Cheese Curd Panic

I have officially acclimated to life on the northern plains. Here’s proof:

It was snowing and the temperature was hovering around freezing, so I raised my windshield wipers when I pulled into the parking lot at work today. Raising my wipers to prevent the blades from freezing to the windshield never even crossed my mind when I lived in the PNW. Even the first couple of years out here, I rarely remembered to do so…and mangled a blade more than once turning them on.

The signs that I’m assimilating to the Midwest have been around for a while, I guess. They were subtle at first: I developed an affinity for Culver’s and started measuring distance in time rather than miles (“work is 10 minutes away, Wall’s an hour east”). But it really hit home the other day when I opened the fridge and was dismayed to find we’d run out of cheese curds. “Oh, jeeze!” I declared. “No curds left. Guess a trip to the grocery store is in order.”

“Ope! No curds left, for Pete’s sake!”

I’m not totally there yet. I didn’t end that last sentence with “don’tcha know”; I’ve never been to a fish fry on Friday; and I don’t call traffic signals “stop-and-go lights.”

Give me another few years, however, and I make no promises.

When we had Christmas-light Kelly and her husband “Big Daddy”Joe over for dinner last Friday, Tara did something that confused me. She’d made macaroni salad and, when it came time to eat, took the plastic container out of the fridge and proceeded to reach for a Pyrex serving bowl.

“What are you doing, babe?” I wondered out loud.
“Serving the macaroni salad,” she replied.
“Why are you putting it in a new bowl?”
“This is a serving bowl.”
“Can’t you just serve it out of the container it’s already in?”
“That’s not a serving bowl.”
“But if you’re serving food out of it, doesn’t it become a serving bowl?”

At this point Christmas-light Kelly interjected. “Sometimes we like to use our fancy serving ware,” she said, coming to Tara’s defense.

I’m not sure who this “we” is that CLK was referring to, but I’ll tell you who it isn’t: me. Why dirty a second bowl when you’ve got a perfectly serviceable one all ready to go? Just stick a spoon in there and pass it around! I guess the issue is that it was plastic, and therefore, not as…pretty? I’ll take functionality and fewer dishes to wash any day of the week!

I have a hunch Big Daddy agrees, too.

I stopped by Ye Olde Publishing Company on my lunch hour yesterday to pick up the spring issue of their parenting magazine. This is the one where both Tara and I contributed articles. Gotta admit, it’s pretty cool to see my wife’s name in print, right there on page 20. She acts like it’s not a big deal, but I think she is secretly thrilled. She’s just afraid I’ll use the fact that she’s now got a published article as leverage to get her to start blogging again. I would never do that!

I’ve actually already been dropping hints for years, reminding her that we never would have met if not for blogging, and how much less wonderful would our lives have been without each other?!

I’m like a Jewish mother when it comes to laying down guilt trips.

Not that I expect Tara to actually dust off her blog (yes, she’s got one) again, but Ashley at YOPC did say we both have open invitations to contribute to future issues. Perhaps little by little I can chip away at her defenses and finally get her to cave in. 

I mean, you’d read a Tara-penned blog post, right?

23 thoughts on “Cheese Curd Panic

  1. That is a first Mark, about raising the windshield wipers. I would think they could bend from the weight of snow and ice? Cheese curds are big in Canada, yet I have never tried them. My husband will order poutine. I am interested to read the articles you and Tara contributed. And, my vote is yes, I would read a Tara-penned blog post. I am always curious about people, and partners and family dynamics. And, possibly procrastinating on all of the chores around here…..cheese curds not high on the list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s the deal with cheese curds: we had them in Oregon, too. But they were…umm…not good out there. Hard and squeaky. Midwest cheese curds, by contrast, are soft and creamy. They’re completely different (and a whole lot better). Go figure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would LOVE to read a Tara-penned blog post about how you two met through blogging. Perhaps she could wet her feet by writing it as a guest post on YOUR blog. Eh? Eh? Brilliant, no?? You’ve already got all these devoted fans who would be ready to fawn all over her. That would help, rather than dusting off a quiet ghost town of a blog. Hmmmm???

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I will, of course, accept credit in the form of either a direct shout out or one pass on the Sydney/CM exchange. It’s not on sale this week. I need more time. I only splurge when there’s a sale. Of course, I don’t recall seeing a new Sydney pic yet anyway…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How bizarre that not all of your comments show up in my comment thread. Because you forced me to go back and check that last post, not only did I miss Sydney blending in there a bit (I think I was too immediately and quickly drawn to the flamingo. I may have missed that other pic entirely), but I’m also only now seeing your Chrissie Hynde comment! (Also, holy cow. I’m impressed I remembered her name! Though you did the hard work with the last name.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m totally ready for a Tara blog, you know… just so I can fact check yours.
    As for cheese curds, blech. They’re popular up this way due to our proximity to Canada. Poutine is now available at our local pub. That’s just wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve only had poutine once or twice because it’s not a big thing on the west coast, but how can you go wrong with french fries and cheese curds and gravy? Those are the three basic food groups right there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wait, you mean everybody doesn’t measure distances in time? I’ve never done the wiper thing, but I see it a lot. I have been to plenty of Friday night fish frys at churches during Lent. It’s definitely a thing here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I lived in Washington and people asked how far it was to the coast, I’d say, 100 miles. If somebody asks me how close we are to the Badlands here, I’ll say, an hour and 15 minutes. It’s a subtle difference and I’m not even sure when I started doing that…it just kind of happened.


  5. As a lifelong midwesterner I don’t like cheese curds. Of course I’m an *eastern* midwesterner, so what do you expect? I see the wiper thing but have yet to adopt that behavior. Maybe I’m less midwesterner than I think I am.

    Yes to Tara writing a post. That’d be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just read a blog post today from someone who hasn’t blogged in two years, so the return of the prodigal blogger does happen.

    I’m with Tara on this one. Plastic bowls are fine if you’re on a picnic or standing over the sink shoveling food in the way all the health/weight loss experts tell you not to do, but when you’re having guests and you’re eating inside, you bring out the nicer stuff. Honestly Mark, between Plasticgate and reporting distance in miles, I feel like I hardly know who you are anymore! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have solved the horrible storage container v fine china dilemma by ordering outrageously expensive, amazingly strong, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, every day designer china from New York City. Srsly.

    Good God, I read you and I fall back into my Iowa sensibilities..which in honor of the same, we are having an ‘Iowa salad’ which is a decidedly Midwestern dish of Jello (pick a color/flavor for your theme), Marshmallows, Cool-Whip, canned fruit, maybe nuts if you’re fancy…you live in the high plains now, you know exactly what this dish is… sometimes it has cottage cheese in it. Where was I are throwing me into a Midwestern frame of mind.

    Does Rapid City still have a newspaper? You should see if they’ll take your blog as a column. It would have done well in the Iowa we left in the great brain drain of the late 80s to early 90s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A potluck in the Midwest wouldn’t be a potluck in the Midwest without a Jello salad!

      Rapid City does have a newspaper. Not sure if they’d be interested in my blog, but I will take your words as a compliment. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

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