Category Archives: food

No Salt

New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has recently introduced a bill that would ban the use of salt in the preparation of restaurant food. I appreciate the import of a low-sodium diet, I must agree with virtually all of the comments that this is one of the dumbest, most overreaching pieces of legislation to come down the pike. Unenforceable, too. Chef secretly throws some substance in the pot – what was THAT?

Besides, it says here: Larousse Gastronomique insists that “seasoning includes a large or small amount of salt being added to a preparation. Salt may be used to draw out water, or to magnify a natural flavor of a food making it richer or more delicate, depending on the dish. This type of procedure is akin to curing.” I can imagine that some foods would end up so unsatisfying that the customer might well use too much NaCl from the shaker.

What I DO favor, whenever possible, is for restaurants to indicate the nutritional breakdown. We have gone to both Friendly’s, the Massachusetts restaurant chain, and McDonald’s this month, and it was startling. The menu at Friendly’s now indicates the calorie count on all its foods, much to the dismay of our waitress, who has noticed people deciding that the 1400-calorie banana split may just not be worth it. On the McDonald’s food wrapper, not only are calories listed, but like any food you’d find on the grocery shelf or in a vending machine, it ALSO has information on protein, fat and sodium. And there seems to be a LOT of sodium.

Cutting back on salt wouldn’t be such a bad thing. One can, for some items, season without salt. There are only two items that I actually add salt to: popcorn and chicken giblets. I should make sure I don’t consume them at the same meal.
The Meatrix.


July Ramblin'

When the swine flu – I’m sorry, the H1N1 virus – was first announced in the spring, I was feeling bit peevish about the pundits who seemed to think that the government – actually world governments – were making too much of the disease. Frankly, i think it was due to lack of understanding of the nomenclature. We don’t know what a Level 6 (pandemic, declared weeks ago) feels like. We understand gradations of temperature, the difference between a Category 1 and category 3 hurricane or a 3.6 earthquake vs. a 6.6. Anyway here’s John Berry’s 2009 WHITE PAPER ON NOVEL H1N1 (PDF). Barry wrote the book The Great Influenza about the 1918 flu epidemic: “Three of the preceding four pandemics, 1889, 1918, and 1957, show clear evidence of some fairly intense but sporadic initial local outbreaks scattered around the world.

“The novel H1N1 virus seems thus far to be following the pattern of those three pandemics, and it seems highly likely that it will return in full flower. If the virus is fully adapted to and efficient at infecting humans, this would occur soon, possibly during the influenza season in the southern hemisphere or possibly a few months later in the northern hemisphere. The 1918 and 1957 viruses both exploded in September and October in the northern hemisphere, even though this is not the influenza season.

“If the virus needs further adaptation to become fully efficient in infecting humans, that could be delayed, quite possibly a year or two later. It seems very unlikely that this virus will peter out.”
Got this e-mail: Black Male Teachers – Do you know any Black males who are seniors in high school who want to go to college out of state for “FREE” ? Several Black Colleges are looking for future black male teachers and will send them to universities/colleges for 4 years FREE .

The ‘Call Me MISTER’ program is an effort to address the critical shortage of African American male teachers particularly among South Carolina ‘s lowest performing public schools . Program participants are selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities…

Visit here for more details and the online application or call (800) 640-2657.

But if you GO to that page, you’ll ALSO read “Please read this memo regarding an email hoax that provides misinformation about our program.”
It has been brought to our attention that an erroneous e-mail, rife with inaccuracies and misinformation about the Call Me MISTER Program, is making its way around the country. Said e-mail makes such false claims as “South Carolina HBCUs offer FREE TUITION” and our program is for “African American MALES ONLY”, neither of which is true. While we do offer tuition assistance and book support, plus a small stipend to defray other associated costs of attending college, we DO NOT now offer, nor have we ever offered, a full scholarship.
Myths need to be debunked.
Lean times in L.A. County leave no money for the dead. This is a story about more people opting for cremation. As someone heavily influence by Jessica Mitford’s The American Way of Death, I applaud the trend, even if it’s being done out of economic necessity.
On a lighter note, from Yahoo! Food: 5 Summer Food Mysteries Solved. I KNEW the ice cream one to be true.
My wife and her class saw the movie The Yes Men last weekend. “Shocking and funny,” she described it. as it turned out there was an article in the local paper about the movie’s follow-up, now playing on HBO and perhaps coming to a theater near you.
Paul McCartney returns to the Ed Sullivan Theater as he appears on Letterman, 45 years after his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Paul at Citi Field, NYC.
***Amusing and even educational. Church Advertising
This video was made in the Antwerp, Belgium Central (Train) Station on the 23rd of March 2009. With no warning to the passengers passing through the station, at 08:00 am a recording of Julie Andrews singing ‘Do, Re, Mi’ began to play on the public address system.” As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and station entrances.
A final goodbye for S. Palin, YouTube fodder from last year, but what they hey.


