I love food. I wish I could eat all day without consequence because food is the most wonderful gift bestowed upon the human race ever. Unfortunately, I have to watch what I eat because I’m no longer 19 and completely impervious to the sinister effects of cake. Damn that cake. If I could, I’d script a graphic novel in which the bad guy is a gigantic chocolate cake spread liberally with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with strategically placed raspberries.
I would defeat the bad guy and proceed to devour him. Hmmm. I think this article is taking an entirely different tone now. Think about this though, how many of you have ever sat there for hours, watching the Food Network, and thinking, “Damn. I could have eaten that whole –.” I leave this blank, because what goes in that sentence belongs to you and you alone. Go ahead, fantasize for a minute. I won’t bother you or open the door and suddenly pretend not to see you ogling the perfect chile rellenos (no pun or innuendo intended). Food is to me what rock-hard silicon breasts and porn is to most men. Food Network is food porn, and I just can’t get enough of it.
I’m really lucky in that I live in an area where you can get anything you want to eat. Shops and restaurants of the Bay Area offer everything short of fried baby. (Mmmm. Baby, the other, other white meat.) You can get the mundane: a cheeseburger and fries, or go for something more exotic, like fried crickets (I’m going to pass this time around, but try it at least once.) You can get somebody to cook you anything if you look hard enough. If you don’t like how these people cook your food, there are even restaurants that will give you the food so you can cook it yourself.
Yes, those are tentacles. For those of you who haven’t tried octopus, you really should. It’s a bit chewy, depending on how it’s cooked (or not cooked as the case may be). This brings me to one peeve that I have about certain members of my family and some of my friends. I know people who don’t like anything. I mean…anything. Sushi? No. Mexican? No. Korean BBQ? No. Noodle house? No. Tandoori? No clue. So I tell them. No. Watching your carbs? Brazilian BBQ? No. Chinese? No. Ethiopian? No. No burgers, too greasy. No pizza, had it yesterday. What the hell does this person want to eat?
No, I’m not fucking kidding. In an area with fantastic local restaurants and a world of culinary traditions, this person picks the fucking Olive Garden. I’d rather eat from a roach coach with three wheels, no ventilation system and a rather questionable meat source. Seriously, these people will gladly pass up this for industrial mass-manufactured not-really Italian slop:
They wouldn’t touch this:
And wouldn’t even consider this:
Now, there’s going to be at least one of you that says, “Hey, if that’s what makes them happy, then just eat it and shut up.” Screw that. The rest of the party should not have to suffer because one member is a cheap ass or fancies him/herself a picky eater who should be accommodated at all turns. If you’re out-voted, then it’s up to you to find something eat, possibly your napkin. After all, it has about as much taste as the person eating it.
Pho Anyone? I promise it won’t bite.
Nope, no takers. I have a family that was born and raised in rural America, or “Real America” as Dipshit Palin likes to call it. The problem with “Real America” is that it’s a little limited in the culinary department. Trust me, if you go to a restaurant near my home town, you better be ready to order chicken or brown. “What is brown?” you ask. Well, I don’t know. It’s…uh…brown. Probably a chicken fried something with extra gravy and absolutely no vegetables whatsoever. Vegetables are for pussies and cows, and you aren’t either. (Well, maybe you’re at least one. I bet I could take you, but that would just make you my bitch, and not necessarily a pussy. I digress.) Anyway, dinner is served, you red-blooded American definitely NOT pussy.
I had to learn how to cook because I needed to save my own sanity. What’s nice is that I can now go to markets that have ingredients not normally seen outside their country of origin. Market Hall in Rockridge, Oakland, offers everything from 4 types of lentils, to harissa, to imported shoyu to sugared violets to pink peppercorns to candied squid (no, that’s not a joke, unfortunately). I learned to cook by watching TV. I’m not ashamed of my food porn habit, I just dove in head first and let myself become immersed the joy of food that is not necessarily brown. I even eat vegetables that haven’t had all the color and will to live boiled out of them, much to the chagrin of my relatives. Excuse me a moment, just thinking about eating all that food is making my eye twitch a little. Here, enjoy this:
It’s bimibap, for those of you who don’t recognize it, and it’s delicious. Now, just eat it and shut up. It’s good for you.
The cruelest thing about our culture is that we live in a land of plenty and have the entire mass media shaming us for it. Americans are up to our armpits in plenty of delicious food, which we are constantly admonished against eating. The minute I pick up a fork I have my beautiful friend from L.A. saying, “You shouldn’t eat that; it’s loaded with calories.” I go home to lick my wounds and the news has 20 scare stories about how fat my ass is and how it’s going to kill me. I switch the channel and see a 14 year old model that is approximately 27 pounds selling me diet pills. I open a magazine, go to a website or look at a billboard and every other ad is for some magic weight loss gadget, diet pill or advertisement for ginormous tits attached to a superbly Photoshopped body. (Trust me, we’ve all seen those ads, are they really trying to shill a product besides plastic surgery and Photoshop, because I really can’t tell.)
This is my cat Thor! (No errors in punctuation, that’s his name.) Thor! is the hottest pussy out there. Know why? He eats what he wants, he doesn’t care what people think about him and he flaunts his sumptuous tubby physique like he is the sexiest feline to ever have graced the planet. I want to be Thor! when I grow up. I know for a fact nobody ever tells him that he shouldn’t eat that food. When I put the food bowl down, the first thing he does is eats it and shuts up.
I have another wonderful friend who is about 180 from the gal from L.A. We’re both not bound by the tyranny of employment at the moment, and when we have time we get together for late lunch or dessert and coffee. I love dessert. When the waitress brings my taste-tempting little morsel, I sit and stare at it, tearing up.
“What is your problem this time?” she asks me.
“I really shouldn’t eat this, it’s loaded with calories,” I say.
She laughs at me. “You crazy white girl; just eat it and shut up already.”