Friday, December 01, 2006


I had a nightmare last night. I am not prone to them, and honestly can't remember the last time I had one, but what was interesting about last night's was that it was EXTREMELY vivid and, uh, kind of awesome! I mean, if it were a movie I would WATCH it.

So here is the part where I am going to describe my nightmare for you and then find a way to relate it to food, so here is also the part where you can save yourself from being bored and stop reading.

Okay. So basically, I was in my childhood backyard with an ex-boyfriend and we were looking at the moon, and it was HUGE. The moon was SO HUGE we could see the craters on it. It was lit and huge and didn't look real. And I said to the ex, "that's so doesn't look like a real moon." And he said, "Yeah, and there are all these shooting stars and meteorites out tonight." "Huh," I said. And we kept looking at the moon and it kept coming closer to the tall pine trees in my backyard. "That's weird," I thought. "The moon is, discernibly moving, and it's, like, super-big." And then, to my horror, the incredibly large moon hit a branch of a pine tree. As it made contact there was a mini-explosion and it severed off a branch, and then the whole pine tree was destroyed and suddenly blasts of fire and explosions were all around the sky and backyard and neighborhood. WE WERE BEING ATTACKED BY MARTIANS AND THE MOON WAS THEIR STARSHIP! Martians: SO CRAFTY!

So I just got the fuck out of there. I totally ditched the ex and ran! I ran to the front lawn and saw neighbors' cars exploding. The entire neighborhood was out and it was so real, everyone was just running and panicking because we were totally being attacked by what looked like amazing Hollywood pyrothechnics. I could tell some people were dead but it didn't faze me. I ran down toward the boat yard that, in reality, is near my childhood home, and found a fucking sweet classic car convertible. It was one of the sickest, most awesome cars I've ever seen, and it had its keys in the ignition! Thanks, dream! I hopped in, even though the car's middle-aged male owner was standing next it going, "Uh, that's my car." I'm not kidding: that was all the protest he gave. So I gunned it and tore out of the boat yard and onto the crowded street where whole families were running and panicking. In real life I am a bad driver, and in this dream I was TERRIBLE. The bucket seats of the car were too low, and I couldn't see out my rearview mirror, and I was just out of control and so as I drove I ran over people. IF YOUR CHILDHOOD NEIGHBORHOOD WERE BEING ATTACKED BY MOON-MARTIANS YOU MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY DO THE SAME THING! After I hit a child, though, I got upset and ditched the car. So then I had to decide if I was going to stick around and try to survive the attack, or keep moving and find a safer place.

I rested for a minute and here's where THE FOOD PART comes in: as I was making my decision whether to stay or go I wondered what I would eat if I stayed. I realized I would have to eat grass and bugs and drink putrid water. That is what made me keep moving. I was like, "I am not eating grass and bugs. I think I can do better." THAT IS SO ME TO THINK THAT WAY!

So then I found this random shopping mall-type area. It was clean and slick and though the people in it knew we were under attack, no one was really panicking. People were more like, calmly gathering. There was a spa area with these strange, shallow water slides (I know, WATER, very big in dream symbolism!), and middle-aged women were sliding down them. I didn't get in, but I did hang out in the spa area because it was more relaxing than anyplace else. Which is why, in real life, people hang out in spa areas. DUH.

SO THEN I MET THE MARTIANS. I spied them in their real form by looking out the glass enclosure of the mall. They were about 6'4", latex-paint gray, with the bearded faces of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. But inside the mall, they all put on human disguises. They wore ugly suits and wigs and covered their skin with paint that did an extremely poor job of looking like human flesh. But they seemed really nice! And so we approached each other. I didn't feel any fear, and they seemed totally gentle. Some kind of dream conversation took place where they told me that they were taking over the planet because we had done such a bad job of protecting it, and even though they were going to mate with the women of Earth, they weren't going to rape us. That was good news! I told them that I didn't think it was necessary for them to dress up like humans, that I thought they looked better gray and natural, and that the makeup wasn't doing anything for them. I guess saying this really appealed to them, because they took a liking to me and led me back towards the spa area. There they talked to me about how the food and beauty industry lies to us about what is and is not natural and organic. They said that even in this safe, pleasant water-slide spa area, everything had been designed to be a fake-out just to make us consume more and spend more, but that none of it was doing anything to benefit the planet. Then they told me to get on the water slide because we were going to go someplace to learn more stuff.

