Thursday, August 16, 2007

And then there was cannoli

*****Warning: The following contains explicit descriptions of dessert.*****

I'm not exactly sure how it happened. Skimmel and I were sitting around wondering what to do since our evening dinner plans had been rearranged by the boy, the dog, international banking and credit cards. The original plan had been to go to Little Italy and eat Godfather style with friends. Those plans fell through so we decided to order Italian from some place that would have a similar menu and get enough food for us, the boy, the dog, and a small army. I live in Korea. I don't really eat in Korea. I think sometimes I go home for these vacations to prevent dying of starvation. As it was I ordered spinach lasagna for me since I could not remember the last time I'd had honest to god lasagna. I believe it might have been sometime in 1999 when I was entertaining my landlord after a busy night out at the strip club. Another long story, we will stick with the Italian story as it's on the mind.

Aside from the lasagna there was pasta ordered for Skimmel and a pizza for the boy and cannoli to go around. I thought it would be nice to have a little desert. Skimmel and I had conversation while we awaited the arrival of food and the boy and entertained the mellow mild mannered giant orange puppy who was sweltering in the heat of the temperature regulated 72 degree apartment. The boy and the food arrived at roughly the same time and we all sat down to enjoy some dinner.

Have I mentioned that Skimmel has fantastic taste in eateries whether it is eat in or eat out she knows where we can find fun, nutrition and copious amounts of food. And we had. The lasagna was fantastic and made with real things. I can't begin to describe real things, but it had real things. Like sauce made from real tomatoes that some Italian grandmother had been making all day. And ricotta cheese made from real ricotta that tasted so real and so rich that I thought my brain might melt at the prospect. There were lasagna noodles that tasted handmade. None of that store bought dried noodle crap. It was all so real and so delicious.

It was after dinner as we all sat staring at protruding bellies that the cannoli came out. I wanted mine with coffee so I did not join in as Skimmel and the boy polished off the cheese stuffed pastry. I made some coffee and let dinner digest a bit so I could appreciate the cannoli a little more. Skimmel also has the best coffee and coffee presses in all the world so it was nary twenty minutes later that I had a steam cup of coffee with a hint of irish cream to lend it flavor and a cannoli about ready to be consumed.

You must understand at this point that I don't believe that I've ever had real cannoli before. I do believe if I recall correctly that the only thing I ever had that was called cannoli was some sort of pastry stuffed with sweetened cottage cheese that was edible but not the kind of delectable that might make you crawl on your hands and knees across the floor and beg for more. It was good but not mind-blowingly good. So what I was presented with as I had my coffee was real cannoli. I was not prepared.

The cannoli is a rather innocuous looking confection. This particular variety coming from an authentic enough locale was huge, roughly the size of a ample piece of cheesecake that had been rolled up. It had a nice hard shell and the cigar shaped roll was adorned at both ends but what we speculate to have been pistachio ground and sprinkled about the end. At this point Skimmel, the boy, and myself were deep into discussing Shimer tactics which had colored a great deal of the last two days of conversation. These tactics may be explored in depth later. It is important to know that at this point in the evening, around 9:30 p.m. I was lucid enough for a logical and involved conversation in a true Shimerian sense. I had no alcohol that night and had perhaps had a glass of wine or maybe some cognac the day before but the drinking had been minimal at best for this trip home. So I was stone cold sober, full of lasagna, sipping coffee and about to embark on cannoli. The world will never be the same.

I tasted my coffee first. It was perfect. Warm and melty and making the tongue leap and squirm and sing fantastic songs about the luxury of genuine beans picked from the ground and roasted to perfection. I picked up the cannoli and hefted it in my hand appreciating the weight of this sizable cold sweet goodness. I took a bite and swirled it on my tongue appreciating the blend of flavors and textures. The stiff and almost chewy nature of the wrapped dough, the sweetness of the filling, the offset and subtle texture of the pistachio. My mind stopped processing everything else for a moment and the only thing in the world that existed was the cannoli. It was no mere cannoli, it was THE CANNOLI crafted perhaps by Ceaser himself as a way to celebrate his conquering of the world. This was no mere confection but the sweet key to the universe that would open paths to parallel universes, eliminate paradox, and make all things perfectly clear. This was a cannoli that would make the Goddess herself weep for the bitter taste of ambrosia when she could have had cannoli.

