Eating is becoming far too much like skydiving. People eat gross unnamed foodstuffs, massive quantities of carbs and fat, or just sit and list off how many species they’ve digested. I say yes, please, go ahead and explore if it is delicious. Eating is not skydiving, you don’t get an adrenaline rush from easting a teste as much as you do a gorgeously cooked less-nasty bit, like a foot. Extreme eating is one of those pet peeves that isn’t going to go away much like my aggregations with people in bunny costumes or parsnips. But, we have had one great culinary tradition come to life and rise above the miserable mist and that is nose-to-tail cooking. Gastronerds may already know that this trend got its place in the spotlight thanks to Fergus Henderson, the British Chef and owner of St James Hotel in London who revolutionized how we look at meat.
Get ready whiners I’m about to drop some serious thought bombs on the topic of miserable sick persons. Everybody gets sick (Seriously guys EVERYBODY) and most of us can handle ourselves in public but their are some specific cases when the world may actually be ending. I’m talking of course about what the French call, un vrai grippe d’homme- mancolds homies. You know it, you’ve seen it, you’ve watched generations suffer while their male companion teeters on the edge of death with a little phlegmy hiccup and sniffle.
Certain shows demand certain foods. Sure the Super Bowl ritual is nachos and wings and what have you and I have friends who can’t get through the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show without a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and cheap wine. I’m always jealous of the spaghetti they always eat on tv, red sauce completely coating the noodles, it took years to figure out how to achieve it. Some tv shows just make you hungry, I’m a fan of any plan that involves watching health and weight loss shows with a bowl of ships on my lap. But some shows just induce cravings for the same exact thing every time, as if the director is purposefully teasing us, like in these cases
Weeds// Iced coffee
Screw you Nancy Botwin for making me start holding my coffee weird so I can look cool. Craving weed is a more obvious choice, but for the purposes of this article we’ll focus on what follows the resolution of that craving.
Seinfeld// Whatever food is on that episode
Usualy Seinfeld triggers diner coffee cravings but depending on the episode you may want soup or feel an urgent compulsion to eat a Mars bar with a fork and knife. (Tip: Freeze for a bit and eat with a fork and knife. Or heat up a cookie. ughh)
Mad Men//Cigarettes and hard liqour
Don’t even get me started on Jon Hamm. Especially after his season of going commando. Mad Men glamorizes excess but do not try day drinking at work if you work from home. Naps are tempting and then you wake-up holding a box of fruitloops at 4pm on your couch.
Downton Abbey// Tea
I can be Scottish to the point of excess. Secret organ meat binges following some peaty nectar of life (whiskey). But the Dowager Countess is my number one bitch. She is the essence of c%^t in the most despicably pleasurable way. Have you ever had a real afternoon tea? That is some serious shit. It’s like an altered reality of poshness and contained ego. Go now.
The Sopranos//Strip club chicken wings and Mama’s home cooking
To be fair I never watched much The Sopranos. But I watched the New Jersey episode of No Reservations which was technically an ode to Tony Soprano and therefore the same thing. So yeah, strip clubs and bread.
Teen Mom//A cereal bowl of birth control
I received a congratulatory text on my twentieth birthday exclaiming that I would never be on Teen Mom. That’s when I knew I had accomplished something.
The Wire// Everything
The Wire is majorly concerned with the consumption of food. This speech makes me want nuggets and then I remember no.
Twin Peaks// Pie and Coffee
This show gives me crazy cravings for a slice of warm pie and a coffee, skim to the rim. Agent Cooper knows what’s up with his coffee and drinks it black. And “Black as midnight on a moonless night” “That’s pretty black.” might be the funniest interaction after, “There’s a fish in my percolator!” Just sayin.
Natch. And I burn, I pine, I perish for Woody Harrelson (dat ass), even during the mullet years.
Alley McBeal// a parasite
They were so skinny. Why did no one have a problem with this?
More ideas? Tell me all about it
1. Salad Code. People really suck at making salads and that’s just really sad. Once you’ve figured our your leaf/greens situation great salad will have elements that are simultaneously: acidic, creamy, salty, crunchy. So you have a million options like:
Blue Cheese + bacon + lemon vinaigrette
Mango+avocado+pistachio+ shallot vinaigrette
Brie + pecans + dried cranberries + apple
You get the idea.
2. Make it Into Pasta. So you fucked up. Before the college freshmen start chanting you can save your ass in about 20 minutes. Salvage whatever vegetable or meat you’ve burned/ accidently pulverized or blown up and cut it into bite-size pieces. Sauté 1 onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp chili flakes for 5-7 minutes. Pour in a glass of wine then a can of crushed tomatoes. Add your carcass. In the meantime boil water and make pasta. Serve in your underwear if all else fails.
3. Parfait Defense. I once made a beautiful lattice top strawberry rhubarb pie to bring to a guy’s house for dessert (Because it’s 1965…) in a vain attempt to be impressive. On the way there it flipped or I fell or something. So embarrassed. But I scooped it into tall glasses and layered it with ice cream. Basically, you can do this with everything that looks ugly and you’ll seem fancy. Just call it “deconstructed”.
4. Stretch Cheap Wine and last nights pre-drink leftovers with Sangria. Sangria is Jungle’s Juices sexy cousin that went to live in Spain for six months and came back with an accent and an alcohol dependency. Look up a recipe if you care to. Or pour wine, juice, something fizzy, and some liquor into a pitv her add a ton of chopped fruit and let it soak til those wee strawberries turn into
5. Buy Dough. Pilsbury, puff, filo, whatever. Frozen dough is like $4 and you can just wrap whatever up in it and cook it and people will eat it. Puff pastry can literally be cut into strips, twirled around a few times and sprinkled with the non-crusty pantry basic of your choice and baked for fancy “straws”.
