It should be of little surprise to anyone that I feel…less than ideal. Charged up by caffeine and salt and the Sunday night – now transferred to Monday night – agonies of overindulgence. Of foisting responsibilities on other people, days, and times. There’s also the shadow of Fred that both technology and my dim sense tell me is on his evil way. I may also be getting sick judging by the materials my nose is producing today and the scratch in my throat.
This is great. Juuuust great.
And here I come to realize the truth that I did this and I can undo this. I want to come here and moan, despair, feeling the impotence and ineffectual. But instead, I just feel bad enough and the magic of the fourth day of the four day weekend is just strong enough to cause me to drink some water and eat an apple and put away the rest.
Food is the distraction. Rather than the word. On one of the pages of prompts for blog posts, I saw “blog about a favorite childhood food.” It has sat in my memory banks as a possible go-to on one of these nights where writing about the day doesn’t feel so wordsworthy. So this leads me to think about slumgullion. Looking it up online, lots of other families have recipes for it, but I don’t remember ever hearing anyone talk about it. Or this other name I see as Johnny Marzetti casserole. Or American Chop Suey, or American Goulash. It’s sort of a variation on a sloppy joe, with fresh tomatoes and a dash (or more than a dash in my case) of hot sauce. In reading, someone calls it a noodle stew, which I guess is right, but sounds odd. Not a watery stew though as another describes. It is a favorite because it makes me think of my grandmother, my mom’s mom. It was one that she taught my mother and my mother – though she doesn’t think she taught me or that I was paying attention – actually did pass down to me. Just looking it up and the taste of celery, softened by Tabasco enters my mind unbidden. Then the squishy, sauce-swollen macaroni as bed for the ground beef and on top, a little bit of sharp cheddar. We never used green peppers, or spaghetti, or baked it in the oven. It’s delicious, and so, simple, rustic, humble. Filling. It makes me feel domestic. Away from anything other than the grounded person I can sometimes be. It’s a pot of food for a housefull, too. It’s meant for tupperware dishes and leftovers and sharing around a table.
I could make this so incredibly easily and yet, instead, spend the same amount on a pizza and feel awful. Thoughts. Thinking. Is any of this getting through? That sharing bit, I’m sure, is part of why it doesn’t even come to mind when I write up a grocery list. I think of food in terms of single servings. No matter the size, it is me and it is now.
The future. This is about food, the word, the future.