Monthly Archives: April 2010

Vicky’s Fish and Chips and Good News on the Pancake Front

I bet we all have an horrific dentist story.  One of mine happened at the age of nine when my dentist had to pull two baby teeth and the two teeth underneath those baby teeth that were still secure in my gums.  I remember my mom and dad buying me a grey teddy bear before my appointment.  I named him Gus.  And I remember my dentist swearing because he couldn’t get the teeth in my gums to come out and he called in another dentist and two dentists were saying, “shit” and I was absolutely dumb-founded by these fucking adults who were swearing in front of such a cute kid with a cute little bear and for not being able to just pull the fucking teeth out.  And while we’re at it, fuck Gus the grey bear too because he did jack shit to help me out.

Anyway, I haven’t been all that good at seeing a dentist regularly.  But a chipped front tooth, a wisdom tooth that needed pulling, and a filling that was about to fall out changed all that. Like a real grown-up, I got me a brand new dentist.

My new fancy dentist is very kind and so are all the ladies who work for him.  You can even pick out a movie to watch during your time in the chair.  I picked Baby Mama.  I have no idea why. Maybe because I started to cry as soon as I reclined-before the dentist even came into the room–and I thought Baby Mama would help me, like Gus was supposed to help me all those year ago. A nice lady held my hand while the dentist froze my mouth parts.  I was so embarrassed.  

Foodie:  Thanths tho muth for holthing my hanth.  I donth know why I’m cwying.  Iths tho thilly of me!!!!

Nice Lady:  Oh don’t worry dear, I’ve seen worse:  some people go into full on panic attacks.  Some people even throw up!

Foodie:  Weawy?  Howey Thmokes!

They did everything in an hour and I felt no pain.  While I paid, I saw the Beast in the waiting room.  He’d borrowed his parents’ car to pick me up.  I started to cry again.

Foodie:  I crwied in the chair too!  I don’t know why I keep crwying!

Beast:  Oopsy!  And you’re drooling!  Let’s get you home.

(In the car at Yonge and Shepherd trying to get home in rush hour.)

Beast:  Now don’t say no right away, but I want to take you to go see the cherry blossoms in High Park.

Foodie:  I juth had thurgery.

Beast:  I know, I know, but I think you’ll love it.  Are you allowed to eat tonight?

Foodie:  Yeth.  I juth haf to eat thoft thingths, like mathed potatothes.  So what time doth thith therry blothom thing thstart?

Beast:  It’s not a movie:  It’s nature!  There is no start time!

Foodie:  Gif me a break man!  I juth had thurgury! 

Sometimes the Beast has really good ideas: going to see the blossoms was one of them.

It was magical. 

After the blossoms, all I could think about was fish and chips.  But that seemed a bit too aggressive a meal right after all the severe dental surgery I just had, so we waited until the next night. Vicky’s Fish and Chips is just south of the Dundas Street West subway stop on Roncesvalles.  I’ve never been but every time I walk past the modest facade, I tell myself that I’ll remember to visit, which I never do.  They also serve Thai food at Vicky’s.  I think that’s a funny combination:  Thai food and fish and chips.

The Beast and I met at the subway and walked down the street together.

Foodie:  You’ve been here once before, right?

Beast:  I think I’ve been here four or five times actually.

Foodie:  Really?  How is it possible that we’ve never been here together?

Beast:  I come here when I’m on my own for dinner.

Foodie:  Is it good?

Beast:  It’s not bad.  My only complaint is that sometimes the french fries taste a bit…fishy.  I think they should just change the oil more often.

Foodie:  Should we just get two orders of halibut and chips?

Beast:  Perfect.

We decided to eat there, which–from the looks of things–not too many people do.  But we reasoned that the fish and chips would be soggy by the time we got home.  Besides, we were starving and dinner was served about five minutes after we ordered.

Foodie:  You were bang on about the fries, but the fish is really good, don’t you think?

Beast:  It’s great.

