Tuesday, November 30, 2010


These are the things I miss about home today, in no particular order: mountains, family, friends, Cafe Rio's pork salad with black beans no cilantro and tomatillo sauce, snow and the crunch it makes when you step on it, temples in every direction from my house, the countdown-to-Christmas mouse calendar that's been in my parents' house every year for as long as I can remember, radio stations that were presets on my car since I got it, the BYU-Utah rival, the flashing of porch lights to say goodbye as we drive away, IMSU and telling Mitchell, "Saved babies' lives" when he'd asked me, "What did you do at work today?", and a whole lot more.

Love you and miss you.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today, I had a very revealing trip to the grocery store. See if you can guess why after you read this.

"Are you finding everything alright, ma'am?"

"Let me get that for you, ma'am."

"Ma'am? Would you like paper or plastic?"

"You saved $3.56 today, ma'am."

Still wondering? Can't figure it out? Everything sounds pretty expected for the grocery store, right? WRONG! Ma'am? MA'AM?! Seriously? Someone please tell me when I crossed over into ma'am territory. I thought that word was reserved for women whose hips and thighs are evidence of the 5 kids they have at home; women who shop at Christopher Banks and Chicos; women who make sure they take a multivitamin every morning because they're worried about osteoporosis. to Am I already there? Is that who I am in the general public's eye? Please- someone, anyone- say it's not so!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Eggplant Experiment

When you think of traditional Italian food, what comes to mind? I think of things I've see on an Olive Garden menu- spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, eggplant parmesan. I have tried and love every one of these meals, except for eggplant parmesan. I've always wanted to, but eggplant? Who is possibly tempted by a word like eggplant? Is it an egg? Hardly. A vegetable? Maybe. Some weird hybrid? Quite possibly. All I know for sure, is that it sounds absolutely horrid. But have you ever seen an eggplant? It's intriguing- its unique dark purple hue, its curved shape, its smooth outer casing. Eggplant always has appeared to me to be a very sophisticated choice, even if its name makes me want to gag a little.

One of my goals on this Indiana adventure has been to learn to cook. It's going well so far. The other day I decided I wanted to try a new pasta, but pasta is pretty basic. I mean, boil some noodles and chop some tomatoes, right? How can you make cooking pasta difficult? I don't think you can. So I decided to try a new ingredient- the eggplant. I would make sausage rigatoni with eggplant, and it surely would be phenomenal.

It was only after I bought all my ingredients that I realized I had no clue if I even liked eggplant. I'd never even tried it. It was only then that it dawned on me that it might be a bad idea to cook something with a main ingredient whose only appeal is that it appears sophisticated. Sophisticated? Who eats something based on criteria like that? Only crazy people, I'm sure. Perhaps my whole dinner was doomed to be a disaster because of a faulty connection my brain had made with sophistication and deliciousness.

But make the pasta I did. I was quite surprised to see what an eggplant looks like on the inside, and even more surprised to try a bite and find it was absolutely vile. Well, it was too late to turn back at that point. All I could hope was that it would taste better cooked and covered with lots and lots of salt, pepper, and anything else I could think of to mask that disgusting taste.

End result- not too bad. Thank goodness the rest of the recipe was marvelously delicious. I think I'll actually make it again some time, only next time substitute the eggplant with mushrooms, artichokes, or anything else that I actually know to taste good. This is the last time I will be tricked by the fascinating violet of a name-confused vegetable.