QUESTIONS about Comfort Food listed the top 25 comfort foods, each linked to an appropriate recipe either traditional or updated.

Here’s my take on each:
• Apple Pie – I like; maybe with vanilla ice cream, it’s comfort food,
• Baked Beans – not a huge fan. Hated as a kid, will eat now. No.
• Banana Pudding – more likely vanilla pudding with sliced bananas in it
• Beef Stew – maybe
• Brisket Pot Roast – probably
• Chicken & Dumplings -possibly, though haven’t had in years
• Chicken Pot Pie – eh, it’s OK, but not comfort food.
• Chicken Soup – no. Mushroom soup, yes.
• Chili – I like chili, but never thought of as comfort food.
• Chocolate Chip Cookies – there was this local brand called Freihoffer’s which made the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. Either they’ve changed the formula or my taste buds have changed, but they just don’t do it for me anymore.
• Corn on the Cob – like it, not comfort food
• Fried Chicken – comfort food
• Gelatin – I only eat when I’m sick, so comfort food
• Green Bean Casserole – not a big fan
• Hot Dogs – not really. Saturday lunch or the ballpark.
• Ice Cream – sometimes
• Macaroni & Cheese – almost always, especially baked, the way my wife makes it. My daughter won’t even touch the stuff with the dayglo cheese powder.
• Mashed Potatoes – can be, depending on the mood
• Meatloaf – mash potatoes with meatloaf – now THAT’S comfort food
• Potato Salad – no. I eat it, but does not meet the level of pleasure necessary.
• Pumpkin Pie – no. I like it fine, but doesn’t quite get there
• Shepherd’s Pie – I didn’t even know what this was until about 15 years ago when, with the help of my girlfriend (now wife), I made it for 40 people I can see how it could be comfort food, but I always associate it with stressing over g=feeding a large number of folks.
• Spaghetti – no, and I do like spaghetti.
• Tomato Soup – not fond of tomato soup. Actively HATED Campbell’s tomato soup as a child, haven’t tried it since.
• Tuna Casserole – probably.

I suppose it’s definitional – it’s the stuff I like to eat when I’m sick or melancholy.

1. How would you rate the foods on this list as comfort foods?
2. What else wouuld you consider comfort food. Can’t think of anything else except Oreos with milk.


The “War on Poverty”: Not Won

I was surprised to learn that when the FOCUS Churches of Albany started a food pantry 40 years ago, the thinking was that it would be a temporary measure. Certainly, once the Viet Nam war was over, the government could spend more money on “butter” issues. Or fairer, more equitable distribution of wealth would take place.

Instead, the food pantry has become an ever-larger commitment for FOCUS, and no doubt other food providers all over the country. Even before this recent economic downturn, the need had never been greater.

I’ve long been puzzled by the notion of poverty in a wealthy country such as the United States, as opposed to other parts of the world. The business news touted how much more wealth the nation as a whole was creating. American workers were increasingly more efficient. Still, there were more and more people coming to the food pantry doors.

Now Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor statistics note that the national poverty rate has increased from 11.3 percent in 2000 (a record low) to 12.5 percent in 2007, an increase of 5.8 million Americans living below the poverty line. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate has risen from 4 percent in 2000 to 6.1 percent currently.

One of the great fears of most organizations that deal with the poor and near-poor, I’m sure, is that given the current economic uncertainty, contributions will dry up. Indeed, I saw a number of stories on the news pointing to half-empty shelves. Yet, I have read long ago that, proportionally, people with relatively little give far more than those who are well off.

Please contribute to and/or volunteer for a food pantry near you.


