Foods That Have Traumatized Me

150747_660435036283_1981956084_n

This last few weeks was pretty stressful and full of sadness for me, after the passing of my grandfather and all the stuff that came after it. That meant for a lot of stomach upset, which culminated last night in horrible stomach traumas that I will just file under the category of: too much information to share.

It’s times like these that give me an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the foods that have traumatized me in years past. I think you will find that my list is about as bizarre as everything else in my life.

#1 Ice cream and yogurt, but not frozen yogurt or milk or cheese

You want to see me miserable, give me some ice cream or plain yogurt. For a while I thought I was lactose intolerant, but then I ate about a bucketful of mozzarella cheese and washed it down with half a gallon of milk, so I’m pretty sure it’s just the ice cream and yogurt.

But not frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt I can eat until the cows come home (no pun intended … OK, pun may or may not have been planned, you decide).

#2 California Italian food

I’ve talked about this many, many times before, but something about the Italians out here in California makes their cooking taste like crap.

We went to a party before Christmas where a guy told me that Chicagoans “can’t cook Italian food worth shit.” Funny, in the family cooking contest we had both entered, he only garnered one vote (his) while I came in second place. Chicagoans can’t cook Italian food “worth shit,” huh? I’m about as Italian as that guidette Snookie is modest, too.

Every time I eat a California Italian’s cooking, though – every time without fail – I have a problem swallowing it, and spend 3/4 of the night sitting upright with acid reflux. Of course I put on my sweetest smile and gobble the stuff up, but it’s always like pasty mush mixed in a sea of something that resembles baby diapers.

#3 Coffee

Coffee for me is like a recipe for cardiac arrest. Don’t get me wrong, I love my caffeine; but anything beyond the amount found in a $1 Diet Coke from McDonald’s and I am a walking heart palpitation, just waiting to burst.

#4 Fish sticks

No, I’m not piggy-backing off any Southpark jokes, here – fish sticks have actually traumatized me, and therefore I will never (not ever) eat fish, of any kind.

When my parents first got divorced, I lived with my mom for one year (before she decided to leave me behind to move across the country and shack up with a dude that was still married). That year was a little weird for me, mostly because my mother was constantly trying to trick me to eat things she thought would be good for me.

Most of them had very little nutritional value at all.

The worst were the fish sticks. She promised me that they were chicken strips. She showed me a box that they had supposedly come out of. But then when I took a bite into those mercury-filled, fishy-flavored gems, I knew that she had lied to me. Not that I should have ever trusted her to begin with, but from that moment on I had a hard time believing anyone about what I was eating until I tasted it, for at least ten years.

#5 The fried cheese grilled cheese sandwich at Denny’s

Why does this exist? Calling them “grilled cheese” is usually inaccurate to begin with – those puppies are fried just like most every other sandwich on the Denny’s menu. But to then insert battered and fried sticks of mozzarella in the center of a grilled cheese sandwich; well, that just makes no sense to me.

People clearly order it too, because it’s been on the menu for quite a few years now. Fortunately we eat at Denny’s so infrequently that I don’t often see it; but on the rare occasion that we do, and I see it on the menu, my arteries quiver just a little when I see that gooey photo on the menu.

#6 Shellfish

So I’m allergic to everything it seems, and shellfish is included in the list. I’m also allergic to MSG and sodium nitrate, but it isn’t often that a restaurant slips that into your meal, like has happened to me with shellfish a number of times.

The most recent was last August. I had just returned from a few days in the faux-Danish town of Solvang and met my dad for happy hour and dinner at Macaroni Grill. I ordered angel hair pasta with asparagus and chicken, but when I bit into a piece of my chicken it tasted like shrimp. Within minutes my throat was starting to feel tight, so we left and I gave myself an Epipen.

Macaroni Grill sent me $20 for my troubles.

