Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Spaghetti Incident


We returned from Seattle last Thursday, slept a few hours, and hit the road again for a trip to Allentown, PA. Adam's friend from high school lives there, and my friend from college was having a baby shower there.

Late at night, I had sufficiently recovered from the mass quantities of delicious homemade food (pierogies!) I had consumed at the shower, and I decided to have a small bowl of spaghetti from the fridge. I have never had food turn on me so fast.

Oh, it began innocently enough. I heated the sauce and pasta in the microwave, and dipped a finger to taste the sauce. As is common with many store bought sauces, it was too sweet. I perused the many hot sauces in the fridge door.

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I pause here for a bit of background: I love spicy food. My love affair with Tabasco began as a child, when my Papa encouraged a few drops in my chicken soup. I get quesadillas with extra jalapenos, and I am constantly ensuring Subway employees that yes, I want more hot pepper relish. I nearly always choose a buffalo chicken wrap, or sandwich, or salad. I love hot wings, and they best be hot. However, I have never been a "dare-devil" hot sauce lover. Peppers, when used correctly, bring out the flavors of other spices and enhance your meal. When abused, they just make your meal too unpalatable to eat. Ok, enough background.

*****

So there I was, checking out the hot sauces, trying to find the "Dinosaur" brand suggested by Adam's friend. I found a bottle, but it was unopened, and so I picked up a few others. I didn't find it, so I figured I would just try out the one in my hand, which happened to be called "Dave's Insanity Sauce." Most hot sauces come with an inner lid that forces the stuff to come out in drops at a time. Not so with the insanity sauce. I turned over the bottle, and three to four large globs fell into my spaghetti. Yikes. I got a paper towel, and proceeded to remove much of the sauce. After a few minutes, I was satisfied with the surgery and I mixed the whole conglomeration as I walked to the table. Shovelful of spaghetti #1 - damn, too much sauce. Shovelful #2 - oh God. I need some milk!

In a panic, I rushed to the fridge, finding soy milk and whole milk. Which to choose? Oh! Oh! I haven't got time to decide, my tongue feels like I have just shoved it into the flame of a lit candle, and I think my throat is constricting. I am being advised to get ice cream, but I feel like that will take even longer, since the milk is right there. I opt for the whole milk, and begin to panic more as tears well in my eyes and my face reddens. I can't open the carton! But now the ice cream is in front of me, and I scoop a spoonful to place on my tongue. Three more spoonfuls, and I begin to feel better. I finish with the milk, and pour a glass. I have more ice cream. The pain subsides enough to be tolerable. I look at my bowl of spaghetti with disdain. Why? Why did you turn on me? Of course, it may have been the half gallon of ice cream I ate, but I was no longer hungry.

Meanwhile, Adam and his friend have been unable to resist. They dipped their fingers in to the offending meal, and brought them to their lips. "Wow, that is really hot," they exclaimed as they reached for the ice cream. I told them so.

As the night wore on, I felt the hot in my throat at the base of the neck. Then, I felt it traverse to the sternum , and to the tummy. And as I lay sleeping, the heat remained in the tummy, churning around with the ice cream. I only hope that I ate enough to offset it during the last leg of the journey...

1 comment:

Danielle Mari said...

I'm with you. If it doesn't hurt a little, it's not really food.

And my dad had a similar experience. My family is a crew of sworn spice heads. When I was in grade school, a friend of mine who happens to be Chinese (1st gen) came to spend the night. She bore a jar of red sauce that her parents had made from an old family recipe from mainland China. My dad, eyes eagerly bulging, scooped a small spoonful. My friend warned, "No no. You just dip your chopstick in and use it to stir the whole pot.... it's very spicy." My dad, perhaps overcome with machismo, smiled and ate his spoonful.
Every orifice soon reddened and swelled and ran. I vaguely remember that he started by sucking at every faucet in the house and ended by draining every liquid in the fridge.
He was never the same! I hope you will be!