Saturday, June 1, 2013

Something Extra

My family and I tend not to eat out so often because of the unwarranted additional expense.  For the cost of a meal out, I could buy a lot of groceries to make simple "home cooked food." "Home cooked" something that some restaurants advertise in their windows anyway, why not just have it at home.  Going out is definitely a treat and splurge for us.

In my family of origin, my mother and my aunties distrusted the sanitary conditions in restaurants and the good intentions of staff. One aunt worked in a restaurant kitchen long ago.  The owner stopped her from peeling carrots for soup saying that the customers would never know the difference.  Instead my relatives hosted their own every day dinners and celebrations with exhaustingly prepared, delicious homemade food.

A co-worker of my husband's gifted him with a  $25.00 gift certificate to a popular neighborhood cafe.  We were home together without the children and he suggested going out to lunch there.  It was lovely to sit with my back to a blazing fireplace on a cold, rainy day, lovely to be served, lovely to have lunch sitting across the table from my husband. I very much enjoyed the first 3/4 of the sandwich someone else prepared, when I found and extra something in my mouth that would not be chewed.

 I pulled it out and set it on the rim of my plate.  Something grayish, fibrous, too thick to be a hair, similar to a ropey strand of a mop.  Thankfully, my hair  trigger (not kidding) gag reflex did not kick in.  I pointed it out to the bus boy.  A skeptical? manager came out to study the thing and funnily directed her apologies and talk to my husband.  She offered an possible identification of a dishrag shred and another sandwich as consolation.  Any appetite I had was gone.  We looked at the menu and picked some cookies for the children for an equivalent price.  The kids enjoyed them after school without explanation of their origin. I found myself in silent agreement with my aunties. 


Insomniac's Attic said...

Oh. My. God. How did you not manage to throw up right then and there! I've heard lots of horror stories from people who've worked in kitchens (my son included), and it does make you think twice.

tess said...

Ha ha, being stunned and must've dampened my urge to retch. Other times I have not been so "lucky." One time, pregnant with my son, I got to the bottom of a yummy plate of dinner (of my own making) when I saw one of my own hairs snaking in the juices. Oopsies!

Alison said...

Urgh! I love eating out at my favourite cafes, it's a real treat not having to cook and clean up after, however it can be expensive and it's made worse when the food is substandard.

tess said...

Funny how food tastes better when someone else prepares it with care and love. In my husband's family the cook was absolved from clean up duty, so at home I do the cooking and he the washing up. Glad that custom carried over.