Saturday, March 04, 2006


I am going to Holland, aka The Netherlands, aka Legal-Weed-Central! Now I know the most famous Dutch recipe happens to be Spacecakes, but I sincerely hope to have a more rounded experience with Dutch "cuisine." I mean, can I even call it cuisine? What IS Dutch food? I'm planning on eating something called a Stroopwaffel, which is a funny (aka Dutch) way of saying waffle. Isn't it just that? A fresh waffle? I don't mean to denigrate anyone's culture, honestly, but come on...Dutch food, what the HELL is it?!

One of my older brothers lives in Holland and based on his diet I could just assume that the Dutch live on chocolate and cheese. Not that I have a real problem with spending a week eating chocolate and cheese: I'm a girl and we love that stuff. Historical fact: it's been substituting orgasms for women for CENTURIES! Nevertheless, I have what (only) I would call a SOPHISTICATED palate, and I want to eat more than waffles, chocolate, and cheese.

I know there's supposed to be some good Indonesian food up and in Holland's piece: let's give it up for the spoils of colonialism! I do like Indonesian food, but by eating it I'm avoiding the issue at hand: WHAT IS DUTCH FOOD?!

Come Monday morning, I will find out! And if I come back a toasted-out spaz, there will be no denying what I put in my mouth.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


If I had my way, the office vending machine would offer, instead of packaged Mini Chips Ahoys, refrigerated blobs of fresh cookie dough that I could just microwave myself.

I mean, how hard could that be, and how much more satisfying would the resultant snack be? Don't answer: it's a rhetorical question.

I'd also be into a cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres starting at 6pm. Let's see if we can make it happen, Viacom!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I win again! Today was one of those "free lunch" days, and I was the beneficiary of Riley's -- my segment producer's -- largesse. In cable production if you're in an edit both the producer and editor get free lunch; it's part of the show budget. But in my new job I am merely a writer and have to pay for my meals. Lucky for me Riley's editor happens to be on The Zone Diet, so Riley gave me his meal. And the meal was most certainly not part of any diet, Zone or otherwise.

That's because Riley has a tradition of ordering burgers on his first day in an edit, which is a coincidence if ever there was one, because I have a tradition of eating burgers whenever they are fucking free, dude!

We ordered from Island Burgers and Shakes, in Hell's Kitchen. They've got about 70 different burgers listed on their menu, from The Napalm (blackened, bbq, jalapeno, cheddar, habanero sauce) to The Frog (boursin, bacon, onions), to The Hippo (curried sour cream, bacon, cheddar, onion, scallion, guacamole, pita), and all the way back to The Derby (bacon, bleu cheese, avocado). For me this kind of menu is both offensive and the gastronomic equivalent of foreplay.

I ordered The Cowboy (bbq sauce, onion, bacon, cheddar, ranch, sourdough), cooked medium. When it arrived I kind of lost my shit: it was so beautiful! HUGE slices of sourdough bread, soaked in spicy bbq sauce and beef grease. Oh those sauteed onions, so slick and translucent! Ah, what's that? TWO large strips of not-quite-crisp-enough bacon but I won't quibble with delivery -- it's hard to get temps right on the road. And don't get me started on the meat in the middle: HOLY MOLY that's A LOT OF MEAT COOKED PERFECTLY JUICY AND WOAH THERE IS LIKE JUST SO MUCH OF IT! SOOOOOOOO MUCH MEEAAAATTTT! AHHHHHHHH! I had to remove most of the cheddar because they gave too much, but since when do I fault generosity? Since NEVER!

Okay, so I ate this beast of a Cowboy in about 10 minutes, and I made pretty good work of it. I felt a little defeated that I couldn't finish the entire thing, but people: it was HUMONGOUS!

I would DEFINITELY order from Island Burgers and Shakes again, and next time I'll try a shake.

I will give a single caveat: though my burger was dispensed with at around 1:30pm, I still smell like a Cowboy, and it is now 8pm. I also don't think I will be hungry ever again. Talk about winning!


If you're in the market for good reading about good food, I recommend without reservation As They Were, a compilation of essays by MFK Fisher. Basically, this woman is a golden god when it comes to gastronomical writing. It's not merely that the writing itself is a pleasure -- it is, completely -- but also the subjects. Raised in the first quarter of the last century, Mary Frances ate some kind of wonderful meals and did us all a big favor by writing about them. I almost unconditionally love reading about contemporary eating, but what's great about these essays is how they reveal how people USED to eat, and I find it fascinating.

In one essay titled "Young Hunger" she describes the restless wanting that regularly inflicts teenage stomachs. I'm a late bloomer, so I remain prone to this youthful avarice, but her essay reminded me of how physically starved I felt between the ages of 12 and 19. Mary Frances did, too, and she describes a "lunch" that she takes with her godparents that leaves her frustrated and hungry to the verge of tears.

I will now describe this "lunch" for you, because it boggles my greedy, 21st century mind:

A cup of attenuated chicken broth
A salted cracker
Half a piece of toast
A waffle with melted butter and a dab of honey.

NO WONDER people were smaller back then! NO WONDER the fashions of the day emphasized women's delicate waists: they HAD them.

I mean, COME ON! That lunch is not even the equivalent of an appetizer on one of today's menus! An APPETIZER: the thing we eat BEFORE we eat!

Hey George Romero: want to really see something scary and shocking -- check out what counts as "lunch" 80 years ago! I felt empathic hunger pangs as I read, and luckily I had the wherewithal to do something about broth necessary.