The air was so clear this morning, and the sun so direct, even at a slant, that I hob, because when you see the swollen green buds, you (I don’t mean you, I mean me) hobbled outdoors for a look at the lilac bush by the back door. It has been known over the years to allow its green buds to swell on a warm December day, but I guess it’s too deep into the season for it to happen now. There is always a downside to these observations anyway, because the experiences cause you to dwell on the unpleasant predicament of global warming.
Back in the house the air was full of light; the glass baubles hanging in the front window swung just enough for the sun to send colored lights darting about the room, just enough for Teddy to get interested in chasing them. Sometimes Teddy seems so smart, smart enough so that if he could speak English we might be able to have a chat. But then he gets fooled by these lights and acts as if he didn’t know anything at all.
It was too perfect and I probably could have guessed that there would be more excitement for me during the day. I was alone to begin, everybody else off on their daily activities, and I am still crippled by this badly behaved hip of mine, so that I might expect little things to take on exaggerated meanings. Sure enough, while researching lunch possibilities (a banana, a spoonful of hummous, a hard to open jar of either refried beans or chocolate,) I happened on the remains of last night’s chicken enchiladas. Betsy and Jim had both complained that the dough tortillas got slimy while I said No, they didn’t.
Later, I thought they might be a little slimy, but I thought they were really good.
Flash forward to 12:00 today. I ate the banana and continued my refrigerator search, which, due to Betsy’s faithful cleaning was easy enough, found the plastic box that turned out to be last night’s dinner and heated it all up in the microwave. Imagine, as I chewed, that it really had turned slimy, but was still delicous. What to make of that.
So I experienced one of thos little shudders that tell you whatever experience you had it was an important one.
That’s the thing. It was delicious! It was more delicious than last night. In fact it was slimy. Until I realized what tricksters words can be.Not slimy, No. But pasta! Those enchiladas were Mexican Manicotti and I had made my own personal gut feeling plus experiment with fusion cooking. It was my own personal reinvention of the wheel.
I had an awful time keeping this to myself waiting for Betsy to come home, but as soon as she came in the door all keyed up from her day of explained how the corn and chicken enchilada had metamorphosed into pasta manicotti the immediately protested, saying, It wasn’t pasta. tortillas are bread.
Well, I could bore you to death by continuing to report this conversation. To me it just seemed endless—-bread, no, pasta, yes for half the afternoon.Through it all there was a sad part and a cheery part. Lest anyone forget that I spent an inordinate amount of time as a child of the 19th century under the direction of a raft of aunts and uncles themselves brought up in that milieu. Being an invalid in that way I lay on my couch and gave Teddy treats and actually pretended I was Elizabeth Barret playing with my delightful and well-mannered little dog, Flush. I think just telling that will explain my feelings as an invalid, a perfectly rational definition of the way I was lying around the house commiserating with my hip.
I will have to insist that a flour tortilla, rolled around a few basil leaves, a little chicken, baked in tomato sauce will turn into manicotti. I don’t want to argue about it. What a waste of time. Just letting time pass over a rolled up dough tortilla will reveal to the taster that this is not a slimy old tortilla, but a brand new Italian dish, a triumph of fusion thought and action
All in all I have to say this was a really good day.