August 10th, 2006


Smelly morning.

By 8:45 this morning I had already finished getting sealants at the dentist and going to Byerly's. Sealants are the best idea in dentistry, as far as I'm concerned: paint something on my teeth now, and they don't get cavities later? Yah, okay. It's a particularly good idea because I have deep molars. (A lot of guys say that about me, that Mris, she's a girl with really...deep molars. I also have really big lungs. Men notice that kind of thing. They discuss it in locker rooms etc. "That is a girl with a really healthy set of alveoli," and so on.) The sealants, despite their other advantages, left my mouth tasting like Home Depot. When I mentioned this to the hygienist, her eyes went big. "It does! That's just exactly what it smells like!" I get this a lot. I articulate what something smells like, and people either treat me like a raving loon or else they act like I have come forth with a profound revelation. (Well, I am deep. In the molars, at least.)

And in addition to smelling slightly of Home Depot and slightly of otherwise-dentist and somewhat more strongly of Byerly's, I smell like a stranger is following me around again, because they discontinued my scent of lotion again. If I didn't like the texture of the lotion they sell so very well, I would have quit years ago, because this is something like the fifth time they've discontinued my lotion of choice since I graduated from college, which was only seven years ago. And then my world is a little weird for a fortnight or so while I get used to the new lotion and convince my hindbrain that there is no stranger in the house, relax, it's just me. My hindbrain is like my dog in that way, except that she, apparently, can adjust in the space of a morning. So: like my dog but slower. How comforting.

But! I have Dzur! (I even did my little Dzur-having dance down Chicago Ave. to the car yesterday. It was rather un-dzur-like due to the amount of hip-shaking. Still and all.) And as those of you who've been around me awhile know, I am extremely scent-suggestible when it comes to text. If you write "garlic," my head obligingly produces the smell of garlic for me internally. This means that by about chapter three, I was feeling much better about the dentist thing but was also mumbling imprecations under my breath at people who have Hungarian food when I do not.

So now I'm reading Dzur in chunks alternating with Jozsef Venesz's 1963 masterpiece, Hungarian Cuisine: A Complete Cookery Book. It contains gems such as, "Children and those of the 'weaker sex' in particular have a weakness for chestnut puree with whipped cream or iced rice pudding with fruit and whipped cream." I didn't know that was the weakness implied in weaker sex! In that case, I'm weak! Very weak, and do you happen to have any of those things? (You know how I make my rice pudding? With wild rice and sour cherries. Oh. So good. And with a dollop of cream on the top that does this amazing thing with the nutmeg when you finish it in the oven. Mmm. Sorry. I kind of drifted off there for a minute.) Some parts of this book are extremely frustrating (the fish section, for example, could be called "dozens of ways to cook fogas" -- if we had any fogas or any prospects of some, this might be useful). And most of the rest is not very seasonal just now: it is not time for mushroom soup with dill and paprika, not time for gulyas, not time for plum dumplings. Soon, but not now. But it got me thinking about slices of fresh garden tomato with turos and a little black pepper, maybe. Maybe. We are amply supplied with fresh garden tomatoes and will soon be hip-deep. I always make my mouth a little sore this time of year, trying to live on tomatoes while they're good. It's always worth it.

I think all this means it's time for lunch. And maybe to get back to my own book, where nobody is eating anything at present. Or maybe they'll give her a little bread and water. Not langos, though. No langos for anybody here right now, real or fictional. Sigh.