The weekend food of a non-foodie

I do really enjoy talking about food – I’m not a foodie, I don’t think – not like the people we celebrated New Year’s weekend with, who brought their own zesters and steak knives to a fully stocked vacation home and spent the bulk of the afternoon whipping up sauces and soaking dried fruit in champagne – I think, actually, in order to be a foodie you have to declare yourself as such, don’t you? I’ve heard many people say “Oh, I’m such a foodie”  and I assume I’m not because I would never say that, and also because of certain traits I observe in foodies  – an obsession over just the right cheese, the ability to send food and wine back at a restaurant, an interest in talking about food, what to eat, where to eat, how to prepare it, all day long – that’s just not me.  But I do like to cook, and perusing cookbooks in the evening relaxes me, and I love to eat.  I’m pretty good at more old-fashioned kind of food, the dishes my mom and grandma taught me to cook – beef stroganoff, chicken piccata, roasts of all shapes and sizes, pies, cakes – stick-to-your rib kinds of meals.  Because a lot of that food isn’t healthy to eat every day, I can also work magic with chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, black beans, spinach , artichokes – those five items are staples in my kitchen.

It’s Super Bowl weekend here in the United States and on Friday everybody at work was talking about what they planned and looked forward to eating, today.  Apparently there’s a dip where you shred hot wings into blue cheese AND DIP CHIPS INTO IT.  Other folks talked about 7-layer dip, submarine sandwiches, take-out barbecue, coney-dogs,  cheese cake on a stick, various lagers and ales and the what was ultimately agreed on as the best dip of dips – chili with a hunk of velveeta cheese melted into it and spread on tortilla chips. I found it really interesting how people waxed poetic about this kind of food – as though they don’t eat it more often than once a year, as though this actually isn’t mainstream American nutrition.  Mostly because of my soy allergy, I can’t take part in this kind of eating – no fake cheeses or non-organic potato chips or pizza for me, and while I sort of mourn this – this limitation in my eating, at the same time I know it’s responsible for my glorious triglycerides (let’s not talk cholesterol, though – it’s a bit high) and allows me the opportunity, on the coldest weekend of the year, when all of  southeastern Michigan is in a long deep freeze, to enjoy the following food:

Saturday morning:

Met friends for breakfast.  One of the interesting things about the Detroit area is the heavy Greek and Mexican influences found here, and you can’t go more than 2 miles without hitting incredible Greek food of one sort or another.  We went to a restaurant that cooks food in olive oil instead of soybean oil and uses real cheese, so I enjoyed a spinach and feta egg-white omelette with sourdough toast smothered in butter, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  I haven’t been out for breakfast in probably a year, but this restaurant reminded me why it used to be such an excellent way to spend a Saturday morning.

Dinner last night (because obviously I was too full for lunch) was bruschetta the way I learned to make it in Rome – Italian bread covered in olive oil and garlic and toasted. For toppings S. and I shared a selection of roasted peppers, mozzarrella cheese, kalamata olives, hot peppers and salami.  S. wolfed dinner down and said this was something I could make whenever I wanted, which is HIGH compliment coming from him, since he usually pushes food I serve him around on a plate, avoiding the vegetables and keening for dessert or, at the very least, a third helping of meat.

Today’s breakfast was quite boring – yogurt and fruit, and lunch was salami sandwiches with olive oil (leftovers) but this afternoon I made a lemon merengue pie from scratch.  An English roast is in the oven, and we will enjoy caesar salad and finish of the Italian bread with dinner.  It has been a lovely weekend to eat with friends and lovers in warm places, wrapping hands around coffee cups and tea cups, displaying food attractively across platters, dining by candlelight while the snow blusters and blows outside.  We rarely eat like this on weekends, S. and I, but it is the Super Bowl, after all, and what is a non-foody to do when she can’t eat chips, dip and corn dogs? Tomorrow the work week begins and I’ll look again to my chicken, my beans, my leafy greens and organic chocolate, but it’s been a nice respite, to eat outside of our box.

* I should note, in between all of this making and eating of food, A. and I managed to see The Departed, and what everybody tells you is true: It is very violent. It is very long. It is very good.*

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8 Responses to The weekend food of a non-foodie

  1. Andi says:

    Ahhh, I was in the mood to read a food post, and you more than delivered.

    It’s been a very foodish weekend for me, but mine falls more on the side of crappy greasy food and sweets. Nonetheless, it’s something that happens for me rarely nowadays, so I enjoyed every moment of my garlic parmesan wings tonight when I was not watching the Super Bowl (What Not to Wear marathon was on).

    This week it’s back to decent food, including veggie scrambles, chicken cordon bleu, unstuffed cabbage (recipe forthcoming on my blog), and a variety of other mostly-healthy goodies.

    I haven’t achieved foodie status yet either, but I hope to someday.

  2. Charlotte says:

    Mmmm, makes me hungry just reading your post. I think by your definition, I’m also not a foodie. I adore food – making it and eating it and sharing it – but I don’t care about the details too much. I don’t care about the right kind of wine or the right kind of cheese, and I like nursery food far too much.

    I think I wouldn’t be able to relate to all that cheesy, carbohydrate food if I were in the States. I like to reserve my calories for cakes and desserts!

  3. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, I’m so hungry! I love food but I’m not a foodie either — I’d never return a dish at a restaurant, unless it was truly, truly awful. I guess the thing is I like all kind of food, gourmet or not.

  4. LK says:

    Yum, makes me hungry. I’m a foodie, because I eat a lot of food. I don’t even own a zester.

  5. Emily says:

    Like everyone else, you’ve made me hungry. I’m not a foodie, either. I just love to eat, and I love to play around in the kitchen trying to come up with “the best thing I’ve ever made.” (Of course, if I ever do, I will promptly forget how I made it, because I never write anything down.)

  6. litlove says:

    You remind me that I haven’t eaten in a Greek restaurant for ages and yet I do love Greek food. Now that I don’t eat any sugar, it can be difficult choosing a main course as I used to love those meat dishes that had been simmered in red wine for an eternity. Ahhh happy food memories!

  7. Andi, chicken wings go straight to my heart – especially garlic parmesan! We could so totally eat together!

    Charlotte – I’m actually not totally sure what a foodie is, either – and I should make it clear I love those I know who declare themselves as such – I’m just pretty sure I am NOT one.

    Dorothy – the only thing I ever returned at a restaurant was a tuna steak that was served to me frozen!

    Emily – LOL – I’m not a great kitchen experimenter and I tend to follow recipes to a T – otherwise the result is never very good.

    Litlove – oh, Greek food – how I love it.It seems to me if you like lamb, perhaps you could have lamb with Mediterranean spices? I love the strong flavors of Greek food.

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