Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Cravings of a Foodie


Let me begin by defining foodie.  Apparently people have somewhat different ideas on exactly what the word means. Various dictionaries define the word as follows:

Epicure: a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially food and drink) (Merriam-Webster)

A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob…  (Urban dictionary)

A person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking (dictionary.com)

A person having an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of good food (the free dictionary)

You get the idea. I am definitely not the epicure variety of foodie or into exemplary food preparation. My kitchen will never be featured in Architectural Digest or House Beautiful. Even the neighborhood cleaning lady is not impressed with my kitchen.

I own a variety of kitchen gadgets, most of which I never use. I have some I do not even know what they are for. I did not waste money and buy them, but inherited the items from relatives. They are fun to have and I keep thinking one day, someday, I may put aside time to research, find out what each gadget is used for, and try them out. Meanwhile they sit in a drawer or on a shelf collecting dust.

I enjoy cooking, but I am a basic cook. If I look at a recipe and there are too many ingredients, my eyes glaze over and I turn the page.  If the ingredients are not in my kitchen, which often happens when unusual spices or certain ethnic foods are listed, I skip the recipe.

Should someone attempt to label my cooking ability according to skills, I would probably be considered an intermediate-level cook at best. Not bad, but far from epicurean or foodie-in-a-snobbish-way numbers.  

But I love food and love to eat. All you have to do is look at me to know that. I have my limits (not a sushi fan) and favorites (salad and wings are a favorite meal) but in the debate of eat to live or live to eat, I am still unsure of my answer.

My great interest in food probably dates from childhood, but I am not sure why or how that happened. My mother did not spend hours in the kitchen laboring over gourmet meals.

I am thinking it may have something to do with my cultural/ethnic/religious heritage and upbringing. For example bagels and lox were a must for Sunday morning breakfast. Nobody cooked – there was not enough room in our small kitchen for a bagel oven – but the local bagel store, still in business, was and is one of the best on Long Island and probably in the world. No one fished seriously in my family, although my Dad occasionally went out with buddies off Long Island. But they never caught any lox.

My grandmother, my Dad’s Mom, lived in Manhattan and would take the train out to the Island to visit. She always came laden with pink and white boxes, tied together with thin white string, filled with wonders from the city bakery. My Dad’s favorite was seven layer cake. We counted and there actually were more than seven very thin layers of yellow cake, creamy filling, and chocolate frosting. She would also bring a variety of luscious cookies. I am not sure what the real name of my favorite cookie was, but call them rainbows, three layers of different colored cake with a thin layer of jam in between and chocolate icing on the top, bottom and sides.

My sister and I spent summers with my grandparents at their cottage in the mountains. My grandfather ate the same treat every night – a frozen Milky Way bar. We usually had ice cream.

Many Sunday afternoons we drove forty-five minutes to my grandparents’ home (my Mom’s parents) for dinner. There would be soup – loved the chicken soup, but not the borscht (cold beet soup). There might be chicken, or Hungarian goulash (Grandma emigrated from Hungary), or pot roast, occasionally tongue. What we nowadays call comfort food. Never could eat tongue.

I am not sure where I am going with this. The point is I love food and love to eat. I enjoy sitting at my workstation, a.k.a. kitchen counter, with my Starbucks Frappuccino (they are supposed to be low cal) or coffee (hot in winter, iced in summer), reading my e-mail, catching up on the day’s news, and writing. I realize I could do all that without my crutch, my drink, but it would not be the same. I believe I could survive without my Frappucinos, but I wonder…
The blogger in her natural habitat.
Am I an addict? Should I look for an FA group? (Frappuccinics Anonymous)

On the other hand I do not drink alcohol (at least not much - white wine or Sangria occasionally) or smoke (never did) or do drugs (except for my blood pressure meds).

So I think I will continue to enjoy Frappuccino and other favorite foods, although as I get older realize when I indulge too much the goodies settle on my butt, hips and waist. No amount of exercise seems to help. Maybe if I ran marathons or other crazy stuff I could afford to eat anything, but would probably hurt myself and land in the hospital, on my butt, in traction – and then would really be in trouble as intake (food) skyrockets above outgo (calories expended).

There must be a mathematical formula to figure all this out. Something like food and Frappuccino intake minus Zumba outgo equals…

Forget it. At my age the mind cannot concentrate on abstract numbers. Only the food on my plate and the drink in my glass.

Here’s a thought. Do you think I can make up for all the eating and drinking on my one day of fasting a year?...

2 comments:

  1. Loved this walk down a foodies memory lane. Nice post.

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  2. What a nice post. One of us enjoys cooking, the other one not so much, but we both love good food. And like you, it’s our only "addiction", alongside coffee/tea, so it can not be too bad. :)
    Greetings from Finland and Scotland.

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