In Which I Make Pico de Gallo and Accidentally Knit a Penis

This would have turned out so much better with one more tomatillo and at least one actual jalapeno, but all of our jalapenos ended up getting grilled a few days ago, and it wasn’t until I’d cubed everything else that I realized, “Crapola, we don’t have any actual peppers for this salsa!”  And what is a salsa without peppers? Then it’s just a sauce, and a boring one at that. So I used Sriracha, because Sriracha fixes everything. And sometimes it’s called rooster sauce, and pico de gallo is the beak of the rooster, so it somehow is all okay, I think.

I love you, Sriracha. On quesadillas, in soup, and on eggs. Someone should write a song about you.

I ate about a third of this with corn tortilla chips right after I made it, and more for breakfast this morning, and my husband put some on his salad for breakfast (and for those of you who know him, salad! I know! Sometimes, it’s like, who did I marry? First he starts wearing jeans, and now he eats salad for breakfast. Crazy.).

Two mangoes, diced

1 shallot, diced

3 tomatillos, diced ( I could have used more– the mangoes got sweeter since I’d bought them.)

7 or so sprigs of cilantro (Some people don’t like cilantro. I love it. Use more.)

salt, to taste

Sriracha (I would add jalapenos or maybe serranos, if I had them.)

Pulse in a food processor until it’s all jumbled but still chunky. Eat it with chips, in a salad, or on fish.

In other news, a few weeks ago my coffeemaker decided it had absolutely had it with my drinking more than one cup of coffee a day thing and it spontaneously burst into flames right after brewing a fresh pot. Well, I didn’t see flames, but I did see opaque white smoke, and that seems fiery enough for me, thank you very much. My husband said something about a warranty, but you know, when something turns into a hellmouth right on my countertop, I’m not inclined to have the company send me another one. I paid $100 for it only about a year ago, too! Such a bummer.

I went right out and bought this, which will not catch fire. It will, however, get cold, so being a knitter I immediately set about knitting– well, crocheting– a cozy for it. I usually abhor cozies, but I could see practicality in this and I’m sick of knitting scarves. I suppose I could knit a sweater, but I have a very difficult time committing to just one yarn for that amount of time. Go ahead and psychoanalyze that one, because I know I tend to not commit very well to people either– except luckily, the one that matters. Easiest decision I’ve ever made! So maybe that means I really don’t have committment issues– I just haven’t found the right yarn? I will go with that.

I think my French press looks like it is about to head out to a rave. “Stay hydrated!” is what I’d advise if it actually had legs. Maybe I should knit it some little dreadlocks.

My husband took one look at it and said that next, I should knit him a dick cozy. I told him he already had one. A few hours later when my 70 year old mom visited, she announced that it looked “awfully phallic.” So now I’m thinking I should get some pink yarn and really knit an actual penis shaped French press and sell it on Etsy– though of course I’m sure that’s a very narrow market. I’m only half-joking. But I’ve already estimated the number of skeins I’d need, so maybe I’m only a quarter joking.

What else? Oh, yes. It’s my birthday this weekend! Right in time for grading, as usual. I usually hide from my birthday. It has a history of being depressing. One awesome year, I had horrible cramps, a cold, had to turn in grades in person on campus and stand in a big-ass line, and then my mom wanted me to immediately clean out a really disgusting cat’s litter box that had been fermenting in her garage for a while. And neither my mom nor my husband had given me a present. And my mom forgot it was my birthday. And she had just announced a few weeks earlier that she had cancer, so we were all stressed out already anyway. Oh, that was a very sucky birthday. Very. Sucky.

Most years, around the time of my birthday, I tend to question the necessity of my very existence. All of my depressive tendencies gather momentum until they are one perfect maelstrom that only a bottle of red wine can momentarily stem. It isn’t about age. My childhood and teenage years were hit and miss, my twenties were miserable until I met my husband. I don’t know what happened. He managed to, without knowing it, effect an escape. He upset the timeline so drastically that it was like hitting the reset button. I’m still depressive, but it’s cyclic now instead of constant, and I have a better vantage point now, so that I can point to my feelings and actions with a little bit of distance and be reflective in a way that is more helpful than before.

Historically, though, around my birthday all of this change goes to Hell in a handbasket and I am my old self once more.

This Lent I made a decision, though. Instead of giving up something like sugar (I tried once, and I was so tired all the time and it did not make me feel any healthier) or chocolate (I don’t eat a whole lot of it anyway, lately) or alcohol (I don’t drink enough of it to miss it), I gave up self-pity.

It was HARD. Only the fear of failing the Catholic church could make me stick to this plan. I’m not even all that Catholic, actually. I’m very, very lapsed.

I’d catch myself in the act of negative self-talk, and would say, “That is negative self-talk. Stop it,” and did stop it. It was my new mantra, and towards the end of Lent I had to say it less often. I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. I decided I was a good mother. I decided to give up on teaching college and make a new start teaching K-12.  I decided to throw myself a birthday party.

That last one was the hardest one of all, because I am so used to not wanting to exist on that day. But this time, I am getting my favorite people together, and my favorite foods– paletas and pan! I am not Mexican, but gosh, I’m definitely Fresnan– and I’m buying myself a freakin’ snow cone machine. It doesn’t feel so strange anymore, to celebrate. Sometimes you just need to practice. And somebody buy me some flesh-pink yarn and wrap it up with a bow, because I know just what to knit with it!


One thought on “In Which I Make Pico de Gallo and Accidentally Knit a Penis

  1. I am glad you are celebrating! I wish I were going to be in town. It sounds much less stressful than a trip to Vegas for a bachelorette party…eeek.

    If you ever find yourself in need of jalapenos, give me a holler. Our plant is early producer and we already have a few that have been sitting on the counter, waiting for us to know what to do with them until the tomatoes start growing.

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