Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Um, Excuse me? Are you going to finish that?

(a/k/a Holy Guacomole!)

Prompted by the Red Dress Club:  RemembeRED : This week, we'd like for you to write about your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable. Share a memory of when you first tasted it, where it came from, when you last had it, a favorite way to prepare it, and such.

I remember being uncharacteristically nervous..  I felt a sudden, all consuming warmth come over me starting at my face and ending at the very tip of my pinky toes.  Yes, even the wee little piggy toe had succumbed to the fear.  My heart was fighting to stay in my chest while my brain tried to overcome the weakness in my hands, much like an allergic reaction, except for the fact that I hadn’t eaten it yet!  

It was crazy, I knew that.  What could possibly be so intimidating about tasting a new food?  And such an exotic, sexy one at that.  What was happening to me?  I've never backed away from a challenge.  I’m always game, often even excited to try new things, broaden my horizons.  It’s a darn fruit.  Or vegetable?  I didn’t even know that, nor did I care.  I was more concerned with this strange and overwhelming sensation and determined to gain control of it.  After all, what’s the worst that could happen, I casually spit it into my napkin? Excuse myself from the table and daintily dart for the ladies room and ever so quickly yet, oh-so-nonchalantly, purge it from my system?..

The fact is, that is EXACTLY what I was afraid of!  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t from fear of embarrassing myself, because it was, partly.  But more importantly, more worrisome to me was that I might embarrass him.

Allow me to elaborate.

We were dining in a Mexican restaurant.  Not just any Mexican restaurant, it was gorgeous, classy and crowded!  A large portion of that crowd consisting of my future husband’s (him) family, many of whom I had not met before.   Funny, I didn’t worry about having too many margaritas (truth is I knew I wouldn’t be alone there), or  overbearing onion breath or even spilling the very red, very spicy salsa on my bleached white blouse (which I thankfully did not).  No, it was just this unknown, this new oddity, this AVOCADO.  The restaurant was known for their homemade, table-side guacamole.  So, naturally, “Guacamole all around!”    Yay!       Not.

Frankly, there were a lot of things that confused me about this odd little fruitegetable.. It was a gruesome looking thing on the outside, dark-green and pimply, not round, not oval; the smell neither sweet nor sour, the texture neither soft nor hard.  How do you form an opinion on something so…. So, complicated!?

Admittedly, it tempted me, as I watched the first of many volcanic stone bowls erupt with the medley of ingredients.  First the minced red onion which stung my nose and brought a tear to my eye but, curiously, did not seem to affect the preparer in the least…followed by the vine-ripened tomatoes which snapped as they were diced assuring us of their freshness.  Next the serrano chilies, the "fire" of this tantalizing concoction, a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and trickle of lime juice.  So far, so good... my jowls tightened, my taste buds tingled, my belly yearned for the deliciousness before me... then came the Avocado....

Sliced in half, pit removed, the leather-like skin peeled away.   I was amazed at how the Guac-chef effortlessly sliced and chopped the pieces into exact, symmetrical cubes (you fellow OCDers can appreciate my amazement).  The mixture was tossed meshing the flavors, colors and fragrances, appreciatively disguising the avocado, hiding it among those elements with which I was more familiar, more comfortable.  Maybe I can do this, I thought.  Then came the chips; the crisp, warm, crunchy tortilla chips, so fresh you could see the wisp of heavenly goodness rise to the nostrils of each person as if with a mission, captivating their senses and drawing them in.   One by one, the other family members, as if hypnotized, proceeded to feast on the chips and dip.  The restaurant became silent as one diner after another fell under the dishes spell.  Here's my chance I remember thinking.  While everyone is distracted, I can steal a bite and easily cover my dissatisfaction if I don't like it.

