Tag Archives: food

Where Do I Start?

It’s been what, nine days since I’ve posted? I’ve missed two Winter Sunday Stats in a row, and except for the birthday post for Unfocused Girl, nothing at all since Feb. 22.

I’m not going to make it all up tonight, but I’ll try to post a few times this week, at least briefly.  Things have gotten very busy at work, with some planned and unplanned travel, and other stuff happening at home, and I’m getting over a nasty cold, all of which means I haven’t had much time or energy to write or run much, or even read other people’s blogs. Sorry for the silence. I’m going to be jammed for another couple of weeks, but I’ll try to be a little less absent from the blogosphere.

I intended to post Unfocused Girl’s menu from our dinner on her 8th birthday but didn’t get around to it.  Here it is:

  • 2 Shirley Temples
  • 1/2 order of escargots
  • marrow bones
  • 1/2 order of mussels cooked in beer
  • steak frites
  • one scoop of French vanilla ice cream

UG didn’t eat much of the marrow bones, but I think they were overcooked. I had to move pretty quickly to get my half of the mussels.  She was also a little full by the time her steak arrived, so she had the rest of it for lunch the next day. We had a wonderful evening; she’s a very nice dinner companion.  We brought home an entree and dessert for the Siren; she needed something, since she had spent the evening with Junior at a birthday party at Pump It Up, with about a million hyper little boys.

I won an award, which is always nice.  Thanks to Mike at Everything Under the Sun for the Proximidade Award:

Proximidade Award

“This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes of self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

In my next post, I’ll update on the writing. It will be brief, by necessity. I will also name the eight people I’m giving the award to, so if you think you deserve it, you have 24 hours to get me your bribes or clever comments.

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Scary Article About Allergens in Processed Food

The Chicago Tribune has a frightening, but unfortunately unsurprising, article about the prevalence of undisclosed food allergens in food, and the government’s complete lack of interest in the subject.  Thanks, government!  Even if your kids don’t have life-threatening food allergies — and I hope they don’t — you may be disgusted to know that many manufacturers simply have no idea what’s in their products, and that the lists of ingredients or claims on the label are little more than an educated guess.

I know there are companies out there that spend a lot of money and effort to avoid cross-contamination and get this right.  The problem is that the companies that don’t make it very difficult to trust anyone.

A Meme About Food. Because That’s Something I Can Deal With.

I’m completely blown away by what’s been happening on Wall Street since Friday, but I don’t have anything particularly intelligent to add.  There are good articles about it here and here, but the situation keeps changing.

Instead of rambling on about moral hazards, financial contagion, and the potential meltdown of the U.S. financial system, I’m going to post about food.  I caught this meme about food from Freshhell at Life in Scribbletown.  I’m not going to mention chocolate because I’m afraid of sounding like Cathy.

1. How do you like your eggs?

Depends.  Most days I have an egg white omelet with one whole egg mixed in as part of my breakfast (along with the oatmeal I’ve mentioned previously).  If I’m being a little decadent, I’ll have three eggs over easy on toast.  If I’m being a lot decadent, I’ll have eggs benedict.  I also like my eggs scrambled, soft boiled, hard boiled, or poached.  I kind of like eggs.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?

To paraphrase Montgomery Burns, I take it black, like my lawyer’s heart.

3. Favorite breakfast food:

Oatmeal.  And Mrs. Unfocused’s cinnamon rolls, but I don’t eat those very often.

4. Peanut butter:

Not in our house — Junior is allergic to peanuts.  We eat soynut butter.  I like the crunchy, but am perfectly happy with the smooth.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?

Vinagrette or honey mustard.

6. Coke or Pepsi?

I hardly ever drink pop, but will always choose a Diet Coke over a Diet Pepsi, and prefer Coke Zero to either.

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?

Soynut butter and jam sandwich.  Toasted bread.  Blueberry, strawberry, or apricot jam.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?

Half cheese (for the kids), half veggie (for the Mrs. and me).  Thin crust.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?

One of my many failures as a human being is that I hardly ever cook at all (except for eggs and oatmeal).  I’d probably make breakfast for dinner:  scrambled eggs for the Mrs. and me (and Unfocused Girl if she’s in the mood), eggless pancakes for the whole family (Junior’s cursed allergies again), toast, and bacon, if we have any.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?

