Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We are the Cheese in the Chili Relleno of Life - How the Hell Did We Get in There?!

As I was laying in bed last night trying to figure out how they get the cheese in a chili relleno, batter it, and fry it without the cheese coming back out (and with no discernable cuts in the pepper, might I add), I also began to think about how many different perspectives people have of the word around us.

We all view the word differently, yet I think we can all agree that the events that take place are completely static. It’s like the annoying phrase that’s come into popularity lately: It is what it is.

Or is it? We all give meaning to the things that happen around us based on things that have happened to us in the past. Sometimes I think it’s really easy to get caught up in assigning meaning and motivation to outside forces – things you personally don’t have any control over—but I also think it’s really liberating in those few brief moments I occasionally have to get this glimpse of being completely separated from it all. In that moment, I realize none of that meaning anyone else assigns to anything around me really matters, and it’s freeing to know that if you want, you don’t have to be part of the machine that is daily life for your average American (or any other large identifiable group).

Although those moments of separation are brief, and usually separated by weeks or even months at a time of constant “I have to do this”s or “I have to attend that”s, I’m glad they do occur, and I’d really like them to occur more often.

Really, why are you here? What’s your main goal in life? To go through the motions? To get caught up in it all? I get caught up in it all, but I don’t necessarily want it to be like that. And I think realizing that may open the door for more of those “separated” moments to enter into my daily life.

It sounds funny, but although we’re legally “free,” I think the majority of people give up their own personal freedom without even realizing it. We’re all so busy that even in doing the things we love, we allow necessity that we perceive as outside ourselves take control over even those things. It’s sad. And I don’t want to live my life like that, but it’s a struggle to preserve my own personal freedom every single day.

As I was sitting in the Mexican restaurant last night, eating my chili relleno and chatting, a child on the other side of our booth shrieked this shrill high shriek, and literally everyone in the restaurant stopped talking mid-sentence for about 3 seconds. Everyone kind of glanced around at each other not knowing what to do, the parents’ faces looking increasingly nervous. Then we all busted out laughing, a sign to let the parents and kid know that although it got our attention, it was normal and we were okay with it.

“Well,” I said to Betty Beatdown, “if I knew that’s all I had to do to get everyone’s attention…”

“You should do it,” she said.

“What? Stand up on the table and shriek really loud,” I asked, “something tells me you’d be the only one laughing.”

Consider this my table-standing shriek. Stop and look around you today. You can do it on an office-type setting, but I think it’s easier and will have more impact if you do it in a more populated place. What is everyone doing? What are you doing? Does it matter? What do you want to be doing?

Oh, and if you know how they get the cheese in the chili relleno, please let me know, because this is going bother me until I find out.


Anonymous said...

I think they probably cut the pepper.

Tami said...

Here's How:
Roast the chiles*
Roast and peel each chile and let them cool. *If fresh chiles are unavailable, use canned whole green chiles.

Remove the seeds
Insert a sharp knife into the top of the chile, just under the stem and slice downward about half way down the chile. Using a spoon or a knife, scrape the seeds and the white membrane out, without tearing the chiles flesh.

Stuff the chiles
Place a slice of cheese into the chile, but don't force it. If the cheese is too large, trim it down until it fits inside. Make sure the open edges of the chile still come together.

Prepare the chiles
This step is optional Place half of the flour on the bottom of a plate. Place the chiles on the flour and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. Use your finger to make sure the entire chile is coated. Dust off remaining flour and set chiles aside. If you rinsed your chiles in water, this step is important for the batter to stick.

Prepare batter
For a simple batter, whip 3-6 egg whites until stiff. Slowly fold in yolks and a pinch of salt. Or use your favorite batter recipe.

Cook chiles
One at a time, dip the stuffed chiles into the batter and then into the hot oil. Cook until batter is a crisp golden brown.

Drain excess oil
Remove chiles from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Hooligal said...

I wanna know what they put in those chiles to make you so existential hehehe ;)