Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Wanted Italian... But Chinese Stir Fry Will Wok My World

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

I have my books. And my poetry to protect me; I am shielded in my armor, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock.
--Paul Simon

At the swimming pool today it was calm, cool, and sublime. It didn't seem like a holiday weekend at Lake Tahoe. I had a big lane all to myself. Then, off to the grocery store. But hold the phone. The social climate changed fast. Tourists, tourists, tourists. The aisles were congested with disoriented couples and families, some with attitude and others with shopping cart rage. Some people coughed, others sneezed. (The environment was a health nut's worst nightmare.) My basket was full of fresh eggplant, roma tomatoes, Italian cheeses, organic berries, dark chocolate, and scented candles in autumn colors--orange, green, off white. I had an Eggplant Parmegean dinner planned but when I got to the checkout stand it was chaos. The lines were like a gigantic octopus with eight legs twisted in every direction. I left. The holiday crowd was no picnic...

Here I am back at home where it's calm, cool, and sublime. I'm recalling that I had a dream last night. Someone called me "Earth Lady." I liked that. One more day and Lake Tahoe will be officially off season. It will be paradise for me, my two Brittanys, and other locals who love the silence. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love it here living amid Mother Nature in the mountains. I've had a ten year love affair with the trees, the Lake, and the four seasons. The tourists? Not so much.
So tonight, I just decided while munching on all-natural vanilla yogurt and dark chocolate shavings (both are flu-fighting antioxidant superfoods), that it's a wholesome and quick Chinese Stir Fry night. In my pantry I do have whole grain noodles and plenty of chopped nutrient-dense veggies in the fridge. I'll sautee 'em in a wok with extra virgin olive oil and it will be good to go in my world without crowds. I can do without Italian fare. I so craved fresh whole grain garlic bread and a Mediterranean salad with dark greens, feta cheese, and toasted almonds. Yeah, it was in the basket, too.
It's fate. I'm supposed to be dishing out an article--not the perfetto meal of my fantasies. It's meant to be for me not to cook up a big Italian feast. After all, my Earth Changes column is due yesterday. I promised my editor I would submit it tomorrow. So, Chinese it is. And on Tuesday all will be perfect for the Earth Lady who loves quietude, and good Italian food.
P.S. I have Gemma Sciabica's recipe for Fortune Cookies but I do not have all of the ingredients. I wonder what confuscious would say? "Defrost a Chocolate Dipped Macaroon." I guess those nine large oranges in the wooden bowl on the dining room table (so much for feng shui and its promise of good luck) will end up being eight. I wanted Italian. But Chinese Stir Fry will wok my world. That's cool.


  1. Anyone find going food shopping a bit of a drag? Sometimes it can be fun, sort of like after your laundry is washed,dried, folded--but the process is tedius, time consuming, and wouldn't you rather be doing something else? Maybe it's just me.

  2. I'm loving the articles, and have subscribed to your feed


  3. Thanks so much ItalianOliveOil. Sometimes I feel like my words are going to a black hole. I have a confession to make. (I'm Roman Catholic.) I ended up ordering a pizza last night. But, but, but in my defense it was vegetarian (olives, mushrooms, green peppers) and I didn't eat the whole thing. And I did go to work and dished out 3/4 of the Earth Changes piece on how our Golden State is burning (again).
    P.S. I found the recipe on Fortune Cookies. Looks easy but not sure about shaping the little guys.