Plinky Prompt: Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

Chateaubriand with Bearnaise @ Urola, San Seba...

Chateaubriand with Bearnaise @ Urola, San Sebastian. 16 April 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life? See all answers
  • Live to eat: Where, When, NOW?
  • How hard am I laughing? Can you peeps hear me chuckling, holding on to my sides with hysteria? Everyone who has ever known me or has read my blog (hibernationnow.wordpress.com) knows that I LOVE FOOD. I am not a gourmand, I eat pizza with jelly or a much-loved Twinkie when I am in the mood. Sure, I love a great piece of filet mignon or sautéed garlic shrimp, chicken francese with buttery lemon sauce over pasta, umm, Chateaubriand with béarnaise sauce. Always, I mean always, leave room for dessert. No matter how full you are, dessert goes into a special dessert compartment. I dream about the dessert menu, Sacher Torte, vanilla custards, flan, Lindzer Tortes, warm, large chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, (with a glass of milk) truffles: the chocolate kind, milk and dark, vanilla layer cake, chocolate layer cake, coconut layer cake….I just can’t relate to the people who have to eat to live. I NEED to love my dinners, especially on Sunday nights, it’s a rule in our house: We Must Love Our Dinners On Sunday Nights. Basically, that means we go to a restaurant, nothing fancy.
    I would go to the ends of the world for the best dish known to man-kind. I admit I’m not very adventurous, not a big fan of sushi, many types of raw anything and strong-smelling fish. I’m trying though..For the best meal of my life? Tell me where and when…I’m on my way, with PLEASURE.

  • Dessert assortment

    Dessert assortment (Photo credit: Nikchick)

Paula Deen, My Oh My !

paula deen cake

paula deen cake (Photo credit: bunchofpants)

I surprise myself sometimes. Or maybe I just confuse myself. WHY have I not written about Mrs. Deen yet? Did I forget about her?  Or have I just been consumed reading and watching all the media about her that I forgot to write my own article?. Forgive me. That seems to be the only reason that could explain my lack of posting about dear Paula.  Well, that is over so here we are with Mrs. Deen, I get the impression she would not love being called Ms. Deen. Right, y’all?

I have to admit I’ve had my eye on Paula Deen ever since we found out that she had Diabetes (I call it the Diabetes Deception) and was still serving up her fat ridden, butter ladled, sugar filled, cream covered, artery blocking meals. Oh wait, did I forget to mention that once she had been found out she just happened to become a spokesperson for a drug company associated with a Diabetes drug? Not gonna lie, I thought it was, excuse the pun, cheesy. I didn’t like it then and I still don’t like it now but who knew that was just the tip of the little ol iceberg, right Paula honey?

Now, I’m not saying you are guilty of allegedly saying incredibly racist/ homophobic (or was that your brother?) language , oh wait, YOU ARE GUILTY you admitted this on tape, under oath, I’m sorry. (I’m just waiting for anti-semitic comments to come in any moment) Should I alert the United Jewish Agency? I’m keeping my opinion out of this because, that’s what I think I should do. Oh hell, when have I ever done that before? I’m not Barbara Walters here, there’s journalism and then there’s me, Pop Cop. I dish. (pun intended.)

A lot has happened in less than a week, hasn’t it? Paula’s empire has gone down, way down. She apparently, allegedly, used despicable words and admitted to them, ON TAPE. What was she thinking, not about admitting to them but about using those words and don’t give me this crap about you being Southern and old-fashioned. Please. Nothing gives you the right to degrade anyone.. Really, Paula get a grip. Oh, wait, too late.

So, a bunch of your sponsors have dropped you. Food Network, Target, Home Depot, your new book deal and your pharmaceutical firm, and plenty more. Last I heard there were 12 sponsors all together who dropped you like a double butter and sour cream hot potato. All I have to say is: Good. And yes, a bunch of your fans have supported you and that’s good for you because what else do you have? Now, I heard that the diabetes company has thrown you out on your bottom and does not want you to be their spokesperson anymore. Ouch. Even I feel bad for you and that does say something.

Paula, I watched your show a few times, just watching your show I felt the pounds adhering to my thighs and butt. Sure, fried anything is great for a treat once a year, and I love cake but other than my birthday I don’t go around making cream filled, butter based, artery clogging delicacies all the time and I am known for my sweet tooth. Sure, a little here and there is fine, everyone knows about moderation.Well, most of us do. But, if I was diagnosed with Diabetes, would I still flaunt these high fat, high sugary, high cholesterol foods? Of course not, that’s not only lying it’s deception.

