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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

So – yes I realize I’ve been extremely MIA lately – and getting worse! For that, I’m sorry and WILL make a better attempt to find something (or anything!) to say, especially since I realized that TODAY, yes today, is the ONE YEAR mark for me starting this blog – and wow has a lot happened in a year.

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That is my happy birthday, and by birthday I clearly mean blogday, cupcake to me.

A lot can change in a year – hell, a lot can change in a day – and my philosophy is to roll with the punches, and throw a few of my own into the mix. That’s not always easy. As someone who since childhood has consistently maintained a vehement loathing for change, over the years, I have found myself time and again thrown something that causes me to react…and ultimately change.

At the dinner table when I was a kid and naturally didn’t want to eat something that looked vile and disgusting, my mom always told me about the “Learn to Like It Club.” As a product of the ’40’s/50’s, she’s a woman who grew up around evening radio broadcasts. One show that came on around dinnertime featured this “Learn to Like It” segment as wells the “Empty Plate Clubber’s” bit. Parents would call in and share if their little angel had successfully kept down the broccoli they swore they would throw up if forced to eat. “Learn To Like It” had a similar purpose – if a kid found that they actually enjoyed grapefruit, Mom or Dad would call in Cleaver-style and report this to all the listeners. How 1950’s.

Mom used a similar tactic with me, even though the show had been on static for 30+ years. That mind-set of “maybe you’ll just learn to like it” spilled over from my plate into my real life. And I actually think this is how I’ve adjusted to those big changes – each time I’ve packed a suitcase – thought about a job switch – toyed another move, I’ve done it solely because I had to learn to like the taste of change. And I think I have (sort- of)…

So here I am, one year later from that first post about moving to the Big City. And who knows where this next year will take me – perhaps in a year, I’ll find myself back up there, but I do promise to keep documenting it – because I know that even as I write this, my tastes are changing and that’s not necessarily a bad thing anymore.

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pastries

So today is FAT (yes all caps) Tuesday….

Personally I love the donut any day, but it’s on days like these where I feel it’s especially important to do my part and eat at least 2, possibly 3, and if it’s a stressful day…4. It’s perfectly normal to eat 4 donuts.

On any other day, I would be judged as I’d sit in the dark-windowless confines of my office and munch away, guiltily shoving the powdered delights into my mouth. But today, oh glorious Fastnacht Day, I can do what I want and proudly display the confectionery remnants in the corners of my mouth.

Today is the day before Lent starts. I’ve never been a big follower of fasting during this time. When I was younger, I used to negotiate my way through the fast…and would forgo only things I either knew I could do without or didn’t really like in the first place (often it would be something from the vegetable family or some obscure fruit like kiwi). I think one time I managed to give up soda. And another coffee, but at 15 I didn’t drink it anyway. One year, I tried to give up sugar and made my mom by only sugar free cookies and crackers (this was before the whole “healthy lifestyle fad” so that section in the supermarket was about ½ an aisle long). But I’m pretty sure I didn’t last all 40 days.

Yesterday my friend, Slim* called me from her office (same company, 1 floor down) and announced she was giving up meat for Lent; that she was making her grocery list that second and that her lunches would from now on either be egg salad or avocado based. Then she realized that she’d be having dinner at her parents this weekend and apparently her mom makes a killer roast. So that idea went out the window.

We continued chatting about what she could give up with minimal withdraws. And she finally suggested chocolate only to come to the conclusion she couldn’t possibly do that because she and her boyfriend might be going to the Melting Pot on Friday and the chocolate fondue is clearly the only reason she’d go.  At this point in our conversation, I interjected (as piously as possible),

“Slim, Lent is typically recognized as a time of sacrifice, i.e. giving something up that you really enjoy.”

She scoffed.

Today, she told me she made reservations at the Melting Pot. I asked, “What are you giving up for Lent then?”

“Chocolate. But this is the one and only exception. The rest of Lent, no chocolate, I promise.”

So I’m not quite sure how all this half-sacrifice translates into Jesus’ story of 40 days of complete fasting. What if he’d negotiated his way to be able to eat a couple bugs or maybe a small animal? Would then our whole perception be altered? Probably. But I’m not writing a philosophical analysis of religion or Lent.

