Grouchy. And the food meme.

I didn’t hear my alarm go off this morning and woke up forty-five minutes late, bleary eyed and feeling hungover-ish (no, I am not hungover, for reals). Despite copious amounts of coffee I spent all morning feeling, well, a step behind everybody else. Perhaps I adjusted to Central Standard Time while in Chicago, so now my five-thirty EST really does feel like four-thirty CST? And while I am here, I just have to say, I hate Central Standard Time. The 6:30 news comes on at 5:30 and nobody is ever home at 5:30 and I think that’s weird. And I don’t care how great it is that David Letterman comes on at 10:30 (which IS pretty great, yes) because the Today show starts at 6:00 am and who can stomach Matt Lauer at 6:00 am? I think we Eastern Standard states should invade central standard states and make them adhere to what is the right and proper time.  Ach. Also today I have this weird twinge in the middle of my back, on the right side, and my neck is stiff, and all around me people are moving offices because apparently the old set-up just wasn’t working and these same people keep coming into my office and examining my furniture and measuring my windows to see if I have a bigger office than they do and then running down to my boss to make sure despite my lack of a proper hair-do  and suit coat I really am equal to them in terms of work load and pay grade. If I didn’t feel so strangely exhausted I would get up and close my door.  Anyway!

None of this matters to YOU, though, because you are here for one reason, and one reason only, and that is for your daily (yes, daily! this is the best week ever, n’est pas?) everythinginbetween meme. And because food is wonderful to think about today I will complete the food meme, which I first saw at Charlotte’s and more recently at Emily’s

What are your favourite foods?
It’s so unsophisticated but I think more than anything else I love red meat – I love hamburgers and roasts and beef ribs and steak and I could go on and on…I love meat so much that I generally eat low-carb instead of low-fat because it seems to keep me healthy and feeling good. I think this goes back to several years ago when I was dangerously anemic and the doctor prescribed iron pills and roast beef as a cure.  If I’m not eating meat (which I really only eat once or twice a week, at most) I love spicy tuna sushi, cheese of all types, spinach cooked a million different ways – I am passionate about every type of berry and I love peaches in August.  I would hate to live in a world without olives (all types), avocado, shrimp, scallops and summer tomatoes.

What foods do you hate?
Well, my tastes have changed a lot since my soy allergy and now I really have trouble with the taste of overly processsed foods. Where once I survived on Lean Cuisines and margarine, I now hate the taste of processed food. In fact when I was babysitting for a friend she had me make Kraft macaroni and cheese with Country Crock and hot dogs for the boys’ dinner and I tasted it and really, really couldn’t believe I used to like food like that. While I don’t consider myself a foodie (post still to come on this) I am perhaps a bit snobbier than I used to be!

Foods you like but are embarrassed to admit:
?? I think this question is weird. I’m not embarrassed to admit my liking for any food. Although, I guess it is a little embarassing to admit I’m lusting after McDonald’s new chicken breakfast biscuit. When I lived in North Carolina, every Friday I used to go to BoJangles  and order a chicken biscuit and hash browns and a coke for breakfast (hence why I have to diet now) and loved every last bite of it.  It is possible I may buy this biscuit sometime soon and suffer the soy consequences.

We should not be embarrassed by the foods we like.

Strangest food you’ve eaten and enjoyed?
Probably eel (in sushi) – so wonderful! I’m a fairly adventurous eater but don’t seem to have the opportunity often to try really strange items.

Cooking failures that still rankle?
Ever winter I try to make a lemon merengue pie and every winter my  merenge falls flat…I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I beat the damn sugar into the damn egg whites one tablespoon at a time and stiff white peaks never form, never ever. If anyone has any merenge tips I would greatly appreciate them. Perhaps first you could tell me how to spell merengue – I am hoping my mere approximation of the word gets across the sweet white pie topping of which I am thinking.

Ingredients you don’t want to consider living without?
olive oil, garlic, peppers in all varieties, kosher salt, lemons, hard parmesan cheese and Old Bay seasoning.

