Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Lengths I Will Go

I have so woefully little to report, foodwise. I haven’t been doing anything besides working (a lot) these last couple of weeks. To maintain this blog and not fade into internet oblivion, I have to resurrect a food event of a month ago. The theme of this food event is “the lengths I will go.”

I went to Texas this summer, a trip that has fueled at least half the entries on this blog, likely due to the fact that I did nothing but eat for a number of days straight. Before I left the Texas summer heat for the miserable tepidity of Boston, Lara gave me a jar of salsa (among many many other things) from Dick’s Cafe in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The jar sat around waiting for a fitting occasion. As I mentioned, that occasion turned out to be a random Thursday, complete with hibiscus tequila cocktails.

The salsa was worth the wait. It is without doubt, the best salsa I have had. It’s smooth and thin, very very garlicky, slightly sweet and really hot. It tastes fresh and non-preserved - this observation is supported by the ingredient list: tomato puree, tomato sauce, Hatch Valley jalapeno peppers, garlic and salt. Granted, the tomato sauce part is somewhat vague, but the product couldn’t taste further from mass produced.

So the jar was gone in oh… a couple of hours. While never having this salsa again seemed horrifically depressing, flying to NM for a jar of salsa did not seem economically sound. The internet came in to save me yet again - Lisa and I ordered a case (8 jars) of salsa from Dick’s Cafe to share.
That sounds really simple, doesn’t it? Well, consider this. I nearly broke into a cold sweat typing that web address into my lab computer’s browser. One small mis-step (or mis-type) and my network connection would be shut down by the hospital for downloading inappropriate subject matter. I typed very s l o w l y. Whew.

The site is painfully low tech, the order didn’t really go through and I had to call NM. When informed where I would like the salsa shipped, the guy on the phone asked, “Err, how did you hear about us?” So I told him. I am in the know.

The following is my best attempt at presenting the broad strokes of a dialogue (somehow, non-science writing was left out of my graduate school curriculum. Shame) that took place as I was trying to get my package from the post office.

The scene: Tuesday, 7:30AM, post office.

Me: Sleepy and perilously close to cranky.

Post office employee (POE): Bejeweled, disgruntled, and slow as molasses.

POE, struggling under the weight of an innocently small box: “What is in here? It’s so heavy!”

Me, perking up: “It’s salsa!”

Pause and blank stare from POE

POE: “Salsa? As in, chips and salsa?”

Me, perkier still: “Yep! There is a restaurant in New Mexico that makes this great salsa and I ordered a box of it from them. It’s reaaaally good salsa.”

POE, dubious: “Well, yeah… I guess it does say New Mexico on the box… Huh.”
Me, thinking: “No shit, lady.”
POE, clearly puzzled by me: “So they just sent it to you? That’s nice of them.”

Me, confused: “Um ok. Thanks! Bye now.”

I don’t know how, but I could smell the salsa outside the box. I am lucky this stuff doesn’t have alcohol in it. I would be in real trouble if it did. It is positively addictive. I am glad not to have to weigh each occasion as salsa-worthy, or not salsa-worthy. I can always just order another case!

I went to great lengths for this salsa. I agonized over the web address, I struggled with the website, I had indirectly apologize to a POE for the heft of my precious box… and it was all worth it.

I have to go to lab now. Sigh.

P.S. Someone from the UK visited my blog after searching for "bugger smell" on Google. I don't even want to know.


ben said...

Wow, that is devotion. I would have gotten the stuff made in New York City. I heard that stuff is pretty awesome.

Maybe I will go get a bottle of that stuff to counteract your NM salsa. Seems only fitting. Order of the Universe and all.

BTW, typing slower doesn't make it less perverted. Trust me.

across the pond said...

I just stumbled across your blog and for some reason feel the need to tell you that I think you're lovely.

I'm not sure quite how I came to that conclusion, but yes, I stick by it.

JC said...

Did your friend get the Dick's salsa (yes, careful typing required) directly from the Cafe, or did she buy it locally in Texas?

"They just sent it to you?" Wow, that was nice of them!

Bugger smell? WTF!?

Anna said...

Ben - Never said I wanted to make it less perverted :)

AtP - Thank you very much :) Lovely is one of my favo(u)rite words. Out of curiousity: 1) by across the pond, do you mean the UK? 2) if so, by stumbling upon my blog, do you mean searching for "bugger smell?" 3) if so, what does that mean?? 4) lastly, are you a boy or a girl? Come back lots, ok?

JC - Lara is from NM and has a salsa source salsa there - her father. No fair, I know. Don't think they sell it in Texas. Bugger smell is beyond me entirely, but I really really want to know what it means!

ATP said...

1) I am in the UK yes. Bonnie Scotland no less.
2) Would you like me more if I found you by searching for 'bugger smell'? Hmm, nothing so intriguing I'm afraid - I have quite possibly the dullest job ever, which gives me a lot of time to...well do bugger all really. I was merely looking at random blogs and yours was about the 20th that came up; the first and the last that I stopped to read.
3) I wish I could tell you, really.
4) I am a girl. I have even been called a lady in my time. Wow!
...Yeah I'll be back :)

Anna said...

I like you well enough as is :) A lady. Wow, indeed! I have yet to reach such well-mannered heights. Am constantly reaching for new lows, in fact. Please join my “I hate my job” club. While nothing close to dull, my job is nevertheless excruciating. I feel for you.

ben said...

I just ate a lot of chips and salsa they were so generically good :-P Something to be said about a chain restraunt and their chips and salsa.

Anna said...

Is there a support group for Taco Bell addicts? Must be ;)

Ben said...

I am totally taking you to the TB the next time I see. Seriously, you have been missing out. There must be a hole in your soul due to the lack of TB. Poor, poor girl.