It’s all about the food.

— January 5 —

Yesterday’s photos are all about food (again).

First I made fresh salsa. Or maybe picante sauce. I’m not entirely sure of the difference, living in the Lesser Great White North as I am. I’m pretty sure salsa is chunky … or is that Pico de Gallo? Around here it’s mostly all called “salsa” unless you’re in an authentic Mexican restaurant. Mine was pretty watery, but that’s probably because I used the whole tomato, not just the firm fleshy part.

It was supposed to be guacamole, but I cut open the avocado and it was all dark icky inside. So that went into the garbage and the salsa stayed red.

I made it from scratch and memory, but for some reason my memory is poor these days. So I started with fresh tomato, onion and jalapeño, squeezed a little lime in it and declared it “done.” But it was disappointing. Tasted more like winter tomato than anything. So then I remembered I had forgotten salt, and sprinkled some in. Still disappointing. It was only later that I remembered that I had forgotten cilantro. Half a bunch of cilantro later, it tasted really good. I opened a package of chips I’d bought at Halloween (they were sealed really good so they were still very very fresh) and enjoyed.

That was lunch. Our next picture is of spaghetti cooking on my stove.

The story behind this is that I had bought the ground beef to make chili with. But as soon as I started dinner, I went into auto-pilot and I proceeded to make spaghetti. It was only while I was eating it that I remembered how the ground beef was supposed to be chili.

See, I told you my mind is going! But it was good, and I used brown rice noodles and undercooked them just slightly, and my son couldn’t tell the difference between them and regular semolina pasta.

My third picture is of a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. At a restaurant.

I went to see Next to Normal last night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. It’s an amazing show, it’s touring, and I recommend y’all see it if you possibly can. It’s heartbreaking and I bawled through it, but it’s soooo good. It’s a musical play about bipolar disorder and they handle the subject brilliantly. A few years ago I had thought of trying to write a play about a similar mental illness myself, but when I sat down to try to write it, I realized I really didn’t have enough background and story to make a play. I had, at most, a scene, a tableau, a photograph, a painting, an emotion. But not a whole play. So I’m really really glad that this play is out there because it’s so brilliant and it’s reaching people and now I don’t have to write it. I mostly just wanted it to exist.

Okay, so this has to do with the picture because I left the play feeling great, but emotionally exhausted. I got in my car and started heading home, when I remembered that last night was the night that my favorite bar/restaurant was going to start hosting Wii Karaoke. They had asked me if I would consider hosting it, but I turned them down. It’s a huge time commitment to do that every week, and I’ve got so much else going on and it wouldn’t be worth it for me. But I was curious how it was going, so I turned the car around and stopped in.

Mike, my favorite bartender, right away gave me a menu and asked if I was hungry. I didn’t feel terribly hungry, but in my emotionally exhausted state couldn’t remember eating dinner. He asked if maybe I just wanted some of their awesome tomato-basil soup and I said “YES, that sounds perfect!” And then he asked if I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it because, you know, they go so perfect together. I said I really wasn’t hungry enough for all that food, and the guy next to me suggested seeing if they could just throw some cubes of cheese in the soup, which is how I LOVE my tomato soup. But then it turned out that would be a hassle because they don’t have cubed cheese, so I said “just give me the sandwich, I don’t want to be a bother, (screw the gluten I WANT IT).” Okay, I didn’t say that last part but I thought it.

And it was only when I had finished the sandwich that I remembered I already ate dinner.

Granted, there was about six hours in between the two meals, and I didn’t really have much more than salsa and chips for lunch so I guess we can call the spaghetti “lunch” and cover the calories that way. But still, I have regrets.

I guess that’s another reason why food journals exist.

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