Teddy is coming home from Frankfurt today and I woke up to a frantic email to say that he had caught his plane with 5 minutes to spare; de-icing and other crazy northern stuff. This morning I did my usual hausfrau duties – fresh clean bed, washed the floor and went for food. When Teddy is out of town I eat like a squirrel; a few nuts and berries when I notice my tummy growling. We are fortunate enough to live a few minutes’ drive from all our grocery stores and most importantly, PETCO! Katniss has been eating twice a day and now runs to me. Then she stops and thinks, “Hang on, that’s not my mom – I am a proud feral cat”.
On my third trip out, I slowed down when I noticed a Volvo with no tire, collapsed on the road in front of me. I stopped behind it and put my flashers on. The young man (in his 40’s) looked shell-shocked, so I asked what had happened. He had just had an oil change and the mechanics hadn’t tightened the nuts on the wheels. “That place is crap!” I responded. He wasn’t sure what to do as he was partially blocking a junction. I told him to put his flashers on and I would drive to the auto shop to give them hell. As I drove in, they were just casually doing (crap) work. I suggested they get their asses in gear before the police came. This particular auto shop blatantly lied to me the only time I visited them, telling me I needed new brake pads. My sixth sense was alarmed and I checked with a decent place before letting them do it.
I returned to the broken down Volvo and he was still a bit panicky. It hadn’t occurred to me to wonder where the tire was but just then a Samaritan in a mega truck turned up having rescued the tire further down the main route. He was Shrek like – huge with a bald head. I have no idea how he lifted that tire, as if it was a soft toy. Then the auto shop idiots turned up. I wished the stranded Volvo owner a Merry Christmas and left to the sounds of police sirens. Since the hurricane, people have bought mega trucks in droves and it drives me CRAZY. Teddy has a whole list of acronyms for them: A.I.A.T; D.I.A.T; F.I.A.T. The acronyms spell out Ass in a Truck, Dick in a Truck and so on. I suspect they were bought to replace flooded vehicles and these new owners don’t know how to drive them properly. But Shrek was a hero – S.I.A.T!
Then I went to the supermarket, full of adrenaline because I have always wanted to shout at that auto shop. I hope he sues them if there was damage to his car. Then I saw the weirdest thing in the fish aisle. A lady was filling her cart with packets of salted cod. I knew she was not from Texas and suspected she was from Latin America. Curiosity overcame Kerry and I asked her where she was from. Mexico City was the answer and we chatted about our shared ancestry and the salted cod. She was making a dish called Bacalao – click on the word to find a recipe.
I would no more eat salted cod than roasted cockroaches but it brought back a nostalgic memory of Teddy’s mum. Nessie was from a farmer’s family and Teddy’s Dad came from a fisher family. Usually never the twain shall meet or certainly marry but Dad was a handsome POW that caught the eye of my pretty mother in law. Once they were seriously courting, Nessie was invited to the Duncan family home in Peterhead, Scotland for a special dinner. She was used to eating what we consider normal food – meat and two vegetables. Nessie wasn’t really keen on seafood or fish so when she was offered a choice of Sea Pie or Hairy Tatties, she somewhat tentatively accepted Hairy Tatties assuming that Sea Pie was full of seafood. Little did she know that Sea Pie was actually a gorgeous steak pie that the fishermen took out on the boats. Hairy Tatties was much worse… The fibers of salted cod were the hairy bits in the tatties (mashed potatoes). How she ate it was beyond me; a true heroine.
So, I helped a panicky man, found a new friend from Mexico and retold my favorite story about my beloved mother in law. Finally, I have some real Christmas Cheer! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Feliz Navidad!