore, choosing my first pair of glasses was quite momentous. My mother had taken me out of school for the afternoon so I could have a proper eye appointment and then pick out a pair of glasses.
Eyeglass sales clerk: What kind of glasses would you like, my dear?
Young Megs: Should I get blue? Or green? Or pink? What should the sides look like? Do I need sunglasses too? What should I doooooooooooooooo?
I looked at my first pair of glasses at 3pm that day.
By 8:30pm, I had tried on every pair of glasses in the entire store. It had actually closed at 8pm, but the store employee took pity on me (or, perhaps, didn’t want me to return another day where she would then lose out on even more commissions). I tried on glasses right through dinner, and snacks, and practically through bedtime. My entire family wanted to rip their hair out. I practically cried when they told me I had to make a decision in the next five minutes. And I still managed to delay that decision until 9pm.
I finally picked a pair of glasses. Which, looking at the pictures from back then, where my blue and turquoise frames took up over a third of my face, were probably not the best decision.
And, if you must know, it still takes me at least an hour to pick out the perfect pair.
Take the Time Chicken Stock
- 1 carcass from a large roasted chicken (or from two roasted cornish hens)
- 3 large carrots, chopped into large pieces
- 1 head garlic, cut in half
- 3 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
- 1 large purple onion, quartered
- 12 oz bottle beer (I used an Oktoberfest, but an IPA works well, too)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- In your largest stock pot available, place the chicken skin/bones, carrots, garlic, celery, and onion.
- Pour in the beer, then add in the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Cover everything with water up to an inch below the top of your pot.
- Turn the burner onto high, and bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and let the stock bubble for at least 3-4 hours, until the liquid has reduced by at least 2 inches and the color of the stock is a nice golden brown.
- Using a large colander, pour out the broth and throw away the large pieces of the stock ingredients.
- Using your finest mesh sieve, remove the rest of the impurities from your stock. Place into containers and either freeze (you can keep it for up to 6 months) or refrigerate (it can keep for up to a week).
- Once the stock is cold, skim off the layer of fat that has solidified at the top (this is really easy to wash off the frozen stock).