Foodie:  I always prefer homemade tartar sauce though.

Beast:  What’s this?  (pointing to the bottle on our table.)

Foodie:  Well, clearly its a squeeze bottle of Kraft tartar sauce or something.

Beast:  What’s tartar sauce?  Isn’t it just mayonnaise and relish?

Foodie:  I think so, but you know what I mean about the homemade kind, right?

Beast:  No.  If tartar sauce is just store-bought mayonnaise and store-bought relish mixed together, than who cares if it’s homemade or not?

Foodie:  Take Chippy’s for example:  I don’t know if they make their mayonnaise, but their tartar sauce is far superior to this one.  In fact, it’s better than any tartar sauce I’ve had in the city. Remember when your parents brought over fish and chips that one time?  The fish and chips were great but the restaurant just had little processed packets of tartar sauce.  

Beast:  That was from Olde Yorke.

Foodie:  Well the Olde Yorke didn’t go the distance.  What’s that place that you’re always telling me is so good?

Beast:  Penrose on Mount Pleasant.

Foodie:  Do they make they’re own tartar sauce?

Beast:  I have no idea.  But I read somewhere that it’s the only fish and chips place in the city that Barbara Streisand endorses.  She loves fish and chips you know.

Foodie:  Is it really good there?

Beast:  It’s amazing.  

Foodie:  Can we go?

Beast:  Yes.

Foodie:  We should get take-out Thai food from this place one night–look how busy it is!

Beast:  I was just thinking the same thing.  How does your mouth feel?

Foodie:   Just fine!  I can’t believe there wasn’t any bruising or pain, even after the freezing wore off.  There’s just a big hole in my mouth.  

I did, however, pretend like I was in a lot of discomfort for a good 24 hours after the dentist–not to get attention though.  I did it because the Beast got me flowers and I wanted him to feel like they were warranted.  I also decided to make him pancakes on Saturday morning.  As you know, pancakes, scones, and breakfast things in general, are not my forte.  

But a friend recently gave me a copy of  A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenburg–the woman behind the fantastic blog,  Orangette.  The book is a collection of personal stories and corresponding recipes.  I made the chocolate chip and candied ginger banana bread, and her pancakes were next.

Foodie:  Oh shit–this recipe calls for buckwheat flour.  I don’t have buckwheat flour.  

Beast:  Wait a second–would you please just make pancakes from the box instead of homemade ones? 

Foodie:  What’s wrong with buckwheat?

Beast:  Why not throw some tabbouleh in there and maybe some wheat germ and ancient grains while you’re at it.

I just used all purpose flour and if you ask me, they came out beautifully, even as beautiful as pancakes in a commercial.

And the Beast agreed.  (The sliced bananas tossed in cinnamon and brown sugar was his touch.)

Foodie on Vicky’s:  *1/2

Beast on Vicky’s:  **

Foodie on the pancakes:  ***

Beast on the pancakes:  **1/2

 

Tacos el Asador

Beast: Look at us! We’re like a real grown-up professional couple who is too busy to have dinner at home so they meet up for dinner and then they go their separate ways.

It was true: I had work to do at the restaurant and the Beast had music to make. But we’d decided to meet at one of our favourite spots, Tacos el Asador, for a quick bite to eat together. Contrary to popular belief (or my belief up until a few minutes ago), they serve up Salvadorean food, not Mexican.

The place was packed with a line-up out the door. It can be a little confusing knowing how to behave in this tiny restaurant: there’s no host and only a few picnic tables for seating, so grabbing a table appears to operate on the honour system. It gets tricky because sometimes you’re placing your order at the cash (servers don’t take your order but they do deliver it) and you still don’t have a table to sit at. It always seems to work out in the end, but the Beast gets very nervous here, so I always do the ordering.

Foodie: Want me to get the usual?

Beast: Yes, and add on two cripsy chorizo tacos please.

Foodie: In addition to your usual? Because that’s going to be a lot of food.

Beast: I’m very hungry.

