I cried a few hours ago, chopping an onion. I forgot onions make you do that. I just started hacking away at the thing, when my eyes began to sting. I kept at it, trying to be the hard core chef. But tears continued to bubble out, and I eventually stopped. I'm not that hard core yet.
I am learning how to cook. Right now, the air in my apartment is lingering on the smell of curry and bacon. It's a scrambled egg recipe I got out of my Cookbook for Poor Poets. From what I can tell, the dish came out successfully. My roommate Jackie enjoyed it at least.
The two of us went grocery shopping together yesterday. I don't know what it was, but something about Hurricane Ike made us forget how to eat. Electricity has been back on for more than a week, but we cling to survival mode. Our refrigerator remains half empty, and we walk around our kitchen like zombies. We take trips to Walmart, but all we can do is stare at the shelves.
"I just don't know what to buy," I told Jackie. "I can think of stuff I used to get, but something keeps me from wanting it. I think there is a part of me that is afraid we will just have to throw everything away again."
Walmart itself depresses me. Items like milk and eggs are taking forever to be replenished. Half the shelves have yet to be stocked. I start grabbing items I never bought in my entire life. A jar of almond butter. A can of Pillsbury cinnamon buns. When we turn into the produce section, Jackie and I run into a woman clutching her grocery basket. She's shaking her head at a rack of wilted lettuce.
"Where did all the food go?" she asks us. "Ike is supposed to be over."
Jackie and I are actually proud of ourselves. When we head for the self checkout, there are only a few frozen meals. We survey the basket holding chicken breasts, nutmeg, cardamom, bacon, Perrier water bottles, yogurt, asparagus, and stuffed salmon - wrapped up from the seafood section.
"Jackie, our shopping cart looks like a real grownups!"
"I know!' she replies jubilantly, as if I read her mind.
Perhaps we are starting to wake back up. Our appetites are calling - ready to be nourished.
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH CURRY AND BLACK BUTTER from
THE NEW COOKBOOK FOR POOR POETS AND OTHERS
written by Ann Rogers
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbs cream
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup butter