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I only have 2 goals this year: One, to get published, and two, to cook mussels. I’m stressed and not just because I’ve never celebrated without chocolate before. One bad mussel can scar someone for life and no one ever forgets a food story. My husband went to college with a girl who made a pork chili for their tailgate party. Everyone who ate it got violently ill. I think the brain files bad food experiences in an extra-special place so that the memory is never forgotten. A mere smell or mention is all it takes to bring every carrot-filled moment flooding back in amazing detail. 25 years later, I still feel sorry for the girl, but not enough to eat her chili.
My Dad loves mussels. I’d love to cook them for him but he’s 71. I’m afraid I might tarnish his golden years with a bad mussel; too much responsibility. I’m 40, but deep down I’m still that little girl who loves to please her Dad. If the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach, what happens when you mess up? That’s just way too much pressure for a little girl.
Mussels have beards. That worries me. You’re supposed to pull them off. What sort of food grows a beard anyway? I don’t even like my men with beards. Sean Connery is the exception. I’d put up with a face rash for a kiss from that man anytime. My husband, however, needs to shave.
Last year, my goal was to cook an artichoke. It should have been easy. I’m a fully-grown woman, (although I wish my body would get the memo), and this was a harmless, non life-threatening vegetable, or so I thought. Have you ever tried to prepare an artichoke? All I can say is that the first person ever to tackle an artichoke must have been dying of hunger. I think I’d rather risk eating an unopened mussel shell than prepare another artichoke. I have a friend who loves artichokes and is happy to prepare them. I once read that you should always have one friend who owns a truck and one who owns a boat. I prefer to have one who cooks artichokes.
Well, if you’re reading this, I guess that means I can celebrate and go shopping for mussels. "Hurrah" went this crowd of one. I have an idea for next year’s food goal but I’m already feeling the pressure. How do you know if the snail is actually dead or just sleeping? Someone pass me the chocolate.