So, faithful blog followers, have you had food traumatize you? I don’t need to hear stories regaling for me the details of your bathroom experiences, or the consistency of your vomit or anything. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who lets her food mess with her head…

Advertisements

STFU Fridays, with our special guest: STFU Socrates

This morning I woke up and looked on Facebook, wasting time while trying to figure out (like usual) how exactly to get through the day. Much to my happiness, the “I fucking love science” page shared a quote that could not be anymore relevant and important, both to my day and us as a society:

This was Socrates’ mantra, and why he was called the wisest man on the Earth. He wasn’t wise because he was a great philosopher. Nor because he knew how to get into the pants of just about everyone in Ancient Athens, despite his garish appearance. He was the wisest man on Earth because when he was told this, he couldn’t believe it. Quite frankly, he told the Oracle at Delphi to shut the fuck up. (I always like to imagine Socrates saying “shut the fuck up, bitch – I ain’t no wise man!” with one of those ghetto, Jerry Springer snaps of the hand.) After that, he went out on a search to prove that he wasn’t the wisest by questioning everything he and others thought they knew (and in doing so, proved the Oracle’s statement absolutely correct).

What happened to Socrates you ask? He was put to death by those dumb motherfuckers who thought they knew everything for trying to prove that he, himself, did not know shit. Talk about ironic. This is the theme for our STFU Fridays, and I have three groups of people that deserve a resounding “shut the fuck up.”

STFU Socrates is joining us.

Hipsters

This weekend in Los Angeles, we’re having the second edition of Carmageddon. If you were around the news or LA last year, you know what this meant. A section of the 405 freeway was shut down, and despite the fact that there are a bagillion other routes people normally take anyway, as well as the fact that it was a goddamned weekend and wasn’t going to be a big deal, the city acted like it was the end of the fucking world. End. Of. The Fucking. World.

Hipsters everywhere came out of the woodwork, celebrating local and bike riding tandem. Yuppies organized a 405 shutdown tandem bike ride. I shit you not, everyone talked on the news about how great this was to re-embrace LA. It was a foodie’s wildest fantasy: what a great opportunity to stay put and eat locally grown organic produce!

Yay local! Yay tofu! Yay Pitchfork!

I’m not sure how shutting down a stretch of the freeway turned into the biggest convention of ugly pants-wearing hipsters ever, but it did. Coachella didn’t even compare. So earlier this month when I saw on the freeway the dreaded sign that Carmageddon 2 was upon us, I immediately prepared myself for more self-aggrandizing, pompous assholes to make their way into the limelight in their lime-colored sunglasses and wearing stretched out, oversized tank tops.

With their cool sense of irony and $99 “vintage” American Apparel hoodies, hipsters annoy me in such a way that I can’t even really describe accurately. It isn’t their ugly taste in clothing. It isn’t their lack of understanding of the term irony. It isn’t even their shitty taste in bubble-gum pop, pseudo-dance music played by morons with 12 inch ear gauges and barely more than a junior high education.

It’s their fucking arrogance.

Hipsters think they know everything. About everything. They have an understanding of music that you just don’t get. They have a taste in fashion that you would never understand. Your deep thoughts are mere blips on the stream of consciousness that is their deep, emotional, and ironic thinking.

I think if Socrates were alive today, he wouldn’t waste his time questioning hipsters. He’d just beat the shit out of  their neon orange skinny pants, bike riding through Carmageddon asses.

What do you have to say to the hipsters, Socrates?

Hypocrites

Hipsters are kind of hypocrites because they embrace cheap and vintage and local, and yet pay a big price in places that manufacture goods in Guadalajara for 5 cents an hour wages. But not all hypocrites are hipsters, so this is a different group. A different STFU.

A hypocrite is someone that quite literally says one thing and does another. A great example of hypocrites are people that go to church and preach fire and brimstone, then go home and drink a case of beer while beating their wives. Another great example of hypocrites are people that say they want a relationship with an honest person, but when the person is honest they call the person an asshole.

A hypocrite is someone that wants women to have equal rights and be treated with respect; yet, at the same time tells her she has to clear things with him first, or have no control over her own things.

I feel like I am surrounded by hypocrites in my daily life. From my misogynistic husband that, indeed, got just as upset about my mentioning how much of a pig he is in my grocery blog as I thought he would; to my trailer trash mom, who complains when I don’t go to family parties but then dumps on every time I offer to host them at our home.

