After two misadventures, my husband’s Italian mother used to say, “Non c’è due senza tre.”
The trio of mishaps began last night before dinner.
I tried to slice an onion with a mandolin, but the onion rings kept slipping around. Inefficient. So I sliced thinly by hand, slowly and carefully not to cut myself, though not without knocking over a glass of water by my elbow. Spilled water is a nuisance, but it is easily taken care of.
I proceeded to sauté the onion with garlic and rosemary, adding 2 pounds of coarsely chopped tomatoes and some anchovies when the onions were really limp. As the tomatoes softened and lost their shape, I added the pork chops that I had previously seared. Then I put the whole heavy mess into the oven — a really hot oven. A few minutes later, when the meat should have been cooked through, I opened the oven door to check.
My oven is about 30 years old and I live very close to the sea, so the salt air and the humidity have wreaked their havoc. The shelves don’t slide easily and the door sticks, requiring a mighty heave. The saucepan was really heavy and my arm is still weak, not fully recovered from surgery. I had a hard time grasping the single handle of the very hot and large sauté pan and could barely lift it. Moving it to the counter proved to be too much. The pan slipped in my grip and slopped half the meal on the counter, to the floor and everything in between. The cleanup was … well, extensive. Meanwhile, the meat stayed in the sizzling pan.
By the time I finally served dinner, the sauce was still delicious, but the chops were overcooked. And then my husband said, “Non c’è due senza tre.”
Superstition. The rest of the evening was unremarkable.
The next morning, everything seem to be going well. Pretty well, that is, until I tried to join my Zoom partner. The URL stayed stuck and nothing happened. I left the desktop computer, which is often slow, and went downstairs to my laptop, but that didn’t work either. I resorted to the cell phone, and when my call wouldn’t go through, I tried texting. No dice. By that time, it finally dawned on me that the wireless was not connecting.
I decided to wait it out with the distraction of a good read. Sometimes it behooves us to acknowledge and yield to force majeure.