New tradition begun this week: Taco Tuesday. A weekday food ritual reminds me of Pizza Friday in elementary school, when our white rectangular sytrofoam trays got a white rectangular Styrofoam pizza plopped on it. Each pizza looked exactly the same, with just enough shredded mozzarella to cover the watery tomato sauce, which tried to drip off the crust and dribble away in shame. Paired with a 35-cent strawberry shortcake ice cream bar, it was the pinnacle of pre-teen fine dining.
Our tradition begins with slightly higher-quality food, but not by much. First came the nail-biting decision at the grocery store: CAFO ground beef of questionable quality but from within a few hundred miles, or grass-fed organic meat flown in from Australia for a dollar more per pound? As I stood in front of the meat chiller with a package in each hand, Michael Bolton’s plaintive whining echoed through the aisles and I wondered, “Is this what our proud race of hunter/gatherers been reduced to?” Then I bought the Aussie beef.
The taco construction begins with a semi-circular toasted cornmeal shell with the fragility of a watery-eyed centenarian’s hip. In went a bean/onion/pepper mix followed by the Down Under beef (sautéed tofu for Toddler Harbat), then shredded cheese bought by the fifty-gallon drum from Costco, shredded lettuce, and a few halved cherry tomatoes from the garden. Then you take a bite and the whole thing explodes in your hands. Toddler Harbat did not seem to mind.
I’ll point out this is her first reaction when a camera’s pointed her way. So demure, so camera-friendly.
During dinner TH had to go to the bathroom and, when I went in to check on her, found her stuffing toilet paper into her underwear.
“I’m puttin’ the paper in there so it feels cool.”
Five minutes later she still hadn’t come out of the bathroom. I went back and found her standing on the stepstool looking into the mirror and rubbing her stomach.
“I had an ouchie on my Buddha belly so I rubbed it with soap and brushed it an’ now it feels all better.”
Thus ended Taco Tuesday!