aww baby. i love you. even tho you burnt everything and wasted all our expensive, foreign-ish groceries and my dad got low blood-sugar and a little grumpy and we were scared we left the chicken out too long and had salmonella and we each ate a piece anyway and panicked. thank you for being such a good sport (as always) and letting me write this entry, mmmmmmwah 😉
(ahem) so. the story.
my parents came over for dinner last night. my mom’s decided to give up wheat. (silence) and my dad’s doing weight watchers. so we were like, what are we going to make for dinner? stir fry. brown rice. and summer rolls w/those cool little clear rice paper wrappers. sweet!
we went to swankyass whole foods sunday (and got TWO tickets while parked outside! in eight minutes! two tickets in eight minutes! effing eff!) and bought said foreign-ish foods. holly followed up with a trip to safeway last night to get other cool stuff like asian-type cabbage and shitake mushrooms (first time buying them and they’re pricey) also spicy mustard and various sauces. she is a very good cook (as in, sometimes her food brings me to tears it’s so good) and loves to try making new things. sometimes, tho, she decides to try cooking new things when we have company. (more silence)
but we’re thinkin, c’mon! it’s essentially eggrolls. and stir fry. cinch. [for her. not me. but obviously you knew that b/c all i make is chicken soup and also breakfast foods on the stove (and a really mean grilled cheese if i may say so myself). i also roast vegetables. (thanks, nicolina, heeearts!)] anyway, everything went wrong. terribly, horribly wrong.
baking the eggrolls (low-fat version) seemed like it wouldn’t work so we decided to empty a bottle of canola oil into a frying pan and try cooking them that way. didn’t quite work. all the while, we have the chicken marinating in a glass bowl on the island. did i mention it was taking a lot of prep, a lot of time, getting the eggroll filling (grated ginger, carrots, tofu, red cabbage, napa cabbage, shitake mushrooms, egg) together? (again, holly’s doing all this. i’m showing my parents wedding photos) the frying’s not working out so well. plus the filling tastes off. we try baking them and instead of crisping up, they’re turning into these floppy, clearish-white turd-like things. and we’re like: “oh no.” and now dad’s getting hungry.
i hand my mom a soy yogurt (oops sorry, i threw up a little in my mouth as i typed that. ha, no jk. maybe thr not that bad but i’ve never tried one) b/c she’s lactose intolerant and say, “this might take a little while.” i try to give my dad a mandarin orange but he’s refusing to eat it. great.
well unbeknownst to me, holly burnt the sides of our new wok while cooking the eggroll (sorry, i guess i should be saying “springroll” but whatevs) filling. i touch the side of the glass bowl containing the raw chicken, which is marinating w/onions and fresh asparagus. “isn’t this a little warm?” i ask holly. “no, it should be fine,” she says. (hello, red flag?). in goes the poisoned stir fry into the carbonized wok.
suddenly, the kitchen’s basically a smokebomb and i’m like, what the??? of course my mom’s still just flipping thru wedding photos (“oh aren’t these just lovely!”) on the couch and my dad’s basically asleep from low bloodsugar in the armchair. our house is one big long room on the first floor so i’m like “BABE, OPEN THE BACK DOOR BEFORE THE FIRE ALARM GOES OFF I’LL OPEN THE FRONT DOOR FOR CROSS VENTILATION. THE LAST THING WE NEED IS THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SHOWING UP HERE.” (i’m yelling over the fan, which is unsuccessfully sucking out the poisoned air from the kitchen.)
“it’s burnt. everything’s burnt,” holly says, shaking her head.
“aww, honey. maybe it’s not so bad? did you taste it?”
she takes a little bite of chicken and looks even more sad. “here, give me one.” i eat a bigger bite (of course). i look at her. it’s pretty burnt. “it’s…yeah. it kind of tastes…a little…burnt.” we look at each other, like, what are we gonna do now? and suddenly it occurs to me we probably shouldn’t have eaten that chicken.
we announce to my parents in our smoke-filled home that dinner’s probably ruined. my mother assures us it’s not that bad and walks back to the kitchen to assess the damage. “oh but it is,” we tell her. “and we’re doubting the safety of the chicken at this point.”
my mom’s ears perk up at “food safety” and we quickly agree we’re going out for dinner. (my parents are extremely good sports and didn’t mind tho my dad pretty much couldn’t function at this point.) my mom orders a sandwich w/out bread and my dad eats a whole flatbread pizza. (obviously weight watchers has gone down the crapper at this pt.) i announce that my stomach hurts and worry out loud that i might have salmonella poisoning. my mother assures me it’s fine while holly asks me where, exactly, it hurts. it’s hard to say, i mumble. but it kind of hurts. (obviously i was fine or else, yeah. i think you would have heard about it by now.) holly looks dejected and sad the entire meal. we assure her it’s ok and have a pretty good night despite it all.
we get home and i walk out w/my dad to help w/their luggage. a feral cat stares us down from atop our neighbor’s fence (my dad points at it and it runs away) and a rat scampers across the alley [it was probably just a baby (or a teen rat. hey! now *there’s* a good band name!) or something but my dad looked at me like it was pretty big). we walk in the house and all the sudden holly’s yelling for me to come over there, hold the trash bag open, there’s a mouse still alive in the trap and i’m not lettin this effer get away! we both scream as she throws the thing in there, still attached to the trap and wiggling and then just for good measure, we throw all the uneaten, burnt food in the bag on top. she takes the bag out to the alley and comes back in screaming bc she stepped on a cat or something. my parents ask if it’s always this exciting around here. yes, we say, yes, unfortunately it is this exciting. like i always say: you gotta laugh or you’ll cry your eyes out.