A tea party without water

Today I held the first weekly tea party for my floor. And after planning it for a week, I hear from two separate sources that water is out at CMU. An article is here.

At 2:55pm I received an email which reads:

Dear Campus Resident,

There is a major water main break in Oakland that is affecting the availability of water and/or water pressure in many campus buildings. We do not have an estimate at this time on when full water service will be restored.

Please conserve water in cooking and in bathroom facilities. Do not flush toilets or wash dishes unless absolutely necessary. It is possible that you will experience complete water loss, so again, use any water that you have sparingly.

For residences that have central air conditioning that are dependent on water supply, that AC will stop working shortly.

Updates will be posted on the university’s website and on the portal.

Thank you.

(followed by contact info I don’t particularly want to post to save someone from spamming.)

I also heard from my RA that if water does not get turned on soon we might have to evacuate because the fire-sprinklers for the dorms will be ineffective against fire. He overview ed CMU’s evacuation plan, which involves moving students to pre-arranged spaces, like local high schools and dormitories.

But this is not nearly as immediately important as my tea party. I gathered about 3 liters of water from which to make tea and I had a tea party for my floor. Here are some of my left-over muffins. There is no more of the banana-strawberry-walnut bread (to make: use Baking Illustrated‘s Banana Bread recipe and substitute 1/3 of a cup of Danon Strawberry lite yogurt for the plain yogurt and vanilla) but there are some corn-bread muffins still left over. To make these, use Baking Illustrated’s Northern Cornbread recipe, but instead of the milk and buttermilk use 1 can of corn, complete with juices. Drain juices out of can into a bowl and add cornmeal to that bowl. Letting cornmeal (esp stone ground but even normal Quaker’s) soak before baking softens the sometimes grainy texture of the end product. Add corn kernels, now separated, to the dry ingredients, thoroughly mixing. As in any quick bread, coating fruit or vegetable additions with flour prevents those additions from sinking to the bottom during baking. Without a flour coating heavier ingredients will fall, potentially burning or sometimes simply making the end product uneven in its texture.

Corn muffins

The tea party went well, with the normally over rushed undergrad crowd sitting down and chatting over some tea and goodies. We chose Assam tea for the day rather than the Darjeeling. I had extra cups but as there is a cold going around I was only willing to share with “non-sickies”. However everyone on the floor brought extra cups and one even volunteered an extra water heater when my one was running too slow (10 people to a tea pot is a little hard for any water heater).

As people came and went I was reminded of the story of The Stone Soup. This is the version I remember from when I was small:

Stone Soup (Aladdin Picture Books)

And here is a version you can read without buying it:

Stone Soup in post-war Eastern Europe

It was great fun. And now to continue reading the 9/11 report.

Inspirational Quote:

No good opera plot can be sensible:… people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. ~W.H. Auden, Time, 29 December 1961

Get in touch

%d bloggers like this: