She Never Turns Down a Massage or a Meme – Five Food Challenges

texas chili
There are only a few things in this world that I’d never turn down – a very strong cocktail, a go on the dancefloor, especially when there’s a little crystal meth involved, a deep tissue massage (or any massage, for that matter), a steaming hot bowl of spicy soup enough to make me weep even if I were in the heart of a jungle on the equator in 110% humidity, real Buffalo wings, and…a meme.

She who is so very Easily Pleased tagged me for another meme, and though I have a backlog of kitchen exploits and restaurants jaunts that goes as far back as, well, I’m just too embarassed to say, I’m going to play along simply because, well, like I said, it’s a meme. And since asking “What are my five food challenges for 2006?” sounds like a smoother, sexier way of saying “new year’s resolutions,” (NYR) this is a great chance to revisit my Day One promises and audit my performance four weeks into it.

Pita-chos were going to be the last mention of football from me until September (and probably all sports, since baseball is even less exciting than Giada de Laurentiis making spaghetti), but then I realized that in addition to my extreme Mexi-terrranean mashup, I had eaten a few good football-related foods that had not yet received their much-deserved fifteen sentences of Delicious fame. So, instead of dedicating yet another entire post to my unrequited love for quarterbacks (Peyton, are you reading this? Did you get that care package of brownies I sent you?) I’ll just use them to illustrate each of the food challenges I should try to overcome this year – first the overall strategy objective that was one of the original NYRs, a specific actionable item in the form of a food challenge, and lastly, how my Super Bowl cuisine illustrates my current status. (Ick, sometimes, that business approach thing still comes out).

polish sausage
Polish sausage is not Korean

Objective: Search for My Seoul
Actionable Item: Cook or eat Korean food at least once a week.
Status: It’s a major failure right out of the gate! Polish sausages are, uh, Polish. Pitachos are Mexi-terranean. My glorious dinner party was Spanish. The only Korean foods I’ve eaten thus far have been dduk-gook on New Year’s Day, which doesn’t count, a stint with a “dark” chicken, and a visit to a surprisingly decent Westside Korean restaurant. Okay, so I guess if we’re doing weekly averages, I’m off by two. That doesn’t sound too bad, until I figure out that it’s 50%! *sigh* I’m so good at making myself feel worse.

Buffalo wings
havent seen them at the farmers’ market

Objective: Eat Local
Actionable Item: Visit the farmers’ market in Santa Monica at least once every two weeks.
Status: Haven’t gone to the farmers’ market yet. They don’t have Buffalo wings. At least, not that I’ve seen.

Objective: Expand my Dining Horizons
Actionable Item: For every 10 times I eat out on the Westside, try to eat out one time somewhere east of the 405.
Status: Since Mom’s house doesn’t count (does the OC ever really count?), I think I have only eaten downtown. That is sad, but not really, because I haven’t eaten out on the Westside 10 times yet! Yessss. You thought you had me on that one. High five! High five!

Texas Chili
does chili grow on a tree or a bush?

Objective: Grow Something
Actionable Item: Do something that requires not even a hint of green on my thumb.
Status: If Mrs. Galayda’s 4th grade class can coax real live chlorophyll-containing leaves out of a f–king potato, I can shove three toothpicks into a pit and grow an avocado tree. Thank God avocadoes make for perfect garnish atop a bowl o’ red, or as we say in Texas, a bowl o’ red. (Yes! I made that chili, which means it counts for the next challenge, too!)

mrs. t's frozen cheddar and potato pierogi
apparently, mr. t’s wife is polish

Objective: Cook at Home
Actionable Item: Do not make reservations.
Status: Since eating out requires money which comes from 1) a job or 2) a sponsor (“Sugar Daddy” is such a negative word, don’t you think?), neither of which I have at this moment, I have been forced to budget-mindedly cook at home. It’s not a bad thing to be consigned to the kitchen, but I hatehatehate having to do something because I have to do it. *wah wah* Pierogis were a research project into the Polish population in Pittsburgh (Stillers), and though they are homemade, shamefully, I must admit that they were not made in my home. They were made in Mrs. T’s home. Apparently, Mrs. T, who must be married to Mr. T, though Mr. T doesn’t look Polish, lives in a very large pierogi-making factory. (If you’re curious, they were potato and cheddar, and though these were my very first pierogi and I have nothing as a benchmark, I didn’t love them. Not sure if it’s that i don’t love pierogi, or that Mrs. T just spent too much time doing Mr. T’s mohawk. )

Check back with me in six months and we’ll see how I’m really doing. I think the avocado might not make it past April.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie February 21, 2006 at 4:20 pm

Did you know the Pittsburgh Pirates hold wiener / sausage/ pierogi / hot dog races during the games? Sauerkraut Saul, Jalapeno Hannah…it’s fun.

We’ve tried on many occasions to grow an avocado tree. Ok, we usually get a tree, but never the fruit. Apparently, this is not unusual…very few home-planted seeds will actually bear fruit.

But it’s still fun to plant them!

