Friday, March 28, 2008

Hardcore Delicious

It's still wintery, BAH!, yada yada, you've heard all this before. Today's coping mechanism is:

Recollecting A Fond Moment Associated with Snow

Back in the winter of 1998-1999, I was living with my (now ex-)husband in a one-bedroom basement apartment. It was pretty nice as far as basement apartments go, with a window in every room (except for the bathroom). It was warm and dry and cozy.

The building had six units, and we had friends or allies in five of them. The couple who lived in the sixth apartment were known as "The New People" and were rather left out of things. Anyway, it was super-cool to be able to go socializing without even having to put on a pair of shoes.

The other basement-dweller, in a studio apartment on the other side of the stairwell, was Chuck.

In early January 1999, the weather authorities predicted a record-breaking snowstorm. My husband was in Montreal on business. It was just me, in the apartment, alone.

As the afternoon wore on, the snow piled up. By just before sunset, my windows were almost covered by it. I started to feel restless. I padded down the hall and knocked on Chuck's door.

Chuck was happy to have company. His apartment, situated under the front porch, had no windows, but was paradoxically less claustrophobic because I couldn't see myself being slowly buried by snow. I sat on the futon-couch and watched Friends re-runs on TV while he ran a batch of home-made pasta dough through a hand-cranked pasta-making-machine.

Chuck: You want to stay for dinner?

Me: OK, but please can I have no MSG on my noodles?

Chuck: But that's what makes it tasty!

He was teasing me. He knew full well that I couldn't eat MSG without feeling like my brain was swelling and about to explode out of my skull. He liked to season his pasta with an MSG-loaded soup mix, and I liked to give him a hard time about it.

Me: You really shouldn't eat that stuff. It's bad for you.

Chuck: The other day I ate so much that I got a nosebleed.

Me: OMG, seriously?

Chuck: I made a batch of pasta, and ate it for dinner. Next day, I ate the leftovers. They tasted kinda bland, so I added more seasoning. I had a bit of a headache, but it tasted awesome! Then the next night, I ate the rest of the leftovers. They weren't very tasty, so I added more seasoning. I got a really bad headache, and then my nose started to bleed.

Me: Chuck! You should listen to your body! When you get a bad headache, that's your body telling you to stop eating so much MSG!

Chuck: I was listening to my body. I was hungry, and my stomach was telling me to eat more!

To this day, Chuck adds industrial-strength quantities of MSG to his food. I can handle normal amounts, for example, a serving of seasoned potato chips is fine. But boy oh man, just last year I ate a pile of Chuck's custom pasta with his full ration of Knorr Swiss powder, and I was literally holding my head for the rest of the night. Oy, the pounding in my temples!

Chuck's motto is "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Apparently this also applies to seasoning his food.


jameil1922 said...

hahahahahha. love it. but windowless apt? no. no indeed. and watching the snow cover yours? like you said, probably worse.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Soooo.... MSG adds flavor?! I now will be looking for MSG flavorings in the store. LOL

Anonymous said...

What, no memories of taking a handful of snow, running inside and dropping it down somebody's pants?

PixieVonAzia said...

lol he was listening to his body to eat more and more pasta with MSG.

Yea I think I would be thinking I was getting buried in the snow too with a basement apt :D

Dianne said...

for a very short time, all through the winter of course!, I lived in a basement aprtment with an entrance out to a ramp that led to the street.

Had to keep a shovel inside or I couldn't get out of the door once there was more than a couple of inches.

It was a terrible trapped feeling at times.

Anonymous said...

MSG!!! That could explain the headache I had after that Chinese food I had the other night. Yikes!

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: I hope I never have to live underground again. It was OK for a while, but I believe that humans were not meant to live in burrows.

Ron: Careful! That's strong stuff. I've seen it in stores with the label "Gourmet Powder", which makes it sound benign, but really it's the crack cocaine of seasonings.

Whatigotsofar: Nope, can't say that I ever did that. Although I bet it would have made a mighty fine childhood memory.

Pixie Von Azia: Chuck's a funny guy. In high school he wanted to be a cross between MacGyver and Rambo, and I don't think he ever really grew out of it. He always had to prove that he was a tough guy.

Dianne: Heavens! That's terrible! I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I'd have to get up every 2 hours to shovel the stairs! Did you ever run into that problem, when it snowed heavily overnight?

1218blog: Oh yes, Chinese food can contain huge amounts of MSG. They don't warn you, either.

Anonymous said...

I inject MSG straight to the vein! Then I make the pirate sound! Arrrrrrrrr!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Ooh, a cooking tip! It never occurred to me to use soup mix to flavor pasta! We have Knorr brand here in Norway, too. I'll have to read the label to make sure it doesn't have MSG.

Sparkling Red said...

Unsigned: That's.... nice.

Keera: Maybe Knorr is different in Norway, but over here it has more MSG than any other brand, in my experience. That's why Chuck was so devoted to it.
However, there must be other brands that would work.

Jenski said...

A nose bleed? And he kept at it? Wow.

Nicole said...

bbbrrr....shudder :D