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Fat Guy

Do you overbowl?

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I think my wife, Ellen, may have invented a new word.

I was serving dinner in bowls and she scolded me for using bowls too large for the small amount of food placed in them. "You overbowl," she accused.

It's true. I tend to use a big bowl for a little food. Or a bigger bowl for a lot of food. In any event, I gravitate toward bowl sizes where there will be a lot of bowl for a little food.

Do you overbowl? Or, conversely, do you underbowl? Why? What drives us to choose the bowls we choose?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I think experience tends to make peeps overbowl, since underbowling is a much more inconvenient sin.

Perhaps you could point Ellen towards contemporary plating trends, which have two bites of food casually-but-artfully arranged on a plate the size of a Congoleum floor tile.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Or maybe you were brought up as I was with Grandma insisitng, "What'll hold a lot will hold a little!!"


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I underbowl: I prefer the feeling of overabundance I get when there are great big heaps of whatever balanced precariously above the rim.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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One big advantage of overbowling, I find, is that you drop less stuff, especially when it's a dish that needs to be tossed, stirred, etc.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Overbowler here. I grew up with lots of food served in the dishes that have a bowl depression and then a wide rim. This was used for soups, stews, etc. Many of those foods also involved using a piece of bread to wipe out the rest of the tasty sauce. You needed room to maneuver. The rim also helped catch the drips before you got it to your mouth. Although I unfortunately do not have those kinds of plates, I think my overbowling is an attempt to get the same result.

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This has nothing to do with my eating cold spaghetti out of the serving bowl right now? No, probabley not

T


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

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Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I both under and overbowl, but I must: I don't have many bowls to choose from.

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One big advantage of overbowling, I find, is that you drop less stuff, especially when it's a dish that needs to be tossed, stirred, etc.

I definitely overbowl when it comes to salads, for exactly that reason. Although when I feel like being civilized, I don't eat from the giant bowl. And I have to admit that sometimes I overbowl just because I have really great oversized porcelain Revol "soup plates" and I love to use them.

On a related issue, when choosing a storage container for leftovers, I almost always choose one that's way bigger than necessary. (That's a conceptual problem, though -- I have trouble estimating volumes.) But does that count as overbowling?

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My name is Marya, and I'm a chronic overbowler. From my perspective, there is nothing more appealing than a large, white, wide-rimmed soup bowl, or any oversized bowl, with a moderate amount of colorful food in it.

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I've been known to not only overbowl, but overladel as well. You know, when you select the larger serving dish, then turnaround and go ahead and fill it because it didn't look full enough. Shrimp etouffee just two days ago. Phelps couldn't have handled that portion. I have the same sort of problems estimating volume.

I should really just buy smaller dishes.

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I find whether or not I overbowl depends on what I am eating. For example, pasta - overbowl. Soup - underbowl. Cereal on the other hand I always underbowl for some reason, although it seems that if there is one thing that you would overbowl that would be it. Strange I never thought of it that way, though.


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I like overbowling and overplating. Last week I had a large salad at a restaurant and the ingredients kept falling off the plate onto the table; made me feel like a slob. A larger plate would have been better.

Great idea to invent new words!


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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Overbowling is the way to go, and I have tendencies to overplate as well. I think it looks much more attractive than overfooding (or to be kewl, call it overphooding).


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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When I'm cooking for myself, my lunch, or solo dinners I totally overbowl. I eat most of my solo meals at my desk or on the computer, and there's something very comforting about cradling a huge hemisphere of a bowl in my lap, even if it's only got about a cup of food in it. It's probably because I love my huge rounded stoneware bowls, and jump at the chance to use them.

When I cook for the family and company, I "just right" bowl, because the bulk of our bowls are medium sized. I do hate underbowling, for the same reasons mentioned above, I dislike losing stuff over the edge, or slopping things over the sides.

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Not me.

That is, if you are talking about serving bowls instead of individual servings.

I grew up in a large, extended family with a lot of people sitting down to dinner every day and a lot of dishes had to be fitted onto a finite table top and two sideboards.

The table was very large but there was still only so much room.

I can recall mashed potatoes, rising like a row of mountains, from matched serving dishes, marching down the center of the table, accompanied by deeper bowls holding mounds of green beans, summer squash, as well as bowls of steamed new potatoes, cooked carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, greens (cooked with pork) and etc.

The platters that held the meats were usually sited on the sideboards and served to each diner but everyone was expected to serve themselves the sides.

For myself, now, because I am trying to lose weight, I use smaller dishes, smaller plates for my meals and try to cook only a single portion at a time.

When a full plate is actually a salad or dessert plate, one does not feel as "deprived" as when very small portions are spaced about on a regular dinner plate.

That is just my opinion but so far, it is working for me.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For myself, now, because I am trying to lose weight, I use smaller dishes, smaller plates for my meals and try to cook only a single portion at a time. 

When a full plate is actually a salad or dessert plate, one does not feel as "deprived" as when very small portions are spaced about on a regular dinner plate.

That is just my opinion but so far, it is working for me.

This is a well-known and effective method to eat smaller portions. There have been scientific studies (Brian Wansink, for example - His website) that show people serve themselves larger and larger portions as the size of the serving bowl increases. :blink:

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Anything hot should be underbowled, IMO. I like soup that stays hot to the end, and vegetable dishes piled high because cooked vegetables lose heat so fast. This is especially important if you do not preheat serving bowls. On the other hand, if you are not going to cut your salad ingredients to bite size (most restaurants), then please give me a bowl large enough so I can do it myself. There's nothing worse than trying to eat a whole lettuce leaf with dressing dripping--they can be unwieldy and flop all over your face.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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For serving food, I don't overbowl. I don't really have any really large serving bowls to allow me to do it. You could probably say I underbowl when serving because I tend to really fill them up with whatever.

For cooking/prep, it can be a mixed bag. I like the idea of overbowling for prep/cooking, but don't always do it because I may not have enough clean large bowls or maybe I do, but it won't fit in the nearly full dishwasher. So, I'll use a really small bowl to mix something up.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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You know that joke that goes something like "women can't be carpenters because all their lives they've been told that something that really measures 4" is 8"?" I'm convinced that the same theory is at work, in reverse, in my husband's case. Chronic overbowler, and it's not deliberate: once he's put the item in the too-large serving dish he invariable comments, "Wow, I though there was a lot more of that. It looks sort of pitiful in that bowl."


Can you pee in the ocean?

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