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If Found, Please Return My Hammer

You never intend to do a total power-clean, but one thing leads to another...

It always starts out the exact same way. You never intend to do a total power-clean, but one thing leads to another, and then boom, you’ve got a real fancy show-home on your hands. It all started with that hammer. My favourite hammer. That particular red-and-black hammer that belongs to a particular red-and-black toolbox full of-- you guessed it, red-and-black, or black-and-red—depending how you look at it-- tools. It was the only tool missing.

The OCD-video-game-achievement-completionist in me-- knew I had to go and find that hammer. I had a feeling that my prized tool lay dormant somewhere underneath my bed. So, I quickly got to work cleaning the undercarriage of my sadistically-manufactured, and masochistically-assembled, IKEA bedframe.

Like Frodo unceremoniously dubbing Gandalf as “a disturber of the peace”, I cleared out the disturbingly elaborate amount of unchecked and unchallenged dust that had been built up over time. There were so many aged particulates that had accumulated and congregated together, it was as if The Dust Bunnies from The Big Comfy Couch had built an entire civilization in secret. And I wiped them all out with one swift stroke. How fleeting life is. How fleeting and ephemeral. No dice on my hammer, though.

After committing nothing short of pure Dust-Bunny-Genocide (solid 90s grunge band name that I just trademarked), I checked the bathroom. The mist of the air freshener sprayed out some much-needed aromatic bliss, against the long shafts of Spielbergian light. The droplets fell through the air, as the aroma of orange citrus gladly pervaded the bathroom. Cool beans, that smells much better. So much better. Wait. Maybe, I should add another spray of citrus first. Okay, maybe two. Alright, definitely two. Now time to check on my meal.

BBQ Vegan Pulled “Pork” Sandwich with Mushroom:

10 oz King Oyster Mushrooms, or mixed mushrooms

1 shallot-sized onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon soy sauce or liquid aminos

1⁄2 teaspoon mustard or mustard powder

1⁄4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle adobo sauce, or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried chipotle – optional

1 to 2 teaspoon sweetener

2 teaspoon vinegar

1⁄4 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional

1⁄2 cup water

1 teaspoon oil for frying

1) Use a damp cloth or paper towel to clean the king oyster mushrooms.

2) Use a fork to scrape down the length of the mushroom, to create strands. Apply pressure

as needed. Chop the other mushrooms. Set them aside in a bowl.

3) To make the barbecue sauce, mince the onions and garlic before combining in a separate

bowl, with leftover ingredients.

4) Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle

a pinch of salt to help release moisture.

5) Stir barbecue sauce, while keeping heat on low. Cover and simmer for approx 5 minutes,

or until sauce thickens.

6) For a richer sauce, add more tomato paste. For a less sweet sauce, add more vinegar or a

soy sauce. For a more smoke taste, add more liquid smoke.

7) Remove from heat.

I’m looking at my own private living space, that’s shortly about to become the central hub for a party with my closest friends. A party which will in short order be-- one for the books. Now, I know it’s not quite springtime yet, for doing that proverbial flowery-deep-clean of one’s own domicile. I still felt myself compelled to get an early seasonal jump, regardless. The key thing to remember when preparing for a party, is to not force yourself to do everything, well-- yourself. This one’s for all my perfectionists in the back.

The proper trick to preparing for a party-- is to do most of the work, but not all of the work. Go with me here. Once you hit that individual break-point specific to you, I take my own prior episodic advice and remember The Importance of Pausing. I wait for the first of the Eager Beavers to arrive, because there’s always that one person who always shows up ridiculously early. You know who you are. Promptly put them to work. You’ll thank me later.

The only problem with hosting a party, is nine times outta ten, none of your guests will have stayed long enough to help you clean up. Curses! It’s kinda like doing your own laundry. No matter how many times you throw in a load, you’ll always have more clothes to clean. Unless you’re a member of a Nudist Colony. Wait, that’s actually not a half bad idea. You think they have extra spare hammers in nudist colonies?

Update: My much-beloved hammer still remains sadly MIA. Stay tuned for furtherMJ-Search-and-Rescue Adventures to come.


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