An attractive man standing in front of me, and also with his boyfriend, turned around, smiled, and shook his head a little, as if to say, “Oh God, boyfriends can be so f–king difficult sometimes! How do we do it?!” I smiled back and nodded my head as if to say, “Tell me about it!”

So I ordered the Beast two chorizo burritos, two crispy chorizo tacos, and two pupasas, which are sort of like cornmeal pancakes stuffed with various things. I get the same thing, but in units of one.

Our table came up just in time so we sat and shared a can of really shitty beer while we waited for dinner.

And just like sophisticated busy couples do, we complained about work and talked about important things.

Beast: You know what I liked about the movie Greenburg? (Mom, that’s Ben Stiller’s new movie by that guy Noah Baumbach who also wrote The Squid and the Whale and Margo at the Wedding.)

Foodie: What did you like about the movie Greenburg?

Beast: Well, it used to be that people got their shit together when they were in their early twenties. They had to get their shit together because they were married, working full-time and having babies. But now people don’t get their shit together until they’re in their forties, that’s assuming they ever get their shit together. Essentially, we’re a bunch of kids. The movie had its faults, but it sure demonstrated that really well.

Foodie: Make some room–here come the crispy tacos!

Beast: What time will you be home tonight?

Foodie: Probably before midnight. Why?

Beast: I won’t be home until after midnight.

Foodie: That’s okay.

Beast: Well, I kind of left a bit of a mess this morning before I left for work and I don’t want you to get mad about it.

Foodie: What kind of mess?

Beast: Here come the burritos: make some more room.

Foodie: These are so good! So what sort of mess?

Beast: Well, remember how I said I’d do the dishes from last night’s dinner in the morning?

Foodie: Yes I do.

Beast: I got distracted with my clarinet. I haven’t had a chance to play it since I got it repaired. So, I played it this morning, by accident, and then I was late for work and couldn’t do the dishes.

Foodie: That’s it? I can live with that.

Beast: Promise not to do them when you get home. I’ll do them.

Foodie: Oh, I promise. We should just start eating on plastic plates covered with a piece of wax paper like they do here and then we’d never have to do dishes.

Beast: I also can’t remember if I made the bed. Oh here come the pupasas.

We always get our pupusas (couldn’t you just say that word all day? It sounds so inappropriate!) stuffed with cheese and black beans. They serve it with some sort of pickled cabbage, which I love and the Beast hates.

Foodie: Was it worth the money to get your clarinet repaired?

Beast: It sounds like a new instrument!

Foodie: Well that’s good news. When you finish we should get motoring so that somebody else can sit down to eat.

Beast: Want to go get those little walnut cakes?

Foodie: Yes! Good idea!

The walnut cakes come from a Korean bakery called Hodo Kwaja, meaning “walnut cake” in Korean, just east of Tacos el Asador. They’re little cakes stuffed with either potato and walnut, potato and almond, or red bean paste. And they look like little walnuts!

Some days you can see them being made in this amazing-looking robotic walnut cake-maker.

The Beast picked up a box of 36 to bring as a snack for music night with his friends. But before we parted ways, we sat outside the shop to share a few together.

Beast (upon sitting down and seeing the state of the crotch of his pants): I don’t think I can wear these pants anymore: my balls are literally hanging out.

The Beast stood up to show me all the holes.

Foodie: You can only see your underwear when you sit down. Wait, and from behind. Oh, and also from the front. Where are they from?

Beast: You bought them for me, from H & M I think.

Foodie: I can get you another pair if you like.

Beast: No thank you. They’re not really my style. Don’t you think they’re screaming “G — A — Y are you wearing those pants” ?

Foodie (laughing): Did you just make that up?

Beast: Yes I did. Listen, I’m sorry we fought earlier.

Foodie: We didn’t fight. But you know how I hate waking up on Saturday mornings to a messy apartment. I mean, neither of us is exactly clean, but at least if our place looks tidy, I don’t sweat the filth so much.