Roger Answers Your Questions, Scott

Mr. Scooter Chronicles himself, Scott asks:

Have you ever seen a baseball game at Yankee Stadium? If yes, what are your thoughts on such a hallowed baseball ground seeing its last game?

Actually, not in a long time. The first time, I was a kid, and the Yankees beat the Washington Senators, The last time was probably in 1977 when I lived in Queens. Tearing down the stadium annoys me, because I don’t know why the current facility was inadequate. Oh, it doesn’t have those luxury seats, but after this week, who can afford to buy them anyway. Moreover, the funding is more corporate welfare foolishness.

Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

I picked the Cubs to lose the WS to Cleveland at the beginning of the season. About midseason, I switched to the Cubs over Tampa Bay, so I’ll stick with that. How annoying that my trip to the game was when the Cubs had hit a bad patch.

What do you think would be considered more historic: Obama being elected President, or Palin being elected Vice President?

Well, someone being elected President. If Palin were running for Prez and Obama were running for VP, it’d be Palin, but as it is, Obama. Besides, a woman had at least been NOMINATED before by a major party.

Do you think that the bailouts of financial companies will help the economy in the long run, destroy the idea of creating tax breaks for most of middle America, or see no real lasting effects on anyone?

Well, first off, I’m really ticked off about it. I listened to Henry Paulson, not once but twice on Sunday – Tom on NBC asked better questions than George did on ABC – and I got nothing but “Psst, it’s really bad. Do this or we’re doomed, trust me” without any real information.
I looked at the original language of the bill here and I was gobsmacked by Section 8: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Pardon my French, but WTF? Decisions non-reviewable? Gimme a BREAK!
I’m glad to see Democrats and republicans in Congress find some cojones, apparently because their constituents are hopping mad about this. Arthur at AmeriNZ found this example.
In answer to the question, the devil’s in the details. if there’s help for homeowners who are in their houses, limits on executive compensation and other measures, MAYBE things will turn around some.
And speaking of compensation, from Salon. “Regarding executive pay, Rep. Frank’s draft would mandate that any company selling assets into the program ‘meet appropriate standards for executive compensation,’ including limits on what could be deemed excessive or inappropriate, according to a copy seen by The Wall Street Journal. The government would also have the ability to ‘claw back’ incentive pay that was based on ‘earnings, gains, or other criteria that are later proven to be inaccurate.’ Mr. Paulson is resisting those efforts.
Astoundingly, Paulson plans to fight any efforts to limit executive pay because ‘he fears that provision would render the program moot, since many firms might choose not to participate.’
They might choose not to participate in a $700 billion plan designed to save them from a mess they were primarily responsible for causing? I don’t think I’m alone in finding that prospect irritating.”

On the other hand, someone at Pat Buchanan’s site posted this recently: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.” – Malcolm X
As the letter writer noted, “Sounds pretty damn close to me.”

When was the last time you felt good about voting for a political candidate (on any level of government) feeling that they truly were the right person for the job?

I worked for Tom Keefe for city court judge a few years back. I’d known him for years and he seems to be doing a good job.

What is your favorite “healthy” thing to snack on?

apples and cottage cheese.

What is your favorite “evil” thing to snack on?

Muffins – fruit muffins (blueberry, preferably).

What is your favorite movie comedy of all time?

It’s tricky, because Annie Hall is, but it’s not all that ha-ha funny. On a pure laugh meter it’d be either Airplane! or Young Frankenstein.

Other then Jeopardy!, what is your favorite game show?

I’m partial to the various forms of Pyramid and Password,

The Omnivore's Hundred

ADD writes:

Andrew Wheeler posted this challenge on the Very Good Taste blog…here are the rules:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (I’ve opted to italicize; my blog, my rules.)
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

Alan’s American Variant: I asterisked (*) any items that are unknown to me. Most of the starred items, I have heard of, but I don’t know what they are. Pathetic, I know.

(Oh, Johnny B. hates tomatoes, it seems.)

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho*
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi*
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses*
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – specifically apple
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper*
27. Dulce de leche*
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda*
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (I’ve had each, but not together; would certainly eat it if offered)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly*
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal*
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu*
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi*
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle*
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine*
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin*
64. Currywurst*
65. Durian*
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost*
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu*
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong*
80. Bellini*
81. Tom yum*
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate*
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa*
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano*
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I should note that I didn’t cross off anything, because I’d try it in theory. Faced with a whole insect, who knows?
Also, many of the thinks I checked on the list, I tried only once, and didn’t particularly enjoy.


