Tag Archives: foodie

the sick foodie’s lament.

Pardon this post, it’s early and I’m running on the fuel of bad dreams and stomach pains. I couldn’t write this before today because I could not stand the thought of food for most of our “foodie” theme. I don’t know why I’m sick. I don’t know what food is causing my pain, but I know something in my diet is off. I am a lover of food. Pasta cloaked in silky sauce or even a slick of butter and olive oil can set my heart atwitter. Pizza is a slice of mozzarella-coated heaven. Pad see ew and coconut rice were once staples of my diet, back when going for Thai food didn’t require a walk of well over a mile. I love treating myself to writer dates where I buy myself a fancy drink and order delicious food while getting as much writing done as possible. I take these dates seriously. Just look at these pictures.

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Foam makes me so happy.

Chicken sandwich

A carnivorous moment: perfectly grilled chicken breast sandwich.

An airy gougere.

Food as muse.

A nectarine bellini with fresh fruit puree. Pretty sure this is what gods drink.

The perfect little round of bread pudding with pumpkin puree.

There is absinthe in this drink. Green fairy inspiration.

Perfectly cooked broccoli rabe tops local mushrooms for an amazing vegetarian treat. Also, those fries are perfect.

I recently tried a gluten free diet because I was told it would cure my stomach, and for two weeks, after the shock of beautiful, pillowy bread and my beloved pasta leaving my system, I actually began to feel so, so much better. The blistering heartburn? Gone without even a single dose of Pepcid or Zantac. I felt free. I became seduced by simpler food: brown rice topped with a heap of sauteed Swiss chard and avocado, lox and rice cakes with hummus, sweet potatoes and lentils.

Mango almond butter smoothies are delicious. You know what’s even better? Solid food. Trust me on this. (I’d still drink that smoothie in a heartbeat, I just want some soft boiled eggs to go with it.)

Then, the stomach bug hit.

For days, I could eat nothing at all. When my body did begin craving food again, it was also for simple things, but the pendulum swung the other way. Now, all I could stand to eat were Cup of Noodles and toast. The mere sight of vegetables and rice made me shudder and gag. I drank coconut water and Gatorade to hydrate, ginger ale to soothe. My body is still not where it needs to be. I can often go hours without eating anything. I try to get back on track with this whole Gluten Free thing, but my sensitive stomach is still very discerning. I don’t know which way to go. I have been what my husband calls a “cyclical vegetarian” (mostly vegetarian with brief periods of carnivorous behavior) for years, so I’m usually okay forgoing most meat, though I still eat fish. Lately, however, I want to tuck into a turkey burger covered in feta cheese and a big fat bowl of matzoh ball soup with glorious shreds of chicken and delightfully dense, chewy matzoh balls. I am confused. In the worst part of my illness, I trusted my gut. Now that I’m still experiencing aftershocks, I am trying to follow my intuition to choose what to eat, but it’s difficult. I crave salad, but it actually makes me feel like crap afterwards. I don’t want my body getting used to meat. I felt so bad when I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, I apologized to the fucking bird as I was cleaning it. And as I was seasoning it. And when I put it in the oven. This is what happens when you’ve been a big girl all your life and advertisements and family and friends and assholes who bully you all tell you different things about what to eat. So much shame in just eating what feels right or good. There must be a reason you eat fried calzones. Merely tasting good is not a good enough answer.

So, I sit here now, not wanting to get up and look in the fridge, not wanting to make myself a cuppa tea (mostly because I’m limited to a selection of black teas and I’m mad at myself for letting my stock go this low), not wanting to think about food. But I must. I know I need food if I’m to find strength again and get back to living a healthy life.

And now I’m kind of craving a calzone. Good going, self.

[sic]

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The Kitchen Witch

There are many types of witches, some get the best returns for the energy they expel through ritual, casting spells, setting charms, and calling the corners. Other witches find their energy is best spent on the mental/spiritual realm through meditation, and astral projection. Still yet other witches find they draw the most power from nature, and so use botany to create living vessels of will and energy…….and then there’s the kitchen witch. The Kitchen witch really puts a new spin on “you are what you eat” when preparing a meal, by pouring energy and intent in with each and every ingredient added in the recipe. While the witch may add enchanting ingredients from the harvest of another witch(or even their own…there is no rule saying you can only be good at one kind, you know), or charm the dishes, or cook the meal for a ritual for an added boost, the kitchen witch does the real magic with preparation. Finely slice this, chunk that, simmer this over here, broil this down there….these are the rituals of the kitchen witch, focusing energy on the preparation, and keeping one intent in mind. Once the meal is prepared, and served the kitchen witch relishes in the work accomplished, watching as others partake in the food and drink prepared. Those partaking in the meal of a kitchen witch are sure to feel the intent cast unto the dish and drink. From happy, to loved, to tired, to ill….the dishes cooked are always with purpose.Image

