Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday, Dinner

I realize I’m the unemployed one so I should be figuring out dinner every night and whatnot, but it never really occurred to me this was in the unemployment contract and I’m still getting used to the idea. This morning I finished my book and hung out with the cats. In the late afternoon I met J for a game of tennis and do some work at the bar of Kabira. Internet was down, so I got some writing done.

I had been to the grocery store every day for the past week. I couldn’t bear it again, so I made J go by himself on our way home. We were hungry from the tennis and it was getting late and neither of were inspired or felt like making a big thing out of cooking. J came home with one of those Knorr packets of pasta in a pre-made sauce. Except on this packet, everything was in Italian.

We fed the kitties and then I sent J off to cook while I played with the kitties inour room. Actually, I had messed up the pad thai packet the night before and J didn’t trust me with the Italian Knorr. (And don't get the idea that we're making lots of packeted food, it's seriously just been these two nights and the pad thai actually came highly recommended to us even though it was the most disgusting thing we had maybe ever tasted. We would have thrown it out, but every time I even think about throwing food out here, I think of that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby asks that their leftover dinner be sent to Ethiopia. That, and the abundant poverty here. Also, in our defense, we don't have a fully stocked kitchen since we're not in our own place yet and why buy everything now if we're just going to have to move again?) In a minute J called from the kitchen for help. “What do you think this says?” he asked. We looked at the back of the packet together. Ten years ago I knew a little bit of Spanish. J studied French for the past two years. Reading Italian should be no problem.

My first reading through I was pretty sure we weren’t eating dinner that night. I couldn’t understand a thing.

We took it more slowly.

There were three steps. We figured the first one out pretty darn well. Boil 500 mL of water if you were using a pan 24 cm in diameter and 450 mL if you were using a smaller pan. I retrieved a 500 mL empty bottle of water to use for measuring and we were good to go on Step 1.

Step 2 proved slightly more problematic. We understood we were to cook the pasta for about 10 minutes over medium heat. “Does it say anything about stirring occasionally?” J asked from where he stood at the stove, stirring occasionally. There were a number of words we could not decipher. I shrugged. “Does it say whether to cook with a lid or without?” The picture next to Step 2 showed a pan without a lid on it. “Without,” I said.

Step 3 used quite a lot of words for what essentially boiled down to (for us) was: enjoy and serve, though we probably got that first part wrong, since wouldn’t it make more sense to say, serve and enjoy?

Anyway, it was edible. Certianly not as bad as the pad thai.

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