Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Relish Rally

I picked Rosa up early this morning so we could go shopping up at the farmer's market. Rosa was looking divine wearing one of the shirts I had bought for her a few months ago down at the mall. You wouldn't recognize her from the photo I put on the blog of her in her t-shirt and that ubiquitous baseball cap.

My mission this morning was to make my grandmother's spicy tomato relish I always loved as a child. She always served it over what she called fried corn which was basically creamed corn cooked until thick in a large cast iron skillet. The recipe called for hot peppers, cider vinegar, fresh tomatoes, and sugar. I already had the cider vinegar and sugar, but needed fresh, garden grown tomatoes and peppers which I picked up at the farmer's market. Rosa bought some fresh okra and tomatoes with which she was going to make a succotash for our supper.

We finished our shopping and then headed out for breakfast in my car as I drummed up a conversation.

"Dad told me yesterday that he hired a lady to come cook, clean, and do my laundry," I told Rosa.

"You spoiled little shit," Rosa said. "It must be nice having a wealthy father."

"I protested," I replied. "It is going to be weird having a lady in my house all day and having a key to the house as well. I told dad it was really going to work on my social anxieties."

"You must be almost moved then," Rosa then said.

"Jimmy James finished my back steps yesterday," I replied. "That was the last thing we had to do and my last obstacle. I will do the last bit of moving this weekend with Charlie's help."

I've been thinking of asking Rosa to be my roommate. I am going to have a total of three beds in the house. I just don't know what my father will say. He probably wouldn't know for months anyway. Annabel, my blogging buddy, is also coming up from Texas to visit and I want to wait until after that to ask Rosa. On both I and Rosa's income, we could live a very comfortable life with no rent or car payment with our only household expenses being groceries and utilities. I will continue to mull over this for some more weeks to come. I have the pleasure of time.

I and Rosa then ate a quick sausage biscuit with mustard at McDonald's and I took her home. She wanted to go back to sleep some more. She promised me a rendezvous down at the shopping center later as we will lazily talk and smoke our favorite cigarillos. Well, let me get in the kitchen and experiment until I can recreate my grandmother's tomato relish recipe. I have a couple of cans of creamed corn begging to be cooked and then topped with that delicious condiment of my youth. Good day.


Barb said...

I want to start off, and apologize about going on and on, about you and Rosa starting a relationship. I went back in your blogs, and read about your wishes and thoughts, and discerned that you were not interested in having a relationship with anyone at this time in your life. I feel like a "hopeless romantic", mentioning more then once a desire to hear that you and Rosa have desire to kindle a relationship. And for that, I am sorry. Both of you are wonderful friends, something we only are blessed with, not wanting to ruin.

Thank you for your honesty and humility that you share with us everyday. It is a gift!!!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I think you should ask Rosa about moving in with you. You both seem to need each other. You have that kind of friendship relationship. I think it would do you both good. I have made some relish this week too. Can't wait to put mine on top of some fresh purple hull peas,though.
Have a good one.

Melanie said...

Hi Andrew, sorry I haven't said much lately, I do still read and enjoy your blogs. (my own brain has been wonky lately, telling me that i have nothing useful to say to anyone)

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you are giving yourself the luxury of time to mull over the roommate thing. It can be amazingly difficult to live with another person, especially when one or the other has expectations or desires that are not mutual. It's wonderful that you can bide your time in weighing the pros and cons.

I can see your point about the housekeeper, as well. I used to run a maid service along with my mother when I was a teenager, and as such I don't really mind the idea of someone coming in to clean my house once a week or so. (although I can't afford it!) But my husband would feel the same way. He just finds it creepy, having some stranger coming into your house and cleaning up your muck. To me, it's similar to my time spent working in the medical field. People get really weird about having to get naked in front of medical professionals, but just like housekeepers, they see it all day long and it's really no big deal to them. They don't read as much into that stuffed trash bag in the bathroom or that little roll of fat over your belt as you might think. ;)



Glenda J said...

Love the new header!!!

I agree about getting a roomate. Rosa is a great gal but I know she wants a more physical relationship. That could be a real stress that could ruin your relationship.

Congrats on your new house (and housekeeper--most are a godsend.)

PipeTobacco said...


If I were to offer advice, my advice would be to wait and NOT even mention the possibility of having Rosa move in at this time. Even though Rosa seems quite wonderful, her moving in could create a huge number of changes in a time that will already be hectic. Just a few examples:

1. You are moving to a new location, which will be stressful even though you have been planning this for a long time.

2. You are generally more comfortable having the option to EASILY be alone when you wish to be. This is less likely with a friend/roomate.

