Monday, June 12, 2006

Let's Roll.

Hello, friends. What a delight to be here.

When was the last time you ate an entire, full-size candy bar? What kind of candy bar was it?

I love candy bars and probably eat one every few weeks, almost always when I'm hung over. If I'm marathon training, I eat one every Saturday after my long run, because there's absolutely no reason to run twenty miles unless you get to eat a candy bar when you're done. My most recent candy bar was a Hershey bar, which I ate last week, on account of being hung over. It went down real smooth.

What is a food you ate all the time as a kid, but which now disgusts you?

Does Kool-Aid count? I used to drink a ton of Kool-Aid, and now I have not a moment's time for Kool-Aid. Other than that, my taste in food has only expanded as I've grown older. I was pretty finicky as a kid, and now I like pretty much everything, except sea urchin, which tastes like ass.

What is a recent food impulse buy which you regretted? Which you were delighted by?

A recent food impulse buy that I regretted is a jar of hazelnut spread that I purchased at Trader Joe's, not because it wasn't delicious, but because I am absolutely unable to have hazelnut spread in my home without eating the entire jar. I keep making toast, and I keep putting hazelnut spread on the toast, and then I keep eating the toast. Do you know how disgusting it is to eat an entire jar of hazelnut spread, plus like half a loaf of bread, in a single day? a cruel twist of fate, do you know how delicious is a piece of warm toast with hazelnut spread? Anyway, I'm disgusting. In other impulse-buy-related news...did you know that Haagen-Dazs Tropical Sorbet is delicious? I'd give anything to take back the years I spent not knowing this.

What was the most satisfying meal you ever prepared for yourself and ate while totally drunk?

I don't ever cook when I'm drunk, because I'm too busy eating delicious breakfast sandwiches that I buy at McDonald's.

If you had to have one of the FoodFriends design your diet for a week, whom would you select?

MMW. That dude runs a tight game.

What are the shows you watch the most on Food Network? What are your thoughts on: Rachael Rae, Alton Brown, Nigella Lawson?

I don't watch much Food Network, so I don't have much of an opinion on the FN personalities, though I've seen a lot of Rachel Rae on Oprah, and I find her pretty appealing. (How tall is that woman? I do believe I could fit her in my pocket.) I've also watched my share of "Good Eats" and "Top 5" and "Unwrapped," because my boyfriend is a huge fag. I like them all pretty well. I also love "Iron Chef," and pretty much anything with Anthony Bourdain in it. That fellow enjoys a good cigarette, which I respect. I also love the ominous feeling that he's inches away from relapsing into heroin addiction at any given moment.

What food staple would it be most difficult for you remove from your diet?

Eggs. Also tomatoes. We had a huge vegetable garden when I was growing up, and my dad grew a hundred tomato plants every year, and so I ate tomatoes all the time, and I still do. I have lycopene coming out of my ass.

If I told you that you could only eat one of the following for the rest of your life, but you could always get whatever you chose as fresh and as good as possible, which would you choose? Also, assume that whichever you chose would be seedless: (1) Oranges (2) Clementines (3) Tangerines


Also, do you prefer plastic wrap or aluminum foil?

I prefer aluminum foil, but for some reason I always seem to use plastic wrap. Why do I do this?

When and how did you learn to cook?

I don't really know how to cook per se (that's right, per se), though I've learned to make various things from being around my father and my grandmother, both of whom are really great cooks. My grandmother fled Latvia when my dad was eleven, and she came to America basically as an indentured servant, and she was supposed to work on this farm, and she avoided having to work in the fields by being a great cook, which landed her job in the kitchen. Anyway, she tears it up real good. Also, my brother-in-law is a chef, and he's tried to teach me how to do a few things, like how to chop things properly, which I still can't do, because knives are scary. Other than that, I just figure stuff out by trial and error and reading cookbooks and magazines. Also I eat at Chipotle like six times a week, so it's pretty much a moot point.

A quirk of fate leaves you in each of the following cities for long enough to have only one meal. What/where do you eat? Boston, Cambridge, New York, LA.

Boston: Locke-Ober. I enjoy pretending I'm eating steak in a previous century.

