Edited to add: I don’t know why I keep forgetting to link to the original post… but these are answers to my last blog post Questioning Your Food. Just in case you see this blogpost first, go there to get the unanswered questions of you feel the need to answer them. ^_^ I totally would love to know your answers.
1. Do you enjoy food from countries that are not your own? I do, actually. I also enjoy food that’s considered American and sometimes I like food from other countries that has been “Americanized” (like much of the food you get in some Chinese and Italian restaurants around here). However, over my lifetime, I’ve had friends from many other countries and they have cooked for me, and I enjoyed the meals made by their hands. I enjoy trying new things, and even though some food (Indian curry for example) is way too spicy for me, I do like to at least try it.
2. When you prepare salad for yourself, do you rip your greens (lettuce, spinach, &c…), or do you cut them? I tear my salad greens. Even if I buy a salad in a bowl, I’ll still rip the greens smaller because I like my greens bite sized rather than huge. My mom taught me to do that. She was adamant that one did not — ever — cut their salad greens. Like… ever. She said that cutting the lettuce would “bruise” it, or somesuch. Of course, now I know it’s not true, but it’s habit.
3. There’s a saying that goes: “Life is short, eat dessert first.” What do you think of that advice? It’s very sound advice. 🙂 So this can be taken two ways — either Life will end before you know it, and you’ll never have the time to do what you really want to do (eat dessert) — or You’ll be so busy with dinner that you won’t make time for (or have room for) dessert when it’s served. So why not eat dessert first? Do what you want to do now? Why wait? As for literally, I often order dessert in restaurants and ask them to bring it out before my meal. Because I do eat dessert first.
4. Have you ever thrown spaghetti against the wall to test for doneness? — If it sticks, it’s done (so they say) — What other such kitchen habits might you have? This is another thing my mom taught me to do. She didn’t like her spaghetti al dente She liked it nearly mushy, so the spaghetti test worked for her. I’ve since learned to like it al dente and not cooked nearly to a mush. It also saves me from washing the walls. As for other things… I put oil in the water to keep the pasta from sticking together. I know I know. It’s not good practice, but it works, and I like the taste of it after so long. Sue me.
5. How often do you eat fish? I used to eat fish at least once a week. But damned if I haven’t had it in years. I should eat more of it. It’s good for you.
6. When purchasing food for yourself, do you check the nutritional label? If so, what are you checking for? I do. I’m mostly checking to see if the food itself has High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucralose because I cannot eat too much of the former and I cannot stand the taste of the latter. I’ve eliminated HFCS from my diet for the most part and manufacturers like to pad their food with it. It’s in a lot of foods that might surprise you, dear reader. Same with Sucralose… manufacturers put it in foods that are not diet foods. I guess it’s cheaper? I dunno. But to me, it tastes nasty and can ruin my flavor palette for the rest of the day.
7. How often do you eat salad as a meal? At least once a day right now. I’m not trying to lose weight or anything. I’m trying to loosen my bowels. And since I’m taking medicine at this time that will keep my innards from rebelling against so much roughage (generally eating salad isn’t good for me), I thought I might give it a go. It’s been a little over a month or so and I gotta say, I haven’t seen much in the way of improved energy or health, but what can you do? I’ve always liked salads. I’ve just never liked how they made me feel after eating them — the heartburn, the gas, the gut pain. It’s totally not worth it.
8. Do you have any food quirks? For example: do you arrange a particular food in a certain way before eating? Or eat certain foods in a particular way every time? (i.e.: bite the heads off of gummy bears). I don’t like sauce. Meaning, I don’t put ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or all of that stuff on things. Oh, I used to, a long time ago when I didn’t really care what I ate so long as it was food, but even then I really didn’t like it. I’ll eat my burger with just the bun and maybe a pickle (and cheese, gotta have cheese). I’ll eat my hot dogs plain in the bun. I don’t put anything on my fries, and you should see the looks I get when I order my baked potatoes with nothing but butter. If something comes with sauce in a restaurant and I can’t have it without, I’ll see if I can order it on the side. I dunno, I just like to taste my food without drowning it in other food.
9. When boiling water for pasta or whatnot, what are your “tricks” for keeping the water from boiling over? As mentioned above, I do put oil in the water to keep it from boiling over (and to keep the pasta from sticking together) but you can’t do that for everything. And (as also mentioned above) this is considered a “bad” practice. For the times I can’t add oil to the pot, I put a wooden spoon over it. Thusly:
This works pretty well so long as your pot is not too hot and you don’t need to keep the spoon on for too long.