100 Things I Love

May I just write music, movies and massages and leave it at that? Probably not. From Jaquandor. Again. In no particular order. Took longer to compile than 100 things that bug me. What does THAT say about me?

1. Government and association websites/databases with a lot of good, free stuff.

2. Blogging. It practically saved my life, created connections I would not have otherwise; among others, it’s how I reestablished with Fred and Deborah.

3. Cranberry juice. Often mixed with orange juice, sometimes with a splash of ginger ale.

4. A good massage.

5. Albany will probably withstand the forces of global warming better than most places.

6. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

7. Cinnamon raisin bagels.

8. Music in harmony – it could be Bach or the Beach Boys. I love it. I know unison singing has its place, but it’s not my favorite.

9. British invasion music and its American counterpoint.

10. The blues and folk and rockabilly that led to the 1960s music explosion.

11. Pizza. Good pizza, not the stuff at the work cafeteria.

12. The answering machine. Yes, I screen my calls. Got a problem with that? Now, the phone number will appear on my TV screen for me to (usually) ignore.

13. The DVR. We still have in the queue Raisin in the Sun from February, ice skating from April and Thursday night comedies from May. Back in the VCR days, we’d have to keep track of what tape to watch or tape with. I’m also pleased with the limitations of the DVR, about 50 hours, which forces one to watch or delete, thus limiting the amount of TV we can watch. We see very little in real time.

14. The Billboard books Top Pop singles and Top Pop Albums.

15. The World Almanac, which I’ve been reading since I was 9 or 10.

16. Woody Allen movies of the 1970s and 1980s.

17. Candlelight. The power has gone out in my neighborhood two or three times a year.

18. Hess trucks for Christmas.

19. Oatmeal.

20. Gud grammer.

21. Cats. Used to own them; maybe, someday, I will again.

22. Reading the funnies in the paper, especially Pearls Before Swine.

23. Playing racquetball.

24. Watching baseball, especially at the stadium; maybe I’ll see the Cubs in September.

25. Watching football on TV from November on.

26. Pie. Apple or blueberry or peach, slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

27. Builders who seem to have meshed form AND function into design in “green” ways that are accessible to all.

28. Joni Mitchell. Some other singer-songwriters too, but I’ve seen Joni twice, so we have a track record.

29. Cottage cheese. Goes with everything – fruit, eggs, cold chicken, apple sauce.

30. Maps. My grandfather used to give me his National Geographic maps. I’ve long been fascinated with how the US and the world changed geopolitically over time.

31. White wine, served with a slight chill. The red stuff gives me wicked headaches.

32. Walking on the beach as the waves roll in. My favorite time was in Galveston about a decade ago.

33. Intentionally getting “lost”, just walking somewhere with no particular goal.

34. Newspapers. I like to read, and they’re useful for drawing on, etc.

35. The late 1970s music movement: Police, Talking Heads and the like.

36. Giving massages.

37. JEOPARDY! daily calendars.

38. From JAQ: “Older women with long hair. Too often, when women head into whatever it is we consider ‘elder years’ these days – for purposes of this post, to pick an arbitrary figure, over fifty – women tend to cut their hair short or make liberal use of curlers or something like that. There’s always something striking, though, about an older woman with a full head of long, silver hair. Or red. Or blonde.”

39. “Picking songs and pieces of music for mix CDs. I like to think I’m pretty good at this.” I get rather invested in it.

40. Doing square root by hand. Because I can.

41. License plate math. Thinking of a license plate as an equation and solving for an unknown factor. (Has many rules, listed in the 8th paragraph here.)

42. Rack of Lamb with Mint Jelly.

43. Cheerios and spoon-sized Shredded Wheat, together.

44. Spinach lasagna.

45. Ice cream.

46. JEOPARDY! But Alex HAS to stop mentioning Ken Jennings every time someone wins more than three games.

47. Hell. The book series by Matt Groening that predates the Simpsons. Especially Love Is Hell.

48. Librarians are wonderful people.

49. Neil Young, just because.

50. Green. Green means go, in the money, environmentally friendly. Green’s the color of spring.

Brian Ibbott of Coverville re: someone’s controversial opinion: “When you stir the pot, do you prefer a wooden or slotted spoon?”
51. Excellent short-lived TV series, such as My So-Called Life and Once and Again. Maybe they would have eventually gone downhill, but we’ll never know, will we?

