Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HOW "NOT" TO SAVE WATER...


Most newlyweds will know that the first few of months of married life presents the awkward task of working out the division of roles and household chores.


27 years ago, my husband and I were doing just that. He developed a really endearing habit in his routine of bringing me a cup of tea or coffee, whilst I was still in bed, first thing in the morning.



As winter approached, cups of tea and coffee became more frequent.
My hubby became convinced that the...
 tea and coffee tasted like rubber ...
and he found these beverages totally unpalatable!
He checked the water from the taps...

 ...but all seemed okay!...

He carefully analysed his routine in an attempt to find the source of the irritating rubber taste.
He checked the kettle, the milk, the coffee and the mugs but its source could not be identified. Indeed, he even bought a new kettle in the vain attempt to avert the taste.
Somehow the source of the taste was nowhere to be found and he conceded that the distaste was there to stay.

I, on the other hand, didn’t notice anything unusual...

I had grown up on a farm where water was scarce and we were forced to save every drop we could.
Complaints about the taste of water would have been regarded as out of place.
Indeed our water on the farm often tasted like rubber, so the rubbery taste in our new city appartment was quite acceptable from my point of view.

Those first winter months of our married life were very cold and one of our treats was the nightly hot water bottle...

I would boil the kettle in the evening and fill our hot water bottle lovingly before retiring to bed.

One chilly Saturday morning, my husband slept in and I decided to reverse the roles and treat him with a cup of coffee in bed. I duly trotted off to the kitchen, clutching the hot water bottle to my chest. I checked the water level of the kettle and seeing that it was fairly empty, carefully opened the stopper of my hot water bottle and poured its contents into the kettle.

It was at that point that my husband strolled, all dreamy eyed,  into the kitchen and noticed what I was doing.

“You are pouring the water from the hot water bottle into the kettle!”, he accused.

After months of desperately searching, he'd finally found the source of the rubbery taste in his coffee:-

"Wifey",  :) ...
 well practiced in farm life, had thoughtfully attempted to save water in her new marriage! She didn't think, for one minute that this would result in tainted water!

 At last the mystery of the rubbery taste was solved!


Old habits...unthinkingly...die hard!

I have never lived this story down!
 It has been a constant joke in our family.

“Visitors beware – our coffee tastes like rubber!”

Do you have any similar stories?
Feel free to leave your anecdote as a comment!

(It really is fun to read everyone else's stories!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Lotsaluv


21 comments:

The Thundering Herd said...

My parents and I were stopping by my sister's apartment one day many years ago (she was about 20). She discovered that she was out of coffee filters, but decided to make coffee anyway using a paper towel as a strainer - without telling us. My parents kept sipping the coffee and trying not to comment about the little bits of paper floating in the coffee.

Madi and Mom said...

What a great story!!! I love it.
Years ago we were shopping for our Christmas tree walking in and out of the rows and rows of beautiful evergreens. Finally we were asked what type of tree we were looking for, I proudly stated oh we are looking for a 'furser fray'...when in fact we were looking for a 'Fraser fur'!! Everyone had a good chuckle. To this day we cannot be around evergreens without that story being retold.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

That's absolutely hilarious, but also a sobering lesson to those of us who have never known any kind of water shortage.

houndstooth said...

That's a great story!

When I was a teenager, my younger sister and I had to move in with my dad. Most of the time, I did the cooking, but I didn't know how to do much that was very fancy. One day, my dad bought this cookbook from church that was for a fundraiser. It was around the beginning of December and my dad and sister decided they'd make some fudge for the holidays. I had homework to do, so I sat at the table working on that while they started to make the fudge. The first problem was that they started with a pot that was too small. By the time they got all the ingredients in, it was filled to the very brim. So, they didn't stir it any, because they didn't want to slosh any of the mixture over the side. Then, they poured it into three baking pans. The first one was barely light tan fluff. The second one looked marbled with light tan fluff and dark brown crystallized bits. The third was just the dark brown stuff. When the fudge came out of the oven, none of it was edible and we ended up having to throw two of the pans away because the stuff had bonded to the metal! Oh, they took a lot of ribbing for that! At Christmas, I think they got five different cookbooks with recipes for fudge and they still get ribbed about it on occasion!

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

Hi Caryl, looking back through some of your posts...
You are such a gifted writer! I loved the story about the drum and how you found it. And the rubber coffee story takes the cake, lol! I'm so sorry about the car accident and very thankful you and your daughter weren't hurt. Angels surround positive and loving people, I'm sure of it...

Much love,
Kathleen

PS. Thank you for the link to your poem yesterday, I really enjoyed it!

JackDaddy said...

LOL

Now that made me laugh! :)

The OP Pack said...