Beast: I know, I know. Hey, remember how you moved those two boxes filled my CDs into the middle of the bedroom?

Foodie: I moved them because you tried to hide them beside my filing cabinet on my side of the bedroom! And I knew that they’d stay there, on my side of the bedroom, unless I put them somewhere awkward, like the middle of the bedroom.

Beast: You’re fucking crazy, you know that, right?

Foodie: I just want to have order! What’s so crazy about that!?!! We just cleaned up our bedroom and you’re already filling it back up with all your shit.

Beast: But the funny part is that I don’t care if there are boxes in the middle of our bedroom! They can stay there forever! You’re the one who will sooner or later be bothered by them!

Foodie: Oh fuck. You’re right. Can’t you just get rid of some shit?

Beast: I’m trying to!!!!

Foodie: Now we’re fighting.

Beast: We didn’t fight like that couple inside Tacos el Asador. Did you hear them?

Foodie: No! What happened?

Beast: Well the woman wanted to leave, just like you did, so they could free up a table for one of the many people in line. But the guy got all mad because he said he wasn’t done eating yet.

Foodie: Was he done eating?

Beast: It looked like it.

Foodie: What an idiot. Okay, I really have to go now.

Beast: Me too. I’m sorry we fought.

Foodie: It wasn’t real fighting. Just try and clean up your shit man!

Beast: Fine! Stop bossing me all the time though!

Oh I’ll stop bossing all right! I got home to find the boxes right where I’d left them–in the middle of our bedroom. And on top of the boxes was a gym bag, and on top of the gym bag were the Beast’s dirty clothes! That little fucking pupusa! If I get my hands on his pupusas, he’ll sure as hell be sorry!

Foodie: ***

Beast: ***1/2

Dr. Oetker and Me: A Confessional Short Story.

I have the same pair of shoes that my boss at the magazine has.  They’re good shoes: navy blue canvas Jack Purcell’s.  (Shoe aficionados adore them for their simple, classic design, done by Jack Purcell himself back in 1935.)  I admit that mine are a little worn, but I’ve had them since 1995.  My boss’s are in mint condition and he wears them on “casual” days, with a pressed pair of khakis, an oxford shirt and maybe a cashmere cardigan.  

The day after my boss wears his, I always wear mine in the hope that he’ll see the shoes and think, “Gosh, we are so similar!”  And believe me, I do my best to show him that they’re on my feet.  Maybe I’ll accidently drop a magazine or some files in front of his office and have to use my feet to pick them up.  Or maybe I’ll do some high-step dancing or shimmying down the corridor should our paths cross because maybe, just maybe, us being so similar will lead him to think that, “Maybe we should give this kid a promotion!”  Because that’s how editorial assistants rise above the faxing, the filing and the phoning:  they wear the same shoes as their boss and shit starts to happen.

I try too hard, and sometimes I  try to appear like somebody I’m not.  That’s why I’ve never told you that we eat a lot of frozen pizza; specifically, Dr. Oetker’s frozen pizza.

I’m not proud of it.   I wish I could tell you that I always have homemade pizza dough on hand in the freezer.  I don’t though: there’s just the frozen Dr. Oetker pizzas–usually about 6 boxes (we stock up when they go on sale at No Frills.)  I don’t know why I’m telling you now.  Maybe it’s on account of Tiger Woods’ Nike commercial which made me realize that we all have our demons, and I’ve been lying to you about mine, but more importantly, I’ve been lying to myself.  

Last night the Beast had to work until 8:00pm.  Normally, that would give me plenty of time after work to pick up some supplies and make a homemade meal.  But I had work to do from home.  This is why we love Dr. Oetker, because all I had to pick up was an avocado to throw into a salad and Dr. Oetker would take care of the rest.  We had some leftover roasted fingerling potatoes, some arugola, fresh cilantro and red onion at home.  These ingredients, in edition to the avocado and a simple lime and olive oil vinaigrette, would bring our frozen pizza dinner to new, and more reputable, heights.

