Every Tuesday night, I get a happy surprise.
On that night every week, my good friend Jonathan cooks a delectable Julia Child meal for us to enjoy together.
But last night, he cheated on Julia Child and made a Spanish dish…
Isn’t it pretty? Not only was it pretty, but it was damn good, too! I had never had paella before, and the combination of shrimp, chicken, sausage, red peppers, and rice cooked in onions, garlic, chicken broth, and spices was truly delightful.
And of course, the company was delightful, too. Jonathan and I have been friends for a long time and always have lots to talk about. We lingered for more than an hour over the paella, drinking a bit of "Two Buck Chuck" and chatting away happily.
We had barely finished eating the paella, though, when we started pondering on what we might have for next Tuesday’s dinner.
“How about we try to make some kind of shrimp dish together, so you can finally teach me how to devein those suckers?” I asked. I have been asking Jonathan for a while now if he’ll show me how to quickly peel and devein shrimp. (I have never deveined a shrimp before, but Jonathan grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast. He could probably devein a shrimp with his eyes closed.)
“Sure…we could have paella again,” he suggested.
“Nooo,” I whined, “We have to have something different! I don’t want to have paella two weeks in a row.”
Well, for some reason, this made Jonathan start cracking up.
“What?” I asked. “What did I say?”
He grinned at me, “Um…I have to tell you something.”
“What? Tell me!” I begged.
“Well, you’ve become a part of an ongoing joke with my friend Toni and me,” he replied.
“O-kay…why?” I asked, half-laughing, half-scared of what he might tell me.
He laughed again. “Because you HATE eating the same thing more than once a week or so.”
“Oh!” I laughed, relieved. “I didn’t know what you were going to say! Well, I’m not that bad,” I giggled.
But he was right. For some reason, I really do dislike eating the same thing more than once a week (or so). And I really hate having to eat the same exact thing two days in a row. I at least have to vary it up a little! This is especially true, I’ve noticed, of Chinese or Thai food—or really, any type of Asian cuisine. I love most Asian food, but to eat it for two days in a row is unthinkable to me. My taste buds just seem to scream “Viva Variety!”
I wonder if it’s just the Gemini in me—we Geminis like variety! Although—I do eat a salad every single day…but of course, I usually change up the salad dressing I use on a day-to-day basis.
Who knows why I’m like this? But apparently Jonathan thinks it’s pretty weird…and funny!
“Remember when you called me a couple of Monday nights ago, and said you were making an omelet?” Jonathan asked, “Remember, you asked me if we were going to have mushrooms in our Tuesday night meal, because you wanted to use mushrooms in your omelet—but not if we were going to have mushrooms the next night?”
“Oh, yeah!” I laughed.
“Well, right after I hung up with you,” he said, “I immediately called Toni and said, ‘You’ll never guess what Carla just asked me!’”
OK, I have to admit that it was pretty funny.
Jonathan continued, “Oh, and the other night, when I told Toni that I was cooking Boeuf Bourguignon for you, Iwanski, and Diane, Toni said, ‘So I guess that means that Carla hasn’t had any Boeuf Bourguignon for the past MONTH!’”
I laughed my ass off. Honestly, I felt a little bit honored that I had become the subject of their private (now public) joke. And I guess it is a little weird that I don’t like to repeat my meals very often.
But then I had a new thought. “You know, I think Iwanski is like that, too,” I said. “He doesn’t usually like to go out to dinner for the same type of food two days in a row.”
But then I remembered Iwanski’s penchant for hot dogs and bologna sandwiches, and I quickly retracted my statement.
“Never mind—Iwanski could probably eat hot dogs every single day,” I said, giggling. “And in fact, he’s eaten a bologna sandwich for lunch every day this week.”
And then there’s our cats. They eat two scoops of dry food and one can of meat by-products every day. And you don’t see them complaining. They love that crap.
I guess I’m just the weird one.