Once bitten / Una vez mordido

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

LAST NIGHT WAS THE WEEKLY phone call with The Kid Brother. He was again in a good mood, although he wasn’t as forthcoming with information as he’s been recently. It was actually more of what I would usually expect.

After hellos, I began, “So, Chuck, did you get any mail this week?” “Um, I’m not sure.” Oh, it’s going to be one of those conversations, I thought. “No deliveries?” (I ordered his annual desk calendar.) “Why? What’s comin’?” Argh! I told him the calendar was on its way. “Oh, good,” he said. “So, no mail at all this week?” I tried again. “I got mail!” “Well, what’d you get?” “Uh… there was somethin’ but I can’t remember.” “A card?” No response. So I tried a different tack.

“Hey, did you bowl on Saturday?” “Yeah.” I asked for the scores and he gave them to me. I entered them in the bowling spreadsheet 2020/2021 and tried again to explain the difference between a weekly average and a season average. Back to the mail.

“Did you get a card from me?” “Yeah.” “What was the picture on it?” “I’m not quite sure, but it was a really nice one.” Sigh. “Well, I’m glad you got my card.” “I think I got another one, too.” “From me?” “No! From the same state!” “Jacksonville, Florida?” “Yeah!” “J-A-N-I-E?” “That’s the one! It’s a good picture!” “What is it?” “Uh, I’ll have to look at it again tomorrow.” And from there we went into the “Who’s on First” Abbott and Costello routine (click here). I demanded, “Tomorrow? Whatsamattah? Ya don’t wanna tell me today?” And he said, “I am tellin’ ya today. And Tomorrow’s pitchin’!”

My mood is improving. But I hadn’t slept well Monday night, so I had a siesta instead of going out Tuesday afternoon. When I woke up, I sat at my desk and after a moment noticed I was absent-mindedly scratching my right elbow, which itched. I peered at it and saw a welt forming. Then I had an itch on my upper left arm. Another welt. And one more about an inch away. I suddenly felt like my entire body was covered in spiders. I shook my arms. I roughly brushed my hands over my scalp and across my face. That passed. The welts calmed down within a half hour. One warm day and I’m again invaded by biting insects (well, maybe one biting insect). It must be parked in my office because I just noticed another itch/welt on my upper right arm. There’s the old expression “Once bitten, twice shy” (meaning, according to Merriam-Webster: a person who has failed or been hurt when trying to do something is careful or fearful about doing it again). I wonder what they’d have to say about thrice bitten or what comes after thrice. I’ll have to ask The Kid Brother — tomorrow. He won’t tell me today.

Speaking of yesterday, San Geraldo baked another apple cake. Although for some reason he started calling it an apple tart. When I pointed that out, he told me, “Well, you don’t make an apple cake in a spring-lock pan.” I argued, “But the recipe, which instructs you to use a spring-lock pan, calls it apple cake, and you have until yesterday called it apple cake.” “I have?” “Yes, you have.” “Oh.”

Here’s a major difference between a tart and a cake. A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust. And that’s this week’s cooking lesson. You can count on me.

I just poured my tea and SG’s coffee. He asked if I wanted a slice of coffee cake with my tea. So many choices. (The photo at top is San Geraldo’s banana bread with chocolate chunks from last week. He still calls it banana bread.)


ANOCHE FUE LA LLAMADA SEMANAL con El Hermanito. Volvió a estar de buen humor, aunque no fue tan comunicativo con la información como lo ha estado recientemente. En realidad, fue más de lo que normalmente esperaría.

Después de saludar, comencé, “Entonces, Chuck, ¿recibiste algún correo esta semana?” “Um, no estoy seguro”. Oh, va a ser una de esas conversaciones. “¿No hay entregas?” (Pedí su calendario de escritorio anual.) “¿Por qué? ¿Qué viene?” ¡Argh! Le dije que el calendario estaba en camino. “Oh, bien”, dijo. “Entonces, ¿no recibiste ningún correo esta semana?” Intenté de nuevo. “¡Recibí correo!” “Bueno, ¿qué obtuviste?” “Uh … había algo pero no lo recuerdo”. “¿Una tarjeta?” Ninguna respuesta. Así que probé una táctica diferente.

