Friday, October 28, 2011

Cilantro Hate

Today's edition was inspired by a rare dinner out for our family.  We successfully completed the challenge known as the professional family portrait and found we had time to eat and no plan. We decided to check out Costa Vida - a new to our area chain restaurant of "healthy" "Mexican" food.  We attempted to go a few weeks ago but it was a Sunday and they weren't open. (I get the reason why, but it sure does seem like a risky business model for a restaurant!)  We had heard some good things about the food and the website makes it seem like a place we would like. One of our favorite quick stops for food in Bend when we lived there was Longboard Louie's which appeared to be similar in menu/decor/price.

Quick review is that the prices were similar, but LL's food was a little bit better and larger servings. Plus, there were more choices on the menu. But Costa Vida's restaurant space is nice.  It seems like the staff is still working out the kinks as far as moving orders along, but I think that will come with time.

Anyway, the big bummer for me, which led to this post, (yes, I am finally getting around to it!) is that at least half of their menu calls for the use of cilantro in a "hard to get around" way.  Their rice, which is used in their burritos, salads and as a side on all plates, is lime cilantro rice. The problem is: I'm a cilantro hater.

***warpy tv screen to show we are travelling back in my memory, inserted here***

A long, long time ago in 2006, I did not realize I hate cilantro. How can it be that I didn't realize I had a pure hatred until I was almost 30 years old? My only excuse is that I have a sensitive stomach and tend to steer away from spice and seasoning in general. Anyway, 2006, I'm  pregnant with Big Girl. And I'm STARVING. And I'm driving home from work. And there is Baja Fresh. "Ah! That looks healthy and filling. I will drive through there."

I don't remember what I ordered. It might as well have been called "Tortilla filled with cilantro". I went home and ate whatever it was and proceeded to be sick as a dog until the next morning.  Suspicious of fast food, I figured I'd been poisoned. (Who doesn't always assume they've been poisoned when they are pregnant and have a weird reaction to food? Right?) I didn't think much else about it. But then, months later, we went out somewhere else and I got a rice bowl filled with all sorts of non-Mexican stuff, but there was the taste again! The one that made me sick! I sleuthed, because I'm a good sleuther. CILANTRO!

***time warp returning to present day***

To this day, I have not voluntarily consumed cilantro a single time.  I go without guacamole and pico de gallo if we eat Mexican food. I seek out non-cilantro menu items with incredible focus and accuracy.

A few weeks back I read an article about why some people cannot stand the taste of cilantro while others love it. It clarified so much for me - why I literally gag when I try to eat cilantro, why I think eating anything with even the smallest amount of cilantro tastes like soap...

Apparently I'm a "supersmeller". I think I might make myself a t-shirt."Supertasters" have their own t-shirts, I want one for my super power too!

(If you don't believe me about the whole cilantro supersmeller thing, here's another article. Because you know, if it is reported twice on the internet, it must be true.)

I was talking to a new friend and for some reason we started talking about how I hate cilantro. (I'm not really sure why cilantro-hate became a relevant topic in conversation between two people who just met...?)  And she mentioned she likes cilantro but has a friend who thinks it tastes soapy. Honestly, my world was blown. Between the article and the friend-of-a-friend who feels the same way, I came to realize other people are with me in the cilantro hater club. (I have since found a blog called "I Hate Cilantro" that I can totally related to. No, cilantro was not part of my wedding vows, but otherwise I'm with her.)

So, last night, what to do. I was hungry and would have loved a burrito, but those were out. I ended up with two grilled shrimp tacos without pico di gallo, praying that there was no cilantro in the cabbage mixture that was inside with the shrimp. I passed on the side of cilantro rice. The kind food assembler guy offered me a double portion of beans, but that would have been approximately 2 cups of beans which I thought was a little scandalous.  I chowed down on my (cilantro free) tacos. Little Man, of course, refused to eat most of his dinner, so when Eric took him to the bathroom, I perused his plate.

The rice looked really good. I thought to myself, "I'm still hungry... And there really is only a tiny bit of cilantro in there... and I haven't tried anything with cilantro in about 5 years, so maybe now that I'm not pregnant or just being done with pregnancy things will work out better?"

I took about 1/3 of a bite with my fork and took a bite!! 

Guess what happened?? 

Tasted like SOAP!!! And then I started gagging. And then Big Girl looked at me like I was insane. 

So, my hatred will live on for another day. I'm sort of sad about the Costa Vida situation though, because I would like to go back and have a salad. Maybe I will go again and see if they make a cilantro free version of their rice. (Kind of doubt it based on the confusion we caused by asking if Eric could have shrimp on his burrito even though it wasn't on the menu.) 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Conceptions of an *almost* 4 year old

Little Man is a pretty smart kid. He speaks very clearly and with a strong vocabulary for not-quite-4. He is a puzzle master and has a great memory for numbers and facts. Here are two things that cannot sort out in his mind.

1) Bedtime vs. "Resting Time" vs. Nap

For some reason, Little Man can't wrap his mind around the concept of bedtime. He knows he goes to bed at 7pm. But when we say it is bedtime, he always takes issue. It is not bedtime, it is "time for my long nap".  The hour in the afternoon formerly knows as nap time, now must be called "resting time". He doesn't always nap during that time, so it can't be called "nap time". I am consistently blown away by the level of reasoning and total lack of understanding about what he is reasoning about. (Same for #2) Honestly, we have discussions about all of the bedtime verbiage on a regular basis. Woe to any babysitter who does not understand the subtleties of sleep related talk at our house!

2) Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner aka "meal time" vs Snack

This one is even more strange. Yes, Little Man is a big fan of snacks. So maybe that is why he cannot understand the concept of "meal time" and can't keep track of which meal happens at which time of day. When he names a meal, he is almost always wrong. Today we got home from errands at 12:30pm and I had told him at least three times that when we got home we would be having lunch. We pull in to the garage and he says, "Make me whatever I want for dinner." ("whatever I want" is another funny Little Man-ism. He actually uses this in place of "whatever you want" only when I actually make him whatever I want, then he gets mad and specifies what he wants to eat.) Anyway, when I told him it was lunch time, not dinner time, he was like "Whatever, give me a snack then."  He prefers if every time he eats, we call that snack. There have been occasions that he has refused to eat a meal and then I've called it "snack" instead (and this has happened mid-meal) and then simply by calling it snack the food suddenly transforms into the most appetizing whatever that has ever been created.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Write Like... an update

Here is an example of how short sighted I am. I decide to end my blogging sabbatical on the same week that I am going out of town for 3 days. *slaps forehead with palm*  I decided that I would check in with good old I Write Like to see if I am still writing like the same "famous" person as Last YearApparently, I am no longer Cory Doctorow (and I still don't really know who he is). Now I am another guy I have never heard of before!

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

So after laughing for a minute because now not only am I unfamiliar with the writing, but I am not even really sure how to pronounce the name. Notice I didn't try typing it, instead I did some handy cut and paste of HTML code! 

A quick look at Wikipedia tells me a few things that I think are kind of cool. 

First, this guy apparently wrote Fight Club. Haven't read it, but love the movie so I'm going to assume I would super-love the book since books are almost always better than their counterpart movie. 

Second, he is originally from SE Washington, which is where I live. Apparently the past 2+ years of living here have rubbed off on my writing style. 

Last, he is known for writing transgressive fiction. Yep, I totally know what that is. OK, not really but thank goodness for the good old inter-web.  Transgressive fiction = a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways. Sounds a lot like some of the crazy business that goes on at my house, only my version being much less violent and scary. 

Just a warning, don't put this guy's name into if you want to draw comparisons to me or my writing. His books apparently tend to have covers with devils and fire and other scary stuff.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Acceptable Reasons to Wake Me Up

I wrote this list in my mind at 3am last night, the third night in a row that I woke in the 3-4am window to the angelic sound of my name being sung from the bedroom of a toddler just down the hall.


To be clear, this is not crying or fear based. This is more of a casual call for reasons that do not make it on to today's list. Their reasons are things like:

* I want you to rub my tummy.
* I want to tell you that I am going to wake up at 7:05am. (Yes, that's Little Man.)
* My blankets fell off my bed.
* My door is closed just a little bit more than I want it to be.

By the way, I think we have the only children in the world who do not sneak into our bedroom and get right in our faces to wake us up. Shocking, but I say preferable because at least it doesn't require me to get out of bed. Instead, our children are lazy and stay in their beds while also waking us up, requiring one of us to get out of bed and then they have the audacity to fall back to sleep right away while I end up tossing and turning for the next hour and a half thinking about blog posts or finishing my book that is now overdue at the library.

Anyway, I hereby name the following reasons for waking me up in the middle of the night as ACCEPTABLE!

* You just peed in your bed. (Or the other, but since Little Man is still in a night diaper, that isn't so much a problem... yet.)
* You fell out of your bed and hurt yourself.
* Some kind of intruder is in your room. This could be an alien, a stranger or our dog. Stuffed animals do not count.
* You puked, or think you might puke in the near future.
* Something has crashed through your bedroom window, spraying glass around the room and waking you up.
* There are people shouting outside your window because a pipe in the street exploded right outside our house and is flooding our yard.
* House is on fire/Smoke alarm is going off.

I can't think of much else. To prove I'm not a mean mommy, I will add the following to the list:

* You had a bad dream.
* You are too cold or too hot because your parents let you choose jammies that are not weather appropriate. (That happens more often than it should.)

Unfortunately, this list is actually pretty pointless because my kids can't read very well yet. And, frankly, they do whatever they want most of the time and probably wouldn't listen even if I told them these new "rules".

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why, hello there!

After a lengthy period of lameness, I have decided it is time to get back to blogging. Blog revamp! New name, new look, new sassy style.

The problem with having a blog that you hope will be quirky and entertaining, is that you then feel the need to be quirky and entertaining in order to have something to post about.

I just have my life. Which is sometimes entertaining, but often maxes out at silly.

My life, and I doubt I'm alone, is speeding by too fast. And I spend too much time complaining or being busy. For the past few months, I have really wanted to be able to enjoy life with my family, be healthy and just experience things. Laugh a lot. Eat some good food. Play heartily.

So, new blog goal starts today: sharing stories about what our family life is like. Or maybe RECORDING stories is a better word? I hope to add a slideshow of pictures to the sidebar of our family doing some fun life-living. And I'll probably still share stories about how Ben is still refusing to poop in the potty (like last weekend's quote: "Mama, I'm having a butt problem.") and other run of the mill stay-at-home-mom randomness.

One adventure at a time...