What infuriates me so much about hypocrites, though, isn’t just their hypocrisy; but really their arrogance paralleled to the arrogance of the hipster. The hypocrite knows better than you – that’s why he can be a hypocrite. The hypocrite just has a much better understanding of life and whatever he’s doing that makes him so hypocritical; and you are just too stupid to realize that it isn’t hypocrisy, but the right thing.

What do you have to say to hypocrites, Socrates?

Foodies

I’m really starting to dislike foodies. I don’t mean people that like to eat. I also don’t mean people that like to eat new things.

I mean these motherliving assholes that know more than everyone about food. EpicureansFood connoisseurs. Foodie fucks.

I talked a little bit about this in my Food Nazis STFU, but now I want to touch on these foodie assholes that think their feta don’t stink just as much as the next guy.

I’m talking about the foodie that won’t shut the hell up about the tannins in the wine. The foodie that sticks her large, fucking schnoz into the wine glass to smell the flavor and aroma, as if she really knows what the fuck she’s sniffing for. I’m talking about the foodie that sits there and comments on all the distinct spices that he can taste in a dish. I’m talking about the person that says “ha ha ha … oh, that’s precious and homey!” when you bring over a regular square cake with normal fucking frosting, instead of some berry-infused, fondant-covered plate of shit.

Again, just like hipsters; just like hypocrites – foodies think they fucking know everything. I was on a date once where I brought wine because the guy was cooking pasta. I brought white; a white that World Market said would go well with any pasta or other Italian dishes. I walked in and that motherfucker told me that it “technically” wasn’t the appropriate wine for pasta. I told that arrogant prick he should “technically” call World Market and tell them to change their pairing cards.

The Ancient Greeks were all about eating and drinking. Have any of you ever read Symposium? Those motherfuckers drank wine out of jugs. Jugs! They lived well into old age (for the most part) too, and they weren’t all as fucking arrogant as people are now. I cannot for the life of me imagine a bunch of guys standing around in the Agora sticking their noses into their dirty wine jugs and talking about tannins and shit.

So with that, I think STFU Socrates is the best person for the job on this week’s final STFU. What do you have to say to foodies, just like you did to the hipsters and the hypocrites, Socrates?

STFU Fridays: Food Nazis

Do you have a Food Nazi in your life? You know those people. I have quite a few.

They have to qualify everything with “fat-free” “non-fat” “organic” “with a hint of” blah blah blah. Shut the fuck up. After a while you start qualifying your food like that too just from being around these arrogant and pompous assholes. The other day I made these miniature pumpkin pie things with my kick ass fat-free pumpkin pie recipe. I posted a photo to Instragram with a long description of all the healthful and unique qualities these stupid little fuckers had. Afterwards, I hated myself more than the morning after that one night in Cabo I just can’t – for the life of me – remember…

Some of them have the stupidest food beliefs, and they shove them down your throat every time they have an opportunity. You faithful blog followers that have been around a while remember that time Hello Kitty Toaster (my sister in law) got into an argument with me over her belief that vegetables are bad for you. It started because I “checked in” on Facebook at Subway and she replied “sandwiches = fat fat and more fat ass!” Really bitch?

Well it’s time for these people to get smacked in the face with Shut the Fuck Up Fridays. And my friend Shut the Fuck Up Burger came to help.

“I’m a …arian”

Vegetarians. Vegans. Pescatarians. Meat-lovers. Whenever people identify themselves as a particular “…arian” (in my experience) they are usually pretty arrogant in their attitude towards food. One of the biggest criticisms of vegetarians and vegans in particular is that they are constantly taking an air of superiority when in the presence of a certain meat they don’t eat.

I don’t mean you shouldn’t identify yourself. I just mean don’t be a dick about it. I don’t care what you are. Just don’t try and make me it.

