Recipe Fails and Walmart Woes

February 15, 2019

It was the sort of Tuesday that made you question whether it was actually Monday. The kitchen I currently run closes at 3:00 pm and I faithfully watched the seconds tick by till the clock struck three before bellowing out “86 Kitchen!”  

Not ten seconds later a middle-aged white woman came marching up to the counter and without pausing for a greeting announced that she’d have a large latte and an avocado toast with a poached egg.

The dear, sweet girl working the counter politely informed her the kitchen had just closed but we did still have pastries. The woman, being who she was, wanted to know if we would make her food anyways.

I politely explained that while I would love to, it was simply not fair to any other customer that came up and ordered after 3:00 if I served her and not them. I offered her a bowl of granola and she spat out something nasty about needing protein and not sugar. I turned to my pile of dishes and began scrubbing. I look forward to reading her nasty review later over my 7th cup of coffee.

I cleaned up, walked to my car with my nose tucked against the determined wind and drove half an hour to Bed Bath and Beyond. My little sister Tessie was coming to visit in two days with her friend Will and I needed to pick up some extra bedding to sleep them both, Muggsy, having ripped holes in what used to be the guest bedding.

Now, Muggsy is not allowed on the bed when we go to sleep, but sometime in the early morning hours she sneaks onto the bed and plops down right in between us, pulling all the blankets with her and we wake up freezing and clutching a corner of the comforter while she sprawls, blissfully unaware with her toenails digging into Tony’s or my back depending on the day.

This being the case I had decided we needed a king sized blanket for our queen sized bed, figuring the extra fabric would solve the issue. Since we had to buy new bedding anyways I thought why not get one of those down-alternative comforters my well-to-do friend from high-school had and pass on the hole-ridden blanket to my little sister? What are little sisters for, after all…

I drove 30 minutes from work to a Bed Bath and Beyond, prepared to drop $100 dollars to get the coveted duvet. Turns out that blanket is a whopping $500 bucks and that is not that far off from what we bought my current car for. I blinked stupidly at the price tag while fingering the perfect cloud of a blanket and then I left, plugging a more reasonable destination into the GPS.

Somehow, I dropped a pin in a random neighborhood and the GPS took me on a wild goose chase till it landed me outside some arbitrary house in the suburbs in South West Portland. I plugged in Walmart, one of my least favorite places on earth, and found myself parking and running in through the chill wind 10 minutes later.

I grabbed blankets, pillows, sheets, toilet paper, paper towels, and the fixings for dinner which I piled into my cart. I passed a man in the condiment section picking out a bottle of ketchup, he selected one, took a deep breath and said “Ok then” before gathering up the ketchup and five more items strewn about the aisle, no cart in sight. I nodded at him and said, “I always do that too.” And we shared a moment of solidarity before he said: “It’s when you start getting the phone calls that you run into trouble.” I nodded seriously and we both headed our separate ways, ketchup in hand.

After I checked out, the man at the door inspected my receipt carefully to ensure I wasn’t making away with the $40 comforter set and then I loaded all the goods into my car, pulled out my phone, and the screen said: “Your driver is almost here.” I had accidentally called an Uber, it was his lucky day I realized it before driving off, I can only imagine his confusion when the dot he was following flew out of the Walmart parking lot and got onto I5.

I got home with grand plans to make black bean burgers for dinner. The kitchen was a mess so I cleaned it up and then pulled out all the ingredients. We’re now on our third week of imperfect produce and I had two red bell peppers sitting in the fridge that were starting to wilt.

Every time I walk past red bell peppers in the grocery store I find myself pulled in by their color, in the similar fashion that you suddenly have a bursting urge to use the bathroom when the captain turns on the “fasten seatbelt sign.”. They’re always more than $1 a piece and so I never buy them but blissfully imagine every way my life would be better if I had those bell peppers.

Now that I had two sitting in the fridge going bad I couldn’t think of a single way to use them. So I was determined to use them in these black bean burgers and I pulled out their stems and dropped the bell peppers into the food processor with some onion, black beans, and a bunch of spices and herbs.

I whizzed it up, took off the lid and stared at the gloopy pile of mush I had just made. It looked like something Muggsy had regurgitated and was far too wet to be shaped into burger patties. My last staves of energy left me all at once and I slid down the wall onto the floor and thought that we might as well just go ahead and starve and be terrible people while we’re at it for wasting the red bell peppers.

Tony had no time for this and in much nicer words told me to get off the floor and stop whining. He then left to get more black beans and I scraped the gloopy mess into the compost, unloaded the now clean dishwasher and then reloaded with all the dirty dishes.

I found a second wind and began sautéing onion and then reducing it with red wine, poured myself a glass and then sliced up tomato, red onion and cheese so that when I nailed the perfect black bean burger, and I knew that I would, we would be ready to assemble them and then retire to watch Brooklyn 99, burger in hand.

I did in fact not nail the perfect black bean burger but they did look beautiful and tasted fine. And that was really all I required out of them right at that moment. Don’t look for a black bean burger recipe anytime soon but I will grant you two pieces of advice: 1. Do not, under any circumstances, blend your black bean burger mixture. 2. Red wine is always a good idea.

