Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Smells Like Barn

Moth Ball Stroganoff Man. Chain Smoking Schizos. These neighbors got nothin' on me.

Tonight I created the most hideous smell of my entire life (not involving a bodily function). Even I found it disgusting. The strange thing is--I couldn't figure out why! It all started out like a normal cooking experience. This morning I was reading VegNews magazine's 222 Reasons to be Veg when I came across Reason #202: Tofu Scramble. Ah hah! Dinner plans.

Oh, I know tofu scramble is meant to be a breakfast, but never you mind. My momma taught me that the best time to eat a nice big breakfast is for dinner, with chocolate milk (or now chocolate Silk)!

So I came home, diced up a couple of potatoes and started them frying. I mashed up the tofu, added a little salt, a little pepper, a lot of nutritional yeast and put it in the pan on med/med low. Everything was going so well. It really was. I added a little sundried tomato, some fresh greens, a spalsh of broth and put a lid on it to let it simmer while I put dishes in the magical dishwashing machine. I've done this many times before. This recipe is tried and true. This is comfort food. I went back to the potatoes, gave 'em a stir, kept my on eye the scramble. All was well.

Then, while loading the dishes into the magical dishwashing machine, I suddenly found myself thinking of the place of my childhood in upstate NY where Rt. 32 and Rt. 23A intersect. It's a place with lots and lots of cows, lovely cows, but cows. And two silos that my citified aunt looked at and questioned, "Why does that farmer keep all those bananas in those tall things?" No, Auntie. Not bananas. A large family owned all those cows and the girl from that family who was my age once loved and adored one of them and named it Happy, like she was until it disappeared one day and her parents explained to her the facts of farm life and death and perhaps something about slaughterhouses.

So, there I was in my kitchen, loading dishes, thinking of a lot of stinky cows when suddenly I realized I was making that smell. I was the one responsible for this hideousness. It's bad enough to smell 5,000 acres of cow manure on a Sunday drive, but at least then you know that 1) you can balk at your over-dramatic passenger saying, "Oh, stop. It's natural." 2) you're driving and it'll be gone soon and 3) you didn't cause it. When it happens in your own kitchen, though, it's not natural, there's no escaping it, and it's all your fault.

Paul Reiser writes in Couplehood that he was in the habit of turning to his new wife on such a Sunday drive and saying, "Whew? Is that you?" Then he realized that, "Basically what I'm asking my bride is, 'Is that you or is that 5,000 acres of cow manure?'"

Yeah. That's me.


Anonymous said...

The banana question is still baffling me....

Did you still eat the manure concoction? If so, did it come out smelling like food? (I couldn't resist).

One time in college, I heated up a microwavable burrito (which smelled fine to me). When my roommate came home, she immediately said, "Whoa, Kate, that smells like booty."

Karin said...

Smelled like barn going in.
Smelled like barn going out.

And, about the silos...there were corn cobs in them to feed the farm animals.

mydogischelsea said...

So what caused it? Too much nutritional yeast?

Michael5000 said...

So, when you say "I was making that smell" -- just to clarify, here -- you mean, you were making that smell through your cooking, right? Because otherwise, this post might fall under the Homeland Security "Too Much Information" Act.

Tereza said...

Hey, I was about to use some nutritional yeast in my cooking tonight and then I remembered your story and got scared. Then I said... well, if it smells like ass, then I'll have something to write about and I said: let it pour. The result: no stink, no funny story, but a pretty tasty dinner, if I may say so myself. By the way, is that stuff really as good for you as they say? It seems kind of super manufactured, if you know what I mean.

Karin said...

No, it wasn't the nutrional yeast. I'm sure it had something to do with burning it beyond recognition.

Note: new stove runs hotter than old stove.

Rebel said...

LOL! I don't know what's funnier - your post or the comments!

Sorry your dinner was stinky. =P

Omar Poppenlander said...

I agree with Rebel. The comments are hilarious! I need funnier friends.