Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mom, me, and exploding tomato products.

The first time Mom & I had a problem was Christmas Eve, 1998. She and Dad were joining the ex and me for Christmas Eve dinner. Since I was extremely strapped for cash, Mom gave me a number of the ingredients needed for the meal, including two cans of tomato paste for the tortilla soup. I spent the whole day cleaning, then set up the card table in the media room and set it for four. I put out the butter dish with the last stick of butter and the salt and pepper, carefully closed the door and went to shower and change. While I was getting dressed, the ex was taking his shower, and apparently not listening when I told him the door had to stay shut. He went into the media room to get something, left the door open, and then was surprised when one of the dogs knocked the butter dish off the table and ate the butter.

He, of course, professed both innocence and ignorance when I came downstairs with my festive dress on and my hair and makeup done. I told him to get dressed and then go out and get more butter. Cruel witch that I am, I sent him out into an Ohio December evening with wet hair (sadly, he did not catch pneumonia and die). While he was gone, I started the preparations for dinner, and while I was occupied, the butter thief, filled with remorse, stepped silently up behind me and returned the butter, and then slunk away. I never did find out which dog it was.

After I'd cleaned up the mess on the kitchen floor, I got out the soup pot and started the tortilla soup. The chicken stock went into the pot with no problems, as did the little can of tomatoes and peppers. Unfortunately, when I put the can opener to the first can of tomato paste and pressed down, the contents exploded straight into my face. I had tomato paste in my hair, on my face, and all over the bodice of my dress. Welcome to Carrie's Christmas.

After I'd used a kitchen towel on the worst of the mess, I put the second can of tomato paste in the sink, aimed it away from me, and tried opening it. Another explosion.

I called Mom, got hysterical on the phone with her, and she calmed me down and promised to bring two more cans of tomato paste with her and make the soup herself. I washed my face, rinsed out my hair, took off my dress and rinsed the top, then put it in the dryer. When Mom and Dad arrived, I was damp but presentable, and Jim had returned with the butter. Mom made the tortilla soup, and we wound up having a very nice Christmas Eve dinner.

This past Thursday, as I was driving to work after dropping Bigfoot the Stupid Conehead off at the vet's, my car started making horrible noises. I asked Mom if I could borrow a car to get to Lakeside this weekend, and she said I could use hers. In order not to be driving back and forth unnecessarily, she asked that I do the grocery shopping on my way home, then she would take me to get the idiot fuzzy and I would drop her and the groceries at her house. On the grocery list were two cans of tomato juice and two bottles of Bloody Mary mix. I got all the groceries, let Littlefoot out and back in, fed him his dinner, and when Mom arrived, we started transferring groceries from my car to hers.

As I had my back to Mom, I heard a crash and felt droplets spatter my ankle. I turned around, and she was holding the handles of a bag, and there were two smashed bottles of Bloody Mary mix on the driveway. Apparently, the cashier hadn't bothered to double-bag the bottles, had put them in the same bag, and added a can of soup. By the time Mom and I had cleaned up the mess and gotten most of the glass out of the driveway, we were really close to not getting to the vet hospital on time. I called from my cell and had Missy put the charges on my debit card, and we just barely got Bigfoot out in time for the vet staff to close for the night.

From now on, I am going to make sure that Mom and I are never in close proximity to processed tomato products while we are together. I believe that for some reason, the universe will allow me and tomatoes, Mom and tomatoes, but never all three together without a catastrophe.


Scott said...

I didn't know cans of stuff blew up in people's faces on occasion. Scary. Yet another reason to stick to ramen.

rgraham666 said...


Such interesting stories you tell, Jammies.

Mike From Eerie said...

Ya know I'm reading the whole story and all I am thinking is, "Why would someone serve tortilla soup for a holiday?" And more importantly - what exactly is tortilla soup? I mean is this something Taco Bell has created to try and capture the "well its junk food but it should be healthy anyhow" market?

(Can you tell my idea of haute cuisine is a hotdog w/ stadium mustard?)

Mike From Eerie said...

And how I could let this go by without at least one reference to "The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" was beyond me.

Sherri said...

Usually a can that's about to explode has a warning bulge in one end or a rounded exterior.

Yes, Scott, canned things explode. Things in mason jars explode, too. One day I'll tell you about the canned pumpkin and the ceiling in my dad's kitchen.

Jammies said...

This can was not dented, did not bulge and was only a week or so old, according to my mother.

It was a sneak tomato attack.

Mike, I'll essplain tortilla soup to you some evening on YIM, hokay?

Jay said...

you won't be opening any cans of tomatoes while we're up there will you?