Monday, August 9, 2010

Hoarding, Camping, Cleaning, Eating ... Monday at Mary's!

Jeremy went on an ill-fated (loooong story) camping trip last Monday night, so I'd planned to shovel out his Hoarder's Hovel of junk while he was gone. In his defense, he comes by his hoarding from his dad and from my parents, so there is a genetic component ... but still. I, on the other hand, am a purger. I gave him fair warning -- have no fear! But I was tired of clutter here, there, everywhere, up, down, and all around. I told everyone that this was my mission and that I'd chosen to accept it. I was determined and there was a gleam in my eye.

But Tom said: "I know you. You'll keep working, and you'll just grab something instead of eating properly. You need to have dinner before you start this project." I really, really wanted to just go home from work and dive into the quagmire, and spend the next 8 hours or so digging out. But I knew Tom was right -- I'd work and work, be filthy and sweaty, not want to cook in the middle of my chores, not be fit to be seen publicly, and end up eating a bowl of cereal if Jeremy had left me any milk. And so, we met for dinner because he wanted to take care of me ... awww.

We went to Siam Cuisine, a fabulous Thai restaurant downtown. It's in an unassuming little house in a courtyard filled with restaurants and a bookstore. When we got there, one other couple was finishing a meal; otherwise, we had the place to ourselves.

Now, of course, we're all familiar with Mary's Menu-Induced Brain Paralysis (if you're new here or not a regular, remember this -- it's a recurring theme). You can only imagine how I fared ... too many delicious-sounding options. So we settled upon one of Tom's all-time favorites: Chicken Fried Rice. He'd had a disappointing batch at his favorite Chinese restaurant recently, so we thought perhaps we should try to find a better substitute. We also decided upon a chicken dish: G2, as we noted its spot on the menu, which is actually entitled "Gai Phad Prig Haeng."

Almost immediately -- truly, it was some of the speediest meal preparation I've ever witnessed outside of a fast food joint which pulls your burger out from under the tanning lamp -- our dinner was served to us, fabulously fragrant.

The chicken fried rice was everything Tom loves in his beloved comfort food. Chicken, vegetables, lots of perfectly cooked rice, and none of the grease he'd found in the other Batch That Shall Not Be Named. It was very, very good and I think it's now been declared the official fried rice for any occasion where a little t.l.c. and soothing might be required. Of course, it's also simply wonderful "as is" for any occasion, or served -- as it was for us last week -- with our absolutely amazing chicken dish.

The "G2" as we now call it, since remembering its official name is not particularly an option, was succulent, delicious, served with just the right amount of sauce to pour over the rice and the perfect amount of vegetables to complement the chicken.

It smelled absolutely divine! There are no words to adequately or sufficiently describe the spice, the melange of meat and vegetables, the onions, the sauce ... everything was in perfect unity. The zucchini was fresh, the chicken almost meltingly tender, the cauliflower crisp but not crunchy. It wasn't at all hot, except temperature-wise, and yet there was a warmth to it without any tingle. We hadn't offered or been asked what heat level we wanted, but it was served just ideally.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, two women with two young boys came in; they'd been somewhere intriguing, as each of the kids had a balloon with him. The boys were a bit rambunctious, but were starting to settle down. We could hear one of the moms saying: "No, it's not spicy." Future good eaters, these two boys were! They could start with something benign like fried rice ... taste a beef dish, perhaps, that an adult had ordered that they might very well find they liked ... and eventually be kids/men who could go to any home or any restaurant or any country and eat heartily and happily. I was very supportive of the move to bring children to some other institution than Big Boy or McDonald's!

After Tom and I parted, I went home to start shoveling. A number of distractions, from the phone to Jeremy arriving home at 1:30 a.m., kept me from fully completing my mission; but I did clean out some closets and some shelves, and I have 6 shopping bags full of stuff to donate to the Salvation Army as a result. All in all, it was a successful night: some clutter cleared, some trash removed, a gift to those in need at the ready, and a fabulous meal with my sweetie ... sigh ... :)

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Karen Mortensen said...

What a wonderful day you had. My Tom and I love Thai food also.
Glad you got some of the room cleaned. I love to do that.

chocoholic said...

That dinner sounds (and looks) fabulous! Mr. Groom has and denies his slight hoarding tendecies. He does it because he feels bad about getting rid of things people gave him. But I think holding onto old travel brochures with no purpose for them in mind (scrapbook?) is a bit extreme.

Rose said...

I've never eaten at a Thai restaurent. I have heard that it's very spicy. Rose

girlichef said...

Wow, that G2 looks amazing!! It's funny, because I'm a bit of a hoarder and a purger...figure that one out ;)

Yenta Mary said...

I went to another Thai restaurant in town once, and ordered a lovely salad with tomatoes and onion and herbs and beef. I ordered it "medium" -- BIG mistake. It was very very good, but it was also very very spicy!!! At that place, "mild" is the way to go. So I was really impressed that Siam Cuisine got the heat aspect done perfectly without any information whatsoever ... :)

Jenn said...

Glad Tom convinced you to have dinner before you started your project! I so love Thai food...I made the mistake of ordering Thai hot once (have I told you this story already?) and let's just say I spent more time in the bathroom blowing my nose and wiping sweat off my face then I did at the table!! And I am a spicy food lover. Yikes!

Cranberry Morning said...

Good for Tom for daring order something he'd found disappointing at another restaurant. I'm too chicken to do that. (no pun intended) And isn't it wonderful to find yourself in a place with good food and very few other people. :-)

Michelle said...

I do so love finding a restaurant that serves delicious foods. You'd think that here in the deep south, where food and hospitality go hand in hand, it would be easy to find a good meal. We've not had any luck at all in the year+ that we've lived here. My husband tends toward hoarding as well and I relish in giving things away. We pair well together.

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Kelle said...

I am a new follower via Meet Me Monday. I love the name of your blog! =) I look forward to your posts. Have a great week!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

What a great day! I love to purge, but then again I like to collect too :) The fried rice looked perfect, what a treat!

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