Let it be known throughout the land that I do not like change! Let me remind you that I have worn the same wig since 1994 when I found it in Dallas as a red jacket with Mary Kay. I fell in love with the ease of snapping that on my head and looking perfectly ready for anything. It also reminded me of my mother, who as you all know was killed when I was 8 in an auto- train accident. She wore her hair in a bun and there was, and still is some comfort in wearing that wig and a subconscious ode to her. My Brian has been bearded since we started dating. I explained to him, when he told me at 17 that he was in love with me, that I required a beard at all times. He has had a beard for 30 years. So before I make this sweet life rant you should know, if you didn’t already who I am and where I am coming from. Change is an aggravating part of living unfortunately, but some changes can and I would argue should be avoided.
It started when I went to the drive thru at our local Chick fi lay and discovered, much to my shagrin, that their chicken salad was REMOVED from their menu! In a huff… I accepted reluctantly the fact that I could no longer grab that beautiful concoction with the hint of their signature dill’ed chicken any longer and enjoy it on a saline cracker. A few months later… I stepped into my local Zoe’s to discover they had removed the spinach salad! Where are we supposed to go to have that I wondered? It was perfect, clean and most importantly not on my food allergy list! Grumbling under my breath I reluctantly chose another entree and then proceeded to “let them know” just how disappointed I was at this decision. A few months later… you can guess it happened yet again! We were just settling into our favorite little Italian restaurant in Pearland, when I went to order MY pork chop with cherry basalmic glaze only to be met with a sincere apology that they had decided to remove that from the menu too. And folks…. that was when I lost it. I started out by explaining that I had so many food allergies and I had been so excited to taste that dish. What’s more they had not even added back a pork chop to the “new” menu. UGH! The poor waiter was startled and probably scared if you asked Brian and James Edward, who at this point were trying to dissolve themselves into their chairs. The owner quickly came over and said she would make my dish. She apologized for removing it and sure enough that day I had that wonderful glazed pork. Would she produce it the next time I came? Would she listen to me? I just did not know… Why? Why? Why? If you have something great, expected even… would you just take it away?
I cook…a lot. I have my own garden and I get more likes on my food posts than I do on my photography of children; which is a little weird but we are living in a strange world filled with social media. My “food porn” of dishes that I posted over the holidays got over 1000 likes. I get it. I love food too. When I cook I tweak this and that and I rarely ever even look at a recipes unless it’s to give me an idea of what ingredients to use. That being said, when I produce a dish that is truly amazing, I make a note as to what exactly I did do so I can repeat it. When I go out to pick something up quick I expect to have….consistency. At the restaurants that I love I want to have the comfort of knowing “MY DISH” is there for the grabbing. When that consistency is fiddled with it rattles me and makes me quite mad. So here’s a little shout out to two of my favorites. Ron and Claire, of Brandiani’s please know that I am in love with your fried chicken and jalapeño gravy. You’ll recall I referred to it a “crack” in my column. Fernando dear, your corvina fish bathed in butter and wine I would absolutely die for. I even named it “The angel’s kiss” when I featured you. To the both of you; I am begging you…do not ever take these off your menus! You are a success when people become endeared to the things you create and come to expect those things to be a part of their daily lives. Your restaurants are an extension of spaces I consider my home. Life is full of stuff we can’t change. People grow old and go away. Despite that fact, our lives are enriched by comforts of sameness that never have to change. We should have that more I think.
Take Care of YOU!