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FOOD, FRIEND (permalink) 04.07.2015
warning, do not view while hungry
speaking of food (yesterday), the fiancÚ of a good friend of mine just started documenting her nurturing her newfound love of food and food-making. and, it doesn't take long to see that her style of 'documentation' is a bit richer and deeper than most folks form of documentation.
I think the relationship between food and our bodies is magical. One moment you can be looking at the apple in your hand, and the very next it is inside of you, becoming part of you - your cells, your bones, your heart, your brain.
the above quote comes from her newly established blog.

and her instagram page should come with a full-on warning as i first looked in on it before bed and can tell you that that is a wicked kind of mistake.

and a few days after seeing this alex caught her fiance, and my friend, super-sam, slipping something into our mail slot. upon opening the door and surprising him he confessed that he was dropping off a chocolate bar he just made for us to try out. later, when opening it up for the family to try, i found a personalized note on the wrapper's backside (you're not going to get that with hershey!!!) part of which said:
I recently began making chocolate from scratch. It's a 3 ingredient recipe. This has a tiny bit of cayenne pepper and is a bit melty to the touch. I'm working on the latter issue.

There's also a mustache emblazoned on the back. Because what not!?

QUOTES, KIDS, FOOD (permalink) 11.23.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
got milk?

FOOD (permalink) 09.21.2010
speaking of delectable
yesterday i mentioned some things anthony deems pleasing to the palate, today i thought i'd share some i call tasty. this occurs to me as i recently went out for dinner with a couple of friends and stumbled into an wonderful dish, a cornbread dusted tilapia which is a very pedestrian name for a very tantalizing treatment. with the food still lingering on my taste buds, once home, i searched for a recipe. instead of seeing how to make it myself, i found the very dish i was after being touted as one of the 25 best options to be had in my city. of the twenty-five, as of three hours earlier, i'd only experienced one of them. you should know, i (and/or marty) don't get out all that much.

25 saint louis dishes you need to order now

while i am not someone i would call a foodie, i am someone who makes rich food a part of his routines, so the next logical step was to craft my list of the best eats in stl. they include:

cornbread dusted tilapia at cyranos
i'm going to start here because this is what got the ball rolling. this is a place known for their desserts. their bread pudding has been called one of the best in the country (perhaps because of its mid-west stylings). but their tilapia was easily the best piece of tilapia to ever sit before me.

chargrilled pork at lemon grass
i was introduced to lemon grass by a vegetarian. he told me that even with over sixty items on the menu, he thought that over half their sales were for their chargrilled pork. the first seventy times i ate at there it is what i ordered. then i tried the chargrilled shrimp and now choose between those two depending on my mood.

spicy beef noodle soup at wong's wok
there was this hole in the wall chinese place near my where i lived that served a special dish on fridays and saturdays called spicy beef noodle soup. it consist of a large bowl loaded with noodles and a chunks of seasoned and stewed beef on top. if you went by this place on fridays or saturdays you would always see no less than seven to twelve of these bowls on the tables with ravenous patrons hunched over them, piling the piping noodles onto a large spoon with their chopsticks before eagerly bringing it to their mouth. initially, it was hard to ask what the dish was because most of these folks spoke very little english.

as an aside, the people here have taught my kids several chinese words one of which aleo still uses to send me off in the morning.

mango roll at i heart mr sushi
i've been routinely eating at i heart for about seven years now. at my peak i was eating there three days a week. since their mango roll was first slid before me i've never eaten there since without ordering one.

garlic and onion shrimp at pho grand
the mark of how good this dish is is that all humans you come in contact with for the next three days will know and hate you for having this dish it but you just won't care. exclusion and solitude are a small prices to pay for such a flavorful experience.

shrimp and brie stuffed salmon at mccormick and schiffs
the original comes from jake's seafood in portland but through mergers and acquistions it has been brought to my backyard. surely not as good, but still ridiculously good.

beef kabob at cafe natasha
the people and atmosphere at cafe natasha are wonderful. the kabobs are even better.

whatever they're serving at the farm haus
i've just recently discovered this place but my first experience was over the top. and i have to say whatever they're serving becuase that is how they run the place. you come in for lunch, the only thing on the menu is the blue plate special. it's different every day but whatever it is that day is what you can have, aside from choosing between sweetened or unsweetened tea. i went on a friday which was breaded fish, rice, beans, and hushpuppies. these would be four things i'm not even particularly fond of and my salivary glands are still trying to come to grips with the culinary tryst. decadent. i hope to next go when they're serving bacon wrapped meatloaf with mashed tater tots.

know one i don't, please drop me an email, even if it's from another city as i'm next going to share a few national gems i know of.

