good Chinese food decision
Saturday, March 27 2010
The cold snap continued, and a hard frost last night had covered the Stick Trail with beautiful fluted columns of ice, each about two inches long and a quarter inch wide. Other than being somewhat curved, they'd been perfectly extruded by mysterious and entirely inorganic processes.
Gretchen would be away for the next couple days in western Massachusetts at a poetry retreat, but Ray was still a houseguest and last night his wife Nancy had come up for the weekend. They spent most of the day checking out local real estate, though the plan was for us eventually to cross the Hudson (from its "Midwestern" to its "New England" side) to dine at China Rose, our favorite Chinese restaurant. But they were slow in returning, and by six o'clock I'd developed an appetite. So I made myself a somewhat inauthentic Ethiopian wat comprised of chick peas, canned mushrooms, sauteed red onions, tomato paste, vindaloo paste, black pepper, and sriracha (rooster sauce). I ate this with injera (we still have a bunch in the freezer that Gretchen had brought up from suburban Maryland) and it was delicious.
But then Ray and Nancy arrived with Sarah the vegan and wanted to go. I let them try my wat and hemmed and hawed and finally agreed to accompany them. The truth about my appetite is that I can usually eat two meals in a row, though that's not so easy when you've just eaten a bread that expands in your stomach (or so says the injera urban legend).
One of the running jokes of the evening was premised on my hypothesis that the Hudson River divides the Midwest from New England. We crossed the Hudson to New England and found our way to the China Rose in the quaint New England village of Rhinecliff. China Rose was crowded tonight and it took a good 20 minutes for a table to become available. Some restaurants are no fun when they're crowded, but the China Rose feels like a good decision when you have to wait for a table. Good decisions often have a faintly-musty Victorian quality to them.
I picked at the broccoli and ate all the vegetables that nobody else seemed interested in (the slices of pepper, those little Chinese mushrooms). Nancy tried on my glasses, looking for an instant like an extremely severe librarian. "If you need glasses, then I do too," she proclaimed.
Back home, for some reason I decided to weigh Sally and the cats using a digital scale I ultimately intend to use as a shit weigher in the brownhouse. Sally the dog was 42 pounds, Clarence the cat 15 pounds, Stripey was 14 pounds, and Sylvia the cat was only 6 pounds. I didn't weigh them tonight, but the Baby was 8 pounds and Wilma was 11.
Wilma's right ear has an untreatable infection that makes her smell like, well, a dead cat. I flush it out with kitty ear flush and all kinds of black gunk comes out, but it never seems to improve. When it's especially ripe, it can stink up an entire room.
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