Cambridge: The Forest Cafe on Mass Ave. up by Porter. My love of this eatery is white-hot. Every other Mexican eatery in the universe, including the ones run by real Mexican people instead of a doughy white dude, can please kiss the Forest Cafe's ass.

LA: I'm not very familiar with LA, so I'll have to say In-N-Out. Based on how delicious I find In-N-Out burgers, I think there's a strong possibility that this answer wouldn't change even if I ate at a lot of other and better places in LA.

Name a fruit, meat, soda, and candy you despise.

Fruit: That green melon that always comprises like 80 percent of every shitty fruit cup. Is that honeydew? Cantaloupe? Either way, no thank you. Can't people just put strawberries in fruit cups? How hard is this?

Soda: All soda is delicious and refreshing.

Candy: Those little dots that come lined up on a length of paper. There is no way to eat these dots without eating a lot of paper, and even if there were, the dots still taste like paper. Why did somebody invent these dots?

I have a teleporter, and can send you anywhere in the world for dinner. Where will you go, what will you have?

I'd probably go to Japan and eat a bunch of really good, really fresh sushi. But then I would leave immediately, because foreign people make me uncomfortable.

Do you have any well-loved or detested cookbooks?

I don't have a lot of cookbooks, but I do have a dog-eared copy of "The Joy of Cooking" that I use all the time. It has dried turkey blood all over the section that explains how to brine a turkey, which always makes me sort of happy, because it makes me think of brining turkey.

Name a food that evokes a strong memory of a particular time and place in your life.

The smell of bacon reminds me of my mother, because she always cooked bacon whenever she was in a bad mood. She used to say that nobody can be in a bad mood when it smells like bacon, which is 100 percent correct.

What is your relationship to caffeine?

I consume a lot of caffeine, but in the last six months or so I've noticed that it prevents me from sleeping well if I consume it after about 6 p.m. (This makes me feel elderly.) I always have some manner of iced tea or soda with breakfast, and with lunch, and then usually another dose somewhere during the day. I usually only drink coffee a couple of times a week, usually with brunch, or if I need to stay awake for some reason.

What is the best burger you've ever had?

The burgers at the Corner Bistro are my favorite burgers. I haven't yet eaten one of those seventy-dollar foie gras burgers that Koh is always screaming about, but I assume I'll cave eventually, and I assume it will be pretty awesome.

Are there any foods that would receive an f- grade from you?

Cottage cheese. More like yeast infection. So gross.

Describe a work of art that inspired or affected your eating.

I don't know if this counts, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't, but there's a scene in "Taxi Driver" where Travis Bickle is in a bodega right before it gets held up, and he's buying milk, and he very casually feels the milk to make sure it's cold before he decides to buy it. The first time I watched "Taxi Driver," it struck me as a very nice, natural piece of acting--that whole scene, and that little feeling-the-milk mannerism in particular, which I've always remembered--and now I always do it when I buy milk. I probably should have been doing this all along anyway. (This was not an interesting answer to the question.)

In my family we often took to calling Ramen Noodles "Trash Noodles." Do you have any cute food nicknames?

I often make these delicious no-bake cookies from oats, peanut butter and cocoa, which my entire family refers to as "turd cookies," except for my father, who is a gentleman, and thus refers to them as "shit cookies." (Fun fact: My relationship with my father is extremely troubled.)

Based on what you've read of the diets of each food reporter, which food reporter would you eat?

I'd love it if MMW could eat Strach and then I could eat MMW, and then it would be like a delicious human terducken.

Is there any food you are embarrassed about how much you like it?

Candy bars. What am I, some kind of Type-II-diabetic fatass? Who eats candy bars at this age? (Answer: Malis.)

What was your favorite meal in the dining halls of our fair college? How much would you pay to eat this meal tonight? To eat this meal, would you be willing to travel to Staten Island/Encino/a smelly cave in a swamp?

Fish fingers. I'm the only person I know who liked them at all, and I really effing liked them. I used to make my own tartar sauce using mayonnaise and relish from the salad bar, and then I would eat like fifteen fish fingers in a sitting. If I were guaranteed that the fish fingers would be exactly the same as the ones in the dining hall, and that they could be garnished with precisely the same tartar sauce mixed from vinegary institutional mayonnaise and relish, then I'd probably pay up to fifty bucks to eat this meal, and I would certainly travel to Staten Island for it. If I could somehow eat them in the Leverett House dining hall, and if I could also get to be a college student again while I ate them and remain a college student for like an hour or so after I was done eating, I would pay one trillion dollars for this meal.

