Sometimes I wonder how I have lived 45 years on this Earth and still feel like such a novice newbie when it comes to all things cooking, especially if it involves wine. This mama is wine-impaired, I tell ya.
So in my adventures of making new things in the kitchen, I went shopping to get the missing ingredients for my weekly meal plan. Yes, I actually made a meal plan. Shocking, I know. Not typical of my ENFP personality.
First recipe on my list was Beef Burgundy. I needed to buy Burgundy Wine. Um, okay – can’t find that. So I finally gave up and settled for red wine! I was also looking for Marsala Wine to make a Chicken Marsala recipe. Um, can’t find that one either. And it’s not like the wine selection is some tiny little section, we’re talking bazillions of choices here. Now being the total geek that I am, I pull out of my phone and Google this wine, and it says NOT to substitute in Chicken Marsala, that is the equivalent of substituting a lemon for an orange. Gosh, okay. Finally, I find someone to ask. She says that Marsala wine is in the cooking aisle, like where the vinegars are located. I would never have known that. The internet bloggers say not to substitute Marsala wine, but this bottle says Marsala ‘Cooking’ wine. I decided it would just have to do – and this wine thing is exhausting.
Now it’s a good thing i’m in this aisle because the third thing on my list was ‘Rice Wine Vinegar’. Not one single bottle had those exact words, but I found some that simply said ‘Rice Vinegar’. Surely that is the same, yes? It must be…. but I’m a literal kind of person. I take instructions literally. When I am doing or making something new, I follow the directions carefully, so as to learn. It bugs me when the information is either vague, unclear or just downright wrong. In my vinegar paranoia, I ask a stranger to confirm that ‘rice wine vinegar’ is indeed the same as ‘rice vinegar’. After all, I’ve never bought such a thing in my life. She was so rude … and condescending. Yet in her ruffled irritation, I deduced that yes it must be the same, and moved on.
Now where are the spices ? Ah yes, here they are. I find the spice aisle. I need something called ‘Red Pepper Flakes’. Um, okay – I have red pepper at home, but it does not say flakes on the bottle, so might as well find what they ask for in the recipe. Um, no bottle in this store says that either. I found ‘Crushed Red Pepper’, but no flakes. I decided I did not care at this point, and crushed would work. But my brain is irritated that I do not have exactly what these things require. Let it go, mama. Let it go.
Home sweet home, let’s get cooking. Now did I mention lately that we’re in the middle of moving? Surely I did. So I’ve been packing things up like a maniac. I now have two brand new wine bottles with corks and NO tools to open them. None. Where are they? They are in boxes, buried under other boxes, taped up and stacked in the garage. Because I’m organized like that. Um, wasn’t expecting to buy wine I guess. Oh well. I’ll improvise. Yeah – that didn’t work out so well. Apparently I am not very talented at getting a cork out of a wine bottle with a knife. Oh but wait, my full blooded Italian neighbor is the cook of all cooks and surely she can help this clumsy mama. Out I go – knock on her door – she answers and looks at me holding a bottle with the mangled cork. She laughs. No words were spoken as she was on the phone speaking Italian, she just took the wine from me and got the thing out with an awesome corkscrew. No chance to get that mangled cork back into the bottle though. Oh dear, guess we’ll just have to drink it all up. NO worries, no waste in my house.
Fast forward … the meals turned out just fine. Sometimes ya just gotta wing it. And even though I have been juggling one bamboozled mess after another these last weeks; I will not become unglued over the uncorking of the wrong red wine.
As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady