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eG Foodblog Tag Team IV: Marlene, Dave, snowangel - Cold Turkey, Three Ways


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One thing this blog has confirmed is my suspicion that the Society has a disproportionately large proportion of smokers compared to the population at large. The connection between food and smoking is pretty strong, especially among professionals. I actually picked up the habit in a restaurant kitchen, where everyone -- chef, line cooks, dishwashers -- smoked. Two weeks and I was hooked.

Dave - I also picked up smoking when I started working in restaurants (at the tender age of 15). All the line cooks smoked, all the waitstaff smoked, and we all smelled like a fry-o-later anyway!

How was your dinner at Bern's? We never got their on our last trip to Tampa - spent too much time in Ybor city - man those hand rolled cigars are killer! :biggrin:

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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Leftovers will be on my table tonight as well, (yes Susan, you read that right) as I have a Council meeting tonight.

More after breakfast.

Chin up partner.  It's incredibly hard to do this.  Especially in front of a rather large audience.  As for your pics, aren't you usintg Picasa?  It cuts out several steps in the cropping and resizing area.

And, I had so hoped to have leftovers from last night! I couldn't believe how the gang plowed through the food!

I'll have to try Picasa. It's a download, right? No need to go shopping?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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it's a free download. Once you've downloaded all your pictures and are ready to export them, you can select the size you want. After that, it will automatically resize every picture you export unless you tell it differently. I have saved countless hours using Picasa.

No breakfast yet, as I'm currently still cleaning up my kitchen. I really want to get my pantry reorganized today (who knew I had so many different types of crackers) and I do need to shop. Again.

I've taken chicken wings out to thaw for tomorrow's dinner because I'm craving them after hearing everyone talk about making them this weekend.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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One thing this blog has confirmed is my suspicion that the Society has a disproportionately large proportion of smokers compared to the population at large. The connection between food and smoking is pretty strong, especially among professionals.

It's not so surprising when you think about it?

Smoking is about taste! Sure, it's a nasty, addicting habit when done to excess, but initially you do enjoy the flavor. The olfactory aspect of tasting would seem to play a prominent role. (Smoke tastes different when exhaled through the nose or mouth.)

Certain other flavors, like coffee, go especially well with tobacco. Chocolate too, if I recall correctly. I can't off the top of my head remember any foods that didn't go particularly well with a smoke .... milk maybe?

That's why there are so many different brands of cigarettes. And then there are cigars smokers, and you don't even want to begin to thinking about pipe tobaccos.

After not smoking for many years I still maintain that one of the freshest, most delicious tastes extant is the first Pall Mall taken from a new pack. Even the second one isn't nearly as good. Then you have to smoke 18 more before you can open another pack. That's where the problem begins.

SB (If they sold Pall Malls individually wrapped I'd probably still smoke) :raz:

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it's a free download.  Once you've downloaded all your pictures and are ready to export them, you can select the size you want.  After that, it will automatically resize every picture you export unless you tell it differently.  I have saved countless hours using Picasa.

Jason Perlow on the benefits of using Picasa ...

a very slick, free application written by Google that automatically catalogs all the digital photos or pictures on your hard disk and allows you to add special effects, tweak lighting, contrast and colors, batch process and resize your photos. If you use ImageGullet a lot and sometimes need to give your photos that extra something, this is a great program. It does probably 90 percent of the things you need for normal photo correction and enhancement that something like Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop does.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I've been hesitant to chime in too much on the smoking bit, even though I was a heavy smoker for many years, because my "quitting" was more like an epiphanic cessation than an act of will.

The subject has taken on so many political and social implications it's easy to lose track of the basics. It's difficult to seperate anecdotal from statisitcal information when it comes to smoking, but on the theory that any odd bit of information might prove helpful to somebody, I offer these thoughts.

Nicotene is, in it's own way, a wonder drug. It's one of very few substances that can act as either a stimulant or a depressive. It's cheap and easily administered, and therein lies the problem. Most of the harmful effects are inherent in the delivery sytem, ie: smoke.

Most of us have our first experience with tobacco courtesy of a "friend". Often these cigarette were purloined from someone's parents. (My parents didn't smoke, but I remember my friend Sootch's Mom smoked Salem 100's and his Dad Chesterfield straights. Quite a combination!) Many people's experience with smoking never advances beyond this stage, but ....

Nicotene is such a powerfully addicting substance that when you reach the point of actually purchasing your first pack, the odds are one in ten that you will pretty much be a smoker for life. :shock:

You can make pretty good money betting against people trying to quit. In fact, you used to be able to give 10-1 odds and still come out ahead! :sad:

Of those who manage to quit via various methods, (cold turkey, patch, gum, hypnosis, group therapy etc), the percentage who are successful long term is about the same. :huh:

People who are of average weight and smoke moderately don't exhibit significantly more health problems than those who don't smoke. However, smoking seems to multiply any other health risks exponentially, especially being overweight. Since we never know what health problems we may develop in the future, not smokling or quitting is the safest way to go.

I don't claim my opinions are based on the latest scientific information, but neither is most of the quit smoking information we see. You have to wonder when most of the anti-smoking ads we see are funded by tobacco companies after they, the government, and the plaintiff's attornies cut themselves a mutually profitable deal at smokers expense? :hmmm:

I don't mean to play devil's advocate, or discourage anybody. The point is, lots of people have quit. It ain't always easy, but it can be done.

