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Do Your Friends Think You're Nuts Over Food?


jgm
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jgm, you're in Wichita, Kansas, am I right?  I mean, you are probably a little out there most places but I'd think even more of a rarity in Kansas, which might explain your perplexed coworkers.  :smile: 

(yes, I know folks in Kansas aren't all a bunch of hicks, I live in a rural area myself, which allows me to comment in a way Mannhattanites couldn't get away with)

We are a rarity, but there are a few of us! :smile:

My friends have gotten used to some of my activities, so they don't say much anymore.  They speak of me as a "picky eater" because I just can't stand the food at certain places they frequent.

YES!!! What is that?!? I told this one girl I work with when she said that I was picky that I just had higher standards than her, and then felt bad for being so snotty about it! But, I'm not picky... I'll try anything once, perhaps even 2 or 3 times!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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And I will never understand the joy and thrill of watching cars go around and around in a big circle for hours on end.  To each our own.

And I will never understand why one would spend $1000 on an xbox and games to go with it.

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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And for those who must defend spending money on expensive restaurant dinners, here's the merit in doing that:  You don't have to find a place to keep them.  You don't have to dust them.  You don't have to spend money maintaining them.  You don't have to insure them, board them, or put them in winter storage.  And you can still enjoy them when you're over 40 and you have bad knees.  :biggrin:

Also, although we refrain from throwing it in people's faces (as much as we'd like to) my wife and I just use this:

Regular people spend a shitload of money eating out a hell of a lot more than we do. They happily dump $50 a night into feeding their family at Applebees and suchlike crap troughs. We spend maybe half that and get gourmet food every night, and with the savings, can justify going out for a $300 dinner now and again.

I still use the bourdainism "TGI McFunster's" to describe those places and laugh at the people that eat there.

Of course, karma being karma, on Monday, my first day of work at a new office, my coworkers took me to lunch at Applebees. :o I didn't say a word though, becuase that wouldn't be polite. Actually the burger and fries were just fine, really. I didn't have the intestinal fortitude to try the "cheap steak smothered in crap" special of the day for your amusement, sorry! :D

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A friend just came by with her little boy for a playdate with my boys.  She was thrilled because dinner is all set for tonight:  boiled chicken breast, tossed with a jar of Russian salad dressing, a can of onion soup and a can of something else but I can't remember what - I've blocked it completely from my mind.  Toss it all into a casserole and presto.

This is a potential entry for the "Worst Meal in Someone's Home" thread. Did you take a photo?

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I don't understand why people pay so much for cars when they spend only a small fraction of their time in them and begrudge the few dollars they have to spend on kitchen equipment, where they spend more time than in the car. (At least most people - I know some who don't even know where their kitchen is located or need a map to find it!!!) I haven't made a car payment for thirty years because I pay cash when I buy a new vehicle and drive it until it begins to cost too much in upkeep/repairs, then replace it. I get my money's worth out of them. I do spend a lot on my kitchen because I enjoy it, live in it and it gives me great pleasure and is not sitting in a parking lot getting dented by idiots who don't know how to drive or park.

Some people have accused me of being fixated on kitchen "stuff" - so what! I don't spend the money on drugs, booze or gambling and everything that isn't consumable gains in value over the years and the consumables give me pleasure and at my age that is quite enough.

A couple of years ago I figured that if I ever fell on hard times, I could live comfortably for 20 years or so, simply selling off the kitchen "stuff" I have collected.

"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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I too joined eG because I am a mutant being that LOVES food and cooking and eating out and grocery stores and, and, and... whew!

Great thread! I love how everyone is so creative with the cubicle cooking. I work from home so I am lucky enough to have the full kitchen available. This works against my waistline though too...I'm working on it!

I love the "picky eater" comment. I've been called such - by my husband - who also likes good food but has a list of things he won't eat (mushrooms, avocados, olives, nuts IN stuff, coconut...etc.) but I'm the one who is picky because I hate the wasted calories and wasted experience of crappy food at a restaurant. If we are at a friend's house, I have no problem eating their crappy food as long as they don't pronounce "Everything is from Costco!" or "Don't you just love Sandra Lee's Semi-homemade?"