FOOD (permalink) 09.18.2009
did you forget you were cooking it or what?
there is a question i've been meaning to ask the saint louis crowd for awhile now and after my trip back west, the question has turned to a fiery itch. the question is where can i get a proper sopapilla in this town. the sopapillas of colorado and new mexico are billowy and fluffy and served with honey. the sopapillas of missouri are flat and oil-laden and served with a dollop of ice cream and a layer of chocolate syrup (in attempt to mask their abject terribleness).

the first person who points me to an edible saint louis sopapilla gets a free lunch at that same establishment, paid for by me. a plus side is you'll get to eat lunch with me because once i discover this place, i'm never leaving.

good and proper sopapilla

poor and miserable imposter

KIDS, FOOD (permalink) 08.25.2009
for me, short order cook at this hour world mean short-tempered
marty makes lunch for the kids each morning. she does this while they are eating breakfast. how it works is after they wake up and dress they come to the kitchen and pick their breakfast. once they start eating they are handed the "the sheet". from this sheet they are to pick three items they would like in their lunchbox. they call them out and marty acknowledges the request and busies herself in preparing it. this list deal has been around for years but had to be re-done this year now that alex is going to school with bella. i was drawn to the little pictograms marty made next to each of alex's lunch items. there's far more artistry in there than one would expect for such a artifact. startlingly impressive.

i'll scan it again at the end of the school year so you can see how tattered (e.g. loved) one of these gets from being part of a three-child breakfast bar routine every school day morning.

click for larger version

FOOD (permalink) 05.15.2009
they're going after grapefruit eaters next
for breakfast i usually have a farm-style bran muffin topped with yogurt and fruit or oatmeal. it was recently suggested that i try steel-cut oats instead of the old-school quaker oats i usually have. the reason given was that the steel-cut oats are slightly more nutritious because of how they are processed. the classic oatmeal you and i grew up on is known, technically, as rolled oats because the grains are pressed and rolled to separate the good from the bad. this process burst the plant pod thus releasing much of its nutrients to the airy ether. steel cut oats are readied in a different manner which doesn't compromise the grain nodule to the same degree.

so i tried them and my conclusion is this: if you were running a haunted house and wanted to give people the sensation that they just ate a mouthful of the cartilaginous plugs that squeeze out of blackhead infected pores, you could just have them put a spoonful of steelcut oats into their mouth.

an ancillary thought i had was who in the world picked the oatmeal eaters of america as the demographic that needed their diet improved because their breakfast wasn't as nutritious as it could be. i would think you might target the people buying stuff like OOPS! WE FORGOT THE CRUNCH, ALL BERRIES cereal (which had the audacity to add SPECIALLY MADE FOR KIDS!!! onto the box). that is a real cereal that came from the great and altruistic minds that initially graced our breakfast tables with captain crunch and crunch berries. they must have not been satisfied with the initial impact they had on the blight that is american health.

KIDS, FOOD (permalink) 10.10.2007
say it, don't spray it
when anthony is hungry and not getting what he wants, be it mashed potatoes or a drink of water or a spoon of oatmeal he shrieks like a pre-pubescent howler monkey.

when anthony is offered food he doesn't want, he waves his left arm wildly back and forth as if he's trying to karate chop any attempt to get it near his food hole (or mouth for those not accustomed to having their mouth called their food hole).

when anthony decides he is done with something he's already been given, he squeezes the morsel in his tiny fist, watching it bleed through his clenching digits. once the food is properly disintegrated he madly waves this raised fist above his head sending the little bits of food flying each and every way.

between the screaming, flailing arm and airborne food our kitchen oftentimes seems like a food processor is running full-bore without the lid on.