“Oye, ¿jugaste a los bolos el sábado?” “Si.” Le pedí las puntuaciones y me las dio. Los ingresé en la hoja de cálculo de bolos 2020/2021 e intenté nuevamente explicar la diferencia entre un promedio semanal y un promedio de temporada. De vuelta al correo.

“¿Recibiste una tarjeta mía?” “Yo hice.” “¿Cuál era la foto?” “No estoy muy seguro, pero fue muy agradable”. Suspiro. “Bueno, me alegro de que hayas recibido mi tarjeta”. “Creo que también tengo otro”. “¿De mi parte?” “¡No! ¡Del mismo estado!” “¿Jacksonville, Florida?” “Si. Si.” “¿J-A-N-I-E?” “¡Ese es! ¡Es una buena foto!” “¿Qué es?” “Uh, tendré que mirarlo de nuevo mañana”. Y a partir de ahí pasamos a la rutina, “Quién está primero” de Abbott y Costello (haz clic aquí). Le pregunté: “¿Mañana? ¿Qué pasa? ¿No quieres decírmelo hoy?” Y él dijo: “Te lo digo hoy. ¡Y Mañana lanzaremos!”

Mi estado de ánimo está mejorando. Pero no había dormido bien el lunes por la noche, así que tuve una siesta en lugar de salir el martes por la tarde. Cuando desperté, me senté en mi escritorio y después de un momento noté que estaba rascándome distraídamente el codo derecho. Y le picaba. Lo miré y vi que se formaba una roncha. Luego tuve picazón en la parte superior del brazo izquierdo. Otra roncha. Y uno más a una pulgada de distancia. De repente sentí como si todo mi cuerpo estuviera cubierto de arañas. Sacudí mis brazos. Pasé mis manos por mi cuero cabelludo y por mi cara con brusquedad. Eso pasó. Las ronchas se calmaron en media hora. Un día caluroso y nuevamente me invaden insectos que pican (bueno, tal vez uno). Debe estar estacionado en mi oficina porque acabo de notar otra picazón / roncha en la parte superior del brazo derecho. Existe la antigua expresión “Una vez mordido, dos veces tímido” (es decir, según Merriam-Webster: una persona que ha fallado o ha sido herida al intentar hacer algo tiene cuidado o teme volver a hacerlo). Me pregunto qué tendrían que decir sobre tres veces mordido o lo que viene después de tres veces. Tendré que preguntarle a The Kid Brother mañana. Hoy no me lo dirá.

San Geraldo horneó ayer otro tarta de manzana. Aunque por alguna razón empezó a llamarlo tart (que es algo diferente que cake en inglés. Cuando le señalé eso, me dijo: “Bueno, no se hace un apple cake en un molde de resorte con cierre de presión”. Argumenté: “Pero la receta, que te indica que uses un molde de resorte con cierre de presión, lo llama apple cake, y hasta ayer lo has llamado un tart”. “¿De verdad?” “Si.” “Oh.”

Acabo de hacer mi té y el café de SG. Me preguntó si quería una pieza de coffee cake [tarta de café] con mi té. Tantas opciones.

Aquí hay una gran diferencia entre un tart y un cake: Un tart tiene lados poco profundos y solo una corteza inferior. Y esa es la lección de cocina de esta semana. Puedes contar conmigo.

La foto de arriba es el pan de plátano con trozos de chocolate de San Geraldo de la semana pasada. Todavía lo llama pan de plátano).

Coffee apple cake tart
Tarta de manzana café tart

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

25 thoughts on “Once bitten / Una vez mordido”

  1. Either way a slice of the cake tart would be good right about now!!
    I, to this day (some 30+ years later), will use some sayings/expressions that my students taught me. Or I should say expressions that they repeatedly used. One used to think she could speak French like her older sister who was in French immersion. My French was never the same since then.
    Another used to get into a cartoon character routine with all his replies. I was constantly entertained by these imaginative minds.

    1. Jim:
      I have spent at least two lifetimes now doing old comedy routines and cartoons with Chuck. He also loved the Marx Brothers even though the word play was completely over his head. Still he cracks up every time Chico laughs and says, “You can’t fool me, there ain’t no Sanity Clause!”