Okay, I omitted one ingredient in that description.  Bacon bits.  I didn’t want to tell you that we usually have a bag of bacon bits in the fridge.  I wanted you to think that I’m not that kind of person.  I want you to think that I’m sophisticated and knowledgeable when it comes to food.  So I carefully curate what meals I tell you about.   Now you know about the bacon bits.  And the frozen pizza.

By 8:30pm I had the oven pre-heating so that by the time the Beast walked in the door at 8:40pm, all I had to do was toss those pizzas inside for 12 minutes.

As you can see, these are little itty-bitty pizzas, surely not meant to be shared.  We bake two at a time and cut them in half to share both varieties, in this case: spinach and mushroom.  This, plus the salad, made for a delightful dinner.  

Okay, I’ve made another fucking omission:  I also made cheesy garlic toasts.  We had left-over bread that would have just been thrown out!

And the Beast just loves it when I make cheesy garlic toasts!  I did it for him–not me.  I only had one of those tiny toasts and he had three. 

There.  Now you know everything.  But maybe you suspected that I have the occasional affinity for inappropriate food after reading past posts on Harvey’s and McDonald’s. Maybe it’s me who needs to start accepting who I am.   I am somebody who is interested in food and its history; in the history of the ritual of eating and dining; in eating good food at home and at restaurants; in frozen pizza and bacon bits and cheesy garlic toasts to use up leftover bread; and in wearing old, beat-up sneakers to get ahead in life.  

I also ate a no-name Easter cream egg after dinner.  It wasn’t even fucking Cadbury. Pathetic.

Foodie:  **1/2

Beast:  ***

Dinner with a Family of Beasts, and One Swede

Have you ever wondered  how the Beast became a beast?  I’m afraid that I don’t have the answers, but I do know that after every dinner with his family, I feel as though I’ve come a little closer to understanding his particular brand of evolution.

Saturday night we were invited over for a family dinner cooked by the Swedish girlfriend of one of the Beast’s brothers.  He has three brothers.  That makes four boys for one mother and father. This explains why the Beast’s mother, Marg, showers the girlfriends of her boys with plenty of attention.  We get more birthday gifts, which often include frilly things in various shades of pastel, than her own flesh and blood.  It’s lovely, and so is she.  

Before dinner, the Beast and I joined the formidable Marg, and Claudia, the girlfriend of one of the brothers, for a leisurely stroll in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.   The Beast was determined to find Glenn Gould’s grave.  

Foodie:  Marg, I notice you’re wearing the earrings that Claudia bought you.  

Marg:  Aren’t they great?  I’m always getting complemented on them!

Foodie:  Interesting.  Remember that time I got you that bracelet set?  You know, the one with the little red stones in it? And that scarf I picked out for you at Christmas time, that was gorgeous.  I think I know you so well, don’t you?

(I like to keep a friendly little bit of competition alive amongst the four girlfriends of the four brothers.  I think it’s healthy, and it keeps things interesting.  In case you’re interested, I’m the oldest out of the four ladies.  And I’m probably the smartest, the fastest and the strongest too.)

Marg:  And wait until you see the centerpiece that Claudia brought for dinner!

Foodie:  Centerpiece?  Interesting.  What is it?

Claudia:  You’ll have to wait and see.

Foodie (whispering into Claudia’s ear):  This isn’t over.

Luckily for Claudia, I spotted what appeared to be the Gould family plot.

Foodie:  There it is!

Marg:  Shh!  Let the Beast think that he found it first!

Beast: Over here guys!  I found it!

I stand to learn so much from this woman.

Back at the Beast’s family’s homestead, the Swedish girlfriend, Therese, was in the kitchen preparing dinner for ten.  I don’t think I’ve ever cooked for ten people.  And if I did, I think I’d be a nervous wreck, drunk and smoking indoors.  Therese, who is 19 years old, looked cool as a cucumber.  I guess when you’re 19, the whole world is your oyster and you can do anything.  Did I ever tell you that when I was 15, that’s four years younger by my calculations than 19, I was in the school play and I played basket-ball and volley-ball and soccer too.  Also, I worked part-time at the local Canadian Tire.