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2 Maure February 21, 2006 at 4:34 pm

Five food challenges made simple:

buy a petite mobile home or camper.

drive said new home away from home
to hollywood farmer’s market and purchase selected items. you must also say “i’m just looking” and
“it looks so beautiful/delicious” at least 11 times.

then drive to one of many fine koreatown markets for appropriate
ingredients for korean-style meal.

park someplace quiet and safe to prepare and enjoy meal (LA river basin?). if questioned by police, mention your blogspot and food challenge to the understanding
officers.

toss unwanted vegetable matter and coffee grinds out the window as you drive, thus insuring a properly
mulched los angeles to be planted at your convenience.

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3 Maure February 21, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Stephanie:

My sister planted an avocado seed in the backyard over 20 years ago.
It didn’t start to bear fruit until a couple of years ago – one or two a year. However this year
it suddenly came of age and now there are dozens of mostly edible
avocadi. late bloomer it seems.
This tree was allowed to grow unfettered to over 30 ft. though, but I beleive they need to be pruned early on to ensure consistent fruiting. maybe.

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4 Eve February 21, 2006 at 8:23 pm

If you want to try good pierogies in L.A., go to Warszawa on Lincoln. I love their pierogies, in fact I love almost everything that I have had on that menu. Yum.

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5 Eve February 21, 2006 at 8:23 pm

If you want to try good pierogies in L.A., go to Warszawa on Lincoln. I love their pierogies, in fact I love almost everything that I have had on that menu. Yum.

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6 sarah February 21, 2006 at 8:29 pm

eve! lol! you and your pierogi! i totally remembe you telling me about how you ate them ALL the time in sd!

(and just tried the pierogi at warszawa, but will be writing that up in, oh, probably a month, LOL!)

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7 Mike February 22, 2006 at 3:22 am

Sarah, New Years resolutions are like fruitcakes. They start out nice but tend to deteriorate over time.

The problem with resolutions is that they’re time-based (start on this day, succeed by this day, etc.) and as such, too focused on short-term, immediate results. That’s why people drop them so quickly. Why do gym memberships skyrocket in January and cancellations abound by May? :-)

So good luck with your resolutions, but don’t beat yourself up if you fail to live up to some sort of imaginary standard.

Change should be organic, just like your little avocado plant.

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8 sarah February 22, 2006 at 4:04 am

aw dude, mike. you said fruitcakes. lol! the thing with fruitcakes is they actually get BETTER over time – marinating in all that rum – by the time you open it in 16 years, you’d get drunk off the fumes.

*ahem*

back to the NYR thing, though. i do think they are still worthwhile, whether someone writes them down, recites them to a friend, or just keeps a mental note in his or her head. it’s still there. sure change an growth should be organic, but nothing happens if you don’t nurture it in some way. setting goals is a way to kind of help that change along. and i actually believe that using numbers and deadlines is a good way to keep motivated…for some people. that means there is something at stake. however, i do think that a lot of people set very unrealistic goals, which is where the problem is. i mean, i would have loved to have resolved to grow an herb garden, but that is pretty unrealistic for me. but telling myself to grow something is more realistic, and putting more specifics like “go to the farmers market twice a month” makes it more real.

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9 Mike February 22, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Touché, Sarah. Touché.

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10 s'kat February 23, 2006 at 12:51 am

You go on wich’ your bad self, girl! Baby steps, baby steps!

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11 YouGuysKnow February 23, 2006 at 1:59 am

Delicious Sarah, you rock as usual.

Glad you got your meme on because this one is a good one – stretching all of us to try new things!

Don’t try to grow an avacado tree. Believe me, that’s all pain no gain. Try something easy like herbs! And we will be watching.

your fan,
EP

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12 sarah February 23, 2006 at 4:17 am

i actually did try to grow an avocado tree once.

it grew about two feet tall, but the “trunk” was about as thick as toothpick and it only had two leaves the WHOLE time.

then someone accidentlly knocked it off my balcony. i cried. for real. i cried over a stupid avocado plant.

hmm…maybe i should post about how that totally scarred me for life into thinking i’d never be able to grow anything.

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13 YouGuysKnow February 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm

LOL! (sorry, I don’t mean to laugh at your crying, but it’s so cute-funny)

listen, I once tried to grow a pineapple plant (tree?) from the top of a pineapple. all that happened was that the leftover fruity part got all moldy and the thing never grew an inch. re-tar-ded.

seriously, try herbs. they’re useful all year-round in lots of things and hard to kill. unless you knock them off your balcony of course. that would probably kill them… (muffled laugh)

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14 YouGuysKnow February 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm

LOL! (sorry, I don’t mean to laugh at your crying, but it’s so cute-funny)

listen, I once tried to grow a pineapple plant (tree?) from the top of a pineapple. all that happened was that the leftover fruity part got all moldy and the thing never grew an inch. re-tar-ded.

seriously, try herbs. they’re useful all year-round in lots of things and hard to kill. unless you knock them off your balcony of course. that would probably kill them… (muffled laugh)

Reply

15 hermz February 28, 2006 at 8:35 pm

So does eating at Bleu kill two birds at once? =P

Reply

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