Sunday, June 11, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 06/10/17: American Airlines Snafu, Braised Thai Curry Chicken, More Watergate

1.  I am going to miss Harriet Potter. She's such a sweet dog, such a comfortable and comforting companion.

Such thoughts occupied my mind at 4:30 this morning as the Deke and I gathered ourselves, loaded up Harriet and her travel crate, and made our way to the American Airlines cargo office.

"I can't let this dog on a plane," Eugene, the gatekeeper at American Airlines cargo told us. "She's a terrier mix and I can't allow a terrier mix to be transported in case it's part pit bull. American Airlines is very strict about this."  At some earlier point in time, the "higher ups" had come down on Eugene during an audit because he'd let a dog travel that he shouldn't have.  He was determined not to violate the regulations again.

Had the lines on the health certificate and on the reservation identifying the breed been filled in differently, Harriet could have traveled. But they weren't. We were stymied. We know Harriet is not a dangerous dog. Eugene could see that Harriet is not a dangerous dog as she sweetly, calmly, and quietly stood in Eugene's office and that Harriet has not one pit bull feature.

These realities didn't matter.

The paperwork mattered.

Hannah's plan to fly from India with her other two dogs into Seattle on Saturday where Harriet Potter would be waiting and then rent a van and drive her dogs to Salem had just fallen apart.

We couldn't do anything. The Deke and I loaded Harriet back up in the Sube and returned to our apartment home. The Deke messaged Hannah with the frustrating news.

Later in the day the Deke talked with United Airlines. She didn't want to deal with American Airlines again. She booked Harriet a new flight out of Dulles on Monday afternoon. She'll fly non-stop to Portland.  The Deke carefully worked with the United agent to make sure we had everything in order so that Harriet Potter would not be refused again. The Deke called the vet's office. We would need to return to the vet and secure a note and attach it to the health certificate stating the vet's confidence that Harriet Potter doesn't have any pit bull in her.

What helped relieve our frustration and disappointment that our attempt to ship Harriet failed?

Harriet Potter will be with us Saturday, Sunday, and much of the day on Monday. I didn't have to say goodbye after all.

2.  I had seen Chef Scott Conant braise either a cut of meat or a piece of fish on Chopped: After Hours. At the time, I looked into braising and wondered if there might be a recipe for Thai curry braised chicken. I found one right away and this afternoon I fried each side of four chicken thighs for about five minutes per side and, in another pan, combined green curry paste, fresh chopped ginger, chopped garlic, coconut cream, chicken broth, fish sauce, and some sugar. My cast iron pans don't have lids, so I simmered the chicken in the curry sauce in our crock pot. Just before serving, I boiled shrimp noodles -- which don't have much of a shrimp taste -- drained them, and put them in the crock pot.  The Deke and I thoroughly enjoyed this meal. The Deke cleaned the curry off of a couple pieces of the chicken, chopped them up, and Harriet loved having some chicken, too.  The recipe I was guided by? It's right here.

(By the way, I buy Maesri brand curry pastes. The recipe calls for using Thai Kitchen curry paste. If I used as much Maesri curry paste as the recipe calls for, we wouldn't be able to eat the food. It would be too peppery, too hot. Maybe the Thai Kitchen curry pastes are less intense -- I don't know -- or maybe the Deke and I simply enjoy a milder curry. I recommend that if you try this recipe,  start out with less curry paste, taste the sauce as it cooks, and add more paste if you want more heat.)

3. The Deke and I dove back into Watergate this afternoon and evening. We put on the Discovery Channel's treatment of the story (here, here, and here) and then rounded out our evening with the movie Frost/Nixon.  One thought I had. Richard Nixon's sound judgment was his first virtue to disintegrate as his jealousy, secrecy, resentment, suspicion, desperate clinging to power and legacy, and lust for revenge took over his psyche. The erosion of many other virtues accompanied the corruption of his sound judgment.

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