Soon after the Mrs. and I got married, we came up with our own tradition for breakfast on Christmas morning, which we have continued since we had children.  There is a very good bagel place in Skokie; it’s a little bit of a hassle to get to, but the bagels are worth it.  On Christmas Eve, I go there and buy bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon, and that’s what we eat for breakfast on Christmas.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?

Yogurt.  I always hated yogurt, and once, when I was a kid — around 6 or 7 — when I felt nauseous, my father badgered me into eating a bowl of yogurt in the belief that it would make me feel better.  I’m not sure how many bites I took before I had to run to the bathroom to throw up, but every heave tasted like yogurt (sorry for the mental image there).  I don’t eat yogurt, and I still can’t stand the smell more than 30 years later.  Yes, I know it’s good for you.  You can have mine.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?

Fruity bagels (blueberry, apple, etc.) remind me of Satan, because fruity bagels are the official breakfast food of Hell.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?

Yogurt and fruity bagels.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?

For candy, it was Whoppers, until I was 10 or so.  I somehow got my hands on a quart container of Whoppers, and ate all of them.  I did not eat Whoppers again until college.

For real food, it was lobster.  My father and I used to go camping in Maine with the Sierra Club, and at the end of the trip we’d have a steak and lobster cook-out (ah, roughing it!), and I always liked throwing the lobsters into the pots.  I was, apparently, utterly without empathy for our crustacean brethren.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?

Peanut butter and hot dogs.  When I was a kid, I was so picky about what I would eat that my mother was reduced to feeding me Campbell’s tomato soup for breakfast and jelly sandwiches (grape jelly and white bread) for lunch.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?

Not that I can think of.  I still have a little trouble with Whoppers.

17. Favorite fruits and vegetables:

Apples, grapes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, leeks, carrots.

18. Favorite junk food:

Barbecue-flavored potato chips.

19. Favorite between meal snack:

Ideal:  Fruit smoothie with whey protein.

Between meal snack I actually eat most days:  bag of pretzels.

20. Do you have any weird food habits?

No.  What?  Why are you looking at me like that.  I don’t, okay?  That isn’t weird.  Lots of people do it.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?

The harshest diet I ever went on was the beginning of my senior year of college; I was very overweight, but I was in a play opening in two months in which I was playing a homeless man.  I dropped 30-40 pounds (it didn’t last) by smoking two packs a day and eating pickles as my only snack between meals.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?

Barbecue-flavored potato chips, fried potato skins, and Giordano’s deep-dish pizza.  And beer.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?

Medium spicy.

24. Can I get you a drink?

Yes, please.  Dewar’s and soda, no twist.

25. Red or White Wine?

Red.

26. Favorite dessert?

A bowl of fresh berries, with just a sprinkle of brown sugar on top.

HAHAHAHAHAHA — No, I’m kidding.  Let’s see, in no particular order:

— freshly baked chocolate chip cookies;

— the chocolate mousse at Brasserie Jo;

— chocolate cake made from the egg-free, nut-free mix we use for Junior, with Mrs. Unfocused’s frosting; and

— the blueberry pie we get from the farm store at the beach.

27. The perfect nightcap?

The drunken apricot:  a piece of frozen apricot, a shot of Southern Comfort, in a glass of champagne.

Consider yourself tagged.

Happy Passover!

When I was in high school, my friend Barry used to say that he was Jewish, but not very good at it. I’m half-Jewish, and not terribly good even at that. Add it to the list of things I’m not terribly good at.

We do have a seder almost every year for Passover, though, so the kids learn something about this part of their heritage (and because we enjoy it). Over the years we’ve cobbled together our own Haggadah from various sources, and we all have our designated lines. Mrs. Unfocused, Lutheran born and bred, gets into the spirit of it, even to the point of buying kosher-for-passover wine, which has come a long way from the sugary aged grape juice I remember tasting as a youngster. She also does a lot more of the preparation work than I do; she’s cooking now – I can smell the lamb shanks from the upstairs bathroom where I’m giving the kids a bath. A little over eight hours to sunset. Getting hungry.

I don’t have anything deep to say about Pesach; I’m neither religious nor spiritual. But I do think it’s important to pass on at least some of these traditions, if only to keep the history alive.