  2. Suggest you call the supplemented banana cake – BananoChoc cake to distinguish it from its predecessor. 🙂

    Will be interested to see if Kid Brother remembers the holiday card I just put in the mail to him today. The bright red car (Lightning McQueen character) from the ‘Cars’ cartoon movie is on the cover…wishing him Happy Holidays. (See what happens when you have small grandchildren who make you watch these films?)

    1. Mary:
      Well, there’s more bananochoc coming in the next day or so (I know because SG bought two bunches of bananas and several bags of chocolate chunks). But it would be bananochoc bread and not cake. It’s one of those American “quick breads.” Unless, of course, SG decides to call it cake this time… or maybe it’s a torte. Chuck will love that card. I just sent him an historic airplane calendar (small, daily) for 2021. Thanks and thanks again and again!

    1. Bob:
      Definitely a mosquito. It buzzed in my ear in bed last night. A bite below my eye. I got out the plug-in repellant and all was well. I’m so glad it’s not spiders. I can never find them and can never relax if I know they’re here AND I hate to kill them.

      The convos with Chuck are sometimes SO challenging. But I now look forward to reproducing them all (I take notes while we talk) for everyone here.

      Also, admit it. You just love tarts.

    1. Anne Marie:
      I had to look up the forecast for Chuck and read him the details. He knew what was coming and was relieved he’d be home from work before it was supposed to pick up strength. Hope you don’t have any major issues. Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay home. It’s SO beautiful … from 4,000 miles away.

    1. Debra:
      It is… always! And then there’s the added confusion of speaking English as your second language — like SG, who’s from South Dakota.

  3. I’m sitting here, freshly anointed with Benadryl spray and Stopain rollon after an encounter with something in the garden just minutes before reading this. I can sympathise with your itching! Hope whatever it was doesn’t get you again. Not having any cake or tart or bread treats to eat, I am going to eat Nutella straight out of the jar until I feel better. Until Tomorrow, Mitchell. Cheers.

    1. Wilma:
      Yeah, I need to pick up some more Benadryl! Hope you’re doing better. Mine was a mosquito, which struck again during the night. But I plugged in the repellant that worked. Haven’t felt/heard it today… yet. Mmmm. Nutella. But I don’t think even I could do it straight out fo the jar. No problem, though. SG bought dark chocolate “tubes” and he’s got the makings for three more loaves (or more) of banana chocolate bread.

  4. Boy that cakes looks good.!!!!!! I have baked two loaves of Challah bread today, and now listening to my classical station who is playing all Beethoven for his birthday today. I’m currently awaiting a visit with the Snow Queen……

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Home-baked challah! I haven’t had that in so long. My grandmother used to make a work-of-art loaf every week. And now I understand why Beethoven was today’s NYT crossword theme! Hope you’re safe and warm (and electrified). 63 degrees, sunny, and glorious here right now. I’ll take it.

  5. Funny about the cards. I’m surprised mine hasn’t come yet! (Or at least hasn’t been reported to you. 🙂 )

    The bread/tart/cake looks fab. I would think a tart would have exposed fruit on the top, whereas a cake would be more like what’s in the pictures here. I base that on absolutely no baking knowledge whatsoever. Just a vague impression I have.

    1. Steve:
      The mails have been so slow… here and there. You understand tarts. You by now know my history in the kitchen. But I too was pretty clear on cakes and… especially… tarts!

  6. I thought Chuck would have his Mickey Mouse card by now. I understand the itching. I have a mosquito floating around in my bathroom. I can’t seem to kill it. He also visited my bedroom, where he covered my right foot in bites.


    1. Janie:
      Oh, mosquitoes at night could drive you crazy. I got one bite right below my eye last night (and then heard it buzz in my ear). So I replugged the repellant. It’s mid-December! I thought we didn’t need that anymore. But it works for me. So after feeling itchy for about 20 minutes, I was able to go back to sleep. Yeah, I thought the election postal stalls were over and done with. I’m sure he’ll get it soon.

    1. Kirk:
      Oh dear, SG only just had mince pies explained to him (again) a few months ago. But I said it was an apple cake. SG said it was an apple tart… um, coffee cake.

  7. Tomorrow is another day. NO! He’s pitchin’. Today! Thrice! Ok, I’ve used my allocation of exclamation points for the day.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I’ll have to take him on a Marx Brothers jag next time… for a change of pace.

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