There are times when it occurs to me that it is all too easy for we bloggers to present a non-representative persona in our posts – sometimes we do that unintentionally, but then I often get the impression that many bloggers simply blog to ‘invent’ an alternative self – one that’s much more like their own fantasy self image. I try not to do that folks, and when I sense that something I’m about to say may stray from the real me, I try to correct it.
But then there are those things which we choose to overtly avoid revealing about ourselves, mostly because -I think- we fear doing so would make us a bit weird in the minds of our readers – but that’s only a guess, my friends, because the doctor himself has no such reservations -at least as my food preferences go- and I thought I’d do a post on those food preferences which others tell me are weird (after all, I myself do not consider them strange, so I must depend on the consideration of others for this information).
- I like gummy pancakes. I not only like them, I adore them. As I think back on this, I believe the reason may lie in the fact that early on in life I determined that I like thin, crepe like pancakes much more than the ‘cakey’ type – and of course, as a cook I now know that the thinner your batter, the less chance it will rise as it cooks. And I especially like thin, crepe-like pancakes made with sourdough – and although I’ve never tried this, I think I’ll soon try making a crepe with a bit of my spent sourdough starter only, instead of throwing it down the drain. I let you know what I think of the outcome.
- I also appreciate gummy rice. In fact, I have a problem understanding the appeal of fluffy, separate grains of rice. Kind of reminds me of Uncle Ben’s Minute Rice, which I haven’t had for many years, and for some reason, my mother absolutely loved. I think the Asians are with me on this, because I can’t imagine trying to eat separate grains of rice with chopsticks! Besides, if you want gummy rice, all you have to do is to put your raw unwashed rice and cold water into a pan together, and then begin cooking – voila! Guaranteed sticky rice.
- I love stale jellied candies. Hey, I see a pattern here – but maybe it’s just lazy brain syndrome at
work. Whatever! I can trace this one back to my childhood when I discovered the joy -and deliciousness- of finding ‘lost’ jelly beans buried in the grass of our stored Easter baskets in the attic – Damn, those were good! My fetish was reinforced when I discovered that the vendors on the Boardwalk at Belmar, N.J. (where we’d all go every day of our adolescent summer) were intent on selling last year’s Dots and Black Crows early every summer. I’m sure they thought I was one weird kid, when I’d ask them if they still had any of those stale candies from last year. Nowadays, I simply hide them from myself -sometimes for years- and then I’m overjoyed at finding them fortuitously – one of life’s small pleasures.
- I find the tails of fried shrimp more delicious than the shrimp itself. My wife has never failed to remark just how strange this habit is – I think she is quite embarrassed to see me collecting them from my table-mates and enjoying them one by one (they really are quite delicious). I, OTOH, find it impossible to believe that others can actually try them and still not be convinced of their utter deliciousness.
- I like cold food. And I’m not just talking about potato salad, vichyssoise, or even yesterday’s pizza. I think this proclivity results from my lifelong habit of eating so slowly that at least half of every meal I’ve ever consumed has been cold. At this point in my life, I’ve grown to appreciate just how wonderful cold food actually is – and I’ve come to recognize that many dishes release their flavors much more readily in their cold state than when heated. OK, this is controversial – humor me.
- I like cheese with character. Give me a choice between a young Jack cheese, and an aged, washed cheese, and it’s not even a choice. Let Chuck e Cheese have the Jack, thank you. I love going into an upscale grocery like Whole Foods, and browsing their cheese department – it’s a great place to discover new cheese tastes, and I’m quite sure that they’d keep feeding you samples of everything they had, if you wanted to stick around that long and test their hospitality. I’m working my way up to the royalty of stinky cheeses – if only they weren’t the most costly ones!
- I like milk-poached eggs. I don’t often give my mother credit for giving me inspiration, food wise – in fact, I can trace my desire to learn to cook back to my recognition that my mother’s cooking was not really that good. But she did introduce me to milk-poached eggs, and I thank her for that. What is a milk-poached egg? Well, whenever I have a desire for something a little special for breakfast, I’ll whip up a quick but luxurious milk-poached egg: toast a slice of your best bread, heat a small skillet to medium-hot, add a Tbs of butter and let it begin to foam – add an egg or two, and immediately slip in about a ¼ of a cup of milk – cover with a lid, and let the milk bubble up for the better part of a minute or so. Then quickly, move the toast to a plate and the egg(s) over the toast – pour the milk from the skillet over all – and enjoy.
- I have a special appreciation for fresh albacore tuna. I recognize that there may be nothing strange about this, since many others share my appreciation, but each year when our local tuna season kicks off, I marvel at why such a delicious fish should be available so cheaply! I have the same emotion about a Florida fish known as mullet, pork shoulder, calves liver, eggs, dry beans, and many of the unique salts of the world.
- What I’m willing to spend big bucks on: Quality coffee; fresh soft shelled crabs; coconut oil; micro-plane graters; naturally ripened fruits; and good fresh fish.
- What I’m willing to avoid (even though I may love them) when the price goes up: Lamb; lobster; scallops; prime rib; snob wines; outrageously priced olive oils and vinegars, and anything with a famous chef’s name on it.
Now you know all about my food likes – at least the unusual ones. I bet you’ve got a few of your own, don’t you! Are you brave enough to tell us?