Good afternoon all!
Something about the weather today gives me the feeling that this post is going to be centered around food. For those of you not living in the NYC area, it's one of those chilly rainy days that makes you want to curl up on a couch in front of a warm fire with a really soft blanket and watch trashy television while devouring the contents of your kitchen cabinets. Or maybe that's just me.
To be honest, I really only do that kind of damage when I go home (to IL) for a visit. I have a process each time I come home that involves the dissection of every product in our pantry, refrigerator, closet, under the bed, .. essentially any space where food could potentially be hiding. I will seek it out. Once I have identified all the products that we own (and most of them are the same every time--it's like visiting old friends!!) I then must taste each and every one. Even if I know what they taste like, even if I know they are awful and I don't like them, I must do it. It is a ritual (compulsion?). Then I can center in on the items which I truly love and devote more time and attention to them, really relish in whatever it is I like about them (this typically happens with items like peanut butter, crackers, ice cream, cheese, cookies...ok, so including a short list was a lost cause).
Now, my family always gives me a lot of flack for doing this. We'll all have dinner together, and then everyone will migrate to the living room to enjoy an episode of The Daily Show while I will move furiously from cabinet to fridge, tasting as I go, each bag rustle prompting a "Are you STILL in there?" or a "What is she eating NOW??". I huff back a defensive, "I'm hungry!" or "Nothing!! You don't understand!" as though this is some deeply rooted, emotional issue that is far to complex for anyone else to comprehend. After I have consumed half the peanut butter jar with a spoon, I will happily join my family in the living room or head off to bed feeling full and satisfied.
Why do I do this? Well, as I mentioned in my 'about me', I find it impossible to choose a favorite food because of my extreme loyalty to all of them--I say it would be like choosing my favorite child. So let's apply that idea to this scenario. I come home after months of being away and I want to check up on all my children, hidden away in the deepest, darkest corner of the pantry, having been neglected for months (or in some cases, years--only very non-perishable items, don't blame mom, she's a very clean person but we all know those mysterious chips left over from that strange weight loss program someone sort of committed to temporarily that are supposed to taste like cinnamon sugar chips but really just taste like questionable sweet styrafoam). I spend time with them, give them love, even the ones that I know aren't good enough to make it out there in the hard, scary world of consumer food choices. I am a very loving mother to my food products.
On one particular occasion, I was home alone because both my brother and parents were out of the country and I had a break from performances during tour while we happened to be in the area. I couldn't reach my family (thanks, Verizon) and so I maybe gave a tad more love to my food family at home. I even went to visit our distant relatives in the garage freezer. The high school cookie dough stock. We all have this one too. That cookie dough your mom bought in barrels because the chorus was having a fundraiser for your yearly field trip but it never gets made. Instead it is shoved and stocked in the back of the most distant freezer you own and by the time all your kids get through high school you have a nice little assortment of frozen cookie dough. I stumbled upon this when I opened the freezer and actually thought I had died and gone to some kind of cookie dough heaven. I had so many choices!! Turtle, peanut butter, sugar... where to begin??! Naturally, being that they were in the freezer, they were frozen. But that didn't discourage me at all. I went straight for the peanut butter. Opened the plastic lead, broke the seal, and tried to dig in the my fingers (this part may be a bit vulgar for those of you with children reading). This proved to be a challenge because the cookie dough was quite cold and I could really get it to budge (perhaps because it had been frozen for 20 years or so--again, don't blame mom). Then an idea occurred to me. I was moderately ashamed that I would even consider what I was about to do, but then I thought "what the hell? It's just me here. Nobody's watching." (except now I'm telling all of you.). Before I explain what I did, let's quickly review the architecture of plastic binned cookie dough. The dough is obviously binned by a machine which I would imagine to be like a soft serve machine, so that when the last bit of the dough is in the jar and the machine stops, it leaves what you might describe as an island of cookie dough in the center, surrounded by a small moat. You with me? Ok, so I raise the bin to my face...(yes, really) and I attempt to bite off part of the magical peanut butter cookie dough island in the center of the surface. Unfortunately, my face was too large and the surface was still too hard which resulted in me bumping my nose on the container rather hard. I put the lid back on and walked shamefully back to the house. I had a bruise for the next several days.
Did I still go back and visit the cookie dough the next day? Why, of course!! Would you abandon your child just because he or she said or did something that hurt you? No, you would not.
But back to the here and now. I'm going to leave you with a few images of the food that I am feeling rather close to right now due to the weather. Feel free to comment or share images of your own!
I'm sure it's not as good as mom's, which is what I'm imagining, but this would be wonderful
This would do as well. Maybe with some tomato soup.