Describe what you would consider, for you, in the college dining halls, a typical breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.

"Breakfast." A fascinating word. What does it mean?

Lunch: I almost always liked the hot entrees they served at lunch, so I'd usually eat the hot entree. I also ate fries a fair amount, but never the crinkle-cut fries, only the shoestring fries. Then I'd wash that noise down with two sweet glasses of regular Coke (I had not yet started drinking diet soda), a bowl of Jell-O, and some manner of sub-par cookie.

Dinner: I almost always hated whatever bullshit they served for dinner, especially if it was some sort of ethnic food, which was pretty much all the time, because apparently white people at Harvard don't get to be hungry? Anyway, I usually ate a salad for dinner, and a bowl of cereal, followed by two glasses of Coke, some Jell-O, and hopefully cake. I loved dining hall cake, and it was always the greatest day of the month when they'd have the cake for everybody who had a birthday in that month. I never got one of these cakes, because I had a June birthday, and that is why I am a bitter adult. That is the only reason.

What are your favorite beers? What are your favorite wines? What are your favorite liquors? What are your favorite cocktails? Do you feel that you have a signature drink? If a FoodFriend ever had to order a drink for you while you were in the restroom, what drink should they order?

My favorite beers are Rolling Rock, Amstel Light, Heineken, Bud Light, and Stella, pretty much in that order. I hate microbrews, thick beers, dark beers, and fancy beers. But I do like those fancy beers that are twice as alcoholic as regular beer, and that come in very tall bottles with corks. Are those Belgian beers? Anyway, Koh makes me drink them sometimes, and I like those pretty well. Koh I can take or leave. My favorite wines are white wines that are dry and not too fruity. I used to prefer red, but have since migrated away from red on account of the ripping hangovers. My favorite liquor is gin, but I rarely drink it anymore, because sometimes it takes me to the dark place. I also love vodka on account of its awesomeness. If I'm in the restroom, and it is daytime, you should order me a Bloody Mary. If it's nighttime, you should order me a Ketel One and soda, though you could also order me a martini if you want me to throw things at you later in the evening.

If you are a smoker, how does smoking affect your meals? Do you eat less? If you finish what you consider a very good dinner, how important is a post-prandial cigarette to you?

Smoking doesn't really seem to affect my appetite too much, though I've been smoking for long enough that I don't really have anything to compare it against. If I finish a delicious meal (or indeed any meal, though particularly a delicious one), it is absolutely essential that I smoke a post-prandial cigarette, or I will become enraged, and then I will become sad. I do believe that the post-prandial cigarette is the closest thing to heaven this side of being dead.

Have you ever eaten food or consumed a beverage while making love?

No. Also..."making love"? I'm pretty sure I've never done that either.

Last question: What is your favorite food?



Blogger SC said...

Sandis, how often do you check What I Ate each day?

10:33 AM  
Blogger sandis said...

Several times. I have an empty life. Why?

10:45 AM  
Blogger SC said...

Just curious. I check at least 10 times a day. I've been amazed by the sweeping power of the FoodReporter phenomenon. My theory is that people don't care that much about what other people eat, but they love the opportunity to think more about their own food. Thoughts?

12:53 PM  
Blogger sandis said...

I totally love reading about what other people eat, because I find it very fascinating that an objective list (or at least a list largely devoid of commentary) can reveal so much about different people's personalities. This is not to say that I don't also love thinking about my own eating, because I do, and in fact I do so almost constantly (see "empty life" comment above). Bottom line: I'm way down with the FR phenomenon, for all possible reasons.

1:49 PM  
Blogger SC said...

Yeah, I love it all. Also, hypothesis: we are all borderline autistics who love lists and keeping track of things.

1:58 PM  
Blogger zachkay said...

I have to confess: I didn't know who Sandis even was until I read the word "fag" in her responses.

12:07 PM  

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