Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some Like it Hot

I suppose if one has to be this eyeballs deep in work, this stressed to the gills to extrude word after word after word out of the brain and onto the page, there isn't a better time in which to be so than the long, barren haul that is January, February, and March. In my mind's calendar, these months are colored a cheerful pink, deep burgundy, and blue-green respectively, yet they always "feel" sort of grey to me. Like ghost towns, months in which nothing much festive really happens. Okay, so there's Valentine's Day, but who really gets all that excited about President's Day (or whatever they're calling it now) except perhaps bankers, and does anyone who isn't a college student OR a drunk still celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Around here, the first three months of the year are instead mostly about low temperatures, unpredictable dumps of snow, and work. Work for S.B., work for me. I'm thankful, you betcha. Not only do I enjoy my work, even when it's stressy, I am also not qualified to do anything else. Except maybe type. Which means I'd make a great executive secretary, but I'm not sure that's a job that even exists anymore. And I would have made a rockin' trust fund baby, had grand pop not gone and blown his entire fortune on shoes.

I suppose it's also appropriate that I find myself in the middle of another strange culinary craving jag. I do this every so often. I'll get stuck on a particular kind of bubble gum or vegetable (like the one summer where I couldn't eat anything that wasn't also accompanied in some way by avocados, although I know, I know, it's a fruit) or ice cream or legume. I'll go through long stretches of eating only peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast or, when S.B. is traveling, the same pasta night after night (butter, garlic, minced tomatoes, a little sherry, and grated parmesan cheese).

Right now, I'm majorly addicted to hot sauce. Specifically, this one, which I first tasted thanks to Aunty sending me a bottle as part of a haiku win many months ago.

I've tasted a lot of hot sauces in my life and this one is just about the best. My favorite thing to do with it is mix it into ranch dressing and use as a dip for cut up veggies (when I'm really busy, it's an instant lunch—something I can eat at the computer and keep one hand free for typing). It also adds a great kick to steak sauce and just about any dish that benefits from a little heat.

So tell Moi, what are you craving lately?


Jenny said...

Ha! Trader Joe's peanut butter on one of the mini bun things that look like that top of a hamburger cut in half (100 calories!) I've had one every morning for the few weeks and I'm pretty much on schedule to be sick of them... soon? Last Summer it was frozen bean burritos. Hot sauce? youse is tuff and I nearly spit out my coffee when I saw what it's called. bwahahahahahah. And you're right about the dearth of things to be excited about for the next three months. The only good thinga about President's Day? I can get a day off. I hope.

p.s. I consider an avocado a vegetable too, but you know how I am with my veggies.

chickory said...

Im on an austerity program. But its not hard -i just said if it goes in my mouth -it has to be nutritious. no empty calories. Last night I had salmon on a bed of red kale with julienne veggies and pear gorgonzola dressing. breakfast is fruit and rice chex. Ive dropped my cals to less than my maintain number and stepped up the milage on the walk. Started back on the NordicTrac - formerly known as the worlds most expensive towel rack.

craving? moms eggy mac but I can have that right now. I am getting by on Altoids cinnamon when i feel like i gotta have a treat. I do have a few dark choc almonds now and then. my clothes fit better and i feel better.

This is not 3 months of nothing for me - i will drive to florida to see my brother and sister in about 10 days or so - and then it is back to chickory and getting ready for spring garden. I have been uber busy since October and just shipped the book illustrations -have a cover to do and then i am free.
I made money. I cant believe it. grrherhahaha

oh - and i am on the farmers market board now so i have some rabble rousing to do as they want to move us from the beautiful green park to the ugly concrete actual farmers market. NO!

btw. i love valentines day. LOVE it. I bake, make valentines (as you well know) and celebrate my anniversary on that day.

czar said...

For about the last two months, whatever it's been hasn't satisfied it.

Anonymous said...

I've lost 22 pounds (over 10% of starting weight). I'm not really craving anything specific. For a while I was craving PORTION SIZE of all the things I like, but now I'm reasonably content.

