Week #47: Life & death

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.” – William S. Burroughs

I found out today that I’m kind of related to Nathan Hale, not by blood, but by an aunt’s cousin’s way back great-great-something. If you’re not familiar, he’s the guy during the Revolutionary War who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Now, I think that life is one of God’s most valuable gifts to us (after relationship with Him & our eternal souls) & I’m thankful every day for the opportunity to use it well. I’d like to think that AN52 has helped in this. I’ve had to do things intentionally & think about them more than I typically would. Yay, the power of blogs!

I’m a fan of survival scenarios, seeing how people find ways to work a living out of difficult circumstances. But, let me clarify by saying that I like success stories—more Swiss Family Robinson than Alive. I don’t know what I would do if I found myself in a Donner Party-esque situation, but if it’s between me & Bambi, you know that sucker’s going down. Or so I say. I’ve never killed an animal to eat it, but now my hands smell like oranges & death.

I bought a lobster on my way home. As I carried the box up to the register, I felt like I’d won a fish at the fair—excited, responsible, tense—probably not a good relationship with something you’re about to kill. Logic & sentiment tossed back & forth in my brain. Who am I to take this life? This is what this lobster is here for. Why did I name him Albert? I set Albert on the table as the macabre opera of deadly preparations unfolded before him. He didn’t blink an eye (really, he had no eyelids). As the water boiled, he & I communed & I came to sense his resignation to his fate. (This is probably reading waaay too much into an animal’s last moments, but I’m unabashedly being Anne Shirley here.)  So I did it; I threw him in the water, headfirst & took his life. Then I ate him. The meat was alright, but not the greatest smell, so I chased it with an orange.

I’m not planning on directly killing any more animals soon, but at least now I know if I’m ever stranded in the wild, I can survive by preparing myself a lobster dinner 😉

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Week #35: Perfectly flawed

Week #29: The best kind of thanks

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Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – G.B. Stern

As a girl, chocolate is one of my favorite things. As an artist, color is one of my favorite things. As a 20-something, the Internet is one of my things. (Un)fortunately, there’s something that feeds all of these addictions; it’s called Pinterest (or as my mom says, “Pin-interest”. In case you’re not familiar, Pinterest is a wonderful, horrible black hole of creativity & awesomeness that can make an hour go by faster than a scared cat. I love it 🙂 Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at some of the recipes that I’ve pinned & have been pleasantly surprised at the results. 1,000-layer chocolate chip cookies, lazy cake cookies & Nutella cookies have all fallen before my new found prowess, muah ha ha.

But the downside of learning you have baking as a new semi-secret power is that then you have a huge amount of tempting goodies lying around calling out to be eaten. Sooo, to quiet tiny cookie voices, I decided to give them away. To whom?, you might ask. Why not me?, you might also ask, but I think I chose some worthy recipients—members of the Olathe Fire Department. Especially since they had to go out on a call today when the high was 98 degrees F.

I had first thought to take something to the police, but upon consulting Google, I discovered they aren’t allowed to accept anything not prepackaged. With that in mind, I decided to call the fire station before stopping by in case they had similar rules. The man who answered identified himself as Anderson & when I asked if I could bring something by, he responded so enthusiastically, it just made my day. After trying to make sure there was enough variety (I used all of the recipes listed above, though the lazy cake cookies became blueberry cake cookies, & also made peanut butter cookies), I drove over only to find that they were out on a call. A second try worked & the men of station 4 were super sweethearts. They laughed at my bad jokes as I experienced of one of my rare shy spells. This was my first time ever taking something to our public servants & it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had all month. Thanks, guys!

Week #27: Un poco pico

“Mexican food is my weakness. Thank God I live in Washington where it’s horrible. They [combine] tomatoes and bell peppers and call it salsa!” – Lynda Carter

I’m celebrating getting halfway through the year (week-wise) by missing my blogpost deadline. Sorry to all of you who were waiting with bated breath, but here it is & happy half a year of new things!

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My friend’s husband recently showed us a video of a guy interpreting dubstep music. (If you aren’t familiar with dubstep, it’s something like this or something like this.) It’s funny because it shows how we as people perceive things or the parts that make them up & then reinterpret them with almost totally different outcomes. Like me & food.