10. Are there any recipes that have been passed down through the generations in your family? Have you passed them to anyone outside of your family? or are they a closely guarded secret? My mom has an interesting recipe for meatloaf that I used to make, but my kids didn’t like it. My grandma had a recipe for a dried fruit candy that she made every Christmas that I also used to make but I lost it somewhere along the way. Neither were a great family secret. I can imitate my grandma’s candy recipe, it’s not difficult. Finding the ingredients nowadays is… Unless I start drying my own fruits. ^_^ Which is, I’m sure, what she did. Ha! I have a recipe that I’ve passed down to my middle child for brownies that she thinks are the bees knees.
11. In general, how do you feel about “diet” foods? Meaning: foods with artificial sweeteners or alternative fats in them. For example: Diet soda or low fat muffins. I think that diet foods are a scam that feed on the needs and wants of people who are desperate to lose weight. Studies have shown time and time again that they don’t help and often hurt. I know that I’m addicted to Diet Coke because I like the taste (and possibly the Aspartame)
12. Have you purchased food online? What do you think about that idea? I have. Mostly things like special flours (gluten free stuff) or foods I can’t find locally. I bought candies for my wedding for example. I’ve also purchased things that can only be bought in particular regions of the USA — for example: Utz potato chips, which can only be purchase in the Northeast, or Hatch green chilies (for Doug) which can only be found in New Mexico. Or, you can buy them from Amazon. Now, I like ginger candy and for some reason, these are sometimes incredibly difficult to find. Like, I can sometimes find them in stores that sell “ethnic” or “world” foods, but not always. However, I always buy them online. Either from Amazon or from their website (linked in the image). I think that being able to buy food online is one of the great conveniences of our time. I’m always saying it, “Technology is great — until it isn’t.” I really do mean the first part. Technology is great. And ordering food online is pretty awesome — well, so long as it’s not fresh fruit or something equally as perishable.
13. When cooking for you and yours, what kinds of experiments have you tried? I haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but the last few times, I’ve tried to do “cooking for two” which is way more complicated than just paring down recipes. I mean shopping for two people is totally different than shopping for a family. Now I tend to eat prepared meals (mostly salads) and Doug gets his meal while he commutes. I just don’t have the energy to cook anymore. I’ve also tried gluten free baking. That was interesting. It’s not as difficult as one might think.
14. Do you now, or have you ever, grown or raised any of the food you eat? I have not. I might if I ever get my energy back. But up until now, I haven’t.
15. Are you a vegetarian? If not, has the idea of becoming one ever crossed your mind? I am not. I thought about it once when I was much younger. I remember looking at the chicken leg I was eating and thinking: Blood ran through these veins. This was a living thing once… and for just a moment, I was revolted and nearly threw the thing away. Then I got over it and that was that. I’m still fully aware that whatever I’m eating — including all of the plants — was, at one point, alive, but it doesn’t bother me anymore.
16. When arranging the food on your plate, does everything have to be separated, or is it okay for your food to touch? hahahahaha! I don’t care if my food touches on my plate. Hell, I’m one of those weirdos that will totally mix everything together just to see what it tastes like. I mean, it’s all gonna get mixed up in my belly anyway? Why not on my plate?
17. When eating out, what foods on the menu might push you out of your comfort zone? (for example: pineapple on pizza makes some people twitch) Ah man, anything that’s raw and not a vegetable. Like filet mignon. I can’t deal with rare meat, it just doesn’t taste right to me, and the texture is gross in my mouth. I like my meat well done, not dry, but cooked all of the way through. Also, anything resembling a bug. So no lobster or crayfish. Anything like that will make me nauseated.
18. Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, what kinds of foods generally satisfy the craving? I admit. I do have a sweet tooth. I’m all about the chocolate to feed that sweet tooth too. But occasionally I will look to things like cheesecake, ice cream, or other sweet things to satisfy that sweet craving because sometimes I’m craving something both sweet *and* cold.
19. What foods (if any) do you like to mix that other people might find strange? When I was working in an office setting, I used to take plain M&M’s and put them in a bag of freshly popped popcorn. The slight heat of the popcorn would melt the chocolate inside of the candy shell, but not the candy shell. It tastes so good. My co-workers thought I was strange. But the mix of salt and sugar is (I think) always nice. I also like to put potato chips under the bread if I’m having a sandwich with cold cuts.
20. When eating out, at what kind of restaurant do you prefer to dine? I like cafes and diners the best. They are not as formal as a restaurant, but not as informal as something like McDonalds.
21. In general, how do you feel about organic food? I’m all for small organic farms who want to grow their own food and maybe sell it locally if that’s how they want to go. I think that commercial organic farming is an oxymoron. Studies show that organic food is just the same, nutrition wise, as food that’s grown otherwise. So it’s just a matter of how the people growing the food want to practice farming. I think the stuff in the store is overpriced, and I betcha much of it isn’t as “organic” as the label claims it is. It’s as much of a scam as the diet food I talked about earlier.
22. What foods (if any) do you eat when you are happy or unhappy? I tend to reach for the same foods in both circumstances: Chocolate and coffee. What can I say? I’m an addict. Ha!