Living Retired – ‘NO PHO FOR ME!’
Living Retired: ‘NO PHO FOR ME’
The one constant throughout our year of Covid Couple Confinement is change.
We have changed to working from home, wearing face masks when we leave the house, and identifying our friends from each other on Zoom by using the nostril recognition technique!
One thing I have changed are my pants – at least twice a day because of big blotches of liquid hand sanitizer dripping down the pant legs!
A change Jan and I have made is our grocery shopping routine. Here is what I mean…
Back in the pre-Covid days – when couples hadn’t reached the breaking point from spending so damn much time together! – when you opened the kitchen cupboard for Rice Krispies a box was always there. When you needed more Rice Krispies someone added it to the grocery list. It was easy-peezy.
But since Covid-19, Jan and I tag team our weekly grocery shopping – which means what Jan does is right; and what I do is often a disaster…
“Gary I put avocadoes on the grocery list, but why did you buy enough to make guacamole for the entire 2,000 Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants? What on earth were you thinking?”
“Jan what do you expect? I was shopping at Costco. Wait until you see the deal I got on tortilla chips! You may want to arrange for a tractor trailer storage container to be parked in our driveway. I’m just saying.”
“Gary, I would rather not ‘taco-bout’ it.”
During Covid, our new normal for procuring provisions means the Chalk’s chat…
Jan pours wine and we discuss what we want to eat for the upcoming week. Jan’s job is to jot – mapping meals for the week on paper. I scribble out the grocery list. Sounds simple…
“Gary for meatless Monday what would you enjoy most: chickpea curry seasoned with toasted sunflower seeds, or tofu meatballs.” It’s your choice.”
“Jan, lets skip to Tuesday.”
“Okay for Tuesdays dinner lets make vegan pho. Add to your grocery list some Samyang halal-certified rice noodles, mung bean sprouts or adzuki bean sprouts – its your choice – and pickup some lemon grass, and star anise. We will have plenty of pho for leftovers on Wednesday.”
“Jan, no pho for me.”
“Why no pho for you?”
“Jan I find pho so-so.”
“Oh ‘pho heaven sake’ Gary just pour Franks Hot Sauce overtop and your pho will be fine.”
I wrote pho rice noodles, bean sprouts, lemon grass, and star anise on my grocery list, along with a LARGE bottle of Franks Hot Sauce.
“Gary for Wednesday lets make a recipe I found the other day for baked ziti served over wilted baby spinach.”
“Jan what on earth is ziti? Ziti sounds zany!”
‘Ziti is straw-shaped pasta. It is low fat, low sugar, and low sodium. It is good for you Gary.”
“Sounds ‘pre-pasta-rous’ to me.”
Eventually, we work out the weeks worth of meals. Now it is time for me to get the groceries.
At the grocery store entrance, I squirt a gallon of hand sanitizer down my pant legs – and managed to get some on my hands. I was greeted by the Customer Service Counter clerk, “Hi, I’m Fred.”
“Fred, I need to find pho.”
First, Fred searched in the flyer, no luck. Finally, Fred found pho. “Go past florals and you’ll find figs, fennel, and fiddleheads. If you get to fava beans you’ve gone too far.”
Driving home Jan phoned about the pho, “You got it right?”
“Jan, WHOA! You know all this all this talk about pho is a no-go!”
I can’t get this friggin’ pho from my mind, so I turned the radio on. They’re playing ‘Un-pho-gettable’ by Nat King Cole.
OMG! Someone, anyone. Is this ‘pho-nomena’ pho real?”