Take a break, Paula. A long one. You better decide it is what you want because at this point people have already decided for you. Think about your ways, Paula Deen and how you treat people. Treat ALL people with respect, maybe then you will have a fighting chance. But, for now, I doubt it.

*Woody Allen’s Other Sister

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City.

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was practically BORN thinking about my mortality. It is amazing to talk to people older than I am (and I’m pretty old) that go into a sudden depression realizing they are getting old for the first time. Did they not know this was coming? I was born to be old, born worrying, born afraid. I could definitely be Woody Allen’s little sister. *Relax lawyers, I KNOW I’m NOT but I am so like him, it’s scary. I’ve always been a pessimist despite years of therapy. I thought for sure I failed every test when I aced them and any irregular (or regular) symptom had to be cancer. Describing myself as a “worry-wart” is too kind.

I have tried prescription drugs to alleviate my stress and anxiety but nothing works all the time. Even with medication I still see gloom and doom. I was fortunate to hide it from my children when they were younger, I tried so hard and it worked. Why can’t I do it again?  As they got older, they knew me better and have seen the real me. Plus, it’s a more dangerous world now than it was twenty years ago. I can’t hide anything from them, especially my son, who picks up vibes about me with just a “hello” and vice- versa. (He got that from me). My mother used to call me “over-sensitive” a word which I have always hated. I may not have known WHAT was going on but instinctively I knew something wasn’t right. I can sense things before they happen.

There are some days where I wake up and automatically go through the Rolodex (Google it) in my mind. It can go from a doctor’s appointment, a friend who is dying to security issues (the world is coming to an end, pork has salmonella, don’t eat at any restaurant (did YOU see 20/20?) a plane crash….) I categorize them all under the umbrella of: Health and Safety.

I’m my own damn movie and I can’t ever seem to have a happy ending OR  when I do, I’m afraid I will jinx it. I always play out different scenarios in my mind. What if “my fill in the blank”_______ husband, daughter, son, mother, sister….dies? What if I die first? Will my children be alright, how can I do this to them, I’d feel so bad, and guilty too. I’m feeling pangs of anxiety in my stomach even writing this….just so you know.

The clinical term is  “anticipatory anxiety” it’s no fun but it doesn’t happen all the time. I can’t help it when it does but I do try; sometimes deep breathing works or focusing on something else or playing with my dog, even walking. If you don’t have it, consider yourself blessed. Try to be an optimist or as my dad used to say “Worry when there IS something to worry about, not before.” Try and look at the glass half full, as the expression goes, not half empty, cracked and overflowing with mold and deadly chemicals, like I do. You’ll be happier and have an easier life. Trust me, I know.

Mint Chip Ice Cream Does So Taste Like Toothpaste…..( A Crazy Foodie Blog)

Crest MultiCare Whitening toothpaste

Image via Wikipedia

Tonight I had left-over pizza for dinner. It was dry, it had that too- long- in -the- refrigerator smell and the fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil disappeared. I warmed it up but nothing changed. I had to make it taste better, we were out of food so I did what I have done since college (yes, I have witnesses) I put jam on my pizza. We only had Dominoes pizza way back then ( don’t worry, Dominoes, I’m sure your pizza is better now.) I was out of luck,I did not have Welchs’ grape jelly at home. I knew there MUST be something to help me out.  Two minutes later, I saw it gleaming and sitting on the side of the refrigerator door practically winking with a come-hither look.  A jar of peach preserves sat unopened. It gave the pizza the texture it needed and if I closed my eyes it was like eating French bread with jam. Thank you for saving my dinner.

There are questions that are just unanswerable: For example: why is it that I love peanut butter but hate peanuts? I don’t like chick peas but I do like hummus.  Could texture be an issue? Keep me far away from raw oysters, mussels or raw tuna. Tuna from a can mixed with celery and mayo does not count since it was YEARS before I associated the canned tuna with  real fish.

I’m s little fussy with my food, I admit it.  I also have the nose of a foxhound and if milk is even contemplating spoiling I sniff it out immediately and throw it away . “Dear Grocery Store Stocker, don’t think you’ll ever fool because I know not to take the product in the front and I check the expiration dates. I am on alert at all times, always saying  out loud “Did you think you could fool me? Amateur!!!!”  So what if I get a couple of weird looks?

I love eggs in any form but if I detect the tiniest bit of egg-shell in my food, crunching in my mouth it takes enormous self-control not to vomit, especially if I am in a restaurant.  IF I have been brave enough to swish it away in my mouth with juice or soda, ( can’t do it with plain water) there is no way that I would eat anymore. Also, if the egg white is not cooked through I can’t eat it (see texture issue). It’s almost as bad as  finding a hair in my food (again, think restaurant) which I think is also appalling. That is why, I sniff and explore my food before my first bite.  I think of myself as having certain food requirements: no egg-shell, spoiled stuff, hair in food, oh, and dead insects.