SB (best wishes) :smile:

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Good Morning, fellow-travellers -- the dawn of my fifth day of being a non-smoker. It's also the day I leave sunny Los Angeles and get a plane back to job, cold weather, and a smoking spouse. Reality.

Marlene: I'm really interested in what effect the hypnotist will have; I know you'll keep us posted.

Off to pack. Good luck to us all today, and let's ease up on the guilt. We're really trying hard and accomplishing much!

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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While I'm waiting for my partners to get back on line, how about Matt,  Brooks and Maggie checking in?

Isn't this supposed to be easier by now? :blink:

Well I slipped and took one drag last night it was late and I had just woken up from a nap after eating a plethora of food, mmmmm....fresh ground ribeye burgers cooked on a Manhattan rooftop, and someone gave me a cig and I lit it without thinking and then I remembered that I had quit and promptly extinguished the foul thing. Other then that the last two mornings have been pretty easy actually and I can smell things now. Hopefully the stress of dealing with the county clerks office later will not drive me to smoking :wink: I hope I am over the hump by now.

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Marlene: I'm really interested in what effect the hypnotist will have; I know you'll keep us posted. 

This is how my mother quit years ago. She saw him/her and then had a tape of the session she would play at night for a week or so. She has been smoke free for 25-30 years.

Edited by M.X.Hassett (log)
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Sorry folks. Today is catch up on housework (so my husband doesn't fire me) and catch up on eG work (so Steven doesn't fire me).

I've a meeting tonight but will try to get dinner pics up before I go, which will be very simple tonight as I'm in a hurry. Oh and the hypnotist no longer practices, so I'm searching for another one.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I had actually wondered if you all had told spouses, friends, family, etc. Susan I think you have really moved in the right direction.

As I was reading your blog this weekend I realized that until I quit I never really was 'addicted' to cooking. I think that took the place of my bad habit.

Can't say it enough though that it was in my best interest to stay away from my smoking friends for a while. I told them why and they understood. A few of them chose to quit also.

The turkey looks sooooo good!!!

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I had actually wondered if you all had told spouses, friends, family, etc. Susan I think you have really moved in the right direction.

As I was reading your blog this weekend I realized that until I quit I never really was 'addicted' to cooking. I think that took the place of my bad habit.

Can't say it enough though that it was in my best interest to stay away from my smoking friends for a while. I told them why and they understood.  A few of them chose to quit also.

The turkey looks sooooo good!!!

I wish I hadn't. The constant pressure and questions of "how are you doing" (from friends and family, not you guys) drive me nuts and in fact just make me want to smoke. I told you it has a perverse reaction on me. :biggrin: On the other hand, reading everyone else's stories and inspirational messages here have had a good effect. So maybe it balances out.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I wish I hadn't.  The constant pressure and questions of "how are you doing" drive me nuts and in fact just make me want to smoke.  I told you it has a perverse reaction  on me. :biggrin:

I think it's a control thing for me. It's the one thing I do over which NO ONE has control! I remember a movie in which a sailor or maybe a soldier expressed this same sentiment. I don't like it but I find it fits as an explanation of why I want to stop but keep smoking - DUH! :wacko:

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 wish I hadn't.  The constant pressure and questions of "how are you doing" drive me nuts and in fact just make me want to smoke.  I told you it has a perverse reaction  on me. :biggrin:

I think it's a control thing for me. It's the one thing I do over which NO ONE has control! I remember a movie in which a sailor or maybe a soldier expressed this same sentiment. I don't like it but I find it fits as an explanation of why I want to stop but keep smoking - DUH! :wacko:

Anna, I think you're absolutely right. It's part of what I'm having trouble getting my head around in fact. It's a you can't tell me what to do thing, (even when they're not), my brain translates a well meaning question into an accusation.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I met a friend for a long, leisurely lunch at Fugaise, a newcomer on the Minneapolis dining scene.

Since my friend knows Don Saunders, the chef, we were treated to an amuse.

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Impecibly fresh tuna (raw) wrapped aound the diniest of dice -- mised pickles onions and celery root. Capers and a triangle of pumpernickel toast. This was absolutely outstanding, and left me wanting a lot more!

My friend started with Butternut squash soup with shaved percorino and pumpkinseed oil.

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I started with the mixed greens with orange, radishes and tarragon-peppercorn viniagarette.

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This was probably the best salad I've ever had. Dara Moskowitz at the City Pages said

Saunders's version of a simple green salad might be the best I've ever had in Minnesota. In it, simple greens and chicories were tossed with a dressing made of such buttery, high-quality olive oil that each sweetly bitter leaf felt positively fat in the mouth.

Note how tiny the croutons are. If I thought I could cut bread cubes that small, I'd be making tiny croutons myself.

My friend had the pappardelle pasta with beef short rib ragout with tomato and olive.

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Wonderful. The olives were a nice foil for the rich ragout.

I opted for risotto with winter vegetables, oyster mushrooms and truffle cream. It was topped with a net of crispy fried onions.

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We each had two glasses of a bright white wine for which the name escapes me.

It was a wonderful lunch. I don't often get out for lunch (other than to a school cafeteria) and it was and felt totally indulgent.

This is the first time I've ever taken pictures in a restaurant, and tried to be discreet. It's clear I need to work on my photo skills in restaurants!

Now, I suppose my family is really going to want something for dinner. Holding up OK. I think. But, I'm heading into the rough part of the day for me.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I had neither breakfast nor lunch today, but when I was looking for something else I spied these:

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I'd forgotten how greasy Munchos make