I.E. I had ONE egg, 3 strips of bacon, ONE piece of toast with butter and a banana for breakfast. So, I'm eating "bad" stuff just not as much.

Anonymous said...

I bought some "Scorned Woman" Hell-Hath-No-Fury hot sauce without tasting it because of the name and artistic label. Turns out, it's really good!

moi said...

Boxer: I love, love, love peanut butter. LOVE. I think it is God's perfect food. Well, the natural stuff at least. Okay, even the crap stuff is delicious.

Chickory: I'm eating much like you are, only I do have to consider calories with this 28-miler looming. But that doesn't mean they have to be crap calories. And when I crave sweets, I do bubble gum. Only a leetle sugar :o) Makes S.B. nuts, as I tend to smack and pop all Britney Spears-style, but hey, it's my ass we're talking about here!

Czar: You sound like a Lou Reed song! Can you set that to music with a strong bass?

Troll: Congrats on your weight loss! I do like, however, that you had ONE egg and ONE toast, but THREE strips of bacon. Which, really, are only, like, 125 calories. Scorned Woman sounds appropriately spicy.

Anonymous said...

A company I worked for 20 years ago had a closet with a window that faced south. It would be 100 degrees in there even in the winter. We grew one of the biggest habanero bushes I've ever seen and we got 100s of peppers off of it. Those things are hot. This reminds me that I'm out of hot sauce.

I've missed a whole week in the gym because of schedule and it really upsets me. I will try to get back in the routine on Sunday.


Sharon Rudd said...

My cravings are running toward a couple of restaurant meals I’ve got lined up in the next couple of months, including one at the Louisville restaurant of Ed Lee, who’s on the current Top Chef. Very curious to see what he makes when he’s not confined to the challenges of the show.

I usually feel Jan.-March are dismal and discouraging here in OH. But I’ve got a bunch of quick trips, etc. to look forward to this year. Just hoping the weather doesn’t put a crimp in my plans.

fishy said...

This is "busy" season in my arena. The first big home show market opened today in Atlanta the IHFC market will be in Mid April. There will be lots of markets in between.
Then too there are the series of Home Builder's shows to introduce folks to all the new options and styles. Staying "current" is essential and there are lots of new "green" materials to learn about these days.

I am now convinced you are related to Blowfish ... his favorite comfort food is the pasta you cook for yourself when SB is traveling.

On the foods front.
I have loved peanut butter my entire life so it was a shock for the holistic medicine testing to reveal a peanut allergy. Now I eat fresh ground , roasted almond butter on my apple slices for breakfast. What I have been craving lately is fresh popcorn with real butter.

LOL re: Aunty's gift... that woman is clevah!

@ Troll,
kudos! I have to respect a man who will not forgo his bacon!

Pam said...

You are right about the Executive Secretary position being a thing of the past. I am one of those dinosaurs and every day watch technology nibble away at the need for someone like me in the world. (heavy sigh) ... oh well, maybe you can suggest suitable re-training.

What am I craving? Nothing to do with food. We over-ate so much with the holiday guests that nothing sounds good again yet. What does sound good is to keep on that track to a simpler lifestyle. And I'd also say that I'm craving re-doing some things here at the house. Nothing major-- just re-do the way the artwork hangs or dying the bedspread to "tangerine" ... it's the color of the year, you know. Come snark if you can!

moi said...

Buzz: I used to try to eat them whole. I can do that with jalapeños, but not habañeros. Hence, my love of dairy. Hope you get back in the gym soon. It sucks to loose that endorphin high.

Eggy: Keeping moving and keeping busy is good. I hope weather doesn't cramp any of your trips and I look forward to your food reports!

Fishy: Aunty is most clever, isn't she? And generous, too. You know, it's not entirely inconceivable that Blowfish and I are related. But I think the real test is: olive oil on bread or butter? Heh.

