Okay, so I’m fairly good at cooking. It’s taken some time to learn my way around a kitchen in a non-baking capacity, but I’ve figured it out enough to convince myself that I can actually cook really good food. But from time to time, I have a Fail. Not just a Fail, but a full blown EPIC Fail. With a standard Fail, I can usually recover or at least pass it off as something edible. When it’s an Epic Fail? There’s just no turning back.
I had one such moment this past summer.
And all I wanted was some falafel.
The problem with living in a small, semi-rural town is that there just isn’t a lot of international flavor. At least, not the way I’m used to. We have a couple Mexican restaurants, a fantastic taco place, a legit Thai place, and a Nepalese place. Beyond that, there’s not a lot. And we are sorely lacking in the Mediterranean department.
So when one is pregnant and craving a falafel gyro, one has to make it herself.
I found a brilliant and fairly easy falafel recipe and I can make tzatziki with the best of ’em. All I really have to say here is: Thank God my husband got me that monstrosity of a food processor last year! It’s a whole lot easier to shred cucumbers and grind chickpeas that way!
So I made this brilliant falafel mix which smelled like Greece and heaven all that same time. I set it to marinate for a few hours and by the time dinner rolled around, I was bordering on “hangry” and was probably the most excited I’d been about dinner since…well, the day before, but remember: I was pregnant. Anyway, I form the falafel into tiny, adorable, tasty little balls and set about frying them. That’s when all hell broke loose. I have no idea what happened and I could not figure out how to salvage it, but suddenly the entire house was filled with smoke and the delightful scent of burning oil. Fairly immediately, I found myself in a mess of tears, hot oil splattering on my hand, my apron all askew, and trying not to barf.
It was pretty ugly.
I was basically inconsolable. All I wanted for dinner and all I would accept for dinner was falafel gyros. I NEEDED ALL THE FALAFEL! So the sailor stepped in an rescued what he could of our dinner while trying to air out the house. We did manage to have gyros that night. Dinner was an hour later than I’d hoped, I was still inconsolable by the time bedtime rolled around, and all fried foods were immediately on the “no go” list for the remainder of my pregnancy.
I never had a single craving or aversion until that night and never had another after that. But even saying the words “fried food” made me wretch, which was rather hilarious for the sailor, my doula, and my midwives. The silver lining is that I really didn’t eat a lot of garbage food for the duration of my pregnancy. The downside is that I don’t know when I’ll be brave enough to try making falafel at home again.
Fortunately, I’ve recently been made aware of a fantabulous gyro place in the ‘hood so I won’t ever have to cook Greek food again if I don’t want to!