Random food-related personal trivia ahoy!

Have you ever been curious about other people’s food idiosyncrasies? Here are a dozen of mine:

1). I enjoy monosodium glutamate (MSG). Growing up in a Japanese-American household, we always had MSG in our spice cabinet. We refer to it by its brand name: Aji-no-moto. I never knew it was “horrible” for you until MSG started blowing up the health news circuits. I’m not afraid of it. I still eat it. I don’t buy the full spectrum of negative hype surrounding it any more than I buy the full spectrum of negative hype surrounding soy (i.e. tofu), another common Japanese food I grew up eating. Japanese cuisine is generally healthier than standard American fare. We get our Ajinomoto from the mom & pop Japanese market down the street. You can get it from Amazon dot com.

2). My brain does not know how to tell my body that I’m full when I’m eating pasta. I could eat an entire box in one sitting, so when I make pasta at home, I measure out the exact serving size and make just that amount. In restaurants, I almost never take home leftover pasta, no matter how large the serving size. I eat it all and wish there was more.

3). Along with several other kids on our street, my brother and I used to climb a neighbor’s front-yard almond tree. We ate the almonds while they were still green. We didn’t realize that we were vandalizing, trespassing, and stealing. Because of our unfortunate past-time,  I came to crave the raw, sweet green almonds, and I didn’t understand why they weren’t available in the store. I still enjoy raw almonds, and I still wish they were green.

4). I don’t go around pontificating about vegetarianism or veganism, but if I find a veggie-pride shirt I like, I’ll get it and wear it. And take selfies in it.

 

No Meat Athlete workout apparel

No Meat Athlete workout apparel

“It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war”

Powered by plants

Powered by plants

 

5). If I could only take one food with me to a deserted island, it would be Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. It would make anything on the island edible.

6). I’m a shameless breadaholic. I eat bread of some type or another at both lunch and dinner (unless dinner is something like sushi). My favorite toast is sourdough.

7). My favorite sushi is brown rice with avocado and cucumber, and Callaghan makes the best.

8). When I was in army basic training at Ft. Jackson, our drill sergeant threatened we city recruits with chitlins. I wasn’t afraid. But then I witnessed a particularly strange punishment involving orange soda, and I haven’t wanted orange soda since.

9). I always thought that beets were the most hilarious food on the planet, I have no idea why, and I still can’t eat them.

10). Nutritional yeast powder is one of my favorite foods, and I consume at least a handful of it every week. We get it in a huge can (from Whole Foods… their brand).

11). I’m hooked on cold water stirred up with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s raw unfiltered, always); I drink it after both lunch and dinner.

12). I don’t understand poi. No amount of sugar in the world can persuade me to understand it.

Homme Don’t Play That.

“Homme” is how you say “homie” in French. It’s basically the same word. It means “man.”

While Callaghan was busy drawing a hermaphrodite tin can with a pair of mismatched rocket man-boobs and its lid flipped up like a hat and a skirt around one of its tentacle knees, I went down to the bergerie to retrieve a few things. Along the way, I encountered a donkey and a large snail, and I found two lizards hanging out on the terrace when I got back.  Down in the laundry/storage room, the largest spider I’ve ever seen here in France ran across the wall when I walked in. Up here in the front room, the morning’s scattered ant swarms have finally died down.

Nature is active today, and we’re having a relaxed and productive afternoon. The house smells pleasantly of ginger and cardamom from the Ethiopian chickpea wat (stew) I made yesterday for tonight’s dinner – it’s one of those aromatic dishes that’s good to make a day in advance, so the spices can mingle overnight. I’m going to serve it with brown rice, since I don’t know where to find injera around here (Ethiopian flatbread), or the teff flour I’d need to bake my own.

I miss Ethiopian restaurants! Soon. In three weeks, we’ll be back in the States. First thing I’m going to do is find an Ethiopian restaurant and attempt to eat two years’ worth of injera in one sitting.

Ah, food. Bread. The plight of carbs’ reputations crossed my mind the other day when we were in the supermarket. It’s odd how popular it’s become to believe that carbs are “bad.” It’s like, one day, everyone became aware that allergies/sensitivities to gluten are common, so, alright, let’s be hyper-aware of that. Millions of people now feel a lot better on reduced-gluten or gluten-free diets. Great! But then, somehow, that entire category of food came crashing down from grace with a sweeping, extended indictment: Carbs make you fat. The problem with this is that it’s only half-true. Not all carbs cause the metabolism-compromising biochemical reaction that leads to weight gain.

I generally avoid simple carbs (white sugar, white flour, white rice, white pasta and white potatoes), but as far as I’m concerned, life’s not worth living without complex carbs. I love whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes. I’m lucky that my body gets along with wheat, because I’d be forlorn without it. I could never do a raw food diet; after a while, I’d go crazy without pasta. I eat it for lunch almost every day, as I have ever since Callaghan discovered my pasta with garlic and olive oil obsession. Though I maintain that just plain old garlic and olive oil would be fine with me every day until the end of time – it’s something I’ll never get tired of eating – he’s undertaken the challenge of creating variation after variation on this heavenly theme. He should write a book: 365 Variations on Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil.

So he makes lunch, and I make dinner, usually. And he draws hermaphrodite tin cans with mismatched rocket man-boobs and lids flipped up like hats and skirts around their tentacle knees. We’ve got our division of domestic labor all sorted out.