Monday, March 03, 2008

Patron Saint of Real Estate

John over at Devil Queen begs the question as to whether burying a little statue of St. Joseph really works when trying to sell your house. And when we were selling our last house it really did seem to help. But I can't help thinking about burying the little statue without thinking of fish sauce.

Some of you know that I am a real fan of southeast Asian cuisine. And I had decided that I would try making it myself since there's not a lot of choices around here for such fare. So I got a cookbook and started to collect the ingredients. I dutifully went to the Asian store and asked the clerk to show me their finest bottle of fish sauce. And she showed me the most ornately decorated, largest and prettiest bottle of brown liquid you could ever imagine for $1.99. I bought it and took it home.

I was so anxious to see what this sparkling little beauty had in store for me, so first thing when I got home, I opened it for a taste.

It smelled so bad that I thought I was going to get sick. Panic hit me as I realized that our agent could schedule a showing of the house at any time. And having something that foul in the house almost guaranteed sooner rather than later. This stuff could not stay.

And if I threw it in the trash, the garage would smell like rotten fish, so I did the only thing a sane person would do. I buried the bottle in the flower garden out front.

Some months later after the new owners had settled in, I noticed driving by that they were having all new landscaping done in the yard. I couldn’t help but smile as I passed, thinking of young Jorge digging up my buried treasure and thinking it was some long lost bottle of fine booze. I’d pay for the experience of seeing his face when he un-capped that bad boy.

It wasn’t until later when I read Kasma Loha-unchit’s book on Thai cooking, Dancing Shrimp that I found out that a good fish sauce doesn’t smell like that. It smells like walking on the beach. And the brand I use now, Squid Brand Fish Sauce, smells just like that.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Things I Have Learned By Being Stubborn

1. Schoolteachers will always win, even when they're wrong.

2. Girls worth having won't beg you to come back.

3. The boss at work will always win, even when he's wrong.

4. Other folks will pay a little more for something while you wait for a seller to come down on his price.

5. The cop that pulls you over will always win, even when he's wrong.

6. Your kids are going to become what they are no matter how hard you try to push them the other way.

7. You can tear a hole in your shirt trying to twist the cap off of a Heineken.

8. Your wife will always win, even when she's wrong.

Saturday, January 05, 2008