I had a post all worked out about how I'd lost all joy in my job. . .

And then it got cold.

Let's review the bidding: Yesterday, the high was 85*F. That's somewhere north of 29 degrees for you guys who are using a sane and sensible temperature scale.

Last night, the low was 50*F. Today, the *high* was 47*F.

Tonight, it's supposed to get down close to freezing. I hope the tomato plants and basil live.

In short, go home, Texas weather. You're drunk.

I refuse to talk about nursing right now, because Manglement has indeed sucked all the joy out of my job recently. Instead of being sad that a friend of mine is leaving for a new job, I'm burning with envy.

So instead, let's talk about food. I have a craving right now for, not necessarily in order, osso buco, marrow on toast with capers and parsley, home-made donuts, and eggplant parmesan. All of those are wonderful, fun things to cook, and all of them will be totally untenable by Monday, my next day off, when the high is supposed to be in the 80's.

As much as people bitch about the foreignization of 'Murka, there is one benefit (well, more than one, but I'm concentrating on food right now): the amazing selection of offal available at my schwanky-danky, formerly snow-white grocery store.

I can get marrow bones so cheap it'd make you cry. Neck bones are even cheaper--hell, sometimes they *give them away*, which is just what you want for a lovely stew. The veal shanks that go into osso buco are not eighteen dollars a pound; they're practically free--if I ask for them at the butcher counter, I can get lovely meaty shanks for the price of ground beef.

And weird fish? We got weird fish, for pennies the pound. We haven't got that one with the human-looking teeth, at least not whole, but you want a monkfish tail? Eighty-nine fucking cents a pound, my friend. Yeah, you have to take that bad boy home and skin it yourself, but honestly? Not That Hard.

Also nopales, or cactus paddles: de-thorned and fresh, or pickled, or whatever. Dried squid in the bulk bins (particularly good deep-fried and served with scrambled eggs and sauteed eggplant OMG). Weird greens that I *think* might be amaranth, or some version of kale I haven't yet tried. Fruit that resembles pinecones. Fruit that looks like stars. DURIAN, FROZEN IN SLICES OR WHOLE IN A MESH BAG. And jackfruit.

If you haven't yet tried jackfruit, make friends with somebody from a culture that eats it regularly. The damn things get up to forty pounds, so it's not like there won't be enough to go around. Try it. Learn to tell a ripe one from one that's just soft.

And no, I haven't tried the durian yet. I can say that yes, it is the worst-smelling thing I've ever laid nostrils to, aside from a corpse plant in full bloom, and I totally understand why it's illegal in some places to take one on the bus or keep one in your hotel room. The smell is penetrating. You're afraid you'll never get it out of your nostrils. The inside, though, is supposed to be heaven.

Maybe I'll try a bit of frozen durian. A whole durian is large and intimidating, in addition to being smelly--I'm not sure I could get one home and cut it up without ruining it. You know those little spiny balls that sweetgum trees drop? Make that about eight pounds and you're looking at a durian fruit.

Anyway, food: Lots of it, most of it I've never tasted before, some of it (like fresh peas and beans and okra) is growing in the back yard as we speak. Most of it that I'm craving is winter food. It'll be warm again before I get a chance to eat anything more than cafeteria catfish (which, strangely, Sunnydale does beautifully and only on Fridays). I'll have to make do with fresh artichokes and asparagus and strawberries with almonds on a bed of butter lettuce.