Before dinner, we gathered for some snacks which included an assortment of cheese, and bowls of Easter-themed candy, care of Marg (who may be labouring under the misapprehension that her boys are still eight years old.)

Marg loves setting her table, which often includes matching napkins, fancy table clothes, little candles in little candle holders, sparkles, confetti and a variety of holiday-themed objects.  Dave, the Beast’s father, for whom less is always more,  has learned to accept Marg’s flair for inspired design.  Surprisingly, tonight’s table was more subdued than usual, except for the centerpiece, care of Claudia.  It was a chocolate rooster from Rahier, arguably the best French bakery in the city.  Claudia works there and often brings glorious treats to family dinners.  Whoopitty-do.  I often bring wine, a classic, more mature hostess gift, I think.

Therese, who is studying to be a chef, served the first course herself, employing classic etiquette techniques whereby women are served first and dishes are delivered via the diner’s left side.    I know about this stuff because I’ve worked in restaurants.  I’m also just naturally curious about the history of gastronomy and etiquette.  I’m interested in so many different things.  Anyway, Therese had prepared pickled herring, that she’d brought with her from home, with fresh dill, sour cream, red onion and boiled egg.  I wasn’t sure how the herring would go over with this lot, including myself, but we all cleaned our plates.  

The Beast was determined to find some common ground with our Therese so he kept listing off the names of people and things that he assumed were Swedish.  But Therese kept responding, “No, that’s Danish.”

Beast:  So Therese, basically you’re telling me that nothing really good has come out of Sweden in a really long time.

Therese:  Oh Beast, I hate to break it to you but for the first time in your life, you may be wrong.

Therese’s English is near-perfect, and she didn’t skip a beat in responding to the Beast.  Her sassy Swedish reply elicited whoops and snaps from the crowd, and a discussion about exactly what has come out of Sweden besides Ikea and ABBA, followed.  (H&M, that Swedish vampire movie, Igmar Bergman, Tiger Woods’ wife, Bjorn Borg, etc.)

Second course was thinly sliced beef rolled with pickles, apple and red onion in the centre along with mashed potatoes on the side.  Some sort of jus topped it all off, which was near divine.

Therese said the dish, which is traditionally served in the autumn, is called oxrullader m. kallroky flask in Swedish.  Did you know that I speak Italian and German?  Okay, I can understand a lot of Italian and I my vocabulary is pushing about 100 words.  And I studied German for, like, two years…about ten years ago.  I also thought about taking Latin, which only really smart people think about taking.

Moving on, dessert was cloud berry panna cotta topped with milk chocolate and spiced, lightly stewed apples.

Beast:  I do hate to burst your swedish little bubble Therese, but we’ve had cloudberries before you know–in Newfoundland.

Therese:  Perhaps, but they weren’t from Sweden.

She’s sharp as a whip I tell you.  Although I wonder how well Therese was able to keep up with the conversation that followed about Claudia’s centerpiece, you know, the chocolate rooster.  Well, roosters are also called cocks.  I don’t know who first made the connection that there was a giant chocolate cock on the middle of the table but I can tell you that the jokes that followed where ruthless–certainly not fit for print.  It was a like a storm of cock jokes and there was no safe port in sight.  Even Marg innocently chimed in with a “is that like once you go black you never go back?”  

The chocolate cock joke-fest ended with the Beast grabbing the chocolate cock from the table and physically illustrating for us what sort of cock the chocolate cock was, just in case there was any confusion.

Therese, a delightful ambassador, was able to pull us all back to civility by sharing with us Google street views of her home, YouTube videos of Swedish comedians, and samples of Swedish food products.

(Tastes like tartar sauce.)