What a great story AND memory!!! Just when I think I just can't add any more blogs to our list, I come here and just know that I can't NOT do it:)

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Well, this is totally embarrassing and I can't even believe I am going to share this because it makes me out to be a real dummy BUT, you asked. When I was newly married I phoned my mom and asked her for her peanut butter cookie recipe. I carefully wrote down her instructions, hung up the phone and went off to make my first batch of cookies as a newly married gal.

I had all of the ingredients in the house except for baking soda. I looked at the recipe and all it called for was 1 teaspoon. What a small amount, I thought, it can't be all that important. So, I mixed everything up minus the baking soda - who needs it anyway☺ Filled a cookie sheet and popped it into the oven. I won't even try to tell you what those blobs of dough looked like at the end of 8 minutes!

I learned my lesson and I learned it good. Even if a recipe calls for a tiny amount of something - it could be the MOST important on the list!

There, now you know - I was a real dummy! Little did anyone know at the time but over the years I would become an excellent cook who would rather be in the kitchen than any other room in the house.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Forgot to say - you two are ADORABLE!

sprinkles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. JP said...

I absolutely love that story. You will never live it down.
When I was a young teenager I had horses. I loved them, took good care of them and fussed over the tack. One evening I was cleaning and polishing a bridle and noticed some writing on the bit. I said "Mom, do we know someone named Pat Pending?" Needless to say, it was quite a few minutes before Mom regained her composure enough to tell me what a goof I was!!!
That's one I'll never live down.

Clive said...

Enjoyed that story very much!

sprinkles said...

Oh, this is funny! I've never been married so I don't have an anecdote but I enjoyed reading yours and the other commenters!

Mr. Maxdog sounds like a keeper - bringing you coffee and tea in bed!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

We smiled at MaxDog's blog today BUT I think I'm smiling more with yours!

Thanks for sharing this tidbit!

Deborah said...

LOL, that is a riot! I have lots of funny stories like that. One time I made two boxes of rice a roni and they both tasted the exact same because I forgot to add the spices, but my Dad's friend, Donald (God Bless his soul) said how good they were but my brothers couldn't tell the difference until they noticed I never added the special spices.. Only a good friend would say they tasted different and both equally as good! LOL You had to be there, but just one of those stories you can tell at Thanksgiving dinner and everyone still laughs over it!
xxoo
Deborah PS, Your story is simply very funny and the next time someone makes fun of my cooking, I'm going to share your water bottle one, if you dont' mind! Very cute!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We love your story, but mommy says her brain cells don't have enough time to think right now- cause we have to go to bed so she can get up and go to worky- but we thought of something to tell you.
Our water comes out of the roots of a tree
love
tweedles

Priscilla said...

Oh, what a funny way of saving water!

just-jilly said...

I had a good laugh at the thought of your rubbery coffee.....and so what, a bit of rubber never did anyone any harm! The story reminded me of an embarrassing incident a couple of years ago also involving a hot water bottle.
My sister came to stay with me and my husband for a few days when her partner went to work overseas. I took the week off work to spend some time with her, except for one day when I had an important business meeting I couldn't afford to miss. On the day I had to go to work I got up early and as I was emptying my hot water bottle I noticed what looked like a slight leak. I shook it, squeezed it, and sure enough there was a small hole in the rubber. Being in a bit of a hurry, I left the bottle in the bath to see to later.
Later in the day my sister was feeling a bit under the weather and decided to go to bed for a couple of hours. She saw my hot water bottle in the bath.....and I'm sure you can guess what happened next!
That's right. She filled it out of the hot tap, took it to bed, and fell asleep cuddling it. About an hour later she woke up, clothes, bedding and mattress all soaking wet!
When I got home my sister was embarrassed thinking she had broken the bottle, but when I confessed to my part in it, she saw the funny side and we both had a great laugh. Needless to say, the offending hot water bottle now went straight in the dustbin!
My sister still pulls my leg about it today, and when she comes to stay, always makes the point of telling me she has brought her own hot water bottle.

Joy said...

That's a good story, and see, now you have a good, innocent and funny family memory! I was washing out our coffee maker one time, I kept noticing that the insides of it (where you pour the water) looked kind of orange. I washed it and then commented to my husband about the color. He laughed and said when he finished drinking his glass of ORANGE colored Metamucil (fiber laxative) he'd fill the glass with water and pour it into the coffee maker and then make coffee. Over time, the insides turned orange... I was not too happy about the fact that maybe I was getting a mild laxative with my cup of coffee! Oh well, couldn't hurt!!

Joy said...

Oh, BTW, I see from your top photos, that you have a gum-ball tree... we had those at a house that we lived at---what a mess! Always had to rake them up. My mom took a bunch one year and sprayed them gold for Christmas decorations...

Megan said...

Hi Caryl
Just to say hi from Megan and Nyota (we met at Cresta today). Been having a quick squizz at your children: they are absolutely gorgeous. Max was a darling.
Megs
(megan.jones@icon.co.za)
PS - Saving hot water bottle water sounds incredibly familiar...my family's been known to do that too :-)