I sipped my coffee and appreciated the second wave of absolute goodness. Coffee on cannoli, what barbarians are the Koreans that they never thought to craft goodness like this. Bitter coffee with a bite of sweet and the soft after affects of Italian crafted love teasing of my taste buds and turning over my brain. The discussion continued with occasional pauses while I continued to consume my cannoli. At some point I tried to describe without words how good it truly was but even crude hand gestures could not completely elaborate the experiences for the company. I was alone with my understanding. And that's when it got weird.

Having never taken psychedelics of any kind I cannot really attest to whether or not I was tripping as I'm not quite sure. I've been stoned* on an occasion or two in my life and it wasn't really like that at all. It was definitely not drunk. It was more of an out of body experience. I finished the last piece of cannoli and the world subtly shifted. Things where just a touch out of place. There was movement in the walls that should not have been there. The floors were rippling rivers and I was awash in it. I remember trying to stand up the first time I tried to stand up, but I don't really remember too much.

"I think…" I remember saying. But I don't think it was a sentiment that was finished. The eyes of Skimmel and the boy and the dog turned on me and tried to fathom who I was but I was no more me then I was you. I was everything and the cannoli.

"Are you okay?" asked someone and I said I might maybe should lay down a few minutes. I left my coffee unfinished and stumbled towards the couch where I flopped on my stomach and passed out. It was more like passing in, there were colors and there was nothing and I was unable to express it. I didn't sleep I just didn't move. I was moving and I wasn't. I was on the cannoli and it was leading the way and I wasn't quite sure where it was going to lead. The couch shifted and took me with it and I don't recall what happened after that expect what was pieced together later with the help of Skimmel, the boy, and my faint recollections.

The last thing I remember saying was trying to figure out which cannoli I had eaten.

"It's the red cannoli you have to watch out for. The green is okay, but the red cannoli will open the doors and show you how far the rabbit hole goes." Apparently what came out when I said this was incoherent mumbling followed by uncontrolled giggling until I well and truly passed out.

I stumbled about Skimmel's apartment, stumbled into her bedroom, stumbled around and looked a things. I remember that my heart was racing and I could not figure out why I felt hot and cold and nothing. It was a blur. I was, according to the watchers, more then a little apologetic and completely incoherent. The two of them together convinced me to get into bed through the use of logic or force. I remember waking at three and the world was still spinning. I woke at five and went to the bathroom and the world was calmer then. People were asleep and I felt more human.

Then I slept again. Then I dreamt. There was running, rushing, sand and water. I was alone and naked in a storm and rushing. I was rushing and hiding and trying to figure out what was wrong with everything. I was cowering and lost. I was watching trapped. There to figures a courtesan and her lover. She wore thick skirts and had them hoisted up but still so thick that nothing could be seen. Her lover was behind her and she bulged in her bodice as he pushed her forward. She reached up and touched her face which had become a mask and he unmasked her and it was horrid, terrifying. And then he took off the second mask and they kept coming off, and there were train cars flying and I tried desperately to get to my email there as important word and I needed to read it and then I snapped awake. Cannoli inspired madness in my dreams.

There has been some speculation that perhaps someone dosed my cannoli, though both Skimmel and the boy also had some strange effect from the cannoli but theirs merely resulted in an earlier bedtime. I though maybe it was just a little sugar rush.

"Sara you were stoned."

Alright fine, I was tripping on the cannoli. While I'm capable of handling any number of things in my life apparently I'm not ready for Itlian sweets. There will defiantly be spinach lasagna in some future of mine. But never again cannoli.

Never again the cannoli.



*It should be noted that I don't condone the use of drugs or cannoli for the purpose of recreation. For enlightenment or medication, hey why not, but recreation is a no no.

5 comments:

Jill said...

I had no idea cannoli could be that strong! I should have had dinner before I read. :-)

John C said...

The last time I had true cannoli was north of Chicago. Florida has no decent cannoli. You're making me wonder if I can get some online now.

You're evil. I hate loving what you do to me.

kodeureum said...

Trifle, I mean good English trifle, might have similar properties. Welcome back, by the way. :-)

total-spender said...

Koreans are the Masters at completely bastardizing food.

Have you seen what they've done to pizza? Jesus, it beggars belief !

Saradevil said...

@Jill

Consider this a mercy.

@JohnC

I'm glad you at least love it. I don't know if mail order cannoli would be the same though, maybe if you go it from some place that also ships absinthe.

@Kodeureum

Wednesday night. Drinking!

@TS

Yeah, but I can't feel too bad about it. I mean look at what we have done to kimchi.