WIFE, FOOD (permalink) 03.27.2007
red-handed and red-cheeked
i'm a popcorn snob. i use redenbacher, maybe newmans, but always someone who is passionate and gifted at the craft. i make it over a flame, such as a gas stove-top or open fire. i always use the same pot. i always use real butter. and i always make a tasty bowl of corn. and i do it a lot. marty knows all this. i shared it early in our dating relationship right after my positions on religion and children. given the reveal, by marrying me marty accepted this character trait. this is why our marriage works. she deals with my three flaws and i accept her sixty-four.

the other day while passing through the kitchen i caught marty, fresh back from the grocery, pouring a bag (a clear-plastic bag like we were simple heathens living in the forest) from some no-name maker of popcorn through a funnel and into an empty redenbacher container. i stopped and eyed the woman. she looked like alex when i found him unwinding a full roll of toilet paper into the commode. words weren't necessary but she said some just the same.

i bet you wouldn't have even noticed.

don't test me marta. not you. not you of all people.

i don't want to call it a divorcable offense but it just may be the closest we've ever come to seeing one.

FOOD (permalink) 02.21.2007
eat rite or don't eat at all
next month marks five years that walt and i have been planning our family meals a month at a time. in recognition i've added several recipes that have been solid staples on our table. hope some of you get to enjoy them in your own kitchen.

Korean Bulgogi
Salt and Pepper Chicken Thighs
Hot Ham and Cheese Rollup
Spaghetti Bolgnese

FRIENDS, FOOD (permalink) 08.16.2006
could you please pass the white poupon
walt and i went to a bbq last summer. while surveying the food spread, i saw a stack of plates, quartered heads of iceberg lettuce, a small bowl of white dressing and a large plate of ribs and chicken. it all looked great and i was anxious to get started but was stymied in that there wasn't a sign of any silverware.

the male host walked up behind me and invited me to dig in. i said i was looking for the silverware and he gaped at me like i was mad. "SiLvErWaRe? SILVERWARE!?! THIS IS A BBQ AND I'M FROM TEXAS AND WE DON'T ALLOW NO STINKIN' SILVERWARE!!!" so i did what any scolded and denied adult would do. when he turned away, i walked into his house, uninvited, and went through his kitchen looking for cutlery. no silverware my ass, there were piles of it inside. so i helped myself to a place setting and for my trouble, also took a wacky straw i happened upon (that was just to make a point).

now appropriately equipped, i returned to the food table and prepared my plate. i neatly cut my lettuce, dripped some of the white stuff on it and took my seat. i looked across the table as the sticky-fingered heathen held his iceberg wedge like a football, raked it through the chunky white sauce and raised the full dripping mass to his already smeared mouth. he made an exuberant-scrunched face as his mouth bore down on the roughage. i quietly shook my head at the scene, stabbed a small piece of the lettuce on my plate, dabbed it in the dressing and carefully placed it in my mouth. two minutes later the fork was in the grass and i was cramming the lettuce/sauce mixture into my mouth as rapidly as my two hands could scoop it from the plate. and when the concoction was done i licked the residuals from the folds and crevices of my fingers and palms contorting my wrist and hand as needed to access it all.

texas blue cheese dressing is pretty dang good.

KIDS, FOOD (permalink) 02.10.2006
little man is the midwest black widow in the under-three bracket
when bella was about two and eating not much more than a rod of melba toast, we ate out with some friends. during the meal their four year old consumed three plastic containers of cream cheese and nothing else. no bagel. no crackers. no fruit roll-up. just three smallish cups of cream cheese. upon leaving the restaurant walt and i had the 'did you see that kid inhale that bagel spread? my gawd! thank goodness that isn't our kid!' conversation about what we witnessed.

three short years later in our home, a 16 ounce brick of cream cheese is deemed a single serving. a stick of butter a half-serving. and a tub of crisco lard, reserved for special occasions, like saturdays, is considered a family size, although with so many little hands scooping the gelatinous, white goodness out you sometimes leave the table still craving more. and our salt, well, we have to keep that locked up in the home's fire-proof safe with our wills, swiss account ledgers and childhood photos because alex could eat his weight in salt, and that is without a drink. give the boy a simple glass of water and i'd comfortably pit him against a herd of bull elk.