My group of women can't fathom why I am so thrilled to get a set of All Clad pans for Christmas or the Kitchen Aid monster for my birthday. They think it is the same as a vacuume cleaner. Heh! They give me so much joy, my heart sings to be so fortunate to have a great husband that believes in the "investment" of top-end cookware, knives and other tools.

My women's group does the "semi-ho" and "costco" thing all the time. We rotate who will bring food/snacks for the various meetings but they all are thrilled when it is my turn because they know it will be fresh, delicious and made with care. :biggrin:

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All the notes regarding cubicles sure has made me (once again) feel terribly lucky to have had my kitchen as my "cubicle". Having been self-employed and working out of my home nearly all the time for many years, I've been very lucky! As many would agree, our great left overs are far better for lunch than most workers get when they have to "go out".

Thanks for this thread.

Sidecar Ron

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An old political term "silent majority" is coming to mind. Just because we don't flock to the places that post the big numbers, doesn't mean we don't count for anything! If you have weird utensils and condiments in your cubicle and are tired of people pointing at your food, wrinkling their noses and saying "eeewwww, what's THAT?" I want you to walk to your window right now, throw it open and shout with me "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Oh, well, duh, of course your windows don't open. What was I thinking?

Well, I think the writing is on the [cubicle - with an "i" in it] wall here. Please, if you're seriously interested in contributing to a cookbook (however/formal informal, depending on the level of interest in doing it and in publishing/distributing it) pm me and I'll make a distribution list and start the wheels turning. Maybe this should be the first title published by the soon-to-be-illustrous "eG" house. We have radio, we'll print books...and someday we will have a *real* food TV network featuring - gasp - people who know how to cook? There I go again...must keep feet on ground. :wacko:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I'm so bad, I lingered near the instant hot water dispensers in Lowe's for 30 minutes yesterday. Comparison shopping. And I don't own a house.

That's just prepping for when I do get my mitts on a kitchen. It'll be half of the home's worth...

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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A couple of years ago I figured that if I ever fell on hard times, I could live comfortably for 20 years or so, simply selling off the kitchen "stuff" I have collected.

ah, yes...

my only rational excuse for, um, collecting is that in a few years time, my kids will need the stuff when they leave home. besides, it's mostly cheap finds from flea markets, thrift shops etc., and it doesn't take up that much room in the attic.

and i don't collect half of what i'd like to :biggrin:

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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A friend just came by with her little boy for a playdate with my boys.  She was thrilled because dinner is all set for tonight:  boiled chicken breast, tossed with a jar of Russian salad dressing, a can of onion soup and a can of something else but I can't remember what - I've blocked it completely from my mind.  Toss it all into a casserole and presto.

This is a potential entry for the "Worst Meal in Someone's Home" thread. Did you take a photo?

Sadly, I could fill a book with the "Worst Meal in Someone's Home" from what people describe to me. Thank GOODNESS they were only here to play and did not feed us too. The only picture I took was a mental picture and the taste on my palate is one of sweet and sour (that third ingredient was something sweet that belongs on dessert - was it honey or maple syrup?) - apparently the end result is like a "sweet and sour" and "the kids love it"- (not my kids....)

Hearing about Applebee's and the like reminds me of an awful foodie decision I made this summer - I ran into some really nice people and they invited my kids and me to join them for lunch; but when they said they were going to MacDo's my heart sank, and I had to turn down the invite. Might have missed out on some fun but really, truly, am dead-set against going there.

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I eat at fast food places, I really don't mind. What's wrong with fast food anyway? :unsure: its food..... granted its not your ideal type its still edible and some of em taste pretty darn good!

...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Its really fun being into this as a college student, while most of my roomates and friends are eating ramen and crappy takeout food I am steaming mussels and with sauces, and making my own stocks and demi glaces. Hell I even made chocolate syrup last week. How many college students can say that they have a mandolin slicer, or a good chefs knife. Sometimes my roomates worry when I obsessivly sharpen them, or even sharpen thier knives. Its good to be me.

"No butter... What the hell do they think bernaise is? It's like, egg yolks and butter!" -- Anthony Bourdain

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I've definitely been tagged as a "foodie" at work and as an "overachiever" for adult snack at temple...

I am now the default caterer for many of my company's picnics, BBQs, and potlucks. I am the one they want to roast the turkey for the Thanksgiving potluck, etc. I happily agree, as no one wants to ruin the "company bird" and I would guess that 90% of my coworkers have never cooked a turkey before!

