Jersey Tomatoes

This past weekend I bought some tomatoes and made myself a tomato wrap. It was on a spinach wrap, had a little cheese, and a lot of mustard. Of course, there were also a few slices of tomatoes.

This wrap got me thinking about fishing with my grandfather. Every trip we took in his boat he would prepare our lunches. And among my family, these sandwiches were famous. They would be made out of this hard bread that was gutted. The crust of the bread was the best part after all. He would add some cheese and whatever meat he wanted to the day. I remember ham, salami, turkey… of course, this was a while ago, so my memory may be a little faulty.

He also usually added some of his own tomatoes. And there is something to be said about his tomatoes specifically, but Jersey Tomatoes specifically. The tomatoes taste different, they taste better.

I know it sounds odd, but I swear that it is true. The tomatoes just taste better. And honestly, after eating the tomatoes I bought, I miss those tomatoes.

Trying Something New

Obviously, yesterday was Mother’s Day, and yes, I met up with my mom for lunch. She wanted to have some Indian food and had tasked me find a place that was the mid point between us. The shock was that she brought my father with her. My sister as well, but that was not as much of a surprise.

Why was my father coming a surprise? Well, much like my younger self, my father does not normally try new things when it comes to food. He might try true Mexican food, but he’s an Italian and American kind of guy. And when I was a kid I would run away from trying new things. When I hit college, this changed. I don’t know why. And it really doesn’t matter.

My dad actually he thought that he would be eating raw fish like sushi. I actually remember dragging him to a sushi restaurant once, that’s when he learned that not all sushi is raw fish. Though, I am not sure he remembers that. And of course, Indian food is not sushi.

So, my father tried Indian food, mild of course. My sister also tried Indian food, and she also went mild on the spices. My mom, being a little braver, went a little spicier, but I already knew she liked Indian food. And I went with a 5 on a 10-point scale, playing it a little safe.

And I have to say, the food was great, and the waiter did everything he could to make my father and sister happy. I think he knew that my mom and I were just happy to be eating Indian. He really went all out.

I highly recommend Nimit Palace in Voorhees, NJ. It was a tiny place, but the food and staff were amazing.

Three Thing Friday

1. Held Up – I had to make a trip to deposit some money into the back today. I wasn’t the first in line even though I was there pretty early. I was about fourth in line, and yet, I managed to get out before the first people in line. Mind you, there were only two tellers behind the counter. So, what was their hold up? Apparently the woman, knowing she was using her ATM card, knowing she was trying to deposit money into her joint account with her husband (who was standing right there), kept trying to use his PIN number. Yes, she admitted that she knew it was her ATM card and tried to use his PIN number, and was somehow confused.

If I ever get to that point… I will never get that point. It’s a good thing the bank had two tellers or I may still be there. And please don’t ask why I had to go into the bank, that is a different story.

And if technology ever confuses me, I will hire some 5 year old to explain it to me, or just handle the transaction for me.

2. Spring Cleaning – It’s that time of year again. This is the time of year where I have to vacuum nearly every other day (not saying that I do, just that I have to). Why? Well, I have a cat that can shed on his command. I just vacuumed and cleaned the house because I have guests coming this weekend. There was cat everywhere, including on the bathroom sink. And once I was finished, Loki decided to shed everywhere already. If I want this place to look clean I may have to vacuum after my guests arrive.

On the plus side, having a guest bathroom that is almost never used means that it very was easy to clean.

3. Junk Food – One would think that a vegetarian eats pretty healthy. Well, I am proof that this is not always true. However, I am proof that this is not always the case. The food I eat cannot always be called healthy. On top of that, junk food is actually usually vegetarian.

However, I usually do not stock my shelves with junk food. That is, until I have expected guests. Then anything goes. Right now I have some serious junk food in the house… and I want to snack on it now! Hopefully it lasts till my guests show…

Random Flash Back

While shopping this weekend, I had a flash back to my youth. It happened while I was in the bread section. I suddenly flashed back on my mom buying me seeded hard rolls for my breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

What was on these sandwiches? Pork roll and cheese of course. The classic New Jersey breakfast meal. I can’t describe to you the taste that this food brings to the pallet. This may be one of the few “meats” that I miss since I became a vegetarian.

pork-roll-pre-cooking

Heck, I can’t even describe to you what pork roll is, or how it’s made. It is a pork product, that much is obvious. But what part of the pig it is? I haven’t got a clue. I don’t miss it enough to end my vegetarianism, but I do miss it.

Or maybe I just miss my mom cooking for me.

Meatloaf

I have no idea how it came up, but for some reason I ended up telling one of my friends the story about my family’s cooking, and more specifically the history of meatloaf in my family. Meatloaf was a staple in my family; we would have it about once a week for dinner. And if there were leftovers, that my dad didn’t eat, we would have a meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day.

My father made fantastic meatloaf, and I have no idea how he did it. It would sometimes have cheese, usually have ketchup, and whatever else he added into the recipe. It was so good that even one of our cats loved it. The cat would have his own little slice and he would join up wherever we ate dinner (usually in the living room with the TV on).

My mom was an excellent cook too. Her cajun chicken was fantastic, even the meatloaf cat agreed. This cat could chow down on my mom’s cajun chicken. However, there was this one time that she made a meatloaf and it all went wrong. I am sure that she made the meatloaf before and since, but we cannot let her forget this one time. This one time her meatloaf came out like a brick. We used to joke that the foundation of our house was built on my mom’s meatloaf. It oucld have been used as a weapon. Teeth broke on this meatloaf.

