that special something

"A green tomato maybe?"  I took another bite, then looked up, as if the answer were chalked on the ceiling.  "No, it’s not slimy.  It’s juicy, but firm.  Tomatillo?  It’s like a cucumber but not as refreshing or watery."  I’m eating something green, a little tough, definitely some type of vegetable.  It’s a spear, similar to a pickle spear, except without the seeds.  I love when I’m stumped.  There was once a game show on the food network, where for the "showcase showdown" the two finalists were served a portion of a single dish.  The object of the game was for contestants to alternate identifying an ingredient in the dish.  So, if say, it was apple and smoked-bacon salad, a smart contestant would first name the obvious ingredients, like apple or bacon, then move onto the trickier elements, remembering salt, then trying to decipher what that, was that a lychee?  You take another bite, certain you’ve got it.  "Oh, I just know it.  I have it all the time.  What is it?"  And you know but you don’t.  Fish sauce!  Lime juice… oh, that just snuck right in there.

I play this game with myself all the time.  Tonight was no exception.  "Cactus," Phil chimed in.
"Ya think?"
We ask the waiter, who needs to ask the chef.  "So, guys, what we have for you tonight is chayote, a Mexican squash."  Phil and I nod at each other and thank our waiter for the information.  Neither of us then turned to the other and said, "Did he just say Coyote?"  Because really, that only happens in a romantic comedy, a bad one at that, something where Uma Thurman is trying to giggle.  It just doesn’t work. 



  1. I read my last comment, on the Q&A entry and noticed you had answered my question and said you were in a fight with your mother. what happened?
    It's just so weird- you give so much of yourself away on here, and we feel like we know everything about you, everything in your life, and yet there is still stuff you don't share.
    I'm glad you don't- you need stuff to yourself. But to me, as a reader, it's simply surprising.

  2. Just as long as you didn't use any cactus juice for hair product, I think it's safe to say it's not a romantic comedy!! At least not one with Ben Stiller and Cameron…hah!

    (Which I can't wait to see that goofy new one with Stiller…)

  3. two things:

    1) i love your blog and have for years. thank you for all that you write.

    2) the top chef finale tonight…..sucked.

  4. That pale green mystery vegetable, yes, a squash. Had it with every lunch & dinner when I was in Mexico, Usually mixed with a pale orange squash & potato chunks. Spiced nicely, it was pretty good. Good luck with your book cover.

  5. I've seen that show.. can't remember what it's called, but I always thought, "I would LOVE to try that."

    Esdoolittle.. I was SO rooting for Casey. Hung grinds on my last nerve.

  6. Ah, the good old chayote, except where I'm from, it's called sayote.

    Nice blog you have here. I only wish I'd stumbled upon this sooner.

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