Tuesday, June 07, 2016

June 7, 2016--Midcoast: The Green Stuff

"What's this I hear about you and that green stuff?"

We were at the cashiers in Reilly's with a basket full of things for dinner--steak medallions, sweet potatoes, salad, and a pint of Walpole's ice cream to a la mode the strawberry rhubarb pie Rona baked using our friend Ken's rhubarb.

Sensing our confusion, Sarah asked again, "You know that green stuff, the chili sauce I'm hearing they now have at the Bristol Diner?"

"Oh, that," Rona said. "Yes they have it. Green Dragon hot sauce from Trader Joe's in Portland from near where Sharon lives. You know, Deb's daughter. Deb, who now owns the diner. Sharon buys it there and brings it to the diner. Probably also to Deb's other place in Waldoboro."

Intrigued, I said, "You not only know about it but also that we've been liking it after spotting it at the diner a couple of days ago?"

"Well you know it's a small town here. Everybody knows whatever they want to know. The good, the bad, even the ugly. Maybe 'specially the ugly." She winked, "Not that there's that much of that."

"Oh no," Rona said, playfully.

"So it'd be worth my while to get over there to try it?"

"Could be," Rona said, "We like it so much we asked if maybe Sharon could bring us a bottle of our own. Of course we'd pay her. I'm thinking about all the things it could go with. For example, this steak and even the crab cakes we're planning for the end of the week. We'll be back for some corn for that."

"I'm not sure about the crab cakes," I said. "It could overwhelm them. They have a delicate flavor."

"I'm mixing a little with my tartar sauce," Rona insisted, "Just to spice it up a little."

Two days later when we returned to get some corn on the cob to accompany the crab cakes, Sarah was there and appeared eager to talk with us.

"Glad the place is quiet," she said. "I'm all excited."


"The green stuff. The hot sauce from Trader Joe's. You know, what we were talking about the other day."

"Rona's been finding all sorts of things to do with it after Sharon brought us our own bottle."

"That doesn't sound bad."

"You know, on the label where they list the ingredients, it says the bottle contains 102 'servings.' I said to Rona, if we use it at our current rate we'll need another bottle by the end of next week. We've been sloshing it on everything in sight."

Rona protested, "An exaggeration, to say the least."

Still bubbling, Sarah said, "After I talked with you folks the other day, I went to the diner for breakfast."

"Sorry we missed you."

"You know my hours here so I got there real early."


"Well, the green stuff's all the rage. And I can see why. It's as you said. Everyone's talking about it. Sharon was there waitressing. She helps Deb out when she can and she was telling everyone that you liked it so much that you went for Thai food the next night because you said as a result of having Green Dragon with your eggs and hash browns you were so addicted to spicy flavors that you ordered your food at the Thai place at the four-star level."

"That's true," Rona said, "It's one star below the spiciest level."

"Everyone at the diner thought that was really funny. Though you know, now I'm thinking about how to use it. I liked it so much. I thought, would it work with stir-fried chicken, red peppers, sweet onions,  and rice? One of my go-to dishes."

"It would be amazing," Rona said. "You know what I'm thinking?"

"What's that?" I asked, not really wanting to hear.

"With the corn on the cob we're making tonight, how about rubbing some on the kernels and then in their husks roasting the corn on the grill? Sort of Mexican style."

"I don't know. Maybe we could . . ."

"What time are you serving?" Sarah laughed. Less than half in jest.

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