I'm not necessarily back on the "eat everything" trail, but a plate of various cooked vegan-friendly foodstuffs for the grand sum of $4.29 from my second visit to Temple in the Village served my appetite well. My digestion feels fine after having to deal with the most cooked food I've eaten in a week. (Lunch consisted of an orange, a banana, and a smidgen of my mum's Larabar. I found that I don't have a problem eating a fruit meal as long as I get some kind of nut/dried fruit snack at the end.)
What's on my plate? [squints] Broccoli, miso-flavored kale-esque stuff (not bad, but made me realize that I'm not a big fan of miso), sesame-flecked baked potato chunk, kabocha slice, mung bean noodles, seaweed salad, kimchi, marinated cucumber slices (marinated in...something tasty), and chopped cabbage salad. Such a meal would probably make my meat-centric brother cry.
Stephanie and I cleared out plates of all the healthy deliciousness before moving on to less nutritional possibilities.
Jacques Torres, what...what are you doing?! You didn't have these last summer!
NO STOPPIT MY EYES AHH WHAT AHHH COOKIES AND ICE CREAM! [wimper]
Of course, I didn't try any of these monsterous ice cream sandwiches, but I've made it my goal to get a taste of the roasted banana before the summer ends. If you ask me, $5 is extremely reasonable for what I'm sure is one of the tastiest ice cream sandwiches you'll ever find. The cookies alone cost $2.50 each, if I remember correctly. Wouldn't it be great if you got a cup of thick hot chocolate to go with it? Dip in that sucker! Oh god.
...Man, how is it that I come up with some of the most unhealthy things while trying to eat more healthily? Or did I just answer my own question?
I gave into the chocolate scent that fills every cubic foot of the store/your brain and bought a bar of Pistachio Pleasures. While the website describes the bar as having "tiny crunches", the actual label says caramelized pistachios. Indeed, the bar only contains tiny, nearly microscopic crunches, which is fine if that's what you're expecting, not so fine if you're looking forward to pistachio chunks. My first bite was disappointing when it returned so little pistachio-ness that I didn't see the point of including it at all, but the experience became better after deciding that I really liked the plain chocolate. Not too dark, not too sweet, and surprisingly smooth. If you really like really dark chocolate, this bar would be too mild for you. However, I don't. (If prefering milk chocolate over dark shows that I have an unsophisticated palate, then...yeah, that's true. I also like that sometimes detested white chocolate stuff. Of course, I'll eat any chocolate as long as it doesn't suck.)
After gazing at mountains of chocolatey things, we went to the nearby Film Forum to see The Motel. Stephanie commented that most of the employees at Film Forum were tall guys with an inability to express emotions beyond the one of "staring into space". It made me miss the friendliness of Norway. [sigh] At least the guy who ripped my ticket gave a smile, unless that was a mistake...
The movie was surprisingly short and akin to many indie movies lacked a satisfying conclusion (it kinda just...ends, and then the credits roll), but I enjoyed it enough. The range of sad, troubled characters should make you feel better about your life. Unless your life is really horrible, in which case...maybe not.
Off the Broiler is giving me the biggest craving for Chinese-American food I've had in years. Is shimp with lobster sauce on anyone else's "Favorite Food" list? Ye know, the somewhat gelatinous, cloudy sauce laced with silky egg goo, chopped scallions, clumpy pork bits and plump, tightly wound shrimps? I'm not a big fan of shrimp; for me, it's all about the sauce, turning every grain of rice it coats into an object of crack-like addiction. The shrimp does give color though, resulting in an somewhat eye-pleasing array of yellows, pinks, and greens, all swimming in a substance that becomes gloppily mucilaginous after cooling in the fridge (a phenomenom I've had much experience with after reheating plenty of leftover lobster sauce since I was little).
So. Is it just me?
