I Hate Salmon, So Stop Making Me Feel So Damn Guilty!

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon.

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I read one more article about the health benefits of my least favorite, strong (sorry, foul to me) smelling fish I am going to have a nutty. This expression was coined by my friend, Debbie, when our  boys were 2 years old.  The boys would often go off the deep end, fight, scream and cry, and we were sleep deprived and over-whelmed. Having “a nutty”just summed it up for both kids and moms.

By now, we know from every magazine, newspaper, television and vitamin commercial that the almighty salmon is healthy to eat and it has antioxidants. We see that everywhere, hear about that from friends, family, doctors, hair stylists, people from Verizon and Comcast. You get the idea. I’m wondering if I am the ONLY outcast who just can’t stand the stuff. I want to like it and be healthy but frankly the mere smell makes me nauseous.

I  blame my friend’s mother Natalie who forced me to eat it at their home one day when I was a young teenager. This family was very strict and very rule conscious, believe me. When I  politely refused to eat the salmon mousse for lunch she did not give up. Nor did she say, “I understand, have a peanut butter sandwich.” She then lied and said that” it was tuna, her mistake.” There was absolutely no choice in this household, I’d still be sitting there, hunched over, 42 years later if I hadn’t gulped it down, quickly throwing back whatever beverage was at hand. Believe me, no way was it soda, I’m betting on milk.

My husband eats salmon often when we go out to eat as does my mother and almost every person I know. Is there a salmon conspiracy? (I’m kidding) I have tried tiny bits of salmon in different forms with different toppings, yes, I want to like it. I don’t. Believe me, at 56 years old, there is no one, no chef, no expert that could make me eat salmon willingly. Hey, Top Chef, why don’t you make this one of your challenges? Because no one would win? Want to try it? Game on.

I’m sick of the articles in every Health Magazine about the benefits of eating this red-headed monster fish. I don’t even like looking at it on the plate. I feel like I’m supposed to feel guilty for NOT eating it and if I get really sick, which is inevitable, people around me will point a slim finger at me and say “You really should have forced yourself to eat salmon, it’s really not that bad.” So, don’t blame me, blame Natalie who forced me to eat it and I never recovered after that experience.

My daughter was a picky eater ever since she began eating solid foods, she would not eat the turkey, lamb, meat baby food. She spit it out. Know what? I didn’t force her to eat it, how could I? She wouldn’t swallow it. I let her eat other things instead and not junk. Today she is an admirable vegetarian, not eating meat for ethical reasons. Her older brother once tried to make her eat a tiny bite of his hamburger at McDonald’s and she did but she spit it out. So, in our house we have one vegetarian and one carnivore. I think we were too easy, looking back, not making our kids try things and offering options instead but we were new parents. Not wanting to make other people’s mistakes, as usual, we made our own.

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Prednisone Bitch, Part 2 (ENERGY!!!)

The Energizer Bunny

Image by Ben+Sam via Flickr

I just made 5  huge portions of baked ziti and covered them all with shiny aluminum foil. I put two small portions in the freezer, for my daughter (she’s a vegetarian) I made a big one for all of us to eat tomorrow night and made 2 to give to a friend.  I also made chilled peach soup with spices  for my friend and bought her a still-warm Italian bread from the bakery as well as a bag of brownies. I delivered the food, found room in our crowded refrigerator for ours and practically buried my head in the freezer to make room for the rest.  I have folded three loads of laundry, have one load in the washing machine that I will soon transfer to the dryer. I loaded the dishwasher and ran it, and then washed various pots and pans by hand, rapidly. This is so not me, this is me on steroids; I could be a walking, no sprinting, advertisement about drugs: this is my body on steroids, this is my body without; what a difference!  I am spritzing  Fantastik on paper towels to wipe up spills, I am cleaning up the house. My movements make me dart back and forth and I am talking at a really fast pace. I actually think my husband prefers me like this, the “energizer bunny” onspeed and not my usual low-key self. He better not get used to it because in a few days it’s all over and I will be back to my old chronic pain and fatigued self. Unfortunately.