The last time I had a Greek salad in my favorite tiny Greek restaurant it was served with a dead bee lying right on top. Is it too much to ask that people look at the food before they serve it? I haven’t been back to that restaurant in two years now. I know about the chances of having it happen again but still….This is why when I go to a restaurant I face away from the kitchen. As you can tell,  I did read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and it both saved my life and ruined my life at the same time. Blame him.

Thank You, Erica

Candlelit Table for One

Image by ecstaticist via FlickrI

I am not a paid restaurant reviewer so I am writing about my love of eating good food (not making it.)  I also have great admiration for those who cook incredibly well. Our friends, Mike and Erica, hosted a reunion a few weeks ago and old friends from the East Coast and the West Coast gathered together.  Erica made a divine appetizer of stuffed mushrooms based on Ina Garten’s recipe. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten and this is NOT the Food or Cooking Channel. We ate those amazing stuffed mushrooms with our eager fingers and never have I eaten such different tastes and textures in one appetizer. The sausage, olive oil, cheese, bread crumbs and mushroom appetizer combined with seeing old friends, talking, hugging and laughing, was a highlight of 2010 for me.

It felt like the kitchen scene from the movie, The Big Chill,  except no one died (although one person did leave the dinner table, head to the living room, wrapped himself up in a blanket, appropriated two pillows and apparently fell asleep on the couch for 3 hours.) I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Presently I fantasize about eating my favorite things in an expensive restaurant.  My husband and I would be seated inside a small dining room near a beautiful fireplace. A small bouquet of red and purple flowers sit prettily on the thickly starched white tablecloth where a soft candle would be burning.

To start, I would have jumbo prawns with cocktail sauce and a wedge of lemon (that had a paper coverlet on it to protect it from seeds.) In some circles the prawns would be the delicacy but in our family we have named the shrimp as the vehicle to which we get to eat the cocktail sauce. Another example of this would be that lobster is the vehicle to get to the melted butter sauce. You get the idea.

After that I would order a salad made with a lemon/olive oil, vinagrette salad dressing (the words truffle and champagne could be added although I don’t know exactly what they do.) Ripe cherry tomatoes, julienned carrots, red cabbage, and chopped parsley and chives would be on top. I love adding sweetness to things so for me, some craisins would be tossed in there as well.

The table is laden with “everything” flat crackers and warm, soft, dinner rolls with butter, room temperature (I hate hard, freezing cold butter)  shaped like sea shells. My entrée would either be the outstanding chateaubriand, like it is prepared at the  restaurant X2O or the divine filet mignon served at the Crabtree Kittle House, both amazing restaurants are located in New York. Rice pilaf or mashed potatoes would work nicely with this meal, but nothing fried and undignified as french fries and ketchup (those go with cheeseburgers only.)  Grilled brussel sprouts paired with a hint of maple syrup glaze and slivered almonds would be our vegetable.

Blood orange or lemon sorbet served in martini glass would be our palate cleanser. It would be served to help settle our wonderful meal and to leave room (not that this has ever been a problem for me) for dessert.  I am a sugar junkie and I like a variety of things so because it is my fantasy I am picking two desserts: a fresh fruit tart served in a marzipan shortbread crust with vanilla custard and a fluffy (never flourless) milk and dark chocolate mousse cake with real vanilla bean ice cream.

Thanks for joining me in my food fantasy. Here’s to 2011, with good friends and great food.  Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy and delicious New Year.

My Dream Job

Society Junk Food Platter

Image by GLOWBAL COLLECTION via Flickr

RESERVATIONS FOR 6 AT 6:30 PM, Please.

Antipasto Platter – Yarra Glen Cafe and Store aka Cheesefreaks

I pick up the phone and call four or five of my closest friends. “Are you free Thursday night?” I ask. “Great” I say, “see you there.” I mentally choose my outfit and plan on wearing a scarf that hides some of my face. No, I am not a private investigator; I don’t work for the secret service. What I do, is eat. I am a restaurant critic (only for those foods that we, the common people eat). There is no escargot, snake meat, or goat in my meals. I’m the voice of the people, the regular people, not the elite. I go to restaurants with my husband, with friends, with nice people who I meet and we eat. We eat, we talk, I take bites from every dish and secretly write down notes. Sometimes, I just specialize in dessert. Once home, I type up my notes, drink chilled CVS diet black cherry club soda and head to bed. My stomach is full and I am extraordinarily happy. Goodnight.

Powered by Plinky