Gim and I, we love to cook. Well, really, the truth is that Gim loves to cook for me and I love to eat what he cooks. (Over the span of only 3 years, he has developed the man’s intuition for what the woman wants for dinner.) That’s really the secret of a strong relationship. Food.
If in some terrible tragedy, Asia would suddenly lose all of its rice crops and there was not the slightest possibility that rice could be revived, potatoes would be the next big thing. (Look at the Americans, isn’t their favorite food-related inquiry the famous, “Want fries with that?”)
Damn, but I love potatoes. Fried, boiled, steamed, burned, mashed, diced, quartered, pounded, bashed, crushed, stepped on, just kill it, I’ll eat it!!! And Gim, my darling Gim, he can incorporate it into any dish in any way. So, anyway, a few days ago, I was craving for potatoes. It had been a long day (the ending at 9PM kind) and all I wanted was some cheap fries. (We could really have just bought a batch of Jollibee fries at P40 but for that amount I could make 4 more batches at home.) So, Gim and I went hunting. Remember, it was 9PM. And in Zamboanga, that’s a late time.
We must have walked the entire length of Gov. Alvarez St. (newly named Buena Vista St.) just to look for potatoes. We rapped on all the closing doors of all the little stores and carenderias we could find, only to be told that they had already hidden their goods under their beds and that there was no way, short of a national emergency, to retrieve them to sell to two poor, hungry souls on the street past dinner time. There were some times Gim and I were forced to blurt out, “We’re gonna pay for them, you know!” We were starting to think maybe the reason they didn’t want to show us their potatoes was that because we looked like beggars foraging for food, only we were in polos and slacks, but I guess we looked so physically ravaged they thought we were financially destitute as well.
But alas, no luck. We even tried some of the grocery-style stores, you know, the glorified carenderias. In our desperation, we even tried to ask some appliance stores whether or not they sold vegetables. They didn’t. They were so rude, too, staring at us as if we had grown two extra heads on our shoulders each. Hey, we were hungry!
OK, by now you’re probably wondering why we didn’t just head to the nearest Bagsakan (night market) and go get our potatoes there instead of bothering sleepy retailers at their homes. Well, the simple answer is, we weren’t that hungry.
Anyways, we went home tired and hungry that night. And since I was so disappointed that there were no potatoes to be found, I dejectedly lay on the bed for an hour staring at the ceiling in the hopes that potatoes would miraculously appear before my very eyes. Thankfully, my Gimmi wasn’t the unproductive kind. After my one-hour meditation, he gave me Chili con Carne for dinner. He had found some tomatoes, some chili and lots of ground beef in our refrigerator and did some magic with those ingredients to produce a very tasty meal. But it would have been better with potatoes.
So, yesterday, I went to the supermarket really early and splurged a hundred pesos on potatoes. Plus P50 for white onions, another favorite. And I bought some canned goods and some eggs and whipped myself and Gimmi up a great junk food dinner — corned beef with potatoes and onions, scrambled eggs with onions, tuna with onions and lots and lots of deep fried and salted potato slices.
Ahhh… until the next time I eat potatoes.