Friday, May 26, 2006


I did a total repeatsies for dinner! On Wednesday AND Thursday nights I found myself walking past Trader Joe's, a supermarket that bolsters the position of those who argue for the existence of God. Trader Joe's is And its wine store, next door, is so very very, too. Maybe you've heard of their famous "2 buck chuck?" No need to pinch yourself; it's real, and I have twice taken advantage of its reality these last two nights. To be perfectly honest, here in New York City the "2 buck chuck" has been inflated ever so slightly, so it's actually "$3.99 chuck," but, whoa, that is still some seriously wholesale wine!

On Wednesday I bought a $3.99 bottle of Argentinian Malbec and a $3.99 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I was delighted when the cashier carded me. I'm not old, but old enough that when he said, "Yeah, like you're even over 25," I was like, "I love you Mr. Trader Joe's Employee. Let's go get me pregnant right now, okay?" Since when can you get super-cheap wine AND flattered? Oh, maybe all the time! After I had purchased my libations I went into the grocery part of Trader Joe's and picked out some delicious yummies. I bought a packet of Thai Spiced Peanuts because they are like an instant mouth explosion. I bought some goat cheese and water crackers, spicy chipotle hummus, more Honey O's cereal, and fancy sparkling Italian lemon water because I thought the blue bottles were so beautiful. And they were only $.99! Then I took my wares home, opened the Malbec, shared it with the roommate, and watched her mouth explode on account of how delicious the Thai Spiced Peanuts were. She made us a Caprese salad, and we ate up my goat cheese on rosemary crackers that I already had in the pantry. It was kind of a perfect little dinner.

So I did it again LAST NIGHT! I met my friend outside my gym, which is conveniently close to Trader Joe's! I WIN SO HARD! We walked down to the wine store, and because my friend's a white wino we bought a $3.99 bottle of Chardonnay. Then I went next door and bought some St. Andre's cheese (it's basically butter that you're legally allowed to spread on crackers), more water crackers, more goat cheese, more Thai Spiced Peanuts, and more sparkling Italian lemon water in blue bottles. We took it to my place and had a hardcore chowdown/drinkfest. The Chardonnay may have been cheap, but it was GOOD! I generally don't like white's like drinking the hangover you know you're going to have, but this bottle was rather enjoyable. We annhilated the goat cheese and St. Andre's. Thai Spiced Peanuts? TS: Total Success.

Trader Joe's...sigh. A blind man can see how much I love you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Uh oh. I can see how this is gonna go...

Last Spring I was "unemployed" for a stretch, "unemployed" meaning that I had no day job, though I did make income writing from home. My home office had a strict policy when it came to attire; I wore either big t-shirts and socks, the wet towel from my shower, or...that's right: nothing. I'm basically a closeted Nudist. And...I just came out.

So here I am again, a year later, working in a different "home office," this time NOT making income writing from home (I am in self-imposed exile from work right now). And while the "office" might be different, the attire is EXACTLY THE SAME!

I took a shower almost THREE HOURS AGO, but I literally just put on underwear and brushed my hair. BEGRUDGINGLY. And only because I REALLY SHOULD LEAVE THE HOUSE.

Baby steps.

And just like last year, this year I am EATING THE SAME THINGS! At a day job I use food to mark the passage of time. I span time more slowly Pre-lunch than I do Post-lunch (I can prove this scientifically), and I'm stealth when it comes to the requisite 4pm coffee run/snack attack; if you're good like me you can burn another hour out of the corporate day in no time. I tend to eat a lot more because of this. But in my home office, I eat so much less because I really don't NEED an excuse to leave my desk or building. Which is why, last year and this year, I exist(ed) on Honey Nut Cheerios, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, and Yogurt. They're cheap, grabbable, and/or easy to make and eat. Which is also why, starting today, I think I need to do things differently. It CAN'T be another Kindergarten Spring, where my dietary intake is that of an illiterate child. The clothes can stay off; the meal plan, though, has GOT TO CHANGE.


Shhh! This post doesn't count, okay? SOTTO VOCE, capiche?!

My taste may be suspect: I kind of think Dallas BBQ is DELICIOUS.


I KNOW! You don't have to tell me: all my legitimacy (oh, you glorious mountains of legitimacy!) just got flushed down the pooper.

Hear me out: I spent less than $10 tonight on a bbq-sauce-slathered quarter chicken with a mountain of fries and a giant square of cornbread and, yes, I'll admit it, it tasted so good that I ate with what I like to call God's Cutlery (my hands) and gave said Cutlery a tongue-cleaning so elaborate that nary a bbq-sauced cornbread-crumb escaped the trenches of my digestive system. Yes indeed: IT TASTED THAT GOOD!

I think Dallas BBQ's bbq sauce is exceptional; it is tangy and slightly spicy and absent of any cloyingness that I find to be the ruin of other bbq sauces. Also: Dallas BBQ's bbq sauce tastes great on their chicken, even greater on their fries, and most greatest on their cornbread, which I pre-slathered with butter and then dipped in that lip-smacking red stuff.

The place is packed for a reason, and I don't think it's just because the food costs so little. Their honey-dipped deep-fried chicken wing appetizer is big n' tasty enough to inspire moral outrage; wings of that size should not (and do not) exist in nature, neither should they be battered, tortured in oil, and then coated in sticky honey, BUT THEY ARE, and when they enter my face-hole I can think of no greater happiness. Same for the deep-fried onion loaf. It's like a Bloomin' Onion but Loafier, and it's so yummy I think it made me a little bit retarded the last time I had it. Like, a part of my frontal lobe was lost, but as long as that lobe doesn't control taste buds, I'm okay with that.

I'm not one for lying and cover-ups, but this conversation never happened. I have a reputation to uphold. Hold on: no I don't. Not anymore.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I cooked!

Sort of!

I made tiramisu! I mean, I HELPED make tiramisu! It wasn't my idea, I had no intention of ever making this dessert that I do not eat, but somehow I aided and abetted its existence today. I was kind of a cheapo-creepo and didn't buy any of the ingredients (including a $33 bottle of rum), well, actually, I did put in $2 for the eggs (I had NO IDEA tiramisu has eggs in it, but it does, whites AND yolks!), but otherwise I was like, "I'm not gonna be a part of this" until, as it was being made and looked like fun, I became a part of it.

Okay, off the bat: this is not a super-easy dessert. You've got to make a bunch of espresso and the stovetop espresso maker we used only made small batches so that was time-consuming. And then the espresso's gotta cool down, and the rum's gotta get splashed in (I was the rum-splasher) then the lady-fingers need to be perfectly soaked (I was the finger-soaker), which is MUCH HARDER than it seems because they can't be too soft or too firm -- they have to be soaked JUST RIGHT. I soaked them PRETTY OKAY. Then yolks need to be beaten, marscapone folded in, whites whipped into semi-firm peaks, more soft-folding (I was the soft-folder), then lady-finger layering (I layered), and then creamy-egg-marscapone mixture spread (I spread). Then you've got to wait two hours while the whole thing sets in the fridge, but I could only wait an hour on account of my IMPATIENCE but I don't think that's the reason it came out DELICIOUS but IMPERFECT I think it came out DELICIOUS but IMPERFECT because that's how all food is when you make it yourself or in tandem. FACT! And honestly, I like my dessert treats like I like my EVERYTHING else in the world: DELICIOUS and IMPERFECT. The one is dependent on the other. So go take a hike, Mutual Exclusivity! I don't believe in you!