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Foodie in Italy

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In Lucca my pants size shrunk a size without me even trying. In Lucca I ate pizza every day and gelato at least once a day. Sometimes I had chocolate filled pastries for breakfast and during the weekend in Rome I insisted we seek out a bakery to find Cannoli – they’re more of a southern Italian pastry – and ate two for breakfast. I was at a sit down restaurant, sitting outside in the lush weather of Italy when I had my first official true authentic Italian pizza. It was a margherita pizza and it came with an olive in the middle as if to identify itself. In Italy the olives on pizzas are whole with pits and they roll off the slice when you pick it up. There are gelato shops all over Lucca sucking you in. I ate hazelnut milk chocolate all of the time and drank Diet Coke light. When you order water it comes in glass pitchers with or without bubbles. There are sandwich shops with Panini pressed fresh for you. I find myself wishing I remembered terms for words I’ve long since forgotten, but I remember that the hot chocolate was thick like pudding and Limoncello tasted amazing. The tomatoes were the most flavorful I’ve ever had. The bread served before dinner wasn’t as salty as what we have in the United States. We would ask for olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper before dripping chunks of fresh bread in it. I didn’t take so many food photos seven years ago. But I tasted. And I still insist that in Italy I ate the best food I’ve ever eaten.

Xo
Melanie Kristy

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foodie: some notes on food and memory

1.         1. There is the desert  and  food stand and the expansive blue sky like a bonnet holding it all in.  We are in Mexico.  It is probably 1990, one can just walk straight across the border, no passport or fuss, just “American” to get back in, the password into the party. We are visiting my Nana Nati—short for Natividad—and we are at a food stand in the market.  We have a lunch of pita pocket filled with ground meat and sauce (a gordita) and green glass bottles of orange soda,  there are vats of horchata (milky coconut, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberry) and the smoky aroma of  grilled corn is a fine mist.  The cool of the glass bottles and plastic cups and the wrinkle of foil are tastes my hands still reach for.

t       2.The dead of summer 1999. I am cupped by my Nana Nati’s death (We go back to Mexico for the funeral. In the market I feel like an observer this time around instead of obliviously in the thick of it) and my freshman year of high school. I spend the summer mostly by myself and reading. I read Francesca Lia Block, Shakespeare and mythology books over and over. I have a summer job at a daycare in a women’s shelter. I only eat in the afternoons. I drink coffee and fix myself peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I order fruit and salads at restaurants. I read cookbooks and make muffins and kolacky and take them to my room and read some more.

2.    3.. 1989. My abuelo’s  funeral. Us kids have to stay with my Madrina.  I am small and the grown-ups are so big and I don’t understand death. There are hotdogs. Buns and ketchup and paper plates. I don’t understand why no one feels  like cooking.

3.       4.. 2011. J.’s funeral. There is a brunch of fried chicken and sweet things and bread and eggs and bacon.  I eat none of it. I want to stuff my face but the thought of it makes me sick. We go home and make tamales and red rice and pintos and eat that instead. I finally understand the true and absolute essence of comfort food: the child I once was still nestled in my stomach and screaming for something ancient and familiar.

4.      5.  I am 16, it is 2001 and I live in an apartment with my friends. We are 16 and 17 year-old cast-outs and runaways and we have schemed our way into a $275/month 2-story apartment. There are no parents to tell us what to eat! I cook us Ramen with broccoli and some kind of dollar seasoning. We fill plastic goblets with ketchup and potato tots. There is cheap beer and cheap vodka. We are the kings of our castle.

5.      6. Sunday. 2014. I visit my mom on Sundays. We have split-pea soup, and spinach lasagna, and oranges. The times have changed. There is a brightness like a bonnet holding it all in.

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Week 2: foodie

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Oh baby. I am always so excited to photograph delicious meals and gush about new favorite restaurants that when I dated a picky eater for three months I was surprised by how much I missed the excitement of tasting new flavor combinations. I filled up on pizza and love instead (and it was a whole different kind of satisfying). Now I have more free time for restaurant adventures, experiments in cooking and instagramming my meals. I’m even thinking about starting a mason jar herb garden this year. Why not, really? So tell me about your favorite cuisines, why you are afraid to try any food that’s write and creamy, vinegary, etc. I want photos and recipes, restaurant reviews, poems about love affairs with food. Anything!

tastefully yours,

Melanie Kristy

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