Again, my mom was a great cook. She made turkey, chicken, and some meat cube concoction that I absolutely loved. I have no idea what went wrong with this one meatloaf. I have no idea why my family always brings it up. I have no idea how this conversation even happened today.

And I have to admit; meatloaf is one of those things I don’t miss.

Three Thing Friday

1. 4th of July – It is nice to have today off, and today’s plans are just to game with some friends, eat some food, and laugh at the cats as they hide from the loud bangs of the fireworks that my neighbors set off.

I remember when I was younger; I would be able to watch the Seaside Heights fireworks from my bedroom window. Each and every year, every Wednesday night I believe, I would be able to watch fireworks. Maybe that is why fireworks don’t excite me anymore; to me they are no big deal.  A few oohs and aahs and then it is time to move on.

I also never really got into the whole BBQ scene. I really do enjoy hanging out with my friends and eating good food, but it wasn’t something I would host. Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning, I am going to enjoy my 4th. Plus, being a vegetarian, I don’t really get to enjoy burgers and hotdogs, and I know, that’s my choice.

2. Infested – This past week, every morning when I walked into work, I have to avoid a ton of insects. I have no idea where they are coming from, but the Army’s plan is to put sticky bug-trap boxes and hope for the best. It’s actually pretty disgusting to see these sticky trap full of bug bodies, and still see bugs crawling all over the place.

I would be all for hiring a squad of bearded dragons to take care of these bugs. Bearded dragons, snakes, and even a co-workers turtle would be sufficient. Too bad iguanas are vegetarians, or I would get myself another one of those.

I have a mild case of Entomophobia, or as I prefer to call if, insectophobia. In fact, anything with more then 4 legs (excluding Octopi, Squid, and most other sea creatures) weirds me out. Because of this, I almost had a panic attack at work because of these bugs. And while I may be exaggerating a little bit, they were freaking everywhere! I would even be all for burning the place down, at least that would solve my problem.

3.  Arthur – Apparently a lot of people are amazed that a hurricane formed in the Atlantic during hurricane season. I admit, I was surprised at where it formed (off he coast of Florida), but not that one formed. I mean, it is in the name, Hurricane Season. It is almost as bad as people who live in “Tornado Alley” being surprised when a tornado strikes their area. Or people who live in the Bible belt, which happens to coincide with the exact location of tornado alley.

So, hurricane Arthur is slowly moving up the east coast, bringing rain, wind, and some wicked currents. And the next hurricane will be named Bertha.

You know that’s going to be a big hurricane.

So to everyone, enjoy your 4th.

It’s the Bees Knees

President Obama has decided to use some of his powers to try and find out where are the bees are going. The sad part is that I know people who don’t care about the bees. Hell, I hate bees, but I understand how important they are to this country. There are people who don’t care that the great pollinators are disappearing. These people don’t think that the government should spend money on discovering the reasons behind these disappearances.

A lot of people do not realize is how important bees are to the economy and to the food chain. Honeybees (and certain moths) pollinate nearly all of the nuts, fruits, and vegetables that are grown in this country. In fact, honeybees alone pollinate an estimated 90% of the crops in this country.

The declining population has been an issue for years. Maybe it’s about time this country stepped up and tried to do something about it. Hell, the disappearing bees even were mentioned in a season of Doctor Who. Granted, The Doctor just said that they were going home. That would be interesting if it were true, but the truth is that they are dying. And I am sure that humans are at least part of the problem with our excessive overuse of pesticides.

Yes, maybe the government will waste some tax money trying to figure this out, but I don’t expect the farmers to be able to pay for it. And once crops stop being pollinated, they stop growing. And once they stop growing, food supplies will dwindle and food prices will rise. It won’t take long before the separation between the rich and the poor will be even greater, and the starvation rate in this country climbs even higher.

Sure, the government solution may not be the right solution, but at least the government is trying. So I support Obama and his appointing a committee to look into disappearing bees.

Sugar Coma

Today I made the mistake of agreeing to a friend’s suggestion to get some ice cream. It has been a long time since I have had some, and after a long game of Warhammer, which I lost, I thought that it couldn’t hurt. So, after we packed up are stuff, we walked to the Rita’s down the street and I ordered a milkshake. It was a big mistake on my part.

I haven’t had ice cream or a milkshake in a very long time. Well, maybe not all that long, I am sure I had a slice of ice cream cake at the family Easter get together, but ice cream is not a common food item I get. And yes, it is vegetarian friendly, for the most part. I did learn a couple of things from today’s consumption of a dessert.

First, getting a specialty milkshake may not be the best way to go. Today I ordered an Oreo Cookies and Cream shake. It was good (great) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it did have its flaws. The cookie bits kept clogging up the straw. And when one suddenly gets unstuck, I would almost choke on it. Second, I become a whiney bitch when I get to the sugar coma point. I am suddenly exhausted, and all I want to do is take a nap. But if I take a nap now, I might as well just go to sleep. Sugar has always had that affect on me, for as long as I can remember at least.

I must remember all of this next time I think it is a good idea for me to go and have some ice cream, or any kind of dessert. I was never very big on eating desserts, except for pumpkin pie, and every time I do, I end up in biggest sugar coma of my life, at least it feels that way with every sugar induced coma. I never really crave any desserts, and even thinking about them makes me feel unhealthy and fatter than I really am.

Well, that is not exactly 100% true; I love pumpkin pie and tiramisu, and I do crave them every now and then. And I believe I gained three pounds just writing this blog…