Archive for April, 2014

Episode: 94

Who’s Been Feeding Eggs To The Cadbury Bunny


The spring holidays have ended, the last bit of stale matzo has been choked down, and we can all go back to eating bread again, although I never stop eating bread at Passover. In fact, I probably ate MORE bread last week then I normally do any other week. Not out of spite or internalized anti-semitism or anything, just total coincidence. Why should that week be any different from any other week? It’s not like I’m suddenly becoming observant at 46.

Or, maybe you ate your weight in jellybeans and peeps and Cadbury crème eggs, and now all that’s left of your Easter basket is a litter of wrappers and those useless, spurned black jelly beans and some plastic grass. Either way, we’re done for a good long time with the last set of chronologically-coinciding major religious holidays that revolve around symbolic foods, until we get back to the next major chronologically coinciding religious holidays that revolve around food again in December, so let’s all take a moment to enjoy this break. And recover. And reflect. And eat some eggs. Yeah, some eggs. Whole eggs. Yolks and all, dammit!

Eggs are the universal symbol of spring, Easter, and Passover. And also the poster child for misguided fat phobia and cholesterol terrorism. But now is the time to put a stop to all that, right here, right now. So today, on “Let’s Get Real”, it’s the spring egg fling, where we visit my younger, more tanned, candy-loving self and also re-write the Ten Commandments. Wait what? You’ll just have to listen to the episode to see how I tie all that together.

Episode: 93

I can’t make up my mind because I’m having an ice-cream-flavored-iced-coffee headache


Sigh…Decisions, decisions. I’m starting a support group for people with CID. Chronic Indecisiveness Disorder. I totally have it, along with Orthorexia, of course. I agonize over decisions every day. Like should I eat my breakfast quinoa with an egg, nori and turmeric, or with ricotta, pumpkin seeds and aleppo chili? Or should I wear light or medium-weight wool running socks? Such problems… I wonder if my poor dead grandma, who risked everything to save her family as they fled Nazi-occupied Europe thought, “I’m doing this so that someday my granddaughter can stand in a Whole Foods and suffer a momentary breakdown over which species of fish she should buy”?

But I’m a chef, and I talk and write about food for a living so I know a lot. Maybe too much. I have an edge, and also a handicap. I see through the bullsh*t, the marketing, the greenwashing that the food business tries to trick us with, especially the Foodiness business. But I’m also a victim of over-information, I get stuck. I feel bi-polar sometimes. I want to be free and easy and say to myself, “yeah, it’s cool, just eat real food and nothing processed and you’ll be fine” and saying, “there is almost nothing safe enough or sustainably raised enough or nutritious enough, and what am I going to eat?” That’s my personal version of American food bi-polar-ness.

I guess it’s better than the one that is exploding at the chain restaurants these days, as they try to respond to criticism about their products, and market research that says Americans want “healthier” foods on the menu. (But they really don’t) Like Dunkin Donuts introducing ice cream flavored iced coffee and marshmallow peeps donuts, the same week they start selling brewed, iced green tea. Hmm, which do we think will sell? That’s what I call bi-polar America. We want it, we don’t want it! Like a bunch of three-year olds, throwing a tantrum because we can, and we’re three. And we want the pink donut with the yellow peep on top!

So in this episode, “I can’t make up my mind because I’m having an ice-cream-flavored-iced-coffee headache” I get real about all this, and so much more.

Episode: 92

I Was a Child Cheez Doodle Addict


tonight’s episode of Let’s Get Real, I Was a Child Cheez Doodle Addict, I pack up my Walkman and my copy of Let’s Go; Europe 1986, and my little address book and my down sleeping bag all into my giant frame backpack and head off to the old country. Didn’t everybody do this? Schlep around Europe for a month or two during a college summer? And what did you eat the most? What cheap staple food combination did you shove into your pack for that overnight train to Florence? Bread and cheese, of course! The two staples of European life. You could live on that sh*t forever if you had to…

But back home, in the dorm, where you had a toaster or a hot plate? Then it was grilled cheese city all the way. Also an excellent staple food for the impoverished student. As long as you used REAL cheese and not Foodiness™ cheeze…but if you did, I don’t even want to know, ok? Lalalalala…I’m not listening to you…Well, at least you were “cooking”.

So then how did we get to this point? What point is that, you ask? The point where we have grilled-cheese-flavored puffy corn snax and mac-n-cheese flavor too… How? How did this happen? Yes, cheez doodles have existed since the Eisenhower years, along with puffy corn snax in all forms, but now we’re flavoring them like cooked food preparations. Not just cheez flavored, but grilled-cheese flavored…I mean, I could see red velvet flavor, or birthday flavor, but grilled cheese? Jeez.

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