Friday, January 14, 2011

Day Fourteen: A Small Order of Self-Pity and a Slice of Cherry Pie

Tonight, I had planned on making pasta puttanesca, which contains anchovy paste, and would therefore fulfill my quota of things I don't like for the day. I had my garlic and olives chopped, my pasta weighed (eight ounces, as per the recipe--all hail the glory of the postage scale), my capers measured, and a can of tomatoes ready and waiting. I filled the pasta pot, salted the water, and turned on the heat. I went into the living room and turned on the TV, waiting for the water to boil.

But the water didn't boil. Instead, about three minutes later, I heard a spectacular pop, and the sound of shrapnel scattering across my kitchen. I smelled smoke. You see, despite my thorough preparation of the ingredients, I had turned on the wrong burner, and on that burner I had left a Corelle plate, with the eight ounces of pasta. You see, Corelle is made from tempered glass, which explodes when super-heated. The plate exploded, the pasta set on fire, and all my prepared ingredients went into the trash, since they may or may not have contained shards of glass. I managed to get the burning pasta off the burner without burning myself, smothered the fire, and got things cleaned up. Thank goodness neither the cat nor I was in the kitchen at the time, or I might be writing this from the emergency room. But as it is, we're okay. The apartment smells a little smoky still, and we wasted a fair amount of food, but the stove was due for a good scrubbing anyway.

The incident did shake me up. I was collected enough to do what needed to be done (I'm ashamed to say this is not my first kitchen fire), but I was not ready to turn the burners back on and resume cooking. Also, I'd ruined a good percentage of my pasta ingredients and didn't have back-up. So once my husband got home from work and helped me with some of the cleaning, we went out. We live near a college campus, and they have free movies on the weekends (for students--I have to flash my outdated ID, and the hubby flashes his current one) so we saw Easy A and had Panda Express.

Here's the interesting thing. I was hoping to find something in the student union food court that I didn't like, so I could keep up with my resolution. But, as I perused the menus of five different options, I found there was not a single menu item that didn't sound good, including Panda Express's sweet breaded shrimp with walnuts (how good does that sound?!). This, while putting a bit of a cramp in my plans, was amazing. Proof, in a small way, that the plan was working. Of course, there was no fish joint in the food court. There was one downstairs, but it seems to rarely be open, and the movie was about to start.

BUT: I did eat something I don't like. Or didn't like. After the movie and a little more kitchen scrubbing, we went to Shari's and split a slice of cherry pie.

That's right--until tonight, I believed I did not like cherry pie. Or any fruit pie, really. But I think that notion has been dispelled. Apple pie, I'm still iffy about. But cherry--Shari's cherry--I thoroughly enjoyed. At first, the texture was a little strange, but I got used to it quickly. The syrup was amazing and the pie crust absolutely perfect. I love the way they sand it with sugar. I had it with coffee and while I've often seen people enjoying coffee and pie, I've never really seen the appeal. Now I've been converted. I'd have coffee and pie every night if it didn't make me fat.

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