But it goes beyond that – I’ve had so many experiences with these people trying to shove their food agenda down my throat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to family parties and been forced to eat a side of peas only, simply because everything else contained red meat, and the family member made it a point of informing me that they had no respect for the fact that red meat makes me sick to my stomach. Once they told me I should just suffer through it. Another person in recent memory is one of my husband’s friends, who is basically one of those vegetarians that also doesn’t believe in wasting food. So he dumpster dives. If you want to pick food out of raw garbage and eat it, that’s your choice; but you go too far when you pull bread out of a trash can and try to bully me into eating it.

Shut the Fuck Up Burger wants to say something to you “I’m a …arian”s:

Food Conspiracists

These people really roast my ass. What got me started on this little Food Nazi bit this morning was an article I read about how unhealthy fat-free milk is. I drink about three glasses of fat-free milk a day, which is the recommended amount for prevention of osteoporosis (runs in my family), so I obviously clicked to read it when a friend posted it on Facebook. I was then confronted with a stream of bullshit, misinformation, and blatantly false claims. The author actually had the balls to suggest – in more than one place of the article – that saturated fats and cholesterol do not contribute to heart disease. Fucking absurd.

If you don’t want to eat genetically modified foods, fine. Don’t tell third-world children that they have to go without their genetically modified rice though, because if they do they will probably die of rickets. If you believe that all-fats are better than no fats, great. Don’t tell people that may have a different health situation that they’re going to perish prematurely, for reasons you cannot even justify with science. If you want to live a no-fats lifestyle, good for you! But shut your big fucking, whorish mouth when others choose to go with something that may turn into “fat, fat, and more fat ass.” If you want to go all-organic and local, cool. Don’t tell people that haven’t the money for healthier, local and organic options though that they’re wrong or going to die of some pesticide-related illness for just buying what they can to survive. Instead of forcing your uneducated beliefs on others, why not promote better education and independent research, since that is where the real problem lies?

For myself, I believe in eating a moderation of anything. I don’t believe in subscribing to sensationalized conspiracy theories that have absolutely no basis in science or fact. Sometimes I buy organic. Other times I buy processed (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, duh!). I always buy organic meats. I will never stop buying (genetically modified) on the vine tomatoes, because they’re the fucking best.

Shut the Fuck Up Burger wants to join me in saying something to these cracked out, uneducated Food Conspiracists:

People That Get Sexual With Their Food

I love kale. That said, kale shakes taste like barf to me. Kale chips taste like I’m licking grass outside the innards of my husband’s rotting asshole. Same goes for a host of other things: brussel sprouts, wheat grass, onions, asiago cheese, etc.

Something that annoys me to no end is when people go on and on about how much they love [insert random food that tastes like puke on a platter to me]. If you really love it, fine. But stop spitting in the face of the rest of the universe that may think it tastes like a pile of puke. Everyone has different tastes; and what is with our obsession with talking about our food now, anyway? Is this what our lives really center around? The other day, one of my friends posted a Facebook status “if asiago cheese were a person, I’d marry it and have a bunch of cheese babies.” That’s funny, because the last time I tried asiago cheese I actually vomited from the taste, which your fucking Facebook status just reminded me of.

My favorite foods come in a variety. I love carrots, bananas, and dried peas. I eat edamame like a pig, licking the salt off my fingers and groaning and shit. I would die if I couldn’t eat asparagus at least twice a week. Ham sandwiches hit the spot, and (of course) my favorite dinner is either soba or a taco with rice and salsa (goddamn, do I love the salsa). I also like pretzels and string cheese, and have absolutely no self control when it comes to onion dip. But you don’t see me posting on Facebook and Twitter, or talking on the phone and shit, about how much I wish my food choices were a person so I could dry hump them to next Tuesday.

I get it. We have reached an age when we are having sensuous love affairs with our food. Tons of people get all horny over their food, and their appropriately seasoned dishes – I see it all the time.