Pam: I had to tape last night since we had a friend for dinner. I'm watching with breakfast, so I'll be there soon. For several years before she married, a favorite aunt worked as Aaron Spelling's right hand girl, when he was still producing in NYC. She was smart and sassy and smelled great and looked even better, had that whole chic-working-girl-on-her-way-up thing DOWN. That's who I wanted to be when I grew up. But by the time I did, the job was a dinosaur.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh...wondered if that stuff went to good use.


Rest--time to read twenty-bazillion books an' journals. At the beach. Wif' French pressed cawfee fer breakfast, a baguette an' some fabulous cheese.

I should be busy--but as Uncle's thang stands--will post soon--I put off a travel assignment for the coming week.

A sunny light breezy FLorida week spend in mah li'l garden would be runner up craving.

Aunty Belle said...

Well, did I mention chocolate wif'

moi said...

Aunty!: Sorry to hear you're still tearing your hair out over Uncle. That can't be easy. Can't you just, I don't know, drug him, net him, and transport him? Tell him, okay, you want to be a stubborn-ass so-and-so, fine by you, you have FIVE Alternative Uncles waiting in the wings, thank you very much?

czar said...

The company that Fleur and I used to work for still employs what they call an "executive secretary." I received a contract from her a couple of days ago.

Get this: For each job they send me (maybe 5 or 6 editing and indexing jobs per year), first they send a Work Order in duplicate, one of which I must sign and send to the executive secretary to the senior vice president of marketing and development -- and, yes, she spells out every word whenever referring to herself.

Not only do they send me the hard copy (in duplicate) of the contract, which no one else does, they send it to me via FedEx overnight, an entirely ridiculous use of funds, as the documents are hardly time-sensitive.

Because I've known some of these people for almost 25 years, I felt pretty comfortable telling them last year how much money was being wasted: imagine the stuff sent to me times god-knows-what factor of FedEx envelopes being sent to all their other vendors . . . something that could be done for free with an email. But they want both original signatures on a piece of paper.

So I said, "Why FedEx? Why not just regular mail? Take all the money you'd save, and put it in an account to pay your freelancers."

My contact said that I raised great points, and she'd mention all this to the executive secretary and to the senior VP.

First work order comes in this year. They've changed their ways. This one came in FedEx PRIORITY, instead of standard -- the most expensive service available to here.

What do I crave? An end to rank corporate stupidity.

But remember, this is the same industry (not publishing) that, when I began working in it in 1984, used to transport files from one department to another in shopping carts. I had to do some company visits in Dallas that year, and the shopping carts were a constant.

LẌ said...

The last few months, I have been trying Buffalo hot wings at different places.

moi said...

Czar: All of a sudden, the first season of Madmen is running through my head . . .

lx: Loves me some wings. Messy, but tasty! Have you discovered a favorite?

LẌ said...

"Have you discovered a favorite?"

So far, a local wing chain Pluckers is my favorite. I also like to make them at home.

moi said...

lx: That looks like a fun place! You know, I have about a million recipes for them, including my mom's, which was delicious, but I've never made them at home. Hmmm . . . I feel a Stupor Bowl menu coming on.

grins said...

I'm a hot sauce freak. I'm going to look for your and Trolls hot sauce. I love naked fillets, but for a less tender cut I can't live without Pickapeppa.

Chinese chili garlic hot sauce is kick-butt It has a rooster on it in the oriental section.

Weird I have been anti craving stuff lately. I lost seventeen pounds in the last two weeks without trying.

Watermelon is a vegetable and tomatoes are fruit as are avocados. Y'all probably knew that but I didn't.

Chickory I've had a nordic track and Ive used it off and on for about fifteen years. I don't think it can be beat. Hon always wants to throw it away as it doesn't fold up any more. If I folded it up I'd never use it. I've also used it as a clothes rack, but I'm using it now.

moi said...

Curm: I like that Sriracha stuff, too. Even though it's not really Vietnamese (Vietnamese/American). I've gone through several Chinese chile sauces, but don't remember anything with a rooster on it. I'll look for it next time I'm at our Asian market. Props to you folks who can Nordic Trak or treadmill. After about two miles, I'm ready to shoot myself.