Opportunity for you to laugh at my expense

I’m taking a break from grading papers to share a brief funny story with you about something dumb I did tonight.

So tonight I made some coconut chicken soup, kind of an Asian-fusion thing.  You might have seen the recipe in the latest Real Simple.  My first mistake was that I bought an unidentified chili pepper.  This is a terrible idea for anyone except the most heat-tolerant folks.  I saw these little orange chilies at Kroger; they were in the jalapeno bin, but the sign said that the jalapenos were temporarily out of stock.  I sniffed one of the chilies and thought “It doesn’t smell spicy.”  I bought it, but I was actually worried that I had bought some wimpy mini bell pepper (is there such a thing?) and that my soup wouldn’t be spicy enough.  Irony alert.

Tonight I cut the pepper in half as the recipe instructed, and I noted that it did smell spicy after being cut.  I briefly considered seeding it, since the seeds are supposed to be the spiciest part, but the recipe didn’t say to seed it, so I didn’t.  I have a bad habit of slavishly following recipes, mainly because I’m afraid to deviate.

So I threw the halved pepper in the hot pot where I was cooking the onions.  Almost immediately I started coughing, just from inhaling the steam.  I mean really coughing.  My neighbors probably thought I was in the last stages of tuberculosis.  This should have been a warning sign.

The coughing continued throughout the entire cook time of the soup (including the part where I had to stick the chicken in longer because it was still pink).  Still, I never took the chili out.  I took the lemongrass out, because the recipe told me to, but I didn’t take the chili out.  This is called legalism.

When I finally sat down to eat the finished product, you can imagine what happened.  My taste buds were singed.  My nose ran.  I cried.  But doggone it, I was going to power through it.  I grabbed a Cherry Coke Zero to cool off my mouth.  And I worked on that soup for about ten minutes.  (Incidentally, I came up with a good nickname for a sexy redhead while I was eating.  I got a big hunk of ginger in one bite, and I said, “That’s a big hunk of ginger.”)

I finally had to give up.  I was suffering.  I ate all the chicken out of my bowl, but I ended up dumping out a lot of the broth.  I hated to throw away all the leftovers, so I put the rest of the soup in a large container.  AND I TOOK THE CHILI OUT.  That’s an important detail.  Later, when I was packing my lunch, I hesitantly tried a spoonful of soup.  It was still really spicy, but it didn’t make me weep.  So I’m going to save it and try again tomorrow.  I also put a big handful of croutons in the container, hoping they would counteract some of the heat.  I don’t know if croutons actually have that power, but I’m trying anyway.  I do a lot of magical thinking when I’m cooking.

Back to grading papers.

Ok, one more post about the survey.

I checked my Harry Potter canonicity survey today, and I’ve received 200 responses, which is a good round sum. Also, the responses have lately been trickling rather than pouring in. So I’ve decided to deactivate the survey. Now I can share the results with you!

I’m not going to post the table of all the responses, because it’s a little overwhelming to decipher. (Let me know if you want it in a Word document.) Basically, though, the average respondent ranked the novels as the most canonical source of information about the Harry Potter world and fan fiction as the least. (Not really a surprise there.) J.K. Rowling’s statements ranked as second most canonical. The movies and Pottermore are essentially at a tie for third place based on my cursory glance at the results, but I’m sure that some deeper statistical analysis would reveal some interesting differences. (If I find any, I’ll let you know.)

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey! I hope I get to meet you at LeakyCon someday. 🙂 Now that the survey is closed, feel free to wax verbose about your responses in the comments to this post.

Re: survey

Tonight I checked the results of my survey on Harry Potter canonicity, and I was surprised and delighted to see that I’d received 195 responses!  Thank you all so much for taking the survey and sharing it with others.  I am still collecting responses, so if you haven’t taken the survey yet, or you want to send it to someone else, there’s still time.  Here’s the link: https://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4PJzrBq5xWEkQVD.

There’s one thing I want to check on.  I said in the instructions that survey respondents could indicate a tie between two or more items by typing the same number for each of the tied items.  I tried to make sure that Qualtrics (the survey platform) would allow a tie in this type of survey, but I’m still having some doubts about that.  If you had two tied items, or if you tried unsuccessfully to create a tie, would you let me know in a comment on this post?  You don’t have to tell me what the tied items were.

By the way, I do realize how badly I’m slacking off in my blogging.  I haven’t forgotten you, dear readers, and I intend to post something non-survey related soon (as in, during October).