We had a minor domestic disaster last night. Dave made spaghetti sauce with artichoke hearts and capers, and as has lately become our routine, we talked about our day and then watched Rachel Maddow and an episode of "Green Acres" as he cooked.
When we finally sat down to our pasta at about 7 p.m., Dave took one bite and said, "What is so hot in this?"
I tasted it, and yes, it was hot -- as in spicy hot. I said, "It tastes like pepper."
We ate a few more bites. "Jesus!" said Dave. "How much pepper did I use?"
I eventually pinpointed the peppery taste -- all the little round green kernels that looked like capers. Dave ran to get the jar, and sure enough, they weren't capers at all. They were green peppercorns in brine. We were eating spaghetti sauce containing an entire jar of green peppercorns.
There's a show here in England called "The Great British Bake-Off," in which contestants compete against each other in various feats of baking. As has become standard on these shows, one contestant gets sent packing in every episode. Well, the other day, one of the bakers accidentally used salt instead of sugar in his recipe, and I remember thinking that was an awfully careless mistake. But now I see how easily such a thing can happen. Those peppercorns really did look like capers.
Anyway, I picked the peppercorns out and ate the sauce, and it was fine. Dave ate his peppercorns and all, but complained this morning that he didn't get the best night's sleep. (Also partly due to bed-hogging Olga.)
After dinner we watched an episode of "24," and although we're not quite finished with the first season, Dave and I agreed that we've had enough of that show. It's just too ridiculous. I mean, I can barely keep myself awake through an average workday, and here's a guy whose wife and daughter have been kidnapped (twice in the case of the daughter), who's trying to prevent a political assassination, who's surrounded by murder and mayhem and gunfire at every turn, and who's been awake for 36 hours and isn't even visibly tired?
(Photo: The window washer that Olga and I see most mornings in Westbourne Grove. He always gives her a pat on the head.)