I know I’ve already had a food project for AN52, but I like food a lot, so here’s another one. Pico de gallo is one of my favorite foods that I’ve never attempted to make. It’s pretty simple & when I looked up the recipe, I thought, OK, this will actually be good; I can do this!

Actual results weren’t too bad, but I think I added a bit too much lime juice & not enough salt. I didn’t really grow   or have this great, epic experience, but sometimes you just need something to feed yourself 🙂

Week #17: One small step

 

Le Moonpie

“She calls me moonpie because I’m nummy-nummy & she could eat me up!” – Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

My dad used to call me Angelfish. I don’t really know where it came from, but then again, who ever knows where terms of endearment come from? Now, don’t get me wrong, there can be reasons behind these sobriquets, but honestly, common sense just walks right out the door. It’s like on TV’s The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon, a main character, is called ‘Moonpie’ by his grandmother (for the reason above). But seriously, doesn’t equating a grandchild to something you want to take a bite out of seem a little off?

Sociological oddities aside, the real reason I think Sheldon’s grandma is crazy is because Moonpies aren’t nummy-nummy. Until this week, I had never eaten one & rarely encountered one, but then my friend Jessica & I were perusing a QT & came across the little cultural icon. I was a little torn on whether or not I wanted this to be my ‘new thing’, since it seemed a little insignificant, but then I figured, “What the hey? Moonpies deserve love too.”

I was wrong. I should have known, as Jess pointed out the phrase ‘Chocolate flavored’ is rather worrisome. You can see reaction (i.e. yuck faces) live here (sorry, the wind was too loud). Basically I know I’ll never eat moonpies again & that’s OK. My grandkids will just have to put up with nicknames like ‘Bacon’ & ‘Tuna Salad Sandwich’.

Week #16: A little more spice to life

Cancun Fajitas

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for & don’t always like.” – Lemony Snicket

I’m goofy, most people will attest to that, I’ll start talking like a French person for no reason or dance like a crazy robot just because there’s a fat beat. But regardless of all that, I’m not very spontaneous. I have certain things that I always do, certain  foods that I always order at restaurants (usually ribs or pasta). Which is why my new thing this week was to let a waiter pick for me.

I went into Mi Ranchito on Thursday & told my waiter, Roberto, “Bring me whatever you want.”

“OK,” he said. “I’ll bring you the best.”

He seemed so confident in his choice that I didn’t really have time to be scared or nervous. He even suggested that I have some avocado salsa with my chips (which wasn’t bad). When Roberto brought out the steaming plate & set it before me, I was delighted & relieved to see that it was something called ‘Cancun fajitas’. Which means beans, rice, pico de gallo & bacon-wrapped shrimp. Which means that I loved it. Which means I just might practice this sort of spontaneity a little more often.

Week #12: King & conqueror

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“On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.” – Henri Mouhot, French Naturalist

So this week was going to be an automotive coup d’état (more details on that next week), but turns out that’s a lot more difficult that I had anticipated. So, in lieu of that, I ate a piece of durian. What is a durian? Covered in a hard, spiny & dangerous—seriously, it’s killed people before—shell, durian is a fruit from southeast Asia that has such a strong odor & distinct taste that it has separated the world into two camps. Those who love durian—it’s nickname is “the king of fruits”—& those with taste buds.

My friend Shawna has been on this Thai food kick lately & has brought back oddity upon oddity from the Asian market. She was in the kitchen with a bag when I meandered over.  “Is the gas leaking?” her husband asked. I was a bit confused & then it hit me—the aroma that I’d imagine Taun-taun guts have—the smell of durian. Imagine tuna fish left in a car in a Kansas July mixed with rotten fruit & the stuff that comes out of grease traps. If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask any of the public places where it’s outlawed due to the smell:

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Shawna was going to take a small bite, but it was so bad smelling that she was having second thoughts. “C’mon, I’ll take a bite if you do,” said brave & stupid me. God’s providence made the huge chunk fall off my fork, to be replaced by a tinier bit, then 1-2-3 & swallow the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. It tastes just like it smells & sticks with you no matter what you eat (I can attest to that a bag of blueberries, 3 shots of straight lime juice, a can of diet coke & several Reeses later). If you need more info, check out this video—the little kids’ reactions speak volumes (sorry for the cuss word in the quote).

As for me, I’m going to go gargle with sulfuric acid & try to get rid of this zombie-mouth after taste. We may be at the top of the food chain, but trust me, durian is king.

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