Over the past few, oh, I don’t know, decades, I’ve been trying to decide which I find more offensive – having nothing to say when you want to say it, or saying things just to fill the void. They are both just completely distasteful and frustrating for me but I’ll be damned if I can decide which is worse. But, anyway.
In the effort to throw something – anything – out of my brain and into the tronotubes, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately. It seems like I am falling into at least one pattern of housewifery that doesn’t make me want to tear the heads off Barbie dolls and fling them into the fire. And miraculously, cooking and eating food I would never gravitate towards naturally which, by the way, has been taking me to a place I normally would not ever, ever go.
Now, before anyone gets their organic, fair-trade panties in a bind, I don’t have a moral opposition to healthy or natural crap. I’m a consumer’s consumer, I’ll buy pretty much anything that catches my eye that won’t offend my delicate midwestern financial sensibilities (i.e, i’m cheap). The last part there is why I don’t shop at Whole Foods, or at any other natural foods/product stores. The prices! I can’t stand it! Some part of me just cannot cope. So, I told you that so that I could continue with this thing about the unusual foods.
I got a wild hair to make vindaloo for Warren. As a general rule, I don’t ever go, “You know, I think I want Portuguese/Indian food.” I’m not big on curry, lamb, anything that isn’t deep-fried and covered in Crisco and gravy, so on and so forth. But I heard Warren crying in his sleep late one night, and it sounded something like, “Please, please stop making me eat green beans in pork fat. Please, not another bite of pan-fried chicken breast! No, no, no more homemade mashed potatoes with two sticks of butter and half a cup of whole milk!” It was pitiful, and after I was done mocking him ruthlessly and with vengeance I decided that extra dose of mercy might go a long way towards keeping me from charbroiling in the Lake of Fire..
So, I found a recipe that looked relatively simple and sounded OK and still involved my favorite animal, pork. Mmm, sweet bacon, love of my life. But in this case, pork tenderloin. All of the ingredients were easy to find – except garam masala. I looked for it for three days. I went to Target. I went to Albertsons. While searching for substitutes on the internet, some genius mentioned World Market (or Cost Plus, depending on where you live). So off I trod, toddler-in-tow, to World Market (which, if you’ve never been, is possibly the worst place to take a kid to whom everytime is grabbytime.) And yet, I was foiled again. Not to be defeated, I asked a clerk at the World Market if he knew where one might locate such a rare and fascinating spice blend, and lo, he shined the light on the dreaded…the awful…the….
At this point, if he would have said to look under an old hooker’s left breast fold, I would have been like, sweet, know where I can find one, but still, I was dismayed because my one previous experience with the place – which until recently was known as Wild Oats, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom – left me with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, something like the taste you get when you see a really cute pair of shoes with a $1,500 price tag. I’m a goer, though, so I went and they had not one, but two different brands of the miraculous garam masala! And even more amazing, they were less than I would have expected them to be. Except one of them was salt-free and I could not wrap my brain around the idea of something being salt-free. Everything in my life has salt.
Unfortunately, I also recalled that I was scheduled to whip up some tacos for dinner that night per my Weekly Menu of Terrible Doom* and failed to get cheese. As you know, one cannot eat a taco without cheese, that would be like eating tortilla chips without queso or an omelette without eggs, and so since I was in an alleged grocery store I might as well go see about the cheese.
I think I had a minor stroke in the dairy section, to be honest with you. $6 for TWO CUPS OF SHREDDED MEXICAN BLEND, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!?! And then Greyson looked at me and was like, hey, Mom, don’t be such a cheap-ass ho. So I had to call Warren and tell him that he had to pick up cheese on the way home because I would have an aneurism and possibly explode if I had to pay $6 for a miniscule amount of cheese. My phone was breaking up and for a minute I thought he laughed at me and asked for a divorce, but what he apparently really said was that I should stop being ridiculous and buy a block of cheddar to shred myself.
Damn him and his common sense, not that I was thrilled by the price of a block but I have to pick my battles.
So, my tacos were delicious as was, surprisingly, the pork vindaloo. I would probably eat it again, if only to save Warren from having to eat fried chicken yet again, the poor soul. Then I made him fry me up some hot wings because I can’t be trusted with anything that might cause an accidental housefire.
*I thought about scanning a couple of them in, but decided that no one, least of all me, could possibly care.