52. Dictionaries, the less abridged, the better.

53. The Complete Directory to Prime Network and Cable TV Shows by Brooks and Marsh.

54. Hymnals. It’s a great way of seeing the transition of the way religion is enacted. I have one nearly 150 years old, with just the words; it was ASSUMED you knew the music.

55. The Simpsons. One of those things I like that my wife does not

56. Romance language, especially French and Italian. I just like the way they sound.

57. Fireworks.

58. “Footbridges and boardwalks.”

59. The color blue.

60. Real maple syrup. Probably won’t be available in New York and Vermont in the next century.

61. “Sausages.”

62. Bill Moyers’ Journal. It speaks truth to power.

63. Rum. Don’t drink NEARLY enough of it anymore.

64. My birthday, which I share with Jenna Fischer, Rachel Weisz, Luther Burbank and many other fine folks.

65. Taking a bath. I do it rarely enough that it’s always special.

66. Jazz, of many kinds.

67. Automatic bill payments.

68. Song of Solomon. A horny little book of the Bible that’s hardly ever in the lectionary.

69. The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling.

70. Montreal. I’ve been there twice and loved it.

71. Motown, especially 1963-1972.

72. The Dick van Dyke Show and everyone associated with it, from Carl Reiner to Earl Hagen.

73. “Popcorn. My favorite of all snacks! I tend to prefer it with butter…”,

74. Slippers.

75. “Ms. Pac Man is still my favorite video game, however many years it’s been since I first played it.”

76. Sorry, the board game I most like to play with children.

77. SCRABBLE, which I used to play with my great aunt when I was eight.

78. The train, my favorite form of transportation.

79. “Shrimp.”

80. The promise of the U.S. Constitution. That it sometimes falls short isn’t its fault.

81. Many card games, including hearts, spades and pinochle.

82. Comic books. I don’t read them much now, but especially that period from
1972-1992, I devoured ’em.

83. The bicycle. In spite of the accident.

84. Thunderstorms when I’m home.

85. Books about movies and the industry.

86. My rain stick. It relieves stress.

87. City buses. I love how the daughter has learned to hail them.

88. Good Italian restaurants.

89. Intelligent movie comedies such as Groundhog Day.

90. Non-chain movie theaters.

91. Headphones, so I can listen to music but you don’t have to.

92. Dreamer politicians, such as Dennis Kucinich, who recently took action to have Bush and Cheney impeached. May history judge him more kindly.

93. Sunrise.

94. Sunset.

95. Learning new things almost every day on my job.

96. Optimists. Not sure I’m one, but they’re good to have around.

97. Cynics. They have their place, too.

98. Friends I’ve met, and friends I know only know electronically.

99. Being the alpha male of my tiny tribe. Didn’t like it initially, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it.

100. “You. You know who you are.”

And there we have it: 100 things I love.


Forgotten Foods

ADD wrote a forgotten foods piece about foods that were common at his family’s dinner table when he was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s that he no longer eats; I thought I’d do the same though I’m more than a decade older.

But before making my list, which will be relatively short, I’d comment on HIS list.

Rack of Lamb with Mint Jelly – had this on Easter Sunday for the first time in years. I’d forgotten how much I liked it.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake – don’t know if I ever had this. Certainly my mother didn’t make it.

Liver and Onions – when I was a bit anemic earlier this year, I went out and had liver with onions. Onions have to be sauteed. A half pound of liver and a whole package of frozen spinach. I liked it. Neither my wife or daughter were around, but my wife came home and could smell it, and I don’t mean the onions.

Chipped Beef on Toast – I’d forgotten about this. I did have this. Whether it was at my house, my grandmother’s, or at a restaurant, I don’t remember, but I do recall liking it.

Codfish – Yes, Alan, I do recall frozen cod, though in a paper box. Another one I haven’t had in decades.

Turkey Soup after Thanksgiving – Still happens at my in-laws’ house, and, on the rare time that Thanksgiving’s been at my house, at mine.

Spam – I know I bought this even in my twenties, but not for as long time.

Vienna Sausages – I know I ate them at some point in my distant past, but I can’t remember what they tasted like.

