Next month will mark the third year anniversary of my heart attack. While the doctors were fiddling down near the “Crotch of My Nether Regions” by running a catheder up to my ticker, my multi-tasking brain was working on three things at the time: a.) “These guys are dangerously close to my semi-famous “Twigs and Berries” area — and that cardiologist was really cute — should I worry? b.) “I need to get focused and stop smoking — replace that bad habit with something that will be more satisfying” and c.) “I’m hungry for a cheeseburger…with extra salty fries and a giant sized Diet Coke…”
Three days later, I was weak, scared and thankful to be alive. But most of all: I was pathetically happy to be finally at home. Hint: While you’re having a heart attack and the doctors are feverishly working so close to your “Family Junk”, you’re compelled to have these really long talks with God. You don’t bother with “God, The Son”, nor with “God the Holy Spirit”. No, those two are the losers in “Team Holy Trinity”. You go directly to the Big One and shove everybody else the Hell out of your way — even if that includes “The Crucified One”.. You talk to HIM. You have your own “Jesus Moment” and you make commitments and promises…. And you find a way to love each and every heartbeat and each and every breath of fresh air.
That’s the time where I decided to explore Food.
I started with Asian cuisine. Sauted fresh vegetables and seared meat proteins with a great and savory sauce. Then there are the condiments in Asian cooking; rice, egg roll wrappers, spring roll wrappers and teas. The downside to Asian cuisine is their over-the-top-and-crazy obsession with salt. Find me a salt-free diet for Asian cuisine and I’ll find you a little Chinese guy wearing a white-jacket with extra-long sleeves. Fish sauce, Black bean sauce, Oyster sauce, Lobster sauce: Face it Baby – “Salt-Free Chinese” just doesn’t exist. (Unless of course, you’re of Chinese descent and you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.)
I became a popular customer at every Oriental grocery maket in the Twin Cities metro area. I learned about new vegetables I had never heard of and I learned about new sauces and vinegars that became packed in our pantry shelves. I even bought a thirty-dollar cast iron wok at the very gay “Kitchen Window” in Calhoun Square that weighs more than a VW Beetle. Without cigarettes, my tongue began to taste new flavors; salts were sharper, sweets were tasting more and more like Jolly Ranchers, and I developed an uncanny ability to smell a cigarette smoker from 80 yards away in the Pasta Aisle…upwind!
I explored Chinese and Thai restaurants throughout the metro area. The best Hot and Sour soup, by the way – Shuang Cheng in Dinkytown next door to the Varsity Theater on 4th St. Everything they make is the best Asian you’ll ever taste, bar none, guaranteed. But their Hot and Sour soup… It’s truly an epiphany for the tongue, the palate and the nose.
(If you go, truthfully: Be sure to tell the owner, Daniel Lam that I said “Hi”. He’ll give you a complimentary fortune cookie if you tell him. He’s like a crazy business man or something.)
I re-learned to bake my own bread. (Which reminds me – I have to feed my sourdough starter in the fridge downstairs. My little critters in that starter have become great great great grandparents by now.) My parents gave me a bread maker years ago when I lived in Atlanta. Mom came to visit packing a vicious recipe for “Applesauce Bread”. By the time we came back to check on the breadmaker’s progress it was already too late. In the immortal words of Dr. Leonard McCoy: “It’s dead, Jim”. So I had to re-learn with a newly ripped-off bread-maker that I took from my own Mom’s “Closet of Kitchen Gadget Horrors”. “She broke mine” translates to “I’m stealing hers!” Fact: In the past three years I’ve conquered sour dough, French baguette and tomato (bread). I still buy our garlic bread packed in a box of 12 baguette loaves at Costco; but “Hey! I could make it if I wanted too!”
I conquered the soil and we grow our own herbs now, including drying and storing. I wash out my husband’s partner’s coffee grinder, stuffed it with my marjoram, sage , or rosemary: I plugged it in and grind those babies until I’ve got mulch. Naturally, I forget to wash out the grinder by simply putting the grinder back in the pantry where I found it.
There’s nothing more pleasurable than hearing my husband life partner in the early hours of the morning take his first sip of coffee….
OH MY GAWD!”
What?! I don’t drink coffee!! Ick!! If I have to remember to wash it out before use – then why can’t he?!
My husband’s partner’s usual grunts and munching sounds since I began this journeey have evolved along with my own cooking. Instead of “Hrmm… Goo…Hrm! <grunt> Hmm… Hm-Himm!! This is good! Where’s the remote? Is Vanna on The Wheel tonight?”; These days, I get “Wow! This has a really great flavor, Hon!! You need to write this one down!! Wow! Hrmm… This is awesome! Where’s the remote…Is Vanna on The Wheel tonight?!”
Which is nice to hear! He sounds genuinely impressed! (Although I think he’s lying… Did you know that henbane was an herb used to poison the enemies of the High Priestess’ in ancient Wiccan culture?!)
I decided to write a new blog – focused on the subject of Food. If I came up with something new in my “Adventures in Cooking”, I decided to publish it instead of storing it in this shareware cookbook databases that I downloaded from the Internet and installed on an old Gateway notebook computer I keep in the kitchen cupboard. Since I spent all of my money on that 3 ton cast iron wok, I had to hacked the $25 license fee on the shareware registration “nag screen” so I could continue to use it. It stores all of my culinary creations! Please don’t tell AOL’s TOS Police.
So without the androgynous moniker of a flying insect, I started a food blog called: “Cooking for Gays“. I have three or four entries up there now, so go on and help yourself to them. Yeah, the name is probably a little lame, but since I’m cooking for just the two of us. I thought: “Why not steal a little love for a play on words?” (We’re not positive, but we’re pretty sure Little Otis isn’t gay. Otherwise, I would be compelled to call the blog; “Cooking for Gays and their Gay Dog”. Since Little Otis had his “Berries” removed when he was only six months old, the best I’ve witnessed on his sexual identity was demonstrated by catching him dry-humping my husband’s partner’s pillow during a rainy Tuesday afternoon. I’m not sure if he was fantasizing that that pillow was a “bitch” or a “stud”. I decided that I didn’t care and that it didn’t matter. What I did decide was that I was never, ever going to tell my husband partner what I witnessed Little Otis doing to his pillow.)
<shrug> What? Are you going to tell me that you would have done something else? Spare me the details, Please!!!
I’ll keep writing here on the Fruit Fly – picking on the Republicans and mocking everybody who dares to disagree with me. I’m still hoping that someone will finally praise me for the appropriateness I chose for the “song selection” when they click on my portrait. (Yes, every blog entry on the Fruit Fly blog has my “portrait” and if you clicked on it, you’d get a chance to hear my song selection for that entry. …Are you saying that you didn’t know?!)
This will be cross-posted, in case you were wondering.