Archive for 2014

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.

Episode: 91

If You Have Time to Listen to This, You Have Time to Make Popcorn


On this episode of Let’s Get Real, “If You Have Time to Listen to This, You Have Time to Make Popcorn“… I go way back in time to visit my pretend BFF, Laura Ingalls at her Little House on the you-know-where…Seems that back then in Laura’s day, folks didn’t spend their days sitting on their tushies grazing on Foodiness™ snack foods and sucking on sippy cups of sugary water. They had actual, real work to do. And no internet. Yet oddly, no snack food products were to be found for at least another 50 years…Funny, because they were burning up gazillions more calories than us, and you’d think they would have needed to be cramming fistfuls of cheezy poofies and veggie doodly-doos into their mouths full of crooked, yellow teeth all day long for sustenance. But according to my thorough research (watching TV) the only real snack food they had was popcorn, and they had to MAKE it themselves! There were no whale oil-powered microwaves, yet.

Popcorn’s been eaten in the Americas since ancient times, and almost every day since then at my house. So come with me down the rabbit hole, past the museum of outdated, obsolete, popcorn making technology, and into my popcorn lab, as we go deep into the Foodiness-filled realm of the new world’s oldest snack. Don’t forget your dental floss…

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