Thursday, August 30, 2007

Omens and Restaurant Biodiversity

Today I had my first taste of what S___ will be like when she's pregnant and this means that we will have to spend those fruitful 9 months in a major metropolitan area, because she's capable of really exacting cravings from time to time. Last night, it was bastilla, which is a Moroccan dish made of multiple layers of a phyllo-like dough wrapped around a filling, topped with cinnamon, and baked. Traditionally it's filled with pidgeon and pistachios.

She related this craving to me around 9:30 last night, with the only three (3!) Moroccan restaurants in town closing at 10 and damned if I didn't let her down by pointing out that I just couldn't make it happen. Tonight, though, I ordered a carry-out bastilla and biked over to pick it up. On the way home, my bastilla bungee-corded to the back of my bike, I considered what would have happened if we lived in an area with a lack of Moroccan restaurants. I would be out in the parking lot of some bland suburban townhome tract, with a dress shirt clutched as a net and my trusty meat-mallet, stalking the wild pidgeons while the phyllo got wet enough to stretch.

I get cravings, too, but they're normally for the bad stuff I'm trying to cut back on. Wendy's value meal cheeseburgers dipped in ketchup. Mexican wedding cookies. Anything with high fructose corn syrup. All fairly easy to obtain, as opposed to S___'s now-and-then craving for the Cheesecake Factory. There's only one of those every hundred miles or so and I bet that's mainly along the coasts. When she's pregnant (decades from now) we can't be out in some goat cheese farm in Oregon or installing drip irrigation in Oman and I can't make Cheesecake Factory food at home. We just don't have that amount of butter in one place and we buy ours at Costco.

It's actually refreshing to know that when it's time for the chilluns to come, we'll have to clamp down on the wanderlust and start nesting, like we're birds finding a tree that's close to water and acres of unique and culinarily distinct seeds.