Thursday, July 15, 2010

Overheard at My Own Funeral

They really didn't do a good job on the makeup.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That Elusive Secret Ingredient

I'm going to tell you the secret to great, mind-blowing food. Can you keep a secret? And by keep a secret I mean promise to forward this to everyone you know and thereby drive up the traffic to this site resulting in a fat check of four cents to be auto-deposited to my Swiss bank account from AdWords.

Studies show--I'm sure they exist, if I had an assistant as God intended me to, they would have included a link to a study which would go right here--that it doesn't matter if you follow a recipe exactly or simply heat up a pre-made meal. There is an underlying secret step to phenomenal food:

Have someone else cook the food for you.

Simple as that. It makes EVERY recipe better. Why do you think they put "Serves 3-4 people" at the top of the recipe? Surprisingly, no one on my beloved Food Network or Cooking channel has shared this tip with you. As someone who loves to cook, my culinary creations always seem to taste better to those sharing in the meal than to me. Similarly, my mom's food will always taste better than what I make.

I challenge you and your taste buds to the following showdown.

We (or you and a friend, if you have one) both cook the exact same dish in the exact same kitchen. I would advise the dishes be prepared on different days to remove the process of cooking, which could skew the results. There's something about someone else making you food. Try it with different dishes: cans of soup, sandwiches, pastas, baked chicken, brussels sprouts. Well, maybe not that last one.

Psychologically (see non-existent paper above), knowing that someone cared enough about you to make you something to eat heightens the sensitivity of our taste buds, as long as they aren't trying to poison you. Note: make sure your cooking partner for the challenge doesn't secretly or openly want you dead. In this case your dish may just taste a little different than the one you cook for them. That taste is cyanide or arsenic. You should be calling 911 right now. You are in no condition to drive. Stop questioning the smirk on your former friend's face. GO!

Even that hospital Jell-o tastes better than if you had made it, doesn't it?

Pleasant eating!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Notes on a Dream

I'm not prone to dreaming, save the recurrent daydreams while staring out the window at the office. When I do dream they are often vivid, memorable and not far off from my waking life. But last night was one of those nights. Has anyone ever studied the relation of "dream time" and "real time"? I can have 1-2 dreams for the duration of the night, but not a ton happens in the dreams (consider this foreshadowing for what's about to come).

For some reason I was heading up the stairs to the family home of the object of my affection freshman year in high school. It was in the downtown area of a city, but didn't feel like it was an urban epicenter. Mon cherie and I took French together pour un ans, and one quarter I had the fortune of sitting behind her. During the year I knew her, we talked, at best, for no more than a few hours, most of which was in French.  Given that my courting style in high school could best be described as "stalker-esque" this was a preferred location to sitting in front of her. Slipping your prof a few francs doesn't hurt your cause when scouting a new seat. I wonder if teachers know when their pupils have crushes on others in the class. Do they ever put you à côté de your paramour?

What's odd to me is that she's visited me a few times in my dreams, which makes me wonder who I visit. We didn't know each other that well. I remember the day I mustered up enough courage to talk to her outside of class. It was after school and she was heading toward her car and I was heading to the bus. And by "talk to her" I mean asking her how she was and after she said "good" telling her I would see her tomorrow. That's the stuff of romance novels.

So we were in the home and it had one of those bookshelf doors as well as a staircase leading to a second level. "A rarity in most urban dwellings," I thought. I commented to her that she had a really nice home. Still got the magic of conversation with my crushes.

I really should stop killing time at Crate and Barrel and definitely cease watching House Hunters before bed.

à la prochaine fois mon amie.