I did. And I slid. And then I woke up! Booo, I know! Where were those Martian Lorax's going to take me, and what were they planning on teaching me? I mean, now that I think about it, my nightmare/dream seems more like some kind of unconscious environmental guilt-trip than anything else. If I didn't love throwing out paper so much and burning Styrofoam, I might be inspired to change my consumptive behavior a little bit! But: MAKING GARBAGE IS EASIER THAN CONSUMING LESS, so I'll probably do nothing.

Which is a shame, and a nightmare.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Today's lunch sucked tiny Thai he-she balls. I love Thai food, it's practically my favorite, so being disappointed when it doesn't work out feels major.

I, with moderate guilt, decided to indulge my craving for greasy, spicy, stir-fried rice noodles. I mean, I know Pad Kee Mao isn't The Most Nutritious meal, but sometimes it's The Most Delicious. Or at least: Up There. In any case, there are plenty of Thai restaurants near where I work, but I'm not sure any of them are good. So I Menupaged a bunch and found Tiny Thai Cafe, which had good reviews and a decent lunch special.

I should have known from their logo that things would end bad. I mean, the "T" is FROWNING!

To its credit, Tiny Thai Cafe's "spicy" noodles were packed with vegetables and a decent amount of tofu, but in spite of the impressive quantity, the quality was lacking. Both the tofu and broccoli, carrots, and zucchini were a soggy, mopey mess. Which would make you think the dish was super-oily, right? WRONG! At least some oil would maybe have imparted, oh, I don't know, FLAVOR?! This was The Least Flavorful Thai Food I have ever eaten! It was vaguely spicy, but I'm pretty sure dried, pizza-joint red-pepper flakes were the reason. I saw Holy Basil in the mix, but I sure as hell didn't taste it.

I really didn't taste much, and believe me: I finished the entire, generous portion, just to make sure.

Bland! Boooo! Now MY "T" is frowning.

I don't know what that means, either.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Is it weird that I was permitted to watch Eddie Murphy's "Raw" as a young child? Is it weird that I thought it was hilarious? Both are true, and I remember watching with my family and laughing especially hard at the "house burger" bit. It's pretty famous, but I'll recap anyway:

Young Eddie wants a McDonald's hamburger, but his mom says that she can make a burger that's better. Eddie can't believe his mom cooks better than McDonald's. His mom rebuts that she's not making McDonald's, she's making "Mama's Burger". So she gets to making it and it's a monster -- she's putting peppers in it, and egg (!), and the burger becomes this fat meatball and looks nothing like McDonald's, and the worst part is there are no round buns so Eddie has to eat the greasy thing off two slices of Wonder Bread, and...this image! the bread turns pink from his fingertips, and then he goes outside to play and his friends make fun of him and taunt him, singing "We got McDonald's!" It is 100% hilarious to me. Maybe because I ate my fair share of "Mama's Burger's" as a kid. But I also ate a whole lot of McDonald's. Therefore: I was keenly aware of the difference between the two.

So anyway: I think that bit and Bill Cosby's "Dad is great...give us the chocolate cake!" are the two best food bits I've ever heard in my life.

And I'm reminded of this because last night I made "Mama's Taco Bell". I don't really eat fast food but let's be honest: it's DELICIOUS, and sometimes I miss it. There's no way I'm going to Run For The Border, but there is a way I'm going to Run To Trader Joe's and Think Outside The Bun. The corporate bun. So I picked up whole wheat tortillas, fat-free refried black beans with jalapenos, habanero/lime salsa, and shredded cheese. Then I went home, put 'em all together, and melted it for about 10 minutes. It was Very Good. Why not great? Because, I think, there was a lot less fat and sodium in my Meximelt than in Taco Bell's, and everyone knows that Fat + Sodium = TCD (Taco Bell Delicious). I mean, I didn't even have sour cream in there (a non-fatal error, but one I will correct next time), and I skipped the meat because, uh, I haven't fried hamburger meat in about 15 to almost-never years.

