(On the phone with my mom last night)
Mom: Those eggs in your last post looked really good–better than one and a half stars. Well, I should get going–it’s my big TV night: There’s Hoarders and then Little People and then Intervention.
Foodie: Whoa, whoa, whoa–back up. Are you telling me that there’s a show called Little People?
Mom: Yes. And there’s also one called Pawn Stars, I love that one, and one called The Picker too. That’s about two guys who pick through junk.
Mom: And American Chopper, where they make the choppers…
Mom: And my favourite, Come Dine with Me. It’s so good that one day they had on a ten hour marathon and I couldn’t stop watching and then I missed all my Housewives shows like New York, New Jersey, Altanta, Washington D.C., and Orange County Housewives.
Mom: And then there’s a show on MuchMusic called Teen Mom. I love that show. I just love T.V.
That’s an understatement. My sweet mother and I don’t share such an intense love of television, but we do have plenty else in common. For example, neither of us cares for coats very much, or socks. It’s just so hot most of the time. And usually a sweater suffices.
There’s also a similarity that I’ve only recently noticed: we’re both pretty nonchalant when it comes to wearing appropriate attire around the house, specifically pants. In my youth, my mom used to reach her arm out to the mailbox wearing nothing but a t-shirt and underwear. My brother and I would plead with her not to do it–even offering to collect the mail ourselves, lest somebody from high school see her in action. But the thought never occurred to her that anyone would be looking and who would care anyhow? But we cared!
One day in the high school cafeteria, a really cool kid came up to me and said, “Hey man, I saw your mom this morning taking out the garbage and I’m pretty sure she was just wearing a t-shirt and underwear.”
Me: No you didn’t.
Cook Kid: Yes I did. Don’t you live on Manor Road?
Me: Yes, but my mom wasn’t even home this morning. She was…she was cooking for orphans at some charity thing (both lies).
Cook Kid: I’m pretty sure it was her.
Me: No, it WASN’T.
Cool Kid: Whatever.
If you would have told me that day in the cafeteria that soon enough, I too would disregard pants at home, I would have baulked. But it’s happened. And not just pants, but tops too. In fact this summer, I think I paraded in front of the living room window naked on numerous occasions. After showering, it was simply too hot for a house coat–even a towel. I can’t explain why I make a detour into the living room, rather than going straight from the washroom to the upstairs, where my clothes are; maybe just to pick some up newspapers and put them in the recycling. I don’t know. But I do know that every time we see the guy that lives across the street walking around in our neighbourhood, the Beast whispers to me, “That guy has seen your t-s more times than I have.”
And since I’m an athlete now, I often get home from work and take off all my clothes in the hallway in order to have a shower (I don’t shower at our work gym. That’s another story though), but end up doing stuff around the house for a good 15 minutes before getting to the showering part. I’ll put away the dried dishes in the dish rack, maybe check some email, or tidy up some magazines. Just simple chores really. But it never occurs to me that I’m doing anything out of the ordinary, until the Beast gets home.
Beast: Why aren’t you wearing any clothes?
Foodie: Huh? (Looking down) Well will you look at that!
And lastly, neither my mom or I care as much as we should, perhaps, about food safety, like keeping stuff refrigerated, or expiration dates or stuff like that.*
So last night, while I waited for the Beast to get home, I had a quick shower, and then heated up a bowl of acorn squash soup (I was naked of course), that I’d made exactly one week ago.
It tasted much better seven days ago. But it’s a great recipe because you just throw all your main ingredients–the squash, some onions, an apple and some bacon–into a roasting pan.
And then after it’s all roasted, you scrape it all out into a pot, add some stock and you’ve got some lovely soup.
I didn’t finish my bowl of soup. Good thing too because our main dinner was going to be pulled pork that I’d made on Sunday in the slow-cooker, served with some white beans and lines (that coleslaw salad that my Aunt Sandy makes.) I even cooked my own beans instead of using canned ones. And what a difference it makes! My friend Gio is always going on about how she only uses dried, or fresh, beans rather than the canned ones because they’re so superior in taste and texture. I just never bothered before. But man oh man was she right. They keep for a long time in the fridge and forever in the freezer too.
I only put on some clothes (a knee-length night gown/smock that I tucked into jogging pants with elastic cuffs that I pulled up to my knees and then put on knee-high striped socks so I looked like an old-timey baseball player),
when I started to heat up dinner because some of the pork was splattering and it hurt my naked skin.
I made myself comfortable on the couch in my baseball uniform, had a little white wine, and did some work on my computer while watching The Rachel Zoe Project, which I’d never seen before. By the time the Beast got home, dinner was served.
Beast: This is going to be so good! The house smells amazing too. (Pause) Are you drunk?
Beast: How many glasses of wine have you had?
Foodie: Uhhh, like one?
Beast (checking the white wine bottle in the fridge): That looks like you’ve had more than one glass.
Foodie: What are you the police? I had alittle drink while I did some work. Gossip Girl is on can we watch it with dinner?
Beast: I thought we were going to watch Top Chef tonight?
We did watch Top Chef. And we both cleaned our plates. I think this might be one of my favourite dinners. You can have it as-is, or eat it with warmed up white baguette and butter so you can make little sandwiches. God is it good.
During a Top Chef commercial break, I tuned in to catch the end of Gossip Girl.
Beast: Is there a website that has the target ages listed for shows like this?
Foodie: What’s that supposed to mean?
Beast: I don’t think you’re Gossip Girl’s prime demographic.
Foodie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get me some more wine will you old chap.
Beast: You’re the old chap. You’re better than Gossip Girl. How stupid do you think you have to be to enjoy this television show?
Foodie: That’s a redundant question.
Beast: Do you mean rhetorical?
Foodie: Whatever. There–it’s back on Top Chef. Happy?
Beast: Will you look at those.
Foodie: What, Padma’s breasts?
Beast: Yes. (Pause) What’s for dessert?
It’s been a long week.
*Footnote: If I’ve ever made you dinner before, or if I ever make you dinner in the future, please trust that I don’t, and won’t, take food-safety risks when I’m cooking for others. Thank you.