I know it will be depressing when I come 0ff of this steroid high but it’s amazing how good I feel. Rush, rush, rush. My fingers can’t  type as fast as my thoughts are running, streaking through my head. My son, looks at me both amusement and  concern: “Mom, calm down” he advises, but I explain to him that I cannot. I will however, be back to my usual sub-par pace in a mere few days. As for now, I feel chipper; a little too chipper. Remind me later, friends, when this wears off, what it felt like to read this, to feel this, to embrace this because every day I will feel less and less energized, more and more lethargic. I am the movie “Cocoon” for those of us old enough to remember. I am “Cocoon” the re-make, 2010.

Luckily, the bitchiness of the first day is over and I am no longer throwing darts, figuratively, at someone’s head. I am not sending off vapid e-mails and insulting comments, that was bad-me, ” Prednisone Bitch-Me.”  Thankfully, she  has left, departed, disappeared, leaving behind sparks and energy.  It was as if wild-me had been let out of hiding after many years or I had broken out of prison. The energy is here, the meanness is gone, it was a good trade.

Perhaps I will go to bed late tonight ( can you see me tiring out quickly?) and do a few more chores, instead of what I usually do: read in bed, watch a little Food Network television ( or Bravo or Travel) and play on my computer. Luckily, I have already DVR’d a few shows, which I have never done before but accomplished that this morning after my first cup of really strong, aromatic, Bustello coffee. Now I know that I can watch these shows at my leisure, when leisure finds its way back to me, say in about 4 days or so. Right now, I can’t at all describe myself as leisurely.

The first night I was on Prednisone I was roaming the house, inside, up and down my 13  carpeted steps because I could not fall asleep, I was up until after 2am, now I know why. Last night, with my allergies so bad I had to take a Benadryl, I nodded off at about 12:30am. My usual bedtime sans Prednisone is about 10:30 and that’s on a really good night.

My mind races, my legs, that usually, carry the weight of the world, walking slowly  and painfully in sneakers has all but disappeared. I am practically frolicking. It’s like a vacation from chronic pain, fatigue, fog, and lethargy. I am very alert though when someone is speaking to me I don’t listen as carefully because my mind is already formulating the next sentence.

I’ve typed this whole page in less than a few minutes but don’t give me credit. In a few days I probably look back and say how artificial the feeling was, how the energy was just too much. Will I do that? Probably not. I will remember how I felt with great fondness and longing. This is not what normal people feel either, this is steroids, pure and simple, artificial and dangerous and today, it feels good. I’m not going to lie.

“Master Chef” and FOOD Shows

Gordon Ramsey

Image by jo-h via Flickr

Last night, after watching Master Chef on Hulu, I dreamt that I had sex with Gordon Ramsey (or was about to). Really, I don’t know why but he was all loving and tentative and whispering sweet things into my neck and not yelling at me at all. Let’s set the record straight, the Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen would not be invited to my bed, lips, house, town, ever. Master Chef, Gordon Ramsey, was sweet and nurturing, tentative and very thoughtful. I was kind of disappointed when I woke up (no offense to my real life husband).

I have become more and more addicted to the Food shows on television. It started out just with the Food Network but I have branched out with Bravo, Discovery and The Cooking Channel or Food Channel, whatever it is called. I would like to star in Food 101, a show for us real people who have trouble making meatballs but we love to eat; except for odd things like goat and escargot and sushi, and rabbit.  I can still remember the time I tried a tiny piece of goat and gagged. I enjoy lobster in a restaurant but cannot kill one. The one time my husband bought lobster, I went upstairs. I refused to watch him drop the poor lobster in boiling water and I thought that if I didn’t see it I could eat it. Couldn’t do it, the kitchen smelled like the beach and I ate a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, quite happily,  upstairs in our bedroom, alone.

