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chad slacker




It Tastes Like Burning.

On Tuesday, I decided to try the red curry paste I picked up at a local Asian grocery. (The Asian grocery is located right next to a great little Indian grocery. We are not worthy.) I dream of turning out a plate of smooth, spicy, slightly sweet, fragrant curry like the panang I get at Sakoontra, and I had hopes that I was on the right track with the paste. So I fried up some tofu cubes, chopped up some onions and peppers that needed to be used, and followed the extremely simple-sounding sauce recipe on the back of the curry container. The instructions cautioned me to use less than the stated amount of curry paste if I liked a milder recipe but I forgot that Thai people tend to have an entirely different threshold for heat than I do, so I didn't pay much attention. I mixed up the paste and the coconut milk and took a taste.

Ow. Ow. OW. The fire burned right up through my nose and down into my stomach. You know those cartoons where smoke shoots out the character's nose and ears, and the top of his head blasts off as he spews a jet of fire across the room? It was like that. I quickly dumped in the tofu, the veggies, a second can of coconut milk, and the recommended half-cup of water. The sauce was still incendiary. More frustrating yet, underneath all the burning the curry had remarkably little taste, though perhaps my tongue was too traumatized to be able to judge. I added some extra seasonings to try to make the sauce taste like something besides Pepper Spray Panang, but the fire overshadowed everything else. I think it bullied all the other tastes until they ran home crying.

Bill came home and headed for the pot of Coconut Milk Pain Curry. "Justtakethetofuandtheveggiesandjustatinybitofsauceoryou'llfryyourmouth," I blurted out. He got plenty of burn out of it anyhow. We had big dishes of ice cream for dessert.

I made a particularly good pot of basmati rice that night, but my search for an easy and delicious Thai curry that will not burn a hole through my body continues.

On a Roll.

I actually like my job, but that doesn't mean I like going back to the grind after a long weekend. I was crabby at work on Tuesday even before I learned that 1. a Dreamweaver class I thought I was taking next week was actually meeting this week, and 2. our ever-competent accounting department lost the paperwork my supervisor sent over to arrange for payment for the class. Dealing with someone at the grad school who had that "Like, I can't even believe you're making me do my job" attitude down pat didn't help matters.

Things looked up when I got home and found out that I'd won a drawing for a Lush gift box. (I guess I probably didn't mention that a Lush opened up in Georgetown last year -- or that the construction workers putting the place together had to peel me off the front window to get the damn store done.) I assumed that I was getting one of the small boxes with about four bath bombs, so it didn't immediately occur to me to wonder why the box I picked up from Lush today felt as if it contained a few bricks. I opened it up back at the office, scattering bright pink shredded paper all over my cubicle, and looked down at a supply of bath melts, bath bombs, and lotions that should keep me stocked for the rest of the year. I hit the jackpot.

Better yet, my supervisor was able to get paperwork over to the grad school to allow me to take the Dreamweaver course after all, so after a whopping two days in the office it's Wednesday night and I'm done with work for the week. I love this particular school because it's situated really close to the museums and monuments; the last time I took classes there I got a huge kick out of being able to run over to the Air and Space Museum for lunch. It's a wonderful break from routine, and learning some actual web design skills doesn't suck either.

So tonight I'm feeling really, really content.