6. Go Semi-Homemade. You can jazz up pretty much anything that you bought at the grocery store. Add chili/vanilla/ lemon/ wine to things that are premade that already have chili/vanilla/ lemon/ wine and it will totally taste like you made it.
7. Mason Jars. Seriously. Serve drinks in them, Use them for parfaits (ehh?) or put tea lights in them and put them everywhere. They’re dirt cheap and easy enough to wash.
8. Last Minute Cookies. This recipe is secret and also from the back of a jar. Quick dessert or for company that you care to impress. Combine 1 cup of nut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, a pinch of salt and a lick of vanilla extract. Make into balls. Bake at 350. Done.
9. Ten Second Tidy. Last minute? The most important things to clean are your bathroom, your kitchen counters/ all the stuff in your sink, and throw all the garbage lying around in your living room. Put out some mason jar tea lights and you’re golden.
10. WWMSD. What would Martha do? What would pinterest, the internet equivalent of a good thing, do? Do that. Make little flags. Do your nails. Make place cards. Little details make people wig out.
A month after I turned 18, I moved to Montreal into what was quite possibly the shittiest dorm room ever. It fit two beds, foot to foot, 2 desks and 2 dressers. My roommate and I were polar opposites and didn’t want to wake up staring into each others eyes, so I made my room even smaller by cutting it in half.
Shit’s crazy. People eating faces. Olympians “accidentally” eating special baked goods. My “aunt” told me she was going to make weed brownies with the weed her strange family member had gifted over the Canada Day weekend (described as a joint and a “marijauna bud”.) More accurately, she told me I couldn’t have any because, “I’m going to make brownies and we’re going to get stupid!” So yeah, THC is an increasingly acceptable way to de-stress** and unwind. I am pro all the horticultural and scientific arts associated with pot and the sometimes laughs that go with ‘em. And let’s say you have a totally legal prescription and have been checking out the trailer for Birdemic because this hot guy wants to wants to watch it with you but errrgh, may I suggest a little chocolatey treat?
This is a plan for a party. A theme party. Because everyday should be a theme party and it just makes life easier when you have a good excuse for things. This party is based on two different sources. Originally it was inspired by my brothers, who introduced me to the horrors and wonders of the white trash bacon cheeseburger, and then by my friend’s sister who took this shit to the next level. So yeah: White Trash party/ Dirty white. It sounds easy enough, but it can be taken to unknown levels of shame and tackiness.
It’s hot. Like stick to your chair seat, sweat through your shorts, run to the bathroom and hope they have a hand dryer hot. I have lived a very sheltered and privileged life full of central air and easy pool access. But now it’s just me and the fan. My first fan. It’s a fancy fan. It has a remote. Sometimes it blows my stuff around but it’s okay; it’s only jokin’. But when fans can’t cut it and you’ve taken a cold shower and stuck your head in the freezer, sometimes you need to eat something cold.
Opposing urban legends, alcohol actually lowers your body temperature (rendering that flask of SoCo my Dad keeps in his ski jacket for “long chair rides” useless) and can technically cool you down, but you can’t serve beer for dessert and I stick to a strict 3 margaritas maximum for myself. So here are three cold options (in crescendoing level of difficulty) for the cook who has nothing but a magic bullet and a kitchen they can’t hold their arms up in.
Do you know that scene in Crazy Stupid Love when Baby Goose Ryan Gosling brings Emma Stone home and makes her an Old-Fashioned? Girl chugs the thing down and gags but I think it’s one of Goz’s sexiest moments in the film. That and when he eats pizza in a suit. Maybe I have a problem. But it’s not the pizza (only kind of) – the guy looks classy as fuck doing an everyday thing. Some people are just naturally cool, and some people learn to trick people. I don’ fall into either category but I have admired cool people for years. Recently, having mildly obscure knowledge of “fancy”- not in a pretentious way, just in a ‘oh yeah I know all about that’ surprising way. And cocktail knowledge is seeing a revival. Blame it on Mad Men. Douchebags will talk to you for hours about the latest crazes in ”mixology” but a cool person will be smirking in the corner drinking a Manhattan.
If you don’t want to be like a regular mom you want to be like a cool mom you better get your ass down to a farmer’s market. Or if you’re against the soul-sucking resource- destroying regimen that that is Monsanto, overpriced ocean-shipped organic produce, or just want food that tastes like food get your reusable bags ready. Despite the frequent dismissal of markets as a hipster haven the rekindled popularity of the market has brought in a huge wave of new places to shop and explore. With so many options it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you happen to be intimidated by the mom killing it in nudies, wedges, with a baby strapped across her chest and a bushel of kale big enough to feed Alicia Silverstone for a month. Here’s how to survive.
I kind of have problems with food blogs. But mostly food bloggers. I really couldn’t give less of a shit that you ate some fancy shiz at a fancy restaurant, mostly because you just ruined the whole experience for the rest of the world by taking pictures. Some video came out saying “If you didn’t tweet it you didn’t eat it’’. And I wonder, do people actually do this? I’ll bitch slap that camera out of your hands so hard it would hit a wall and boomerang back into your fish taco filled faced.
I will get weak in the knees for any man that knows the proper way to cut a mango. That shit is a skill. You can burn everything and buy every meal out but a perfectly sliced mango makes up for all the cooking skills. Real talk y’all. You can be that girl I knew who didn’t know how to boil water because she “always makes Kraft Dinner in the microwave” or you can finely mince basil and put it on your take out. Doing fancy things makes you look fancy. So learn.