Last Monday a new student told me that the reason why I couldn't remember the Spanish word for band-aid was because I didn't want to acknowledge my wound. She is a psychoanalyst and apparently thought that I was asking her opinion when I was really just trying to tell her that we all struggle with learning a new language and we have to be patient and thoughtful about the process.
If only the analysis had stopped there. Very much in keeping with the tone set by the giant Freud calendar adorning the office wall, she proceeded to tell me that my inability to acknowledge my wound stemmed from (I think you know where this is going) my deeply held penis envy. YUCK! And she used a dirty word in Spanish to tell me this (she would not speak in English.) When I told the story to the language academy director he said "that is something out of a Woody Allen movie." Only it was worse because I couldn't just start to laugh as she made lewd gestures and explained to me that Freud really got it right about women, that we never take responsibility for our short comings. This unsolicited journey into my soul came after the reading of her new poem about the solitude of death and just before she looked at her watch and said "time's up!" Things can be rough for an itinerant English teacher.
So, food. Well, I ate a lot of tuna sandwiches this week. And some sub par pizza and some dreadful Mexican food (if you are in Granada, do not, I repeat, do not eat the tacos.) The week's highlights included some really great pears and many, many clementines. Pears are one of the new foods I have discovered. I say new because I am a recovering picky eater. Pears along with pretty much everything green including avocados (and the vast majority of foods of almost all colors) were once on the no-fly list. I once accidentally ate a pear in a fruit salad at a potluck and became moderately famous in certain circles as the girl who shouted "what the hell is wrong with this apple?"
As a recovering picky eater, certain foods provoke a kind of "where have you been all my life" epiphany. The sweet, earthy and slightly grainy texture of a Comice or Bartlett very much fit into that category. While foods like pears, squash, mayonnaise and beets are recent additions, there are other foods like anchovies, anchovy stuffed olives and blue cheese that are still touch and go. Since I first realized about 10 years ago that being a dry hamburger eater was really quite boring, I have been steadily adding new foods arsenal. The process is pretty strait forward. I pick a food I "don't like" and decide to like it. It mostly works. Except int he case of blue cheese. I still think it is one of the grottiest things I can possibly imagine ingesting. Hopefully though in a few years' time, that designation will go the way of the "funny tasting apple."
These little bad boys are anchovy explosions on a stick. Made by Alvaro, the much beloved photographer of allkindsofdelicious.blogspot.com, they are sure to cure anyone of an aversion to anchovies or further cement one's fears about their salty, fishy dubiousness. The technique is simple. You get a bunch of olives (preferably stuffed with anchovies) a jar of brined green chilies, a nice container of anchovy fillets and you push one of each onto a toothpick. Yum! Or, Yuck! Who says women don't acknowledge their own weaknesses?