(Don’t know how it tastes because it smelled like shit in a tube.)

And then Therese requested that we all get together for a family photo.  The poor thing really should have been warned about the fact that these four brothers aren’t capable of sitting still for a photo.  Again, I don’t know who the instigator was, but the photo op went from family portrait to jack-ass city FAST, and with only a few quick bursts of huffs and grunts to warn us of the decorous decline: three of the four jack-asses tore off their shirts and started to flex.  

Shortly after, the fourth brother had his shirt off too.

The meal was a real hit.  That Swedish girlfriend sure can cook.  Although I think I would have used dark chocolate in the panna cotta.  I think generally that people with refined palates prefer dark chocolate to milk.  But who can blame a 19-year-old for not knowing that!  And I certainly would never bring a chocolate cock to dinner.  I’m a lady after all.  

Foodie:  **1/2

Beast: ***

A New Soup. I Made It.

I went back to my old university, McMaster, earlier this week for a story I’m working on.  It was a lovely afternoon.

The students look the same.  They still wear pajama bottoms with logos all over them to class, and they still wear keys and cards around their necks, and they still carry around gigantic back packs.  

It looks like they’re going on a Northern expedition those packs are so big!  What do you think they’re carrying around in there?  I never had a back pack that big.  Maybe it’s for their laptops.  They all seem to have one of those.  I wonder if the students thought I was one of them, like maybe a third or fourth year student. Or maybe they thought I was a mature student.  Maybe I just blended in, except I didn’t have a big back pack on so that probably made me stand out.  

I was relieved to see that psychics still visit university campuses.  

I also visited a few old haunts, like Mills library.  It was beautiful being there.

By the time I got home it was 9:30pm.  I was starving and so was the Beast.  Thank goodness I’d INVENTED MY OWN F–KING SOUP on Sunday and all we had to do was heat it up.  When I say invent, I mean that I culled select ingredients from a variety of like recipes in order to invent a master recipe.  

I cut up three green onions and three little sweet potatoes and got them browned up in some olive oil.

I forgot to add a fresh red chili (minus most of the hot seeds) so I tossed that in, along with two minced garlic cloves, after I’d added three cups of chicken stock.

I cooked that until the sweet potatoes got soft.  Then I got out my hand blender and puréed away until it was smooth, but not too smooth.  Then I added a can of coconut milk, two heaping tablespoons of red curry paste, and a can of rinsed chickpeas.  And finally, I added in thinly sliced kale.  Oh, and the juice of half a lime.

Beast:  Wow!  This is so good!

Foodie:  I invented it.

Beast:  You made it up?

Foodie:  Yes.  Well, sort of.  I chose parts of different recipes and put them together, like a collage I suppose.

Beast:  Well it’s fantastic.  Really. You know what though?

Foodie:  (Sigh)  What?

Beast:  No, this isn’t a criticism, I’m just telling you what I would have–

Foodie:  Crack a quail’s egg over it?  Add beef tongue?  

Beast:  No, I was going to say I would have added a squirt of fish sauce, or oyster sauce or something like that.

Foodie:  Fish sauce?  That would be gross in this.  Fish sauce with coconut milk?

Beast:  Mmn, maybe.  

Foodie:  I think I used to be an asshole.

Beast:  Excuse me?

Foodie:  Well, when I think about those years I spent going to school with that beautiful campus and that amazing library and all that time I probably just pissed away worrying about boys and just being a real asshole, it makes me feel terrible!

Beast:  You’re not an asshole.

Foodie:  This soup tastes like ass.

Beast:  I love it! 

Foodie:  Really?  I guess it’s okay but it’s missing something.  I just don’t know what.  And it’s not fish sauce.  Usually I’d be going in for seconds right now but I don’t want seconds.  Do you?

Beast:  I sure do!  I’m just going to rest for a bit.

The Beast never went back for seconds but it was a nice gesture.  And if you have suggestions on how to fix my invention, please do tell.

Foodie:  *1/2

Beast:  **