To them: please stop. It makes me want to puke sometimes and never eat another thing again. Shut the Fuck Up Burger has just enough strength to muster up one more thing to say … and he wants to finish this edition of Shut the Fuck Up Fridays with something for you guys:

How Pinterest and Instragram Ruined My Life

Yesterday I had a lot of cooking and cleaning to do. I was behind on my usual schedule of cleaning the apartment; and my in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight. This is sort of a big deal because we haven’t seen them since late last year – and Hello Kitty Toaster is included in the bunch. They hate me something good, faithful blog followers. I’m not sure why, really – except that I operate much differently than the way they run their family. I don’t gossip. I don’t break the sanctity of my marriage to allow other family into our personal business. I don’t tell stories about my bowel movements and my dog’s bloody heat at the dinner table.

Call me crazy, that’s just me.

Somewhere between inviting them over for dinner and preparing the actual meal, though, I let Pinterest and Instagram ruin my life. Although if I were really being honest, this happened a long time ago.

Now that we have Pinterest and Instagram – with people posting picture after stupid picture of recipes, crafts, food, inspiration, you name it – the bar of how things look in real life has been set much higher. It’s not just about preparation, it’s about presentation. It’s not just about enjoying the meal, it’s about taking photos of it at every angle and posting them on Instagram. Your meal is perfection if you can take a photo of it and it looks unbelievable uploaded without a filter. And look! It’s so easy to do all these cutesy little DIY additions to make things look even more perfect. We call it “personalized touch.”

Pinterest and Instagram are just about making things even more perfect than we’ve already tried to make them.

So I planned the meal for tonight according to my own tastes. I figured that if I’m going to be cooking a meal for people whose most recent contact with us included the words “we know Heather won’t let you come see us and Heather won’t let you call us and Heather seems to think you aren’t our son” (in response to my husband not communicating with them for a while, being upset of his own accord – Heather didn’t do anything); I’m cooking whatever the hell I want. I also wanted to spite Hello Kitty Toaster – I know how much she hates carbs and thinks that vegetables are fatty, so I wanted to plan the meal to be as carb- and veggie-filled as possible. And under no circumstance was I going to be making California-Italian. No sir – they feed themselves enough of that slop every other day of the year. And I hate it.

In the end, I decided on: stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini rollups for appetizers; buffalo-style chicken legs, fresh baguette, Chicago-style thin crust pizza, garlic-sauteed mixed green veggies, and a caesar salad for dinner; and a stained glass cake and lemon pie for dessert. It’s just enough for the eight people that are going to be here, and all relatively easy for me.

Do you see what I did there, though, faithful blog followers? I already started in with the Pinterest junk.

Ten years ago, I would have said “pizza.” Now it’s got to be qualified as Chicago-style thin crust pizza. Ten years ago, I would have said “some appetizers.” Now it’s stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups. If I were really going to go all out with the Pinterest crap, I’d say bleu cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites with a hint of garlic and onion, and zucchini roll-ups filled with ricotta and spinach. And not only did I feel I needed to qualify it all, but it has to look amazing when it’s presented as well.

So I spent about twenty minutes standing at the box window in my kitchen – where I keep all of the serving platters – deciding what platters would be best for presentation. Will the stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups fit on here uniformly? Can I layer the chicken on this platter so as to display the bleu cheese crumbles? Will the presentation of my stained glass cake show the stained glass pieces on this dessert stand?

Oh for Christ’s sakes – shut the fuck up!

There was a day when dinner was just dinner. People came over and unless it was professionally catered (and even sometimes then), the meal was just a meal. No one cared about the presentation. Serving platters (versus the cookware the food was cooked in) were things for pretentious people, and pretentious people only. You never saw little place card signs stuck into various pieces of fruit listing the entire gamut of ingredients in the dish. Hardly ever did you see things like personalization of wine bottles, napkin rings, and elaborate centerpieces. No one ever stood around worrying whether or not their chicken could be stacked to properly display the bleu cheese crumbles sprinkled on it. People didn’t waste their time on bull shit like that! And most importantly – more than anything – you didn’t have a bunch of saps all standing around and marveling at the food; most certainly never taking photographs of it.

Pinterest and Instagram have ruined my life. Has it ruined yours?

_________________________________________________________________________

Have you “liked” my blog on Facebook yet? No? Shame on you… Well, here’s something you can really do for me – click the link for Top Mommy Blogs dot com to register a vote for my site as one of the best. Thanks!!