As many of you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Adam Richman host of Man vs. Food and some other show with Pig Out in the title. I would share a SMALL sandwich with him but he will not be in my dreams.  Top Chef, with  Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio is another kind of fantasy. In this fantasy, I become Padma, I am Padma. I want to look like her, dress like her, basically I want to become her.

I am tired of cupcakes, I can’t stand the sight of another one so Cupcake Wars, which was a slight favorite at one point in my life is gone from my viewing schedule. All those 9,ooo pretty, silly cupcakes; I know I’m exaggerating but it’s getting annoying. The trend is really just about over, stop the cupcakes, turn off the oven, man up and eat a damn slice of cake or two.

The other show that I have turned people on to is Cake Boss. I want to BE a part of their family. No, seriously, I mean it. I love Buddy, his mother, his sisters, his wife, his guys in the kitchen, his bakery. Not only do I want to go there and buy one of everything but I would like to be invited to dinner every Sunday. Seriously. What a lovely man and a great family, sigh. I would NEVER fantasize about Buddy, because he would be like a brother to me, the brother I always wanted.

I was addicted to The Ace of Cakes but as much as I wanted to party at their place (because it always looks like a lot of fun at Duff’s bakery) I got bored with the introduction to the show, the cackling laugh, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol (just my opinion, ladies and gentlemen) and basically tired of the same, fantasy cakes: an airplane, a dog, baseball stadium, fire-crackers and way too much celebrity time. I think I really liked this show when it first started. Would I hang out with Duff and Mary Ellen? Anytime. Watch the show again? Not so much.

Some of you may be thinking that I watch too much television. You’re probably right although most are DVD’d. I spend a good amount of time in bed with a chronic illness so these shows, to me, are upbeat and entertaining, not to mention I love to eat. I’m a foodie, I am just not a great cook (okay, not even a good cook). I make a mean Banana Bread though, but make sure you don’t tell Bobby Flay.

Love Food Shows, Hate To Cook: What’s Up With That?

Dear Food Network and Bravo:

Can I consider myself a foodie if I don’t like to cook? In fact, I pretty much hate it. But watching it on television? I’m an addict. I guess the fact that I obsess about food, look forward to it, think about it, crave, it entitles me to be a non-cooking foodie. I think that I may be inspired one day to try real cooking; but not right now. I can get by on cooking meals for my family but it’s the basic stuff. Pasta and home-made cheese sauce (Ok, almost home-made: I confess I use Kraft American slices, individually wrapped.)I also bake the best and the most delicious banana bread in the world (plain, with raisins, chocolate chips or both). I can do a roast and I’m definitely fine with sticking a chicken (with kosher salt and pepper)  and a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon, in the oven. Baked potatoes? Anytime. My new favorite: a well-toasted english muffin with lite cream cheese and slices of tomato and a hint of salt and pepper. My beverage of choice with this? Need you ask? Yoo-Hoo, cold or room temperature.

I need to work for the FOOD NETWORK  OR BRAVO FOOD) station. Anybody here have any connections? I’m very likable, love to eat (although I have to say I might gag if I had to eat some of the things that they make on the show, octopus and goat, I can barely do lamb). But, for a job working, preparing, serving, ANYTHING with food I would (have to) be flexible. Seriously?  I am the most conscientious worker you ever have known. I’m neurotically early so if you wanted me there at 9am, guaranteed you would see my smiling face at 8:45am. Having grown up with a German mom and a Viennese dad, they taught us about punctuality. Being on time, in my family, is being LATE.  When we get together we all are 10-15 minutes early; it’s in our neurotic, eager to please, Jewish blood.

So, Padma, Tom, Bob, Eric?  Dick, Jane, Sally? Bobby, Bob, Paula Deen?  I want to do something I love, other than writing. That thing, is food. I could be a tester, a taster, a candle stick maker, whatever you want. I need a job and Oprah always said “do what you love.” You don’t doubt Oprah, do you? That reminds me, dear Oprah, I need a hook-up, with the Food Network or Bravo, can you help?