Saturday, August 3, 2013

I've got Cilantro, Lemons and Limes....Now What?

Today was a day of mini adventures. The first being my resolve to get up very early and truck on down to NoLibs for a free outdoor yoga class. The class ran 9-10 and I had kickboxing 10-11 and the two exercise venues are in adjacent neighborhoods so I thought, hey...let's do a double workout.

I did. It was hard and it rained the whole time. I did yoga with over 60 other people in the Piazza, in the rain. It was pretty awesome. I don't mind yoga classes where instructors creep up behind you and next thing you know their hands are on your hips positioning them in a direction you didn't want them to go. That happened several times. Downward dog hurts when you're doing it on mat and yoga towel and all. Also I got really acquainted with my knees and decided I didn't like how they look. They're pudgy and full of cellulite. Got to work on that. Anyway, after having raindrops land in my ears and eyes and everywhere else, 10:02 rolled around and we didn't seem to be anywhere near Shavasana. The instructor kept telling us to "stop taking ourselves so damn seriously." I thought yoga wasn't a laughing matter so I'm pretty sure I had an angry/concentrating face on the whole time. She was setting up for "Boat" pose and it looked like something I didn't want to do/would hurt. So I decided to pack up my gear and book it to kickboxing. Adjuster/Instructor smiled at me as I left, and I mouthed "Sorry I have to go." I managed to tell her "thanks" and commit to attending next week before leaving.

I got to kickboxing and missed the warm up but considering I just warmed up for an hour I was good to go. Stiff despite the fact I was promised "I would be standing taller today" I made it though the workout. I left Kboxing and headed to Reading Terminal Market in search of reasonably priced and delicious produce.

Iovine Produce was hopping, as it always is. So I had to try really hard not to whack people in the back with my yoga mat. I picked up a selection of fruit and some vegetables and that is when I saw it. I saw the largest watermelon I have ever seen in my entire life. I must have gawked at it for a good 3-5 minutes. I ran over all the scenarios in my head as to how I could get it home. I'm on public transit, my hands and arms and shoulders already full. There was no way me and this watermelon were going to get home without one of us getting injured.

It was so big and beautiful. (That's what she said hahaha). I had a friend that once said "If there was ever someone who would try to live off of watermelon alone it would be Mary Anna." He was right. I can eat my way through an entire watermelon by myself in one week. I love it. This giant watermelon was the watermelon of all watermelons. I saw it as a challenge. It could feed me for TWO weeks! It was only $5. Next to the watermelons on steroids sat cantaloupes on steroids. They were only $3.49 and looked more manageable in terms of transit. I needed to pick one up to smell it but the big one I wanted was wedged under a bunch of other ones. I didn't want to knock down the whole display. I considered bending down to sniff the big one I wanted but I didn't want people to think I was crazy. That's how I tell if they are ripe or not. You can tell from the scent!

After deliberating for what felt like hours but in truth was only a few minutes, I left the watermelon behind. I then went to search for lemons, limes and cilantro. I'm making a pan-seared avocado/chicken dish on Sunday and I needed a few citrus fruits as well as the potent herb. Catch 22 is, I never bought cilantro before in my life! I had consumed it, seen it, probably even smelled it. But I never picked it out of a basket of various herbs.

In the herb section, almost everything looked the same. I was thankful for my 4+ years of food service training. This allowed me to identify the Parksley. I pulled out something that looked cilantro-like and well...smelled it. It smelled like mint leaves and I only know that smell because my friend grows mint and we make mojitos with it. (You never know what experiences in life will give you lasting knowledge). I finally gave up and tapped the nice lady who was restocking the herbs and asked "Excuse me, could you please point out the cilantro?" She grunted and pointed her finger and an herb I didn't even consider to be what I needed. I thanked her, grabbed a bushel and sniffed it. It was quite potent. It was also a lot of cilantro for one person. I bought it anyway.

So after this adventure I passed the watermelon one last time, casting a longing glance at it as I walked away. I checked out and headed home. Of course the bus driver blew past my departure least I didn't have the watermelon.

I meant to put the produce away but somehow found myself in an epic death nap lasting 2.5 hours. I swear I just sat down on my couch and BAM I was out. I woke up around 3 and decided to embark on adventure #3....getting my Ray-Bans from the Post Office. But first I had to Google how to store cilantro (and avocadoes). I found a good method, cut my stems, placed them in a jar and covered the leaves with a plastic bag. After this I found my hands smelled strongly of cilantro.

Despite this I knew I had to get the Ray-Bans so I put the cilantro away and walked leisurely down to the giant post office and stood in an epically long line until I did something accidental but miraculous. I waved my pickup slip in a certain direction and next thing I know, the Postman has me jumping the line, cruising past 14 people to retrieve my package. At last, my Ray-Ban Wayfarers and I were united.

Much like my aviator adventures, I tore the box open and wore them on my way home, occasionally sniffing the cilantro smell from my hands...

I stopped at Trader Joe's for my breakfast burrito (dinner) necessities and then continued home. My hands still smell like cilantro. I now have 3 lemons, 3 limes and enough cilantro to feed a restaurant. I seriously want to Google "I've got lemons, limes and what?"  My Ray-Bans are great, but now smell like cilantro too.

Also, I can't stop thinking about that watermelon I left behind. I have decided to retrieve it tomorrow with an empty backpack to carry it home in. I get a student discount on Sunday too. The current status of my produce-packed fridge worries me. There is no room for watermelon. But where there is a will there is a way. It is happening.

Until next time...

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