COOKING IN SELF-ISOLATION

COOKING WHILE ISOLATED

And if you want an interesting story don’t expect it all to be true.

 

So I’m standing in front of my stove cooking vegetables with beans. Well, to be honest, and as I said I don’t like to go that way too much, but to be honest, it was shredded carrots and Bush’s Baked Beans cuz they have more flavor. I know one can take dried beans and soak them for like 2 or 3 weeks, I am not sure how long, but that is supposed to get the farts out of them. But that sounds really intimidating so I generally do something really technical like getting a can opener and opening a can of beans. They are vegetables, no meat, lots of protein, I think, and combine them with, maybe shredded carrots, and, let’s see, I think I have also used, well, shredded celery, yeah, and I can’t remember what else. So also, I love rice. I used to mainly cook and eat rice and chicken, but I know some people, well, this one friend of mine, not my girlfriend, but friend friend, whatever, anyway, nice lady and she is a vegetarian. When I was a kid I would get that mixed up with veterinarian. So I loved animals, still do, but when I found out I was trying to become a vegetarian I freaked out and went into another profession. So, trying to eat more vegetables, besides my Internist, who is a cool guy, always tells me eat more vegetables, I need fiber, and exercise to get rid of my gut. Well, that is not going so well, but nobody is perfect, right? So, ok, then I cook rice, usually brown rice, which I like and is supposed to be healthy, and then I throw the rice in with the beans and shredded carrots and anything else which I think might be healthy. It tastes pretty good, I just want to tell you, really not bad at all. I use some spices too, in case you were wondering.

So, as I said, I’m standing at the stove and there is a knock on my door. Now, I live in an apartment complex, nice place, in a suburb of Chicago with nice trees and birds, squirrels, raccoons and such and I like it a lot. I live on the ground floor and look out of my balcony onto the parking lot, trees, etc. Nice. Oh, yeah, a small river. That all has nothing to do with my story. Anyway, no one knocks on my door. Like, I don’t get visitors. Twice someone knocked on my door and one time someone was complaining that my dog was barking. I explained the situation to that person, like, we can go to court if you want, so they left me alone. Another time a young lady, who it turned out was from Sweden, and I apologized if my dog was barking or if my music was too loud but it was neither. She was just doing a Super Bowl thing where you bet on certain spaces on a form, whatever, I did not get it but she said she was raising money to help her mother in Sweden with some illness. Well, she was cute so I didn’t care so much about her mother or the Super Bowl, I just gave her some money. Whatever, you know?

Well, this time, a knock on the door. I turn down the heat so my beans and carrots don’t overheat. A guy is standing there, wearing one of these complicated masks, like N95 or G95, or some letter. I think N95. Keeps droplets and viruses away from your face. Good idea I guess. So he asks me if I have a spare N95 mask. So, like, I do not remember ever seeing this guy before, although I kind of keep to myself. I see people around the complex and I say hi! Or stay well, or have a nice day. You know how it is. These days we try to be extra good to our neighbors. I’m dyin’ and one of my neighbors calls 911, so it is all good. Anyway, I said no, sorry, do not have a mask. I do have something from last Halloween but no mask. At this point I am not sure if this guy is for real or he really has a problem. So, anyway he says his girlfriend is coming over and she does not have a mask and he promised her he would get her one but he has not succeeded so far. They are hard to get it seems. Well I am thinkin’ hard because he seems like a nice dude and I do not want his evening with his girlfriend to be messed up, although, in the back of my mind I am kind of picturing the two of them tryin’ to make out wearing masks. So, then I remembered something I saw on the Internet. Listen I tell him, I saw this on the Internet. It’s perfect. You take a lady’s bra, cut it in half and on each cup you fasten the elastic to go around your ears, and presto! You have a mask! And I told him, in addition, if you use her bra to make the mask, she’s not wearing a bra! Kill two birds with one stone! Well, he gave me this look, like, no, that is not going to work. So, me, thinking hard, “wait! I have another idea!” I go into my cupboard where I keep cans of beans, etc. Meanwhile he is standing in the doorway and my dog is giving him this low growl. So he is trying to not get bit and says stuff like “Good dog, nice boy” and of course she is a girl dog. Anyway, I come out with a coffee filter. Kind of cone-shaped. I tell him you just fasten elastic from, well, whatever, or maybe shoelaces to it, and presto! You have a mask! He kind of thinks this might work more than the bra cup. I can understand that. I have actually thought about this, because, like, I do not have a mask. And I do not have a female friend who I could ask for her bra for a mask.

And then I pictured this: I go to a lingerie store and buy a bra to make a mask. First, I have to endure the saleslady giving me this look, like “yeah, sure.” Also, what kind. I am thinking pink or lavender. But if I buy one with a little lace on top,… I like those, and I make my mask, and then I go to the grocery store and I have a pink or lavender bra cup on my face, and I am standing in line. So I am standing on my X, keeping my distance, and there is a couple in the line next to me, I am staring at the floor, staring at my X. I look up, kind of glance over at the guy and he is staring at me but looks away. Then he kind of looks at his wife or girlfriend and she takes a quick glance at me and giggles. Yeah, no, I am NOT doing that!

So, I give the guy a coffee filter. Actually 2, in case he messes one up. I say, sorry, I don’t have any spare shoe laces. He says no problem, this should work. I go back to cooking. I add the rice into the beans and shredded carrots. I add some barbecue sauce for flavor. This should be good. Spooning it into my dish I pour myself a glass of wine. I am looking forward to dinner. These days, there is not always a lot more. Then, I guess the young lady arrived. I thought I heard a knock across the hallway, a door opening. Then, “Oh my God, are you kidding me! You want me to wear a coffee filter on my face?!! “ Then a sort of muffled, “Well, I have another idea.” I poured another glass of wine.

March 31, 2020

 

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