Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In Step With: SC

When was the last time you ate an entire, full-size candy bar? What kind of candy bar was it?
A Three Musketeers, probably two weeks ago. This happens not infrequently – there are ample candy bars at work, where I eat out of boredom rather than desire. But in recent years I find my dessert tastes have advanced, and straightforward candy bars taste cheap and artificial to me.

What is a food you ate all the time as a kid, but which now disgusts you?
Bologna. Hot dogs (still like them, but it’s a tonnage issue; there were spans in my boyhood when I ate five a week, which is revolting). Imitation maple syrup.

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 would get the lobster bisque, a steak, and Indian pudding. Or Dom’s. I once had a Dom’s a dish that was four cuts of different meat in sauce over pasta, with some roasted red peppers as an appetizer, and it was astoundingly good.
Cambridge: When there I try to go to Bartley’s and Noch’s. Usually I achieve this, getting a bacon cheeseburger (“Ted Kennedy”?) and a Reese’s peanut butter cup milkshake at the former, and two slices of Sicilian sausage at the latter. Lately I’ve ended up at Flat Patties a lot.
New York: This circumstance happened in May, and I went to Max without regret.
Los Angeles: Campanile for brunch, or Café Midi at American Rag for lunch.

What was the most satisfying meal you ever prepared for yourself and ate while totally drunk?
On St. Patrick’s Day, I prepared a batch of Home Browns hash browns. The way the salty potatoes soaked up the whiskey was glorious and speaks to the genius of the Celtic race.

If you had to have one of the FoodFriends design your diet for a week, whom would you select?
MattPod. He seems thoughtful about food and willing to take into consideration my personal taste quirks. I copied MMW’s diet one day and felt pretty great, so he’d be good too.

What are the shows you watch the most on Food Network? What are your thoughts on: Rachael Rae, Alton Brown, Nigella Lawson?
I rarely watch Food Network – I find the pace of cooking shows glacial, and I don't like seeing food I can't eat. You should be able to press a button and they bring you that food and it costs ten dollars. I bet Food Network would be fun to watch in HD, however.
I like Rachael Ray. She has the charm of a goofy aunt. Interested parties should cf. Samantha Brown, host of “Great Hotels,” for a similar sexlessly appealing lady. Ray's genius is her willingness to accept that Americans still want to eat sloppy joes, but they can be convinced to put basil in them. On the other hand, every time I’ve seen a "$40 A Day" in a town where I’ve been, she goes to the most comically obvious places. I think in the end America will resist the desperate effort to make her a huge celebrity.

Alton Brown seems fine. V. makes a good case.
I want to fall asleep in Nigella Lawson’s arms. No opinion on her chefing.

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

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
Clementines, bearing in mind this Twilight Zone paradox – the joy of clementines is that you’re never sure how good one is going to be. The pleasure of discovering a great one would be stolen from you in this scenario. In time they would grow as tiresome as oranges.

Name a fruit, meat, soda, and candy you despise.
Cantelope, pork chops, diet soda, Butterfinger.

I have a teleporter, and can send you anywhere in the world for dinner. Where will you go, what will you have?I would find the best place to go in northern Italy, and have whatever they’re making plus lots of wine. But wrap it up to go, fellas, because I'm eating it on the moon.

Name a food that evokes a strong memory of a particular time and place in your life.
Progresso vegetable soup reminds me of how I used to eat a can of it after every day’s work at a summer day camp. Why I ate soup in the summer I’ll never know. Campbell’s Chicken Noodle reminds me of Hillside Elementary School.

What is your relationship to caffeine?
Caffeine has power for me, and I try to apply it carefully. I enjoy the ritual and taste of coffee. I have a coffee before going to work, and one on returning home. Sometimes I need an emergency dose.

What is the best burger you've ever had?
The worst burger I ever had was at Flight 151.

I have a food replicator from Star Trek Next Generation, what do you order and how do you order it?
Once Troi ordered a “perfect hot fudge sundae.” It might be fun to give the replicator a vague command and see what it does. Can the replicator make food from the past? I would get terrapin soup and a steak from Delmonico’s circa 1860. Imagine how much gamier steak must have been back then!

are there any foods that would receive an f- grade from you?
Cottage cheese.

