I once saw a T.V. chef – he had the hat and the accent so I guess he was legit – make an Asian dish with toasted sesame seeds. The recipe was so simple and tasty – he said so, so I knew it was true – that I decided to give it a try. I reasoned that I would actually save money because it would be cheaper to make this at home than to go to an expensive Japanese restaurant and have sizzling hot food thrown at me. So, why not?
After spending four hours and $25 in gasoline going to three different stores searching in the spice aisle, no, maybe the “ethnic” aisle, no, maybe the seed and nut aisle, I could only find regular – not toasted – sesame seeds. Because the chef went on and on about what the nutty aroma and flavor from the TOASTED sesame seeds brought to the dish, I decided to buy the regular sesame seeds – they only had a $7 bag that I can’t possibly use in a lifetime – and toast them myself. How hard could it be?
I heated the pan to medium-high heat and drizzled in a little “EVOO” – extra-virgin olive oil for those of you who don’t watch Rachel Ray. Unfortunately, I spilled some of my sesame seeds – probably about $2.50 worth – trying to pour them into the tiny glass ingredient bowl I had bought – a set of 4 for $5. I sprinkled the sesame seeds – from the fancy little glass bowl – into the pan and chased them around with the spoon real fast like T.V. chefs always do. A minute later, I tried to jerk the handle of the pan like they do to make the seeds fly up and land perfectly back into the pan with no spillage, but my sesame seeds didn’t budge. They had already stuck firmly to the pan; perhaps an early sign I missed.
I let the seeds work, as the chefs say, (it just means don’t mess with the food for while) as I washed some veggies for the salad. I sipped a glass of wine since I was becoming cultured with my fancy international recipe, even though no one was there to see me look so talented and sophisticated. When I returned to my toasting seeds I closed my eyes and enjoyed the “nutty aroma” and the small wine buzz I had acquired.
Suddenly one of those little seeds popped just like popcorn and leaped straight up towards me and clean out of that pan. I jumped back with my wooden spoon raised in a defensive stance. I have terrible nerves, which I attribute to my little sister’s favorite pastime of sneaking up behind me and popping paper bags just to watch me convulse and then go limp from exhaustion like those fainting goats you see on T.V. So, as I tried to calm down, I told myself that it was just a fluke. But, just to make sure, I checked the sesame seed package to see if I had inadvertently picked up Mexican Jumping Sesame Seeds by mistake. Just then another seed -pop- whizzed past me as it fired across the stove top and onto the linoleum behind me. I ducked that time, my legs too weak – from the adrenaline hangover of the first pop and the wine – to jump, and quickly removed the pan from the heat. But it was too late. As the angry storm of sizzling hot sesame seeds continued to fly around me – like a tiny version of the expensive Japanese restaurant experience I had tried to avoid – I decided to make it a Manwich night.
Moral: Many great money wasting tips are cleverly disguised as money saving tips (which, by the way, is a little-known universal financial law you should become familiar with)