It seems only fitting that while on this @&*$^! Virtue diet (Day 6! No refined sugar! Low carbs! No white flour! Feeling good! But still mourning chocolate!) I take a moment to reflect on some of the most notable food disasters in my memory.
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See, there’s a method to my madness. Thinking about all of the disgusting foods I’ve ever encountered will drown out the siren song of the very last sleeve of Thin Mints that I found waaaaay in the back of the deep freeze.
* Once upon a time when I was in college, I went to McDonald’s with a friend. (No, that’s not the story. Patience.) I bit into my burger and my lower teeth encountered something VERY hard. I put the sandwich down and opened the bun. Inside was a ragged hunk of plastic that looked like it had once been a part of one of those big industrial drums of condiments. Sadly, this was before everyone and their dog had the good sense to sue everyone for everything, so I missed out on my chance to retire young. I took the debrisburger back up to the counter and they gave me a new (plastic-free) burger and a coupon for another one. I never ate there again.
* The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well guess what! That’s the way to a woman’s heart, too. At least for any woman who enjoys food. I once had a boyfriend who NEVER cooked (at all) and so one year for my birthday I told him that what I wanted most was for him to make me a nice dinner. He borrowed one of my cookbooks and made a day of it. Only, the swiss steak recipe he used said to cook for 1.5-2 hours at 300 degrees, and what with the GREAT COMPLEXITY of the recipe and all, he ran out of time. No problem! He cooked it for 45 minutes at 475. If he hadn’t served me shoe leather that night, I would still remember it all very clearly… because my cookbook is stained and crinkled on the swiss steak recipe pages. Just a lovely memory, all around.
* Snickerdoodles hate me. Once in high school I made a batch with so much cinnamon they burned my tongue (I dunno, it said 2 tablespoons and I put in 2 cups? Something THAT BAD), and a few years ago I tried making some with Splenda for a diabetic neighbor. I will happily worship at the altar of Splenda for many uses, but baking is NOT one of them. “Measures cup for cup like sugar for baking” is technically true, sure. But no one has ever been able to do a taste comparison since baking with Splenda is only a little bit different than adding a cup of spackle to your batter.
* Monkey used to be allergic to eggs. This led to many egg-free experiments. Most notably, 1) using a commercial egg-replacer NOT intended for commercial mixes with (duh) a commercial blueberry pancake mix, yielding gelatinous blueberry goocakes (crispy on the outside, hair gel consistency on the inside!); and 2) using extra oil, only, with a brownie mix, resulting in a flat paving stone of a brownie under an inch of (very hot) oil. Yum yum.
* One day in grad school I came home, as I often did, and grabbed a box of Cheerios out of my pantry, as I often did, and flopped on the couch while eating them by the handful, as I often did. I was channel surfing and on perhaps my third handful when something tickled my hand. I looked down and saw an ant. And then another. And as my hand spasmodically flung the ants away, I saw that the box of cereal itself was SWARMING with ants INSIDE THE BAG. And eating ants? Was NOT something I often did. I screamed and hurled the entire shebang across the room. Later I would soak the entire area in ant spray, and also discover the ant highway that went directly from my back door to the cereal shelf.
Ahhhhh. That last one gets me, every time. I’m not hungry at all, any more!