To Be Continued…

February 15, 2019

It was the sort of Tuesday that made you question whether it was actually Monday. The kitchen I currently run closes at 3:00 pm and I faithfully watched the seconds tick by till the clock struck three before bellowing out “86 Kitchen!”  

Not ten seconds later a middle-aged white woman came marching up to the counter and without pausing for a greeting announced that she’d have a large latte and an avocado toast with a poached egg.

The dear, sweet girl working the counter politely informed her the kitchen had just closed but we did still have pastries. The woman, being who she was, wanted to know if we would make her food anyways.

I politely explained that while I would love to, it was simply not fair to any other customer that came up and ordered after 3:00 if I served her and not them. I offered her a bowl of granola and she spat out something nasty about needing protein and not sugar. I turned to my pile of dishes and began scrubbing. I look forward to reading her nasty review later over my 7th cup of coffee.

I cleaned up, walked to my car with my nose tucked against the determined wind and drove half an hour to Bed Bath and Beyond. My little sister Tessie was coming to visit in two days with her friend Will and I needed to pick up some extra bedding to sleep them both, Muggsy, having ripped holes in what used to be the guest bedding.

Now, Muggsy is not allowed on the bed when we go to sleep, but sometime in the early morning hours she sneaks onto the bed and plops down right in between us, pulling all the blankets with her and we wake up freezing and clutching a corner of the comforter while she sprawls, blissfully unaware with her toenails digging into Tony’s or my back depending on the day.

This being the case I had decided we needed a king sized blanket for our queen sized bed, figuring the extra fabric would solve the issue. Since we had to buy new bedding anyways I thought why not get one of those down-alternative comforters my well-to-do friend from high-school had and pass on the hole-ridden blanket to my little sister? What are little sisters for, after all…

I drove 30 minutes from work to a Bed Bath and Beyond, prepared to drop $100 dollars to get the coveted duvet. Turns out that blanket is a whopping $500 bucks and that is not that far off from what we bought my current car for. I blinked stupidly at the price tag while fingering the perfect cloud of a blanket and then I left, plugging a more reasonable destination into the GPS.

Somehow, I dropped a pin in a random neighborhood and the GPS took me on a wild goose chase till it landed me outside some arbitrary house in the suburbs in South West Portland. I plugged in Walmart, one of my least favorite places on earth, and found myself parking and running in through the chill wind 10 minutes later.

I grabbed blankets, pillows, sheets, toilet paper, paper towels, and the fixings for dinner which I piled into my cart. I passed a man in the condiment section picking out a bottle of ketchup, he selected one, took a deep breath and said “Ok then” before gathering up the ketchup and five more items strewn about the aisle, no cart in sight. I nodded at him and said, “I always do that too.” And we shared a moment of solidarity before he said: “It’s when you start getting the phone calls that you run into trouble.” I nodded seriously and we both headed our separate ways, ketchup in hand.

After I checked out, the man at the door inspected my receipt carefully to ensure I wasn’t making away with the $40 comforter set and then I loaded all the goods into my car, pulled out my phone, and the screen said: “Your driver is almost here.” I had accidentally called an Uber, it was his lucky day I realized it before driving off, I can only imagine his confusion when the dot he was following flew out of the Walmart parking lot and got onto I5.

I got home with grand plans to make black bean burgers for dinner. The kitchen was a mess so I cleaned it up and then pulled out all the ingredients. We’re now on our third week of imperfect produce and I had two red bell peppers sitting in the fridge that were starting to wilt.

Every time I walk past red bell peppers in the grocery store I find myself pulled in by their color, in the similar fashion that you suddenly have a bursting urge to use the bathroom when the captain turns on the “fasten seatbelt sign.”. They’re always more than $1 a piece and so I never buy them but blissfully imagine every way my life would be better if I had those bell peppers.

Now that I had two sitting in the fridge going bad I couldn’t think of a single way to use them. So I was determined to use them in these black bean burgers and I pulled out their stems and dropped the bell peppers into the food processor with some onion, black beans, and a bunch of spices and herbs.

I whizzed it up, took off the lid and stared at the gloopy pile of mush I had just made. It looked like something Muggsy had regurgitated and was far too wet to be shaped into burger patties. My last staves of energy left me all at once and I slid down the wall onto the floor and thought that we might as well just go ahead and starve and be terrible people while we’re at it for wasting the red bell peppers.

Tony had no time for this and in much nicer words told me to get off the floor and stop whining. He then left to get more black beans and I scraped the gloopy mess into the compost, unloaded the now clean dishwasher and then reloaded with all the dirty dishes.

I found a second wind and began sautéing onion and then reducing it with red wine, poured myself a glass and then sliced up tomato, red onion and cheese so that when I nailed the perfect black bean burger, and I knew that I would, we would be ready to assemble them and then retire to watch Brooklyn 99, burger in hand.

I did in fact not nail the perfect black bean burger but they did look beautiful and tasted fine. And that was really all I required out of them right at that moment. Don’t look for a black bean burger recipe anytime soon but I will grant you two pieces of advice: 1. Do not, under any circumstances, blend your black bean burger mixture. 2. Red wine is always a good idea.

To Be Continued…

Savannah Says...

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