My family's favorite Chinese take-out in Hawthorne was run by a very petit, slim Chinese woman who spoke a smidge faster than a Chipmunk. Her tone wasn't Chipmunk-esque, just...the speed. There were usually three male chefs who would heed her barked orders and quickly stir fry the demanded foodstuffs in big, flaming woks. Sometimes I'd watch them comically pack the contents of the wok in a container that looked too small, but after some not so careful smushing and jabbing with a large utensil (hey, this ain't brain surgery), managed to fit the previously overflowing mountain of food snugly undernearth the plastic lid. Thank god nothing ever exploded.
My Chinese-American staples were a rotation of shrimp with lobster sauce, beef and broccoli, and chicken curry. I could count on my brother to get General Tsao's Chicken and my mum usually sprung for chow fun (flat, wide noodles?) or mei fun (thin rice noodles). Despite that the standard Chinese take-out meny is freakin' huge, I had no desire to explore the other options when I had a handful of safe options. (A few summers ago at a Chinese take-out near Vassar, I decided to try the dumplings. I like all dumplings! ALL. DUMPLINGS. But no, not these dumplings, which consisted of at least 50% evil. Thick skins wrapped insufficiently meaty morsels of...some kind of meat. Pork, I think. It was odd and failed to contain any dumpling soul. That I still remember the experience—my huge Chinese take-out splurge after kicking the raw food diet—is a testament to how bad it was.)
Ah. AHH. AHHHHH OH JESUS, I'm not pregnant; I shouldn't be craving these random things. (Not that being pregnant would be the only reason; but ye know...preggers have that reputation and I aim to exploit it.) I haven't eaten Chinese-American food since going to school in NYC after I realized that there wasn't much need to get standard Chinese take-out when I lived so close to Chinatown. Admittedly, most of the food I ate in Chinatown was from bakeries, tasty wheaty things that are difficult to get in locations that lack large populations of Chinese people. (Sarah told me that she planned to hoard a crapload of "China buns" to bring back home to Kansas. It's not hard for me to imagine her toting a suitcase stuffed with buns back to the midwest.)
Last weekend I sat at the dinner table with my mum as she engulfed chopstick-fulls of mei fun and my brother as he ate crispy golden pieces of General Tsao's Chicken. I ate an orange. Boy, that was fun. Let's do it again.
I'm still on my diet, so no greasy, MSG-ed Chinese-American food for a while.
Famous Fat Dave has an awesome new theme song (at the bottom of the page)! Cool beans. Now I want to make my own theme song, except I don't have close relations with first-rate musicians. Doh! If I make a theme song, it'll have to be by myself. If anyone bangs out decent lyrics, I'll turn it into a song. Seriously! It can be a fun summer project. And...um, I might let you listen to it.
After looking at one of Dave's food tours, I realized that eating with him would probably kill me by sucking out all of my digestive energy. But would that really be an objectionable way to die? Maybe not.
Although I've been reading David Lebovitz's blog for at least a year, I've been paying closer attention lately to prepare for my next semester in Paris. (If you don't read it, ye should! Besides that he's hilarious, he talks about the best foods in the world: baked things and chocolated things.)
Not that I feel prepared at all. The problem that I've encountered is that the more I try to learn about Paris, the more woefully unprepared I feel and frightened that I'll die of confusion. ...Or at the hands of angry Parisians I'll unintentionally piss off for being a stupid American who forgets to address everyone as monsieur/madame (will people really hate me for that?). Luckily, I don't have the habit of eating/drinking while I walk (I've seen people in NYC chomping on a slice of pizza in one hand and holding a plate in the other while walking down a busy street), but I do have an abnormally loud speaking voice and I'm very shy and lacking in communication skills, so speaking to every shopkeeper is going to be difficult. It seems like there are a gazillion cultural differences I need to pick up to semi-fit in. I've never felt like I even fit in in my own hometown; what's gonna happen in Paris?
Of course, I'm still looking forwad to it. The moutains of bread. Not the doom.
Ah, I love Overheard in New York:
Cold Fish Is the New Warm Vegetable
Girl #1: Want to get take-out?
Girl #2: Sure. I feel like something warm and vegetarian.
Girl #1: Like what?
Girl #2: Hmm. Oh! Like a tuna sandwich.
--Upper West Side