If you read this blog with any kind of regularity, you probably have noticed that I'm a "foodie" which is defined by the Urban Dictionary thusly: "A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation." I like to cook. I like to eat. Exotic or esoteric ingredients don't scare me. Note tonight's dinner (or at least part of it), pictured above. I made a spicy carrot salad, a tomato and roasted eggplant salad and tzatziki (a yoghurt dip with garlic and cucumber). I'm also going to make stuffed peppers with leftover cous cous salad from Easter and some leftover lamb.
I like to cook because I like to eat well. It's a priority for me. Cooking my own food means that I can keep track of the quality of the food that I eat. I can use fresh vegetables and meats and whole grains and the like. But, I'm only human.
Sometimes, I have cravings. Cravings for bad, awful things. If you offer me a Burger King Double Whopper with Cheese and Onion Rings, I will not tell you "no". I may find you later and beat you to death when, after six hours, it's no closer in my stomach to digesting than when I took it out of the bag. But, I won't tell you "no".
I demand that my mother makes green bean casserole every time I come home for a holiday dinner. You know, the kind that is green beans (fresh, frozen, canned...whatever) swimming in Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup and covered with canned Durkee (or French's) Fried Onion Rings? The one that probably has more sodium per serving that just eating straight salt? Yeah, that one.
I keep a stash of Ramen Noodles ("Oriental" Flavor - made from real, freeze-dried Orientals!) and "blue box" mac n' cheese in the pantry. I don't apologize for this. Sometimes you want the booze soak food you remember from college and you want it to be food you can fix quickly, while teetering close to a blackout and hoping that you don't burn the kitchen down in the process.
However, recently, I had a craving for Chef Boyardee canned "meat" ravioli. There's about as much real meat in these things as in a bag of pencil shavings. And about as much flavor. I gave in, but I'm happy to say that, having revisited this foodstuff, I don't think it'll ever be a problem again. I knew it was bad going in, but I ate it a lot in college. I didn't remember how nasty and tinny the flavor was or how disturbingly flabby the "pasta" was. I suppose you could describe it as "toothsome" if by toothsome you mean "cleaves to the palate like spackle".
I was describing the experience to someone recently. When I was done, she asked me, "Flabby? Kinda like cellulite? Or whale blubber?"
I wasn't able to answer her because it was then that it occurred to me that there were a couple esoteric ingredients I just would not be able to bring myself to try.
I'm not even sure where you'd buy.. those.
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