Describe a work of art that inspired or affected your eating.
Anthony Bourdain’s description in KC of eating merguez during a busy shift made that sound delicious, so I stepped up my merguez eating. As a kid I used to drink Coke over ice out of a highball glass because I saw awesome guys in movies drink Scotch. Every time I see Goodfellas I resolve to slice garlic with a razorblade, but never do. "Cannery Row" by John Steinbeck left me wanting to try a beer milkshake.

Based on what you've read of the diets of each food reporter, which food reporter would you eat?
MMW or Murbles. Their lifestyle of beer and massages replicates that of Kobe beef cows.

Along the lines of "Salt," "Cod," and "History of the World In Six Glasses," what foodstuff would you most like to read a book about?
Sugar. Why do we like it so much? When it first spread in Europe, did it blow everyone's mind? Other good food books would be: An alt-history book about how European cuisine would have evolved without New World arrivals like potatoes and tomatoes. A book about how people spaced out their eating in different times and cultures. A book about how alcohol used to serve the function caffeine does now.

Is there any food you are embarrassed about how much you like it?
Trash noodles. Kraft Mac & Cheese. KFC.

What was your favorite meal in the Harvard dining halls?
Country-fried steak. Also, the days when they had clam chowder and popcorn chicken and potato wedges all at once for lunch. I would not travel beyond 3rd & Fairfax for this. I would not pay more than $10.
I rarely ate breakfast, and consider it a ludicrous outrage that it wasn't kept available until at least noon.
For lunch I would have whatever they were offering, heavy on the potatoes, plus a hot dog or Chickwich, and a salad that was mostly cucumbers.
For dinner I would have pasta, maybe three bites of the main meat, salad, potatoes, maybe a hot dog, and like three pieces of cake.

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?
Beer: Moosehead. I also like the Japanese beers.
Wine: they're all good, I like whites, esp. riesling.
Liquor: Jameson. I am also partial to Scotch. Knob Creek bourbon has won me over recently. The only liquor I hate is tequila.
Cocktail: anything. I enjoy experimentation.
Bathroom: Order me whatever you're having, friend.

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?
At a recent 6th Street DC&MC dinner, I included a cigarette course, and I think the break this provided was nice. I don't care for tobacco, but I respect the aesthetics of smoking and the pleasure of fire-starting.

What is the most expensive food you have ever eaten?

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


Ideally, how should society structure eating?
Six small meals a day.

Last question: What is your favorite food?
Lasagna with meat. TRIVIA: Lasagna is wildly popular in Ireland. Even the remotest pubs on western islands and mountainous peninsulas will have it on the menu. It will be a slurry of beef, cheese, tomatoes, and whatever else the proprietor sees fit to throw in (carrots).


Blogger MMW said...

Does your hatred of Butterfingers apply to Fifth Avenue bars as well?

4:17 AM  
Blogger schoboats said...

Excellent call on Samantha Brown. What fun it would be to go on vacation with her, and never even have to consider getting up in it.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Murbles said...


Why don't you reconfigure the teleportation device to include time travel ability like I did? Then we could eat at 19th century Delmonico's together!

9:58 AM  
Blogger schoboats said...

SC, Murbles-
I think you will need to reconfigure it not only for time travel but also for alternate reality, if you expect two no-account Irishmen to be admitted to Delmonico's as anything other than busboys.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

On a related tangent, I was reading a list of international names for the game of Tag. The Irish displayed a hair less imagination than I expected, calling the pursuit "Chasing." One point for accuracy, none for poesy.

10:53 AM  
Blogger SC said...

Murbles - because I'm not a lousy cheater who doesn't know shit about replicators.

If we could travel to 19th century NYC together, let's admit that we'd just get drunk at some crappy oyster house. Saying we'd go to Delmonico's is like all these folks that say they go to Dali every time they're in Cambridge.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Murbles said...

Speaking of turn-of-the-century New York cuisine, have any of you dudes read Joseph Mitchell's "All You Can Hold For Five Bucks?" I think we should "throw a beefsteak."

12:11 PM  
Blogger Murbles said...

If not, here it is.

12:24 PM  
Blogger v.DANGER said...

I happen to know that most expensive food you've really eaten is: dick.

1:24 PM  
Blogger SC said...

if you throw a beefsteak let me know, and I will bring the numbered aprons, provided Murbles wears one of the hats mentioned.

1:52 PM  

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