Sometimes, You Just Have to Punch the Burrito

Last night I made enchiladas.  I harvested and roasted peppers from the garden, made my own sauce, the whole nine yards.  I’ve made enchiladas many times before, but for some reason, these just wouldn’t work.  I think it was the brand of tortillas; they absolutely would not stay rolled.  I put them in the pan, only to have them spring up and eject their contents all over.

Now, I’ve had a bit of a rough time lately.  Money’s been a disaster, so I’ve been doing lots of tutoring.  It’s good money but it’s tiring. I haven’t slept very well in a couple of weeks, and my sweet Baby A is now Toddler A, and she’s a wrecking machine.  Somehow, those frustrations all came boiling out when those tortillas popped apart, and I repeatedly tried rerolling them to no avail.  And then it all came out–reading Elmo Gets Clean twenty five times in a row, my daughter losing her bus pass for the tenth time, all the home repairs I need to do, story rejections, not having enough money for the Girl Scout night–and I started smashing the enchiladas down, breaking off the sides to get them to stay flat.  Eventually I was just punching them flat, beans and cheese and peppers flying.

My husband watched this, and said, as a wise man does when his wife appears to be having a psychotic episode, “Some nights, you just have to punch the burritos until their little bean guts go flying.”

“Yes. Yes, you do.”  I paused and looked at my handiwork.  “Want to try?”

“No.  You’re doing a great job.”

Once I sort of smushed them back into place and dumped enough cheese on them, they tasted pretty good, if flat.

Today, I went to the grocery.  I didn’t want to.  It’s been that sort of day.  As I approached the store, an employee wearing a shirt that said, We sure are glad to see you! was standing outside the door, scowling and kicking the wall.  I wound my way through the store, evading people who have to jackknife their carts across the aisle while they dig around on their hands and knees for the “best celery” and the others standing around staring at their lists, apparently unable to remember why they’ve come.

At the meat section, I was stopped by a large, aging biker who pointed at the meat and cried, “Pretty proud of their shit, ain’t they?  Can’t hardly afford to eat!  Even the discount meat is more expensive than it was three months ago!”

Which is true, so I joined in a rather spirited discussion about that while I looked for the cheapest possible roast. Then, I got Baby A a cookie, because she now remembers where they are and that her sister gets one.  As I shopped, Baby A happily ate the cookie, laughing and waving at people.  An elderly couple walked by, stared at A’s cookie, looked snottily at me, and walked past, noses in the air, muttering to each other about a BABY having a COOKIE.  A) She’s not going to die, B) If I want to feed her chocolate-dipped butter sticks, that’s my choice, and C) I’m sure they’d be the first people loudly whining if my daughter was crying.

When I got home from paying a sullen cashier for my over-priced groceries, as I was walking into my house, my bag broke and spilled groceries all over the floor.  “Bag down!  Bag down!” Baby A helpfully informed me, before trying to open a package of yogurt in the garage.

I was sorely tempted to make enchiladas again tonight.  I could use something i could smash.  Though instead, I’ll make pasta, play with the kids, and sit around and watch TV, and no one is going to stop me.  Perhaps, if I can locate one, I’ll have a cookie.


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