All Good Things Must Come to an End

I have spent ten Christmas drives from Michigan to Texas planning where to eat.

Twenty-five hours is a long time to fantasize about food.

Only getting to eat perfectly seasoned white meat at  Chick-Fil-A, creamy bean and cheese tacos at  Taco Cabana, or the most moist smoked brisket at  Rudy’s once a year is torture.

And no one makes sweet tea like Bill Miller’s BBQ.

The most coveted restaurant  is  Niki’s Tokyo Inn and their garlic dumplings, gyoza.  The dark paneled walls and matted red carpet transport you back to when the restaurant opened in 1970. I have been eating there since I was little. The family’s houses and vegetable gardens hide behind the restaurant parking lot. The owner’s grown son, a brilliant Yale graduate, is quirky and tells crass jokes, but has a genuine heart.

Everything on the menu is exquisite, but the gyoza is divine. They melt in your mouth, taunting you to eat more. The garlic is sweet and tangy. Served as an appetizer, these 8 little dumplings are garnished with fresh cabbage to cleanse the palette.

I don’t share.

I eat a whole plate by myself.

I eat any leftovers that are missed.

I collect everyone’s unused garlic sauce to pour over my rice.

There is a long list of things you shouldn’t eat while you are pregnant, garlic being one of them, and the first Christmas home after moving to Michigan I was pregnant.  I craved gyoza for double the months, increasing my desire to order this delicacy on our next visit.

When I stepped inside, slipped off my shoes, and sunk into the soft squishy pillows surrounding our table, I knew I was home. My legs assumed the usual position of criss-cross-applesauce as I patiently waited for our order, grateful to my in-laws for watching our children so we could have a date.

Still in a garlic euphoria, I kissed The Tortoise goodnight and then nursed The Hare before going to bed.

A few hours later, I was startled from a deep sleep.

The Hare was screaming and crying.

I ran to pick her up, her little body squirming, belly distended.

Her diaper was full, gushing. An overpowering smell of fresh garlic ignited, burning my eyes and nose. I cleaned that up and quickly put on a fresh diaper. The Hare continued crying and writhing, filling another diaper. After a few diaper changes, she began to settle down. I cradled and rocked her.  Her sweaty head still oozing the scent of garlic from her pores.

Apparently, garlic wasn’t conducive to nursing either.

Lesson learned.

This week’s RemembeRed memoir prompt from, The Red Dress Club, asked us to write a post that either starts or ends with the words “Lesson learned.”

11 thoughts on “All Good Things Must Come to an End

  1. Oh, no!! I would’ve never even considered the nursing…poor baby and poor you for having to change those diapers 🙂 I plan all road trips and vacations around eating. It’s really the only way to do it.

    Stopping by from TRDC.

  2. Oh no! Poor Hare! It’s funny, because I was careful about garlic during nursing but not pregnancy; I never even thought about it. Oops.

    Your food imagery was excellent; I could taste the garlic 🙂

  3. Emily,
    For me it’s not so much the drive as it is the destination- NY; good Deli and great Italian! Thank goodness these breast don’t have babies to consider, only one fat rear end! *giggle*
    Enjoyed it!

  4. holy cow. that is both disgusting and traumatizing – you must have been freaking out! at the start of the bit about her crying and belly distended… I thought your big reveal would be that she’s allergic to garlic, and that you can never… ever… have your delicious-sounding dumplings again, or anything else garlic-ey.

  5. Oh no! Just oh no!

    I can so relate to coveting foods from home- we’re the same way. Not too many decent delis in good ‘ol MN!

    But your poor baby and poor you!

  6. Oh.. how beautifuly written. I love how you write and tell story, how it flow!! I once made that same mistake while breatfeeding. I craved spicy food and ate a fresh thai pepper with my chicken. My little Tyra was up with diarea. I feel so bad I cry all night with her while changing her diaper. Keep on whispering “mommy sorry.. mommy sorry…” well, lesson learn! 🙂

  7. I love Chick-fil-a and sweet tea but i make a pretty mean sweet tea myself. I loved your retelling of the story but hate it that the Hare had to suffer from over exposure to garlic. Lesson learned right?

    I learned a lesson when changing my first born’s cloth diaper. Pay attention while doing it! I pinned the diaper to her skin one time and needless to say I was riddled with guilt for ages. Does that make you feel better?

  8. Emily,
    That’s pretty much how I plan our trips back to Texas as well : ) I love living in Chicago, but miss my favorite SA restaurants. We finally have Chick-Fil-A, so it’s just a matter of time before you have them in your area.

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