Today I am disappointed to say that my brioche, goat cheese, and quail egg topped wonder sandwich will not be occurring. I’ve discovered that is incredibly difficult to be a culinary mastermind while living in suburbia hell. Don’t get me wrong, suburbia hell is great for other things… all the houses look the same, every road ends in a col-da-sac, and there are roughly 4 Walgreens within 5 miles. But try to find gourmet ingredients for a killer meal, and you’re totally screwed.
For what it’s worth, I retract my previous statement of “you can get quail eggs at Wegmans, who knew?!”…. You cannot. After this sad realization the wild goose, ok… quail, hunt began! Bless my poor, yet very patient husband. You also can’t get them at Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, or the local farmer’s markets. At least not in Northern VA. For what it’s worth, you also won’t find Brioche. It’s apparently a “holiday” item.
I now know how Julia Child must have felt when surrounded by a world of Tuna Noodle Casseroles and Jello Molds. I’m reading Dearie and I can relate, because she talks about so many challenges that she faced in those times, along with everyone thinking she was a total nut. She was tired of the ho-hum, and she loved food! Me too, Julia, me too… and while we don’t have tuna noodle casseroles today like they did in the 60’s, we do have pre-made EVERYTHING. I can walk into my local store and get 4 different types of meatloaf, already made, or a rotisserie chicken with mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, or collard greens…. but I’ll be damned if I can get some quail eggs. I wonder how many times Julia was looked at like she had 3 heads. The lady at Wegman’s bakery was like “this hallah bread will be a good stand in for french toast” UM, I never said I was making french toast. I tried to explain my masterfully planned dish, and she just said “oh.” Sigh.
It’s like that strange scene they do in movies where the world is moving around you, and you’re standing still like no one can see you or understand you. I stood clutching my empty shopping basket in the middle of Wegmans, feeling rather disappointed at the whole situation. All around me were shopping carts full of modern convenience. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs “STOP THE INSANITY!!!” but, I figured that would cause a scene. Plus, I’ll admit- some of those things are in my kitchen for days when I just don’t feel like it, or want something really quick, or want to pack one of those items for my lunch. But it makes me sad that food, dinner in particular, is no longer an experience. How did we come to this? When did the go..go…go… suddenly mean that dinner as something special is gone..gone..gone. It’s hard- I get it, and it’s true for us too. The go, go go, takes it’s tole. During the week, dinner is quick- a planned out weekly menu made on Sunday, pre-prepped and ready to roll. Usually something homemade and with love, with great flavor, and variety of colors on the plate… but quick. (I’m Jennifer Stump, and I make 30 minute meals! I even sound like RR this week with my sexy, raspy voice.) Weekends are different though- weekends, I try to make an experience where we can sit, relax, talk, and enjoy our time while enjoying a great meal. Our weekend days revolve around the food. I feel very misunderstood in this modern world of hectic schedules and zero time.
The cheese stands alone. (mostly because, that was the only ingredient I could find- HA!)