Cuisine you’d like to know more about?
I’m going through a big  Mediterranean phase right now and would love to learn more about it although, yes, I realize they aren’t so much the meat eaters.
Foods you’ve hated but have grown to love?
Mustard and green olives. My mom adores both and I remember a phase where she through both into a meatloaf along with some red wine. It’s the only meal I remember really squaring off with her about – I told her it tasted like vomit. And really, it did. But I love mustard and green olives (and wine!) nowadays.

Current kitchen conundrum?
Not applicable right now.  I once would have bemoaned not having a large kitchen and beautiful appliances but now what I have fits in nicely with my developing belief system. I do not NEED more space or beautiful appliances to prepare beautiful food.  I realized this when I was buying my dad some barbecue sauce at William Sonoma and the man in front of me in line was trying to return an asparagus peeler he bought his wife…turns out she already HAD an asparagus peeler, who knew? He said “She has every damn kitchen gadget in the world. What’s left to buy her?”  At that moment I KNEW I did not want to be the woman needing the perfect kitchen and the perfect things in order to cook for those I love.  I have everything I need, to make anything I could want.  

Hmmm, trying to think if I have any food thoughts to end this post on.  Oh! I am in love with Trader Joe’s blueberry ice cream.  For lunch I had a spinach salad topped with salami, feta cheese, kalamata olives, olive oil and balsamic. It would have been better if I’d had tomatoes and hot peppers to go with it but you make do. For breakfast every day I either eat oatmeal, or yogurt and fruit, or an egg white omelette. I quit smoking but have never been able to give up coffee despite trying repeatedly to (gag) replace it with green tea. I make the best pies in the world, and my secret is I use lard for the crusts instead of butter (which I hardly ever use because I actually don’t like the way it tastes) and Crisco, which  I can’t eat. Lard makes pie crusts turn out perfectly, every single time.  I believe in America we simultaneously focus too much on what we eat, and not nearly enough…we are so obsessed with what diet we are on or what we weigh that we do everything EXCEPT enjoy our food. We replace real food with fake alternatives and this can easily be linked with the current rise in food allergies.  Probably you will hear a lot more about food from me in September, when I participate in the Eat Local challenge….and, that’s it.  This is my food post!

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5 Responses to Grouchy. And the food meme.

  1. Emily says:

    Oh, I’d hate to live without all the same foods you’d hate to live without. And I completely agree with you that green tea is no substitute for coffee. I have managed, though, to cut down to one cup a day (which is miraculous, but that’s what skimming through the book Caffeine Blues will do to someone like me) by replacing other cups with teecino (sp?), which at least has the consistency of coffee and although doesn’t taste like coffee, tastes kind of like a flavored coffee, which is okay with me.

  2. Isn’t it lovely thinking and writing about food? I almost want to go back and do this one again, just so I can think about all the lovely food I adore. I am also into Mediterranean cooking in all its olive oily deliciousness.

    I haven’t made lemon meringue pie, but I do make pavlova a couple of times a year. First you beat the egg whites into stiff shiny peaks. Then, and only then, do you add the sugar one spoonful at a time. But you don’t beat the sugar in, you gently fold it in using a metal spoon. That way your peaks don’t fall.

  3. litlove says:

    Your salad for lunch sounds absolutely delicious, and I detest the taste of processed foods too. My mother makes stunning meringues, and I have no idea how she does it. Mine aren’t wonderful either, although when I made a pavlova once and it required a spoonful of vinegar in the mixture, that seemed to come out better than most.

  4. Andi says:

    Yay! This food whore loves food posts! (About to go post a recipe on my very own blog.)

    BoJangles is a heaven. Pure, unadulterated heaven. Their biscuits are the best around out here in NC, and I haven’t had one in ages. Maybe that’s what I’ll do for breakfast here shortly.

  5. Emily, too funny! Down to one cup of coffee? That’s remarkable! It’s in my healthy eating plan to cut down eventually but it’s just not on the radar right now.

    Charlotte…hmmm. My recipe for meringue definitely says to beat the sugar in after the peaks have formed. I think I will try it your way next time and see if it works. And it is wonderful thinking and writing about food – one of my favorite subjects!

    Litlove – Vinegar! Vinegar is good for everything, from cleaning to making salad dressings. I should have known. It’s the duck tape of the food world.

    Andi – I sometimes think Bojangles is reason enough to move back to NOrth Carolina! And consider yourself tagged for this meme!

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