Our reputation for serving up the best adult snack at Shabbaton (Saturday afternoon "Sunday School") has gotten my wife and I moved to the beginning of the snack schedule each year so that we can "set the bar/standard" for adult snack for the year. Who would guess that spending $6.99 for a couple bottles of Ravenswood Zin or Meridian Chard would "wow" so many people?

It really is amazing to me that even with minimal culinary skills, a little effort, and perhaps spending maybe 10% more for better ingredients or products will elevate your status to "foodie" - go figure!

Sitting on the fence between gourmet and gourmand, I am probably leaning to the right...

Lyle P.

Redwood City, CA

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I'm so bad, I lingered near the instant hot water dispensers in Lowe's for 30 minutes yesterday. Comparison shopping. And I don't own a house.

That's just prepping for when I do get my mitts on a kitchen. It'll be half of the home's worth...

We just closed on our first home ever and moved in last weekend. We're still unpacking everywhere else, but I can tell you - the kitchen is already unpacked and organized!

I've asked everyone I know for Home Depot and Lowe's cards for all gifts in the foreseeable future. Now that I finally have my own kitchen - look out!! :biggrin:

Fortunately, my boyfriend enjoys the fruits of my obsess- er, hobby, so he is all for a well-outfitted kitchen. Now, if only I could win the lottery so I could REALLY do it right!

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body...but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Its really fun being into this as a college student, while most of my roomates and friends are eating ramen and crappy takeout food I am steaming mussels and with sauces, and making my own stocks and demi glaces. Hell I even made chocolate syrup last week. How many college students can say that they have a mandolin slicer, or a good chefs knife. Sometimes my roomates worry when I obsessivly sharpen them, or even sharpen thier knives. Its good to be me.

Me too! Even the people in the cooking club at my college don't quite get it. I'm still the only one that makes their own stock. Then there are the roommates that aren't careful with your equipment, like using your knives for all kinds of purposes!

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Its really fun being into this as a college student, while most of my roomates and friends are eating ramen and crappy takeout food I am steaming mussels and with sauces, and making my own stocks and demi glaces. Hell I even made chocolate syrup last week. How many college students can say that they have a mandolin slicer, or a good chefs knife. Sometimes my roomates worry when I obsessivly sharpen them, or even sharpen thier knives. Its good to be me.

Me too! Even the people in the cooking club at my college don't quite get it. I'm still the only one that makes their own stock. Then there are the roommates that aren't careful with your equipment, like using your knives for all kinds of purposes!

I won't let anyone else touch any of my stuff, and I try to use thiers as little as possible. I'm not going to let just anyone use my Global chefs knife and sharpener. Those things were damn expensive. Same with my flatware and things. No one I know appreciates food as much as I do. Sometimes I swear that food is better than sex. Now if only I could combine the two...

"No butter... What the hell do they think bernaise is? It's like, egg yolks and butter!" -- Anthony Bourdain

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My husband and friends do smile though when I say "on egullet the other day, I read...".

My friends don't smile when I say that, but at least they've stopped rolling their eyes... :laugh:

OK, maybe I should say my friends SMIRK when I mention egullet. However, they have all benefited from my time spent here and they can't deny that.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I eat at fast food places, I really don't mind. What's wrong with fast food anyway? :unsure:  its food..... granted its not your ideal type its still edible and some of em taste pretty darn good!

I agree. I used to travel for work and was very happy when I was in an area with a Chick Fil A. This summer I finally managed to get a Culver's Butterburger after I had heard so much about it.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I can really identify with a lot of what's already been said. I've had to bite my tongue numerous times at work lunches when I hear coworkers talking about how great the food is - at the Olive Garden where we are lunching! (not my choice, but I can stand their minestrone and it could be worse...really, it could be) I (silently and metaphorically) tear my hair when my boss talks about how much she hates seafood and pretty much anything that is NOT chicken and how "weird" sushi is. And of course my roommate has learned to tune me out when I get that glint in my eye and start waxing rhapsodic about my favorite reuben at the diner back home...

I have noticed two categories of "others" (i.e., not fanatics like me): people who really dislike most food and cooking (my boss), and people who sort of get it and like to eat but usually can't be bothered to spend the time/effort (my family and now, kind of, my roommate).