3. Your father... I suspect he will be on "high alert" mode for several months after the move occurs... as he tries to keep control over everything in your life from the more distant home (your new home). This means, I suspect he will be in-and-out, and all about your place daily if not several times each day looking for any "signs" of your not following HIS plan for you. Adding Rosa at the moment will surely set him into a frenzy.

4. Having a new person already being added (a cook/housekeeper) is already going to be challenging. Let yourself have time to get used to that presence (if you really want the maid).

5. Letting Rosa move in is something that would alter both of your lives immeasurably. She would get rid of her place, which would make it difficult to reverse the situation if it does not work out well.

Those are just a few things to think about. Obviously, Rosa is wonderful, and you two are enormous friends. But as you are suggesting in your writing, WAITING is (in my opinion) the best response at this time. Perhaps in 6-8 months or a year, you will have settled into your new routine enough to better assess this possibility. Then... if it feels good to you, it might be worth considering.

Just my opinion, though, sir. If you disagree, that is perfectly ok.


Eric Valentine said...

I agree whole heartedly Pipe, having lived that years ago.

I believe that just the the experience alone of the "maid" will prove hair raising enough.
Remember Andrew, "he who drives, has control?"
Total independance itself is priceless and not always easy to come by, for even 'Neptune' could not hold back the tide. :)

Rion said...

Your writing brings me right along with you. I have enjoyed discovering your work.

Michael Young said...

I have stopped by your blog a few times now, always finding it enjoyable and certainly one of the better ones out there. Just wanted you to know that.

unKnown said...

Long time reader. Just saying "hi". I understand everyone wanting to give advice, but only you can decide for you.

Take it easy.

Annabel said...

I agree with Pipe that you should give it more time. It's hard to have that alone time when you need it. I am looking forward to the trip very much and I can't wait!


mr 4th ave, once again, I agree with Mr. Pipe..

Thank you very much for causing my mouth to dismiss the plate of spiderman macaroni and cheese and hotdogs placed out for my boys lunchtime..compared to your fabulous recipes..I tell you, you should really publish a book on your southern food.
DELICIOUS! I'm hungry now. :)

CollegeGirl said...

I'm constantly on the lookout for interesting blogs, and it just so happens I have stumbled across your twice in two days. It's very interesting!

LAB said...

Isn't funny the things that we remember from our childhood. My grandmother used to make the best spanish rice. She did it in a crockpot so the rice was just right and the seasonings were always well mixed. She went to her deathbed with that recipe or if she gave it to someone I don't know about it.

Anyway, enjoy your relish...and let us know how it turned out.

barefoot 303 said...

Andrew, i would heed the advise from some of the elders on you comments.
I also think that adding the maid is going to be enough stress for a while, that you should take a bit to get used ot that. A roomate might be too much stress on you, and having rosa, herself move in might be too heartbreaking for her and give you more to worry about.
Just take the time and think it over.


Mr. 4th ave-
Okay, I've come back to read this 3x just to have my mouth water with the tomato relish description. If your camera worked, you could include pics of the delicious masterpieces that you create!!
Now Please if I may excuse myself while I go peruse my kitchen pantry with something delicious to cook for supper besides the "easy stuff." (Don't know how I'll top your talent!! :))
Hope the T.R. turned out good!!

Ortho said...

Hi Andrew! Blogger directed me toward your blog. I enjoy reading your posts.

If you think it's right, I think you should ask Rosa to be your roommate.

C. R. Morris said...

Cleaning lady. Ack... no.. not in my house. I would feel like I could never be myself. I would also clean up before the cleaning lady came over so why bother.

VA Friend said...

My grandmother had a tomato relish recipe too. Her's called for tomatoes, green peppers, vinegar, sugar, etc. We called it "chili sauce". It was sweet and vinegar-y and boy was it yummy with pork chops!! That was the only way I could eat them as a kid. My boss makes a great zucchini relish that actually tastes similar to my grandmother's chili sauce. I will be making some when my tomatoes come in from my garden.

abbagirl74 said...

I love the farmer's market. You can find all kinds of stuff there. I am going to be able to meet Annabel this coming week. It's going to be so much fun. I can't wait. Too bad we can't all get together. I would love to meet some of the gang one day. Well, and especially you, of course.

Sword Inc said...

Hey, I would say that you propose to Rosa on a bended knee. Rosa will you move in with me and be my House mate.

justLacey said...

Well, the one good thing about everyones opinion is it may point out things you haven't thought of yet. In the end though, it is your decision. There are good and bad sides to every choice and in the end we are the ones who live with our choices and whatever they bring. I hope you can enjoy your knew home and make it a place you feel comfortable and a safe haven.

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

Those are serious issues and tought decisions. Condifer them very carefully. Good luck with the decision.