31, 2001: My so called dinner
Rice-a-roni was an option, but it takes forty minutes of constant attention to make spanish rice, my favorite flavor, and we were out of the mexican flavor tomatoes that make it extra special in a really authentic mexican sort of way. My special recipe for spanish rice involves using way more tomatoes than the rice-a-roni company recommends, and, if you have them on hand, a tin of those tomatoes and chilies that come in a steel can and that can only be found in the ethnic isle at safeway beside the candles with jesus on them.
I already had soup for lunch, and was hoping for a more substantial dinner. I generally have soup for lunch, my favorite being tom yum gai, the thai spicy and sour soup with lemongrass and lots of vegetables. On a recent extended trip away from the city, a tom yum gai withdrawal almost sent me to betty ford.
Some places spell it tom yum kai. Both spellings are pretty close, but twice now they've brought something else entirely when I order it: either tom kha kai, the kind with coconut milk (the yum part apparently means clear or something), or tom yum something else (the kai or gai part means chicken). It was possibly tom yum nuer, as it had beef in it, but it also had some chicken, so maybe they were just getting sloppy. Most recently a place served me tom yum goong, a shrimp soup. Barf.
As much as some people like shrimp, there's something that is just too gross about little headless runty crustaceans floating in your soup, with their bitty arm/leg things flaking off and floating about like a crunchy spawn of sea monkeys. The shrimp were also sporting embedded bits of poop that got by the depooper guy in the back. I know all about that, as my job way back when started daily with forty pounds of shrimp to de-head, shell, degut and depoop. Once you see the amount of real life goo that exists inside a shrimp, they aren't nearly as attractive as a source of food.
Anyway, we needed something for dinner, so the freezer was opened and a pizza was found. The frozen pizza industry apparently has a huge marketing budget, because the box always looks so fresh and cheesy and wholesome and huge, and the actual product always looks small and shriveled and sad. The cheese always needs some fortification, and the meat looks like the box photography set them back so far that they could only afford to go dig around in a glue factory for bits of equine byproduct that couldn't meet the demanding standards for elmers'. But with enough extra cheese, they can look good enough to put in your mouth.
pizza flavor cheese in the preshredded zip lock bag had been purchased
just for this very purpose, but tat had finished off the last of it in
his burritos the night before. All that was left was the shredded mexican
flavor cheese. After a brief deliberation over whether mexican flavor
cheese was appropriate for a pizza, we went ahead and made the cheese
component of the pizza reasonable. It turned out okay. It was actually
a festive enhancement, and the mexicanness of the cheese in no way distracted
from the very authentic italian flavor of the pizza.
More information about addiction, craving, shrimp, eating and mad cow:
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