My family enjoys food - my sister and my dad kind of get my passion for it, they will get excited about new stuff and sometimes I can bring them along with me on my missions...I remember my dad was always bringing home stuff he'd never tried, but he is not careful about what he does with it (resulting in some STRANGE concontions). My mom, eh, she is pretty ambivalent but can get excited about good black licorice, which tells me there is some hope for her. But none of them really understand it when I spend hours reading cookbooks and magazines. They appreciate good food, but are not enthralled by it.

I have sort of started to convert my roommate, in ways. She is more careful about where and how she buys her meat, for instance, and sometimes will cook a real meal (instead of eating takeout or Kraft Dinner as she did when we first started living together). She will eat more spicy food, too! She talks occasionally about getting me to teach her to bake bread, but it has yet to happen. I won't force it on her.

Ummm...but she WILL testify that when she is cooking, I am banned from the kitchen unless my assistance is EXPLICITLY requested. Because if I'm there, I constantly look over at her work area and interject helpful comments, like "If I were you, I would dice that smaller/larger/differently...".

She claims that I have the same control-freak tendencies in the kitchen as my father does in an automobile. I honestly don't feel that way - it's more like, I've done it enough that I know what works - I genuinely feel I am being helpful. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes. And several times, she has admitted (after the fact) that my way really was easier...

Edited by Knicke (log)

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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Just a little food for thought (again pun intended). Seriously, aren't we truly lucky that everyone is NOT alike. Just think how packed those great restaurants would be if nearly everyone appreciated what we do. Quite frankly I'm glad that people have different tastes (gotta stop those puns).

Sidecar Ron (who's happy that he can be a "little different" as a sidecar driver who enjoys food and who has a full tummy tonight from a lunch of some fine braised shot ribs and a fine merlot at a lovely restaurant. They were nearly as good as the ones we do here at home. Wife had a great glazed duck.)

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I was giddy when my sister gave me a gift at the holidays of some gourmet goodies (truffle oil among them) and told me she went shopping at her local gourmet gift store and said "my sister is a foodie, what can I get her"...

I don't work in an office, but I enjoyed learning about different foods years ago from my co-workers. Pickapeppa sauce comes to mind, as I had a co-worker who loved Jamaican food. When I was a cubicle dweller, I had a drawer full of secret snacks. :biggrin: I was snackin' on hoummus 15 years ago before it was really popular...I remember some inquisitive looks at that.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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I can really identify with a lot of what's already been said.  I've had to bite my tongue numerous times at work lunches when I hear coworkers talking about how great the food is - at the Olive Garden where we are lunching! (not my choice, but I can stand their minestrone and it could be worse...really, it could be)

:laugh:

That reminds me of the time my hairdresser and I were talking and I told her I loved trying new restaurants, cooking, and baking. She said to me, "OH! Have you ever been to The Olive Garden?" and I said no, and I think she interpreted my answer as if I had never heard of th restaurant before. She told me it was a "super classy Italian restaurant" where she and her boyfriend recently celebrated their anniversary. I just nodded weakly and smiled while she waxed poetic about the "incredible breadsticks", the soup, and never-ending salads...

:wacko:

The vast majority of my friends don't cook, but some of them are beginning to appreciate quality ingredients and good food. I'm going to a potluck on Saturday and I've seen what some people are bringing...KFC, chips, pop...*sigh*

Edited by Ling (log)
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No one I know appreciates food as much as I do. Sometimes I swear that food is better than sex. Now if only I could combine the two...

Watching 'Tampopo' might give some ideas on combining the two... :rolleyes:

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Sometimes I swear that food is better than sex.

Me too, except not sometimes... most times.

One of the notable exceptions is when I'm liquoring up the former for the latter (expectations, you know). Hot chocolate and liquor is something that always has tracks in both camps, though.

I have some containers that I usually take my lunch in these, actually And I bring in a lot of homecooked soups, stews, and such. Apparently, it is great humor in my break room to try and guess what is sitting behind the red lexan.

Usually someone gets close. The first time I brought ghoulash, though, I got questioned in the hall because so many people were unable to figure out what I had brought.

Note: I'm also the only person who has ever baked bread in our ovens, and we have 2 wall-mounted ovens in the break room.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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