In the month or two before I left, we were consuming copious amounts of Frank’s Red Hot sauce (it’s hcg diet compatible).
While we were dating, I think that my wife was surprised to learn that when I said I was cooking chicken and vegetables for dinner, I was cooking chicken, cooking vegetables, and then putting them on a plate and eating them (no, we’re not skipping any steps here); having been placed in a small aparthotel (I hate the word, but the French seem to dig the portmanteau, and it is, sadly, a very accurate and efficient description) with a kitchen that’s smaller than our guest bathroom back in Houston (the fridge is basically a stainless steel version of the dorm fridges that seemed to merit so much envy when living on campus in college), I have reverted to my bacheloresque cooking habits (actual reason: I’m lazy). Which is to say, I cook some chicken, cut up and briefly boil some broccoli, dump it on a plate, and if I’m feeling particularly Master-Chef-worthy, I have a little cheese on the side too.
At three weeks in, I am still alive, so I’m inclined to declare the plan a success. There shouldn’t be any reason to mess with success, except for the fact that I would punch a baby (not too hard, but, yeah) to get my hands on some Frank’s.
The grocery store down the street has, to my spoiled American eyes, a selection commensurate with the Quick-E-Mart (actually a weird Circle-K knockoff) back home. This is, however, a neighborhood grocer, so it’s probably what I’m stuck with unless I want to go to the huge Auchan in the mall (I looked at the Auchan in the mall. I don’t want to go there). Like all good (or hell, even bad) grocers, this store has an “ethnic” aisle helpfully labeled “l’ethnique.” The contents of the aisle are, to say the least, entertaining, as it should really be called the “hello American dumbass with your crappy food” aisle; there are salad dressings (Wishbone, if anybody cares), various Kikkoman sauces, cans of tuna, and an entire section, floor to top shelf, of Old El Paso taco kits. And Skippy, thank god, crunchy Skippy (Lunch is a PBJ or PB honey. Deal with it.). As deeply amusing as I find the huge selection of Old El Paso, and as relieved as I am that they have Skippy (though at the equivalent of $7 per 12 oz jar), they do not have Frank’s. They have (and I bought) Tabasco sauce (in the French sauces aisle, which came as a bit of a surprise), but Tabasco is a poor substitute; it’s mainly heat, and what little flavor it adds is of the ass variety.
Such is life, I suppose, but I suppose I could try that frighteningly large Auchan…