I know, I know, it’s very nondescript. Look, I didn’t have any fucking chives, okay? Get off my back.

I think I’ve finally found the source of all my mental health woes: Food-related blog events. Who knows how many people have been rendered incapacitated by the Daring Bakers or Tuesdays With Dorie? We’ll never know, because they will never tell their stoic tales of woe because food blog events are FUN, goddamnit, and no one wants to hear about the emotional pain they can cause. FUN, d’ya hear me?

I say this because nearly everytime I, personally, try to host a food blog event at TNS, I inevitably become an emotional wreck and am barely able to participate in my own event.  Often it’s a flare-up of my own mental health issues, but it doesn’t help that my events are usually held the first week of the month, and both of my parents had to go and inconventiently die in the first week of the respective months and years of their deaths.

Piss on that.

So this time around it’s the anniversary of my dad’s – the fourth.  I was pretty much a no-fun-nick all day.  Also there may have been crying.  Is it corny to say that my dad was my best friend? Fuck it if it is, because he was.

Luckily I have Brian who steps in to fill in the gaps in these situations.  I had plans for something much more exciting than this, but after a sad, snowy day, a big steamy bowl of tortellini soup and some salad.  Because stock is cheap, tortillini are cheap (the cheap-o ones in the big bag in the freezer section are always better than the fancy ones), salad is cheap, and if you don’t have oil and vinegar for dressing in your pantry then I really can’t help you and you should probably just go.

The stock was the fancified version of stock-in-a-box that the the public radio ladies, bless their little hearts, taught me how to make.  It requires a single canned tomato, which is slightly irritating, but critical.  Seriously, a single canned tomato will umami-fy a whole box of Swanson’s.

Genius.  I love public radio.  Maybe one day, I’ll finally get around to giving them the money I keep thinking I should give them.  I could use a new tote bag.

He also made a simple tossed salad.  Here it is. There’s really nothing I can do to make it more exciting for you.

I can offer you a useful tip I learned from my dad: If you’re ever at a busy restaurant waiting for a table and are getting tired of standing around, pick one table and stare at them ceaselessly and intently.  They will leave sooner rather than later, greatly increasing your chances of getting a seat.  It’s helpful if the party being stared at is the same size as the party doing the staring.  If possible, all members of your party should engage in the staring.  Try very hard not to laugh, or it will disrupt the process.

Other valuable life lessons:  Cheez-its are a food group unto themselves.  If at first your don’t succeed, make yourself a giant pest until you get what you want.  Drive fast or don’t drive at all, but don’t be one of those assholes who weaves in and out.*  Also, it is perfectly acceptable to get three sheets to the wind and pass out by the garbage cans in front of your house during your 50th birthday party as long as you’ve sent your 6-year-old daughter to the neighbors as a precautionary measure.

In other words, live a little.  These are the things I will pass on, should I ever have children of my own.  I don’t know if it will help them or scar them, but they need to know their heritage.

*You know who you are.

And then there was soup, and Brian.  And although it’s close, it’s not quite enough.