Tag Archives: Old El Paso

Taking Care of Business

One week night during the last two weeks, on the couch, after a dinner, and after having drunk evening ration of half a bottle of wine. (Any wine.) 

Foodie: Aren’t you just so happy that we’ve been meal planning together?

Beast: Yes, I am. There’s nothing I love more than thinking about what I’m going to eat every night of the week, a week before I actually eat it.

Foodie: Well, when you’re a working girl like I am, that’s just how you have to do it, or we’d just be eating garbage all the time, or take-out.

The Beast and I made a point of breaking some bad habits; we’re not only meal-planning more than usual, but we’re also trying to be more cultural. So instead of eating dinner in front of the television and watching shitty TV, we’ve been eating dinner in front of the television and watching important movies, like Rules of the Game, Breathless and Best in Show. We do all of our meal and cultural planning on the weekend; the Beast takes care of picking out good movies (if it were up to me, we’d just watch the Bourne trilogy every night, or Sense and Sensibility), and I take care of mapping out the week’s meals. We’ve feasted on gourmet sandwiches, pork tourtière, leek and potato soup with garlic bread, pasta parties, meatloaf and even an authentic “Old El Paso” taco night for Super Bowl Sunday! Who needs all these fancy types of tacos you see everywhere when Old El Paso makes a box that has everything you need in it, minus the ground beef and the toppings, which we really get excited about.

(footnote: before preceding, make sure you’re pronouncing “taco” with a short “a”, rather than a long “a”, for the rest of this post. When you have Old El Paso, you say tack-o, not tah-co.)

After we have a few normal tacos, we take the rest of the taco shells and break them up on our plates and then use up the rest of the toppings for “taco salad party time.”

We’ve had to pull up our domestic socks a bit because I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. It’s just a new position at the same place where I’ve worked for the last few years. But now I’ll be writing and editing for the magazine’s website in the areas of arts, life and culture, and continuing to contribute both to video production and to the print magazine, instead of answering the phone, filing stuff and faxing shit. There’s been one little hiccup so far, which is that the replacement for my old job doesn’t start until next week, so I’ve had to do two jobs for a couple of weeks. And when you try to do a good job at working two jobs, it’s inevitable that you put in more hours every day than you normally would.

It’s been stressful.

But I’m thrilled to report that the Beast has been a real trooper through it all. He’ll ask what meal he can take out of the freezer, like ragu, or cabbage rolls, and prepare it. He will insist on these nights, that he’s “made dinner,” even though I actually made it, and just froze it. I’m fine with that, because I think it gives him a sense of pride and I want to encourage him, like you would a small child, to do things on his own.

I will even leave him a recipe with a shopping list and he will make it on his day off. And there have been some really lovely nights when we’ve made dinner together, like when we made spinach gnudi and it turned out almost exactly like the picture in the recipe book.

There have been many meatless dinners, and he hasn’t made a single quip about it.

With the Beast being so helpful with meals and doing dishes, I think I ought to turn my attention to his  fashion addiction, and getting him his own eBay account. I get an email about twice a week with a link to an item on eBay that the Beast wants me to buy. After I ignore the emails for several hours, I will get a telephone call from him.

Beast: Why aren’t you answering my emails?

Foodie (whispering and screaming at the same time): Because I am working!

Beast: Will you please just buy me this jacket? Have you even looked at it yet?

Foodie (still whispering): Get your own eBay account goddamnit!

Beast: Please? Please? Please? You can not even imagine the world of pain I would be entering if I signed up for eBay. Please just keep doing it for me?

Foodie: No.

Beast: Please? The number of jackets and instruments I would buy at work just because I was bored, depressed and wanted to die would be atrocious. Please?

Foodie: No.

Beast: And I know this jacket is just Lauren, by Ralph Lauren–not the premiere line–but I really like the tailoring and construction.

He’s been wearing Ralph Lauren blazers, Brooks Brothers shirts, Prada cardigans, Tom Ford pocket squares and Céline ties to work, every day. Don’t get me wrong, he’s look fabulous; far more more fabulous than me. While the Beast now shuns lounge wear– “I”m only comfortable when I look good”– I’ve come to embrace it even more than usual. The first thing I do when I get home from work is to put this on:

It doesn’t matter how dirty it is, either. I have to wear it. It’s like a uniform. I really think the strand of pale pink fresh water pearls ups the ante. Plus, I don’t feel so ghetto eating frozen coconut cream pie out of the disposable aluminum pie dish when I’m wearing them.

Old El Paso Taco Party: Foodie: ***, Beast ***

Homemade Ragu: Foodie **1/2, Beast ***

Spinach Gnudi: Foodie **, Beast **1/2