Time to Hide

Weeks and weeks ago (maybe months ago) I bought a large bag of new potatoes. The bag was marketed as “crawfish boil potatoes” or something like that.  With the exception of one or two potatoes snatched out of the bag for a quick mini-meal, the bag remained largely unused until last night. Last night, I boiled every last potato from that bag, intending to make Jalapeño Potato Salad this morning, one of my favorite zippy, cold comfort foods. Unfortunately, I failed to double check that I had all the ingredients; this morning, I discovered that I was missing two key components: John’s Jalapeño Paste and cilantro. I can leave out the cilantro, although grudgingly. But John’s Jalapeño Paste is the foundation upon which the dish is built. Oh, I had John’s Jalapeño Paste, but the container in which it was stored had sprouted mold while sitting, weeks on end, in the refrigerator. I made too much and used it too sparingly. Plus, I did not sterilize the plastic squeeze bottle in which I had stored it. Little mistakes had blossomed into the makings of a tragedy.

Fortunately, I was able to recover. In place of two tablespoons of my homemade John’s Jalapeño Paste, I opted to use a single tablespoon of El Yucateco Habanero Salsa, the wicked red version. And I opted to forego the cilantro, though I may make a trip to the grocery store to buy a bunch or two (my recipe calls for half a bunch, but more can’t hurt). It’s a very good thing I decided to use only a single tablespoon of the habanero salsa; had I used two, the dish might have been too hot for my taste buds. As it is, though, I like it. I still prefer the flavor with jalapeños, but it is quite tasty and will serve me well. I’m considering the possibility of having potato salad for breakfast. I probably won’t, but the idea holds more than a little appeal.


Claps of thunder, which began two or three hours ago, have grown much louder and more sinister in the last forty-five minutes. Heavy rain, brilliant flashes of lightning, and monstrous concussions of the clashing swords of atmospheric gods hold my attention. Incessant guttural growls, remnants of the thunderous blows landed moments earlier by one god or another, remind me that the sky above me is angry. From the vault of heaven I hear the shrieks and bellows of enraged players launching merciless attacks on the clouds that would dare confront them. The sky is alive and dangerous, seeking revenge for any number of wrongs the Earth and its inhabitants have inflicted on it. This, my friends, is the end-times for the night that tortured me with horrible cramps in my lower calves; the night deserves the butchery that is carving out a grey day from the ink-black sky. Honestly, if the nighttime is responsible for my leg cramps, night should be forever banished from the reality of this and every day. The pain in my legs remains very real, as if my muscle memory is etched into my psyche with acid.


Christ! Lightning just struck someplace so close to me the crack was like an enormous light bulb exploded an inch from my face. I will turn off my computer now and hide.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Time to Hide

  1. I am still alive, if only by a thread, amigo. I am glad you continue to occasionally indulge in The Paste! I think it was inspired by a Little Jimmy recipe, if I’m not mistaken. After the clap of thunder this A.M., I learned that all my telephones, my television, a CD player, and two power cables were fried. A short while ago, I heard from my next door neighbor, experienced identical woes this morning. Ach!

  2. Jealous of Your Rain says:

    Are you still with us, amigo? I still have the recipe for and still make the John’s Jalapeño Paste from time to time… It’s SOOO GOOOD!!!

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