Beets – Specifically, can beets in my childhood. HATED them. HATED them. Had to eat them. Put mustard on them to kill the taste, which was only marginally successful. Beets to me are as broccoli was to GHWB; I’m a grown-up, don’t have to eat them. Did I mention I HATED them?

Mincemeat Pie – like ADD, served at Thanksgiving. Like ADD, I passed, though always took a bite to see if my taste buds had developed. After all, everyone said it was “good”, and it was pie. Usually, I like pie; not this time.

Filet Mignon – did NOT have in my childhood. Probably last had on my birthday two or three years ago.

Raw Oysters and Frogs Legs – Nope.

So, what else do I remember from my childhood? Canned everything.
Canned juice, mostly DelMonte; do they make that any more? You took a can opener made a hole in one side, a slightly smaller hole on the other and pour it right out of the can. Later, when we feared contamination from the “tin” can, poured it into a pitcher.
Canned waxed beans. Vile, unappetizing yellow beans. Tasted like, lessee – wax.
Also, canned carrots, peas, beans, spinach – canned spinach, despite Popeye’s claims, wasn’t very good.
Canned sweet potatoes.
The only thing we still have in cans are fruits and soups.

Suddenly, I’m not all that hungry.

Food Quiz

I like Thanksgiving; it’s ecumenical. I don’t have to worry about it as I do next month, where hopes for either “Merry Christmas: or “Happy Holidays” is likely to tick off SOMEONE.

I was going to give a litany of everyone (friends, family, people of courage) and everything (music, writing, learning new stuff), but instead I swiped this quiz from Jaquandor. He did it on Canadian Thanksgiving, Buffalo being pritnear Canada. So I thought I’d post it on the U.S. variety. It’s about food!

1. How do you like your eggs? I like eggs almost any way possible: poached, fried, boiled, scrambled. In scrambled eggs, I tend to put pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a little mustard, plus whatever leftover meat and/or vegetables are in the fridge.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? Coffee – not at all. Tea – varies with my mood. Sometimes with nothing, most often with lemon, or lemon and honey, or milk and sugar. Rarely lemon and sugar.

3. Favorite breakfast food? Favorite would be pancakes with fresh fruit, real maple syrup, with sausage. Unfortunately, it’s usually Cheerios and/or Shredded Wheat. Or oatmeal, which I do like quite a bit.

4. Peanut butter – actually hate the taste of peanut butter; the smell sometimes makes me nauseous. Since I ate it in great quantities until I was five or six, I theorize that I must have gotten sick from eating too much of it, though I have no specific recollection. Since my daughter is allergic to peanuts, we don’t have it around anyway.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Usually Russian, though when I’m out, it’s often ranch for some reason.

6. Coke or Pepsi? Usually Pepsi, but I like Coke too.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? Chopped apple and cottage cheese, with a touch of mayo.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Mushroom and sausage, or mushroom and onion, or onion and sausage, or plain.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Lasagna.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. Macaroni and cheese. Meatloaf. Mashed potatoes with gravy.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Spaghetti-Os. Campbell’s Tomato soup. Waxed beans (canned). Beets (canned). Almost any vegetable (canned). Instant potatoes. Bologna sandwiches on white bread with Miracle Whip.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? Anything with tomato sauce reminds me of my father; he’d cook the sauce for hours. Waffles – also my father, who had a ritual discussion of how he could tell the doneness.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? Sauerkraut – hate it. Most melons.

14. What was your favorite food as a child? Spinach. Seriously, Popeye had brainwashed me. Also corn on the cob, still a favorite.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? Broccoli, tomatoes, many vegetables (fresh or frozen).

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? Not hate, per se, but off-brand ice cream is generally not worth the calories.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: Pineapple, spinach.

18. Favorite junk food: ice cream.

19. Favorite between meal snack: Yogurt, with banana cut into it. Or the aforementioned apple and cottage cheese.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? I’ve been known to eat cottage cheese with almost anything, e.g., apple sauce.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? Water, actually.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? The same.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? On a scale of 1-10, about 7.

24. Can I get you a drink? Sure, anything with vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila (but not gin or Scotch).

25. Red wine or white? White. Red gives me a serious headache.

26. Favorite dessert? Ice cream. Or cake. Or both.

27. The perfect nightcap? Tea with honey.