Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Another winter wonderland this morning! One begins to tire of the snow so luxuriously bestowed on us by mother nature–but, but, I hasten to add that of course this is nowhere near the ghastly proportions endured by Bostonians, and our couple of inches hardly qualify as snow at all by comparison. Still, it was nasty walking out there this morning, particularly as the ice was now delicately hidden by a fluffy carpet–but, YakTrax did the trick (thanks, Lois!)–like snow tires for your feet.
While others took advantage of the weather to “work from home”, I had to go in to complete preparations for an exceptionally deadly upcoming meeting–in North Carolina,sigh. The subject of this meeting is ‘The Interplay between Environmental exposures and Obesity- NO, NOT the kind of environmental exposure that involves me sitting in front of a plate of jelly donuts, flanked by an Irish Coffee laden with whipped cream (though how nice that would be, particularly if there were samples) –but rather our unknowing defilement by a host of pernicious chemicals in the environment that MAKE US FAT IN SPITE OF OURSELVES. See, It is not–HAS NEVER BEEN–our fault that we are obese. It is those malignant chemicals strewn in our way by brutal corporations who laugh at our distress! I may not be summarizing with complete accuracy, as even reading the agenda leaves one limp with despair. Why would anyone spend one moment, let alone 2 full days listening to this sort of thing, I wondered–but It finally occurred to me that what we were really doing was establishing obesity as part of the ENVIRONMENT, and hence, under the jurisdiction of the powerful agencies that are funding this meeting.
Well, well, it pays my salary.
Image result for irish coffee and donuts


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I nipped into the pantry at work to retrieve my lunch from the fridge, and came across a young man who was just inserting a large container of water into the microwave. I remarked that it didn’t seem a very filling lunch and he responded amiably that he had already had his lunch. And now he was looking forward to a nice drink of hot water! I said I preferred hot water transformed into coffee, and he said that he used to drink coffee, but that it made him stretch his arms. Eh? Yes, after drinking coffee he had to stretch his arms. I pointed out that stretching was after all good for him, but he triumphantly replied that he exercised regularly. Ah, so no need for coffee, it stands to reason. Then he took his hot water and went off to carouse.

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Hospital Food

During my recent extremely disagreeable incarceration in the Virginia Hospital Center I was given the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with a food stuff which while repellent, is apparently considered beneficial to hospital patients: JELLO.

This loathly confection, composed equally of sugar and chemicals, has a disagreeably rubbery texture and slides down the gullet with a horribly confident elasticity. While it is true that gelatin itself has a noble and ancient heritage–and has many admirers for its sterling qualities–the brilliantly colored cubes served up by hospital kitchens have no virtue at all. And yet, there it is on the menu for the especially delicate patients, along with chicken broth, beef broth, and apple juice. You will no doubt wonder what magical quality these foods share, and I can tell you: TRANSPARENCY. You can see through them. This is apparently a health benefit.
I am very grateful to have progressed on to foods that are opaque.

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Yesterday I was in a meeting, and as it was only us 3 ladies, we allowed ourselves to touch on topics not entirely germane to the project–viz., hair dressers: perfidy of, shoe heels: difficulty of determining appropriate height. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings, and I was just getting into the interesting concept of dying one’s whiskers green but always using so large a fan that they could not be seen–when a disagreeable feeling came stealing o’er my spirit–that TIME was passing by and that it was getting late. And upon announcing that I must tear myself away from felicity awhile, I discovered–to my HORROR–that it was in fact FIFTEEN minutes past my usual departure time. Fifteen minutes which you may be SURE I charged to the project (overtime!) but meanwhile, I hastened to make my departure, and later on the bus, musing on further interesting topics–do bats eat cats? do cats eat bats?–it suddenly came to me that in my haste and fecklessness, I had NEGLECTED TO BUY CAT FOOD ON THE WAY HOME. The thought of the three trusting cats waiting for me at home smote my heart. But stay! The cupboard, though bare of cat food, contained a few cans of . . . TUNA! And what do you know–it turns out that the cats are completely cool with tuna, even though it doesn’t contain all the healthful additives that make Friskies Prime Filets With Salmon and Beef in Sauce so irresistible. In fact, there was not a scrap left in any of the three little bowls. So, all’s well.

Author’s note: This is TOTALLY Allan’s Carmina Burana joke

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Fair Deceivers

I have been completely bamboozled by a pretty face, alluringly veiled with a golden net–false fruits, masquerading as clementines. When these charming fruits first stormed the stores, wittily packaged in their dear little wooden crates, they were as sweet as candy AND as cute as buttons. That was YEARS ago now–I remember Beatrice and Lilli serving them up at a Christmas party when they were room mates in college (not that both lovely ladies aren’t still as youthful as any college girl, I hasten to add). Since then, the grocery store debut of the Christmas Clementines has happened earlier and earlier–just like the Christmas decorations, sigh. Over the years, the wooden box has turned into cardboard, and the previously flamboyant artwork has become more and more subdued. AND–the fruit has become a pale ghost of its former self–hard, meager, sour. Of course, there are the shining examples of good clementines, which is why I keep buying them. But this last box–pathetic simulacrum of the adorable wooden crates we used to get–was filled with inedible citrus items, given a fraudulent golden glow by the orange netting cunningly affixed over the top. Fie, fie, say I!

And, the same horrible fate has overtaken the apples, the grapes. Remember when Red Delicious apples actually were, well, delicious? No, you don’t, unless you’re my age. They are a horrible whited sepulcher now–ah, perhaps I mean incarnadined sepulcher, encrimsoned sepulcher. Which is to say, the sad monument to what was once an apple.
And there were once the most wonderful red seedless grapes, little round balls of translucent purple, perfectly crisp and sweet as candy. Gone now.
Well, I suppose the new fruits travel well, and that’s important after all.
And, there is always wine, which is changeless, and continues to cheer us all.

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Devil Granny

Today I was doing the grocery shopping, and entered an aisle just as a lady of a certain age tore open a bag of potato chips from her cart, and popped a chip into her mouth. She looked me in the eye and said “We must NEVER do this when we’re with the grandchildren”. I said “I don’t see any grandchildren.” “EXACTLY”, said she, crunching another chip with great satisfaction.


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