Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Banking Rules

I was standing in line at the bank and
the fellow in front of me was humming. The
line was long and slow, and after a while
the humming began to irritate me. I said to
the fellow, "Excuse me, would you mind not
humming." And he said, "Was I humming?
I'm sorry, I didn't realize it." And he went
right on humming. I said, "Sir, you're
humming again." "Me, humming?" he said.
"I don't think so." And then he went on
humming. I was about to blow my lid. Instead,
I went to find the manager. I said, "See
that man over there in the blue suit?" "Yes,"
he said, "what about him?" "He won't stop
humming," I said, "I've asked him politely
several times, but he won't stop." "There's
no crime in humming," he said. I went back
and took my place in line. I listened, but
there was nothing coming out of him. I said,
"Are you okay, pal?" He looked mildly peeved,
and gave me no reply. I felt myself shrinking.
The manager of the bank walked briskly up
to me and said, "Sir, are you aware of the
fact that you're shrinking?" I said I was.
And he said, "I'm afraid we don't allow that
kind of behavior in this bank. I have to ask
you to leave." The air was whistling out
of me, I was almost gone.

by James Tate from Return to the City of White Donkeys

Ginger-Mango Salsa

This was inspired by a salsa I had at my dear friend's recent wedding. The salsa pairs well with chips, pork, chicken, or firm white fish.

2 large, ripe champagne mangoes (the smaller more lima bean shaped ones), peeled, flesh cut from pit into 1/4 inch dice (1 3/4 to 2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 – 3 tablespoons lime juice , from 1 to 2 limes
2 teaspoons minced ginger (from about a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger)
kosher salt salt
cayenne pepper
In medium bowl, toss together mango, onion, 2 tablespoons lime juice, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne; let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 15 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with additional lime juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve.

***The word salsa is derived from the Latin salsa ("salty"), from sal ("salt"). Saline and salad are also related words. Mexican salsas have traditionally been produced using the mortar and pestle-like molcajete, although blenders are now more commonly used.
** Most salsas sold in the U.S are forms of salsa cruda or pico de gallo, but to increase their shelf life, have been cooked and have vinegar added.
* The dollar amount of salsa sales in the U.S. has overtaken those of ketchup. This may be attributed to the fact that fresh salsas (ones that must be refrigerated) spoil faster than other condiments, and may be purchased more often than condiments with longer shelf lives.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Today is Tax Day. The federal income tax has been in effect since Congress ratified the 16th Amendment in 1913. Basically, all that means is that each year, when April comes around like a big brown paper bag full of doody, I just want to stab myself in the eye with a dull pencil until my tax return arrives. I wish I could order up a glass of toxic assets like so much milk and just laugh until they squirted out my nose and my mutual funds recovered from the havoc that the economy has wreaked upon all of us. This whole situation is really a laugh. I liken it to a bunch of kids playing Dungeons and Dragons - except instead of sci-fi fantasy nerds, they are numbers dorks and con artists and they're making big bucks doing number wizardry. But instead of laughing at these money hungry wizards - we all bought into it. All I really need to know about money is what I learned in grade school - don't trust people who have fun playing make-believe games or at least don't eat lunch in the same area and don't join in.