*Nibble, nibble... gobble!* Amor!  It was all it had promised to be and more.. a gift from the gods, a flavor to be savored, my eventual obsession.. It had it all; a firm, hearty, spicy bouquet of goodness.  One might refer to it as "the Johnny Depp of snack foods".  It satisfied every craving ~ the hotter the better!
I often think about that night, and how fear almost prevented me from discovering a fabulous delicacy.  "He" is now my husband (of 23+ years!) and I find it much easier to embarrass him  Wait, that came out wrong....  I'm much older wiser and more confident now.  Most nights my head is so buried in the bowl I barely notice him enter the room...... unless he reaches for a chip! ;)

I eat it so often I've earned the title "Hot Queen Momma" (or is that because of the flashes?, hmmmmmm..) ;)

♪♫Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole
So we go rum-bum-bum-bum
Yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum
Feeling hot hot hot -- Feeling hot hot hot

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You're invited to my birthday party! I'm going to be ...

This weekend is my birthday.

I will be  humbledygrum

What's that?

Oh?.   It's my humbledygrumth birthday.

Damn interwebs.

hum-     ble-      dy-      grum!

yea, 21!  

Aw c'mon now, there's no need to go looking at my picture, just take my word  ...

I've got mixed emotions about it.  Honestly.  Does anyone like getting older?

Granted.  When you think about the alternative, getting older certainly beats not getting older. 
{Amen, to that!}

Those of you who aren't aging as gracefully as say, moi, might have a different opinion.... but for the most part, I think we can all agree.  Getting older beats not getting older, provided there isn't an option of getting younger which, shit, you'd be an idiot not to choose!  You can call me Mrs. Benjamin Button and smack me on the bottom!

Really? Could you imagine?!  
Although I don't know if I'd want to go through that whole spitting up and wearing diapers again....... ?!  (perplexed look)

{"Circle of Life" music playing now}

Clearly that's not an option, so forge ahead I shall.

The festivities will begin the day before my birthday.  My girlfriends are taking me out to celebrate.  We do this for each of our birthdays and this being my humbledygrumth (many of them having already reached that plateau,  *sticking out tongue*), it is even more special.

For this "special" birthday we each get a diamond necklace from all the others.  Not really sure which one of us thought up that bright idea... 
"I know! Let's buy eachother glitzy, sparkly necklaces when we turn humbledygrum so we can draw even more attention to our necks (yes, "neckS"), which, much like rings on a tree bark can accurately tell a woman's age."  


But far be it for me to break tradition so, this Friday night, I will suffer the humiliation of being given a beautiful diamond necklace from some of my closest, dearest girlfriends, followed by an equally degrading ceremony with food and wine and ending with our surrender to a cake which, no doubt, will ooze chocolate from every slice.  The things we do in the name of friendship.

I knew this day was coming so I married a younger man (well, a year younger) in the hope that he would keep me youthful.  He'll be humbledybum a week later.  Truth is, he's much more mature crankier than I so I turn to my children to keep me hip to what is still groovy and rad.. Clearly it's working....

For those of you who don't know, I am a twin (as is my husband but this is my story not his).  Yes, I have a twin brother who is 3 minutes older than I (as is my husband's twin, but again, my story, not his) and I take solace in that fact.  What do you mean 3 minutes isn't a lot?        Shut up!

As twins, I have no choice but to share the limelight we naturally celebrate together with the family.  No matter how not young we get, there's always a party! (Yay!)  A feast starting with appetizers aplenty and ending, every year, with an incredibly moist and creamy, Strawberry shortcake.  My absolute least favorite flavor.  Don't ask.  Quite honestly, though, I think I would be disappointed if it didn't.  The night will include stories of our younger years; how sweet and little we were; how we used to dress in matching outfits; how my older brother asked for a boy and my sister asked for a girl and, unbeknownst to anyone, including our parents, Surprise, Baby #2, me, arrived, there was one of each!  
So, despite what I feel about it, this birthday will happen in grand style, thanks to some wonderful friends and an amazing family.  And, while I can certainly think of a few reasons to dread it,  there are more reasons to look forward to it!

Let the partying begin!

Do the Hustle! ♪♫  Doot doot doot de doot diddy doot doot
Doot doot doot de doot diddy doot doo, Doot doot doot de doot diddy doot doo.....♫♪

 Are you one? Are you two?............Are you humbledygrum? STOP!