This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

In Search of Focaccia

One of my recipes for the week included focaccia bread. This was a 'sandwich' entree, so the focaccia was the focal point of this dish.

BTW, "sandwich" seems like such an understatement label for this dish: Antipasto Chicken Sandwich. This is amazing. Look for it on

At the local Harris Teeter earlier in the week, focaccia was nowhere to be found. No problem, I thought, I'll get it later in the week: Wellspring (now Whole Foods, but I still call it Wellspring) *will* have focaccia.

So Thursday (May 3rd), I decided to have it for dinner and headed to Wellspring after work, with my 4 year old in tow.

So now I'm in Wellspring and guess what, no focaccia. Really? Wellspring has no focaccia? Really???!!

I think I say this out loud to my 4 year old. Well, I said something out loud and it was in frustration and irritation at not finding focaccia. I thought BRIEFLY of substituting one of their other breads, but these are not focaccia and BY GOD I WANT FOCACCIA! Is it out of season, for god's sake? It's BREAD - you bake it - anytime of the year - and it's popular - so where the hell is the focaccia?

So I was not happy about this. I almost thought about dumping the whole dinner idea. I knew it would be due to irritation and not common sense. Hard to believe, but I get emotionally anal-retentive about things and focaccia - or the lack of - was one of those things on this day.

So I take Mia through the store in search of frozen focaccia, or something close. Crusty bread will not work because it's crusty and hard. I know that focaccia is a must for this dish.

No frozen focaccia. Sure, I have never ever seen focaccia in the frozen bread section, but at this point, I am not thinking rationally.

I decide to lay my decision on the fate of Fontina cheese, which is also part of the sandwich. HT did not have Fontina during my grocery shopping day, so again, I knew Wellspring would. My irrational thinking process was: if the fontina cheese was here, then I would settle for some other type of bread for the sandwich. If it was not, then curse Wellspring!! And Harris Teeter!! And all the other lame groceries that do not carry focaccia!!! And the damn bakers too!!!

As I move through the many cheeses in the cheese section of Wellspring, I see no fontina. My irritation grows. No fontina? Another common cheese for a cheese monger. This is getting ridiculous. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME???

The friendly cheese monger sees angst in my face: Can I help you find something? I reply nicely, but curt, with "Fontina". She says its right in front of me and sure enough, it is.

Fate has spoken. It is the sandwich tonight, sans focaccia. I went back to the bakery section, asked the baker if he had focaccia and he shook his head no. I wanted to scream "WHY?"

But I didn't. I picked up a pack of whole wheat pizza crusts instead. I recalled that other recipes with focaccia have also stated "or ready-made pizza crusts", so I went with that.

Mia wanted to look at some other stuff -- yes, the stuff at Wellspring can be interesting to a 4 year old -- so we looked at that which gave me some time to get my sanity back.

I pay for my fontina and whole wheat pizza crusts and calmly walk out the door and to my car. All is good.

It's now ~ 5:30 PM and I'm headed home. I take a right onto Wade Avenue, leaving Ridge Road. I am now at the next stop light, near the entry and exit ramps to I-440.

I am thinking about dinner and what to add to my menus for the next week. During my raving at Wellspring, I realized that I was due for another weekly menu -- using up most of our goods on our previous weekly menu. So I'm outlining what meals I want to make for the weekend when BAM - I hear something *and* feel something. I am fully aware of my head hitting the headrest with force. I am totally confused, wondering what just happened. It finally dawns on me that I have just been hit from behind.

I look in the rearview mirror and see a guy holding his head, panicked at the realization that he just hit the car in front of him. I see *his* rearview mirror swinging, broken from the hit. His front end looks bad and I think about what my car must look like.

I search for the hazard lights -- how do I turn these things on? Where the hell is the button? It used to be here and now I can't find it. And my airbags didn't deploy. Why is that? And then I think of Mia and for the split second it took for me to turn around and look at her, sheer dread hit me. As I turned to look at her, I saw her wide-eyed, confused, and scared. She looked at me for assurance. I was surprised at how calm I sounded when I asked if she was okay. She nodded yes and started to cry. I rubbed her leg and told her everything was okay. She blinked the tears away -- I noted this with pride. I told her to continue watching her movie.

I still can't find the stupid hazards and I'm thinking about how we, including the other dude, are in the middle of a busy intersection, at 5:30ish in the evening, and now worried that no one will see us and will make it worse.

I finally find my hazards and have them on. I briefly look around and see cars -- more behind us who are now aggravated because we are in their way. I see the dude but I do not want to leave my car. There is no way in hell I am leaving Mia, nor holding her in the middle of Wade Avenue. I remember: it's okay to move our vehicles out of the way.

I call Tim and say "Where are you?" when he answers. He's all happy "I'm on my way home! Why?" And I tell him what happened. He's surprisingly calm, but not unsurprisingly directional. "Call 911 and tell them what happened. I'm almost there." While he's talking, I see the dude get out of the car and walk to my window.

"As you can see, I've hit your car" is what he says to me. Fine I'm thinking, but then he says, as he covers his face, "I don't know what to do! I don't know what to do! I graduate this weekend! I don't know what to do!" He is still panicked.

Tim calls me again to see how things are going, since I hung up on him when the dude reached my window. I told him the dude was panicked. Then the dude hands me HIS cellphone and says "here's my mom!"

So I'm now on the phone with his mother. A nice woman who says "As you can tell, I have a very panicked son right now." She asks me a few questions and I answer and then hang up.

I ask the dude if he's okay (he nods yes) and then I touch his arm to calm him. I am now thinking, who am I? This is not typical of me. I should be panicking right now.

But I tell him we should pull over to the shoulder so we are out of danger. I tell him I will call 911 and they'll take a report. He says "I'll follow you."

We do that and it took no time for Raleigh police to get there. I was worried about that because I had just heard someone tell me their story of a fender-bender in a parking lot where it took at least an hour for the police to get there.

He came out, inspected, took our statements and said it looked like a cut and dry case.

I still worry about the dude. Tim says "good thing he hit YOU and not US" -- meaning, he would not be as nice as I was being about it.

I start to feel the effects of what happened: nausea, faint, pain in my neck and my head. I try to think about what internal injuries I could have suffered. I conclude that the worst that could happen to me is more damage to my already damaged neck. Great. I just got over that one...

Anyway, in the end, Tim helped direct the dude back to his house and followed me home. My car, it ends up, has minimal damage -- at least from what is visible. It sounds funny driving, feels a bit rough, but we'll find out soon what the damage is.

I got a call and a visit the next day from the dude's insurance personal injury rep. On Saturday, Mia and I got at least four items EACH in relation to the accident: personal injury lawyers, chiropractors and a medical doc. All included a copy of the accident report. I had just been thinking recently about how I felt HR reps are worse than car salesmen, but my influx of mail relating to this accident changed my mind.

After the accident on Thursday, Tim questioned why I was at this intersection (since it's not on my normal route home), I told him it was for the focaccia. He was like "So I guess I'm not getting dinner tonight?"

We didn't, but we did the next night and boy oh boy, it was deLISH even without focaccia. I doubt I'll curse focaccia, Wellspring, or bakers again. Who knew they could get so angry like that?

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