I’m just celebrating that today is the one day a year where it’s socially acceptable to be a glutton.

Take that Weight Watchers!

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STACY CURTIS, “Freelance”Indiana

*My MD best friend and co-worker who owns her own motorcycle and shares a love of cheesy Reality TV (Biggest Loser, The Bachelor) and salads with dressing on the side.

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And for now, a taste was all I needed.

A few weeks ago, I left The Big Apple and headed south. And while I knew I would definitely miss it, it’s fun to reflect on the time I spent there. For my last two weeks in New York (i.e. my two weeks notice), I stayed with a good friend, struggling to cram in a few last dates with the city.

I went out to dinner with friends where we spent one evening sharing a mozzarella appetizer imported from Italy at a rustic Italian restaurant in Alphabet City (or around there). One night we opted to stay in and ordered from Cafe Habana, the eclectic Cuban restaurant in Nolita.

A warm Saturday morning prompted a long walk through the streets of the city. Park Avenue shut down for Summer Streets, an event where New Yorkers are encouraged to walk their dogs, bike, run and just enjoy the weather as the meander up/down Park Avenue. I walked from the 30’s up to Central Park and the 70’s, meeting my friend Claire at MOMA for lunch and a surprise street fair.

One of my favorite things about New York is the surprises that spring up around every block. This street fair was only one block (avenue to avenue) and was in support of a dance studio’s 50th anniversary. People crowded around food stands, ordering gyros and fried mozzarella or smoothies and funnel cakes.

I left the fair and wandered up to Central Park, stopping in shops along the way. I settled onto a spot beneath a tree whose shadow spread over one of the many lakes in the park. I read there for a few hours, intermittently glancing around at couples and families picnicking, homeless men napping, and hundreds of singles walking dogs, checking Blackberries or reading newspapers.

As a final farewell, New York even threw me a bon voyage parade. Granted, my parade just happened to coincide with the Dominican Day Parade. Thousands crammed along the 5th avenue route as spainish music blasted from floats. On Madison avenue, running parallel, another street fair boasted my favorite kettle corn truck, KettleCorn NYC that offers free samples of exotic flavors like Chilli Lime, Coconut, Cotton Candy, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cheddar Caramel…all of which I find utterly delicious.

As I had done on many Saturday mornings, I spent my final Saturday wandering the stands at the Union Square Farmers’ Market. The outer perimeter of the park is lined with various vendors selling vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, and grains. While I enjoy wandering through the stalls rooting through local produce, I much prefer the Union Square artists. An eclectic crew of struggling artists descend daily, setting up the rusting poker tables with all of the items they are trying to sell. One young black t-shirt, multi-pierced vendor hovers behind his table with his hands deeply rooted in his denim pockets. Photographs, digitally mastered, of the city are mounted on frames lined with masking tape and then dyed with the chemicals used in developing (the effect is a sepia colored border over the picture).

Beside him a woman sits in an outdoor camping chair as people scan the folded cartoon, slogan or political t-shirts on her table. A thin black man with hip-length dreadlocks slowly paces behind bongs carefully arranged to descend in height order. I stop at the next stand, where a hipster is arranging a framed print of the Empire State Building. Magnets are scattered over the table, like pick-up-sticks, with images of the City atop animal sketchings. I looked carefully at the prints, whimsically painted images of Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State, and the Chrysler Building. I couldn’t resist buying one, and haggled him down a bit. He included a few of the magnets for me as well. I finished my last date with a glass of wine and a nice dinner with a group of friends, knowing that in a week I’d be in Pennsylvania, unemployed (well…just a break until I started my next job the following week). But it’s fun to say, I’m currently unemployed and watch the reactions of the people I tell.

A week later, my bag packed and one-way ticket bought, I walked to Penn Station. Passing the Empire State and Macy’s, I dragged my loaded suitcase through the crowded streets of New York, hardly believing it had been a year and I was leaving for good. It was a goregous day. And the City made sure that when I pulled out of Penn Station, the sun glistened across the skyline and waited until it was night and I was gone before it stormed. New York and I parted ways on excellent terms, with an understanding that I might be back in the not-so-distant future, that this may not have been just a bite I took, that soon enough, I might be back to eat all the way to the core.

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