WEB, FOOD (permalink) 10.12.2005
for those with the acumen to ask

FOOD, TRAVEL (permalink) 06.07.2005
i wish my business cards had a ominous-looking, winged man on them
i work with a guy who is going to seattle for the weekend. i told him eating at this place is a must. he asked where it was. this is me letting him know.

SOCIETY, FOOD (permalink) 09.17.2004
what do you do when you brown bag it?
people do all kinds of kooky things to lose weight. my favorite, by far, never to beaten, is this one:

eating every meal in front of the mirror ... naked.

awesome in its simplicity, this plan rules. and, i figure if such a routine can help your dietary choices, imagine what it could do for other facets of your life. would you have ever guessed that as i'm typing these words to you i'm looking at myself, naked, in a mirror i hung over my desk. can you see a difference? i can.

SOCIETY, FOOD (permalink) 09.16.2004
when its offered in an intravenous drip, i'll be the first rolling up my sleeve
a couple of very nice mormon fellas stopped by the house to chat the other day. after some polite conversation and realizing the purpose of their visit, i decided to save them some time. i asked if their organization was the one that disallowed caffeine. in a surprisingly unabashed manner, they said they were.

i took a moment to describe my daily regimen, in regards to caffeine, to their dropped jaws. i then explained, in a very succinct manner, that i'd sooner give up my rights of reproduction as well as the body parts responsible for that reproduction before i would forfeit a single swig of my luscious and legal narcotic. it was here that they bid me a good day and went on their white-shirted way.

FOOD (permalink) 01.09.2004
a call to arms
come march, walt and i will have been using our monthly menu for two full years. in chatting about it, we've agreed we're very happy about it's effect on our dinner lifestyle. but, we also fully thought that an all-star lineup would by now exist where we could fill the entire month with nothing but topnotch winners. a quick glance at the recipe index (the best of the best) only has a paltry 11 items in it, and they are not all suitable for monthly consumption.

i think it is our hurly burly approach of selecting recipes (browsing through a number of recipe books) that is deficient. i'd liken it to picking doctors at random out of the yellow pages. some will suck and some will suck more. so my request to you all is simple, and i hope we can agree i don't ask much from you all, please send me the recipe to your favorite meal. i don't care what it is. i mean we had oatmeal last night for our official meal, we're certainly flexible. and frankly, i can't believe i haven't done this sooner. i've forever asked people for the name of their all-time favorite book, logic would reason that the same would apply to foodstuffs.

and if you a person who is only motivated by free money, i'm paying a shiny nickel to the sender of each and every recipe we try.

FOOD (permalink) 06.02.2001
pb and j's with the crust cut off
I do not eat the ill-intentioned or unavoidable aspect of any food. I cut the crust off my bread, ignore the outer ring of a cinnamon roll and most annoying to Marty, break the jelly-absent edges off of my pop-tarts. You can ask, but neither my delicate palette nor I will apologize for our sophisticated proclivities. And as far as all the starving kids all over the globe, they are more than welcome to dine on my crust pieces.

HOW-TO, FOOD (permalink) 04.27.2001
Make Red Heaven
Just in time for spring, I offer the following frosty beverage to complement these wonderfully breezy days, assuming your climate is in such a state at this time. Several of the restaurants I wandered into in the Pacific Northwest served this modest derivation to our mid-west staple. Up there in volcano country, they sexy up there lemonade by adding strawberries. A traveling mate intuited the mechanics of this concoction and passed it on. I have since served it up at several social gatherings and the frothy grog has been a raving success. So allow me to share this simple recipe so you may also spread liquid joy to any guests you may entertain in the summer months.

Ingredients: 1 container frozen lemonade concentrate, 1 square of frozen strawberries and water.

Directions: Empty contents of Lemonade, Strawberries and 1 lemonade container of water into blender. Mix well and pour into serving pitcher. Add remaining water as directed by lemonade instructions and enjoy.

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