Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Say Tomato, I Say Jalapeno

This just ran in the Patch yesterday & today.  I think it's the number one article on Macungie again.  Woo Hoo!

My grocery store had a sale on canned tomatoes, so I'd purchased massive quantities; my family likes all things tomato based. Then when I was making spaghetti sauce, I threw in a can. When I tasted it, though, there were flavor notes that aren't normally found in spaghetti sauce. I don't remember my sauce leaving a hint of "Holy Cows, why is my mouth burning?"

I went looking for the can of tomatoes and realized that I'd dumped a can of "zesty Mexican style with green chilies and jalapenos" into my normally (and much preferred) mild spaghetti sauce. Typically, as one would presume, I prefer sauce that plays nicely with the pasta – instead of setting it on fire.

Opening my cupboard, I realized that I had can after can of the spicy Mexican style, in addition to "Italian style with basil, garlic and oregano" and "fire roasted garlic with sweet onions". There was one lone can of my targeted diced tomatoes. All those cans of Italian style, which would have happily been fortuitous, yet I managed to pick the can of Mexican tomatoes. Another proud Lucy moment for me!

I ended up trying to turn my simmering pot of whatever it was into something that was similar to chili. To this day, I have no clue if my kids were being kind because they felt sorry for me, or if they actually liked it. I'm a mom; I'm going with the latter.

Things like this have begun to happen to me more and more often, but my slow slide into senility has manifested itself most often in the grocery store. For example, my son, Boy, asked me if I was aware that we have two large labs. I joked, "Nope; I thought they were Cocker Spaniels and have been quite surprised by their size explosion."

He proceeded to hold up the tiniest dog bone I'd ever seen. The bones I'd bought were for small breeds – hence the picture of a beagle on the box. I figured it was a doggie close up; at least that's what I told him. He quipped, "Let's hope the bones, like the dogs, take a shocking turn of events and in time, get bigger on their own."

I've brought home bottles of diet soda that I couldn't drink because the artificial sweetener gives me a headache. I've made cakes that rose a foot above the pan (like a soufflé) because I made the recipe according to plan, including the rising ingredients. Unfortunately, I'd accidentally purchased self rising flour.

Here's a head's up, should you ever do that; don't be surprised when as the cake cools, it deflates and you end up with a cantaloupe sized crater in your cake. This has happened to me a few times, for varying reasons (too many to list here). Let's just say that I now make triple batches of icing to cover my myriad of cake-tastrophies. The real trick is to pretend that I meant to do it. I could win an Oscar.

The embarrassing thing is that I remember joining my kids in their good natured ribbing of their grand mother, Gretchen, for the exact same thing! I remember the time she bought a butter substitute that had roasted garlic and olive oil. Now, on toast, that might be really good. But, the combination of garlic and cinnamon bun is a taste treat never to be forgotten; and not in a good way. “Silly Gretchen, how do you not see the label?” we’d tease. Karma takes no prisoners.

Now, she's my only source of comfort as I suffer the volley of jokes lobbed my way after I bring home bottles, cans, and boxes of all manner of unintended items.

These days, my kids enjoy the "sport" of going to the grocery store with me – they're constantly amazed at how my mind works. At the very least, they congregate in the kitchen as I put groceries away – carefully examining and snickering. Let me tell you, I completely intend to have at least one trip back from the store sporting the actual list of items that I went there for in the first place! And I also plan to hit the lottery; they both have pretty much the same chance of happening.

For now, it's entertaining when Gretchen and I go grocery shopping together as it's always an adventure when it's time to put them away. And on the bright side, we've come up with some pretty interesting flavor combinations.

In the meantime, I'm making chili tonight, and I'm bound and determined to dump in the correct can of tomatoes. But who am I kidding? I'll probably dump a can of Italian style in the pot. South of the Italian border chili, anyone?

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The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.