Day 9 of my 30-day writing challenge
I did not have much time to write today. It’s a Saturday, which means THE KIDS ARE HOME ALL DAY. Also, my husband and oldest daughter are sick; worship band practice ran way overtime; and I discovered too late my packet of curry powder was somewhere between “scorching a hole through your esophagus” and “incinerating your head” on the scoville scale. This necessitated alternate dinner plans for everyone except my freakishly heat-loving husband, for whom the only plausible explanation is that he’s already shorted out every single nerve ending on his tongue.
It was, nevertheless, a leisurely day by our standards. Nobody had to be run to and from school by car, bus, or train. My husband didn’t have to dash between his two part-time jobs — three, if you count his pastoral gig — although he did have to work on his sermon. There was time for a trip to the park, free summer bowling at the neighborhood lanes, and a board game before dinner. And two and a half loads of laundry. (Always laundry).
As for our last-minute dinner, thank God for instant ramen. I say that in all reverence and respect. If it weren’t for ramen, I would have starved by now. If not at college, then certainly at my last job, where I ate it for lunch at least two to three times a week.
In my defense, I rinsed the excess oil off the cooked noodles, used only half the flavor packet (where all the msg is), and added greens, and sometimes egg or tofu, to make it healthier.
Most of the time.
Look, I know ramen isn’t pretty, and it’s got way too much sodium, and a billion years from now, when an alien civilization excavates our trash heaps, they will find bricks of curly, plastic-looking, desiccated noodles along with twinkies, spam, and saran wrap. But it’s fast and warm and yummy and has that lovely umami flavor that makes your taste buds really happy. It also reminds me of my roots in Hawaii, where you can buy the Hawaiian version of ramen, called saimin, from McDonalds.
My son took an impromptu family poll yesterday while we were on our way to the supermarket: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, would you choose pizza or ramen? He and my younger daughter both picked ramen without a second thought. So did I. My husband wrinkled his nose. But he’s the white guy in the family, so what do you expect? (Okay, so my kids are half white, but in this case, their Asian genes dominated.) My older daughter wasn’t in the car, but she’s enjoying her bowl of ramen for dinner as I type, so I’m counting her vote in absentia. Besides, she’s a singer, and cheese clogs up her voice, so ramen it is.
It wasn’t planned, but we came home from the supermarket with a 24-pack of ramen. I’m just surprised we waited until today to break it open.