I think my next fast food copycat act is gonna have to be a Big Mac. It's not that I think I'm better than Eddie Murphy's mom or McDonald's; it's just something I have to do.

Monday, November 27, 2006


With your leftovers? What do you make, how do you make it? Do you have a secret flavor/ingredient combo whose power you feel like unleashing? Perhaps in the comment section? Of this blog? GO FOR IT!

I'm full of ideas, but I'm also very suggestable. Here is an example of both those traits.

Here is an idea: (that I've never actually executed but I KNOW it's good):

Take two chocolate brownies. Fresh or a couple of days old -- it doesn't matter. Then scramble up some eggs (they should be fresh). Then fry up some bacon. Sandwich the eggs and bacon in between the brownies. Drizzle maple syrup on the eggs and bacon. Then eat what I will now refer to as a Brownie Breakfast Sandwich. You might get diabetes and/or have a heart-attack within a fortnight, but also you might not. And even if you do: WORTH IT! I know the Brownie Breakfast Sandwich seems like the ideal Stoner Meal, but that's only because it is. I think I will start to make them, package them in tinfoil, and sell them to toked-out frat boys and girls at Dave Matthew's concert parking lots. Hold on: I will never do that. I love myself TOO MUCH!

How I am suggestable:

I have a sinus infection which is very much like a cold but way more dastardly. Part of its dastardliness is that yesterday it kept me in bed for most of the day and FORCED me to order in my dinner. Which, of course, was Yummy House Chinese food. Yummy House (I've mentioned it before) isn't so much 'yummy' as it is reliable and quick, but who would ever frequent a restaurant called 'Reliable House' or 'Quick House'? I maybe would. But then again...I'm suggestable. In any case, Yummy House is hit-or-miss. Last night I missed. I was prepared only to order a hot vegetable noodle soup as a panacea to my congestion, but when I got on the phone to make my order, I decided to engage the person on the other end in a way that sabotaged my dinner. I became indecisive and asked her, "What's good for a cold? Which soup is The Best?" She told me the chicken curry soup was good, so I ordered that with an extra helping of broccoli and spinach ("One dollar extra!") and cellophane noodles ("Oh...You gonna pay another dollar!"). Then I really blew it. I asked, "Is that enough food if I'm hungry?" and she didn't say no and she didn't say yes. She said, "What else?" So I panicked and blurted out "Steamed veggie dumplings!" even though I didn't want them. After hanging up I realized I could just save the veggie dumplings for tomorrow's lunch, no regrets.

So then my order comes (quickly and reliably), and I get ready to eat it. The chicken in the chicken curry soup is...FRESH. Like, skin on, bone in, hacked pieces of Real Deal chicken. Which I always appreciate, except when I'm sick and want to make quick work of my dinner. Who eats soup with her hands? I do. Did. Ew. I stained my white terry Juicy Couture pants with yellow curry, which is fine because I'm not a 15 year old living in 2002 Dix Hills, and I really shouldn't wear those pants outside of my apartment anyway, but still -- kind of sad! I held a short Jap-funeral for their whiteness and then finished off the soup. All of it. I was sweating by the end because it was spicy and also because, like a fat man, eating quickly makes me sweat. Again: ew. I guess I was full, but since when does that matter?

I looked at the veggie dumplings, which were supposed to be today's lunch, and, I'll be honest: they were looking pretty cute in all their cinched-up doughy greenness. I ate one. Then I ate four. Then I finished off all eight. Dabnabit! Now I was REALLY full and REALLY sweating, and I still had a sinus infection. AND my pants looked like I made an accident all over them.

I shoulda just stuck with my original plan. Or: stop talking to strangers. Or, better: stop being so lonely that I talk to Yummy House employees longer than I need to.

Okay, so I just shared. Big time. Now you share: get those leftover recipes in, people!