Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Proustian Phenomenon

So, last night I competed in the Coker College Iron Chef Challenge. The secret ingredient was beef. We had five different cuts to choose from, so I went with tenderloin, which I prepared in a Greek style, Lomo a lo griego over Jasmine Rice. Basically, we cut the tenderloin into fajita size strips and stir-fried it with onions, garlic, and salt in olive oil. When the onions were wilted, we put in about 15 diced tomatoes, a box of raisins, a cup of diced red bell peppers, cinnamon, oregano, and pepper. It was a hit, but we didn't place--two of the top three people served curry dishes, so their use of premixed spice won for them. I had to cook for 50 people, so it wasn't exactly like the tv show. I had a really fun time, and all of the dishes were good. The winner's was a Thai style curry, and it was delicious.

When I finally got ready to start cooking, I had to wash my hands. I walked back to the sink, pushed the soap dispenser twice, started lathering up my hands, and began crying. The soap was the exact same kind they had in my dad's hospital room. It's such a vile odor, of strong sanitizer......I'll never forget it. It immediately brought back the presence of his death, and all the emotions I had to face, again.

My poor mom has it worse right now. After spending six weeks with my dad in the hospital before he died, now her father is in the hospital. Hopefully they have a different soap there than they did at Emory.

Next year I'll bring my own bar of Ivory to the chef competition.


chattypatra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chattypatra said...

Ahhh...what feelings do our senses unexpectedly evoke! Feels like a knife in the gut, doesn't it?

I still find myself in similar situations, even after almost five years without my mother. For example, yesterday I received an email with a two-for-one sundae offer from Baskin' Robbins. I broke down crying immediately. Couldn't stop for a good five minutes either. Why? You'd ask.

Because she LOVED ice cream. So much so that, when she got too old to drive safely and we took her license away, she would look for any opportunity to get out of the house and visit Baskin' Robbins.

- Honey, are you going to go out again to run any errands?
- No, Mom, I'm going to take a shower and spend my evening at home.
- You're not too tired from work, are you?
- Why?
- Oh, nothing, really. Are you sure you don't have to go to Walgreens or some other store at the mall?
- Do you want ice cream, Mom?
- Who, me? Well, if you were planning to buy some at BR, I can go with you.
- Ok, then. Let's go.

On Saturdays or holidays, she'd ask my Dad to take her out for ice cream.

- There's plenty in the freezer. I'm tired, and am going to take a nap now.
- Ok. Sleep well.

She'd wait until he was in his REM stage and would then approach me.

- Do you want to go out for ice cream?
- Would it make you happy?
- Yes. I can't stand these four walls anymore.
- Let's go, then.
- We need to be quiet because your father is taking his nap. Hurry up before he wakes up!

We'd then get in my car, put it in reverse, let it slide back onto the street and turn on the engine at the last possible minute.

- Haha! Wait until your father wakes up and finds out we left. Remind me to bring him a sundae.

I haven't been to a Baskin'Robbins since she died. *sigh*

[*edited, because RAM is not the same thing as REM]