Thursday, October 30, 2008

*memo is a four-letter word.

Good afternoon, children! Today's word is "memorandum." Can you say memorandum? A memorandum is a corporate announcement of impending doom. A career obituary, if you will. Can you say "obituary"? It's what you say to someone who's been laid-off. As in, "Oh, bitch. You, Gary?"

Those of you not in publishing may not have gotten the memo, but as I believe I mentioned yesterday, THESE ARE SCARY FUCKING TIMES. And I don't swear much (in writing) on the Woodside, so you know I FUCKING MEAN IT.

I really shouldn't swear in all caps. That looks so shameful.

All of this roller coastering has affected many areas of my life, including my ability to concentrate (which I didn't have to start with) and my ability to cook (which was already tenuous at best). It has also inspired me to start stuffing pennies under my mattress, which means I cannot wander the aisles at Publix, tossing kumquats and caviar into my eco-friendly shopping bag.

No, it means I have to throw on my best crazy-repellent sweatpants, roll up my third-day-dirty sleeves, and set my face into the scowl I reserve solely for Wal-Mart. Big, desperate tears, I know.

Memorandum to Jesus: Where are my lottery winnings?

Problem #1: Wal-Mart doesn't carry anything. Oh sure, they have six-packs of Fruit Loops and cans of refried beans big enough to be bar stools, but their herb selection consists of cilantro on the brink of suicide and pinecones masquerading as rosemary.

So while I had almost all of the ingredients I needed for Ina's Brown Rice, Tomatoes, and Basil (buy it here!), I was missing one title-vital ingredient.

Brown rice, salt, sugar, black pepper, olive oil, rice vinegar, tomatoes ... no basil.

Problem #2: I don't have anything. The other options for crunch and/or sweet greenness were systematically eliminated. Red onion? Potentially four months old, judging from the mold-tinged rings. Frozen peas? There may have been some in the broken Tupperware container, but it was hard to see through the solid layer of ice.

But I followed the recipe anyway, if somewhat half-heartedly. While the brown rice simmered away, I whisked together the dressing (adding some garlic because ... I like it, and this endeavor was going down the tubes anyway) and chopped the tomatoes.

Lurking there in the background is the accursed dried basil. Worthless for a fresh salad, and an affront to the tomatoes, wan though they were.

Look how angry the fruit is. It's all, "get this motherfather oregano-looking dust offa me."

So I hastily mixed it all together and threw in some Parmigiano to make myself feel better. I find there are few things that can't be improved with cheese.


So here's what we ended up with.

Ho hum. It should have looked like this, according to a smarter blogger than I.

That looks downright tasty. Mine was more overly salty and depressing.

Memorandum to Wal-Mart: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to buy a week's worth of groceries for less than $40. However, in the future, I'd appreciate it if you would stock things that aren't canned, frozen, or born in a petri dish. Get your shit together.

Aw, see there? Now you made me swear again.


Juarez Family says:
at: 4:44 PM said...

It was salty but I liked it! I would have added some goat cheese or feta crumbles.

Katie Finley your grandmother reads this blog! She will be so offended by your dirty mouth.

What's Next? says:
at: 8:08 AM said...

OK ... If I buy you some fresh basil and pretty red tomatoes, will you make me the pumpkin cake then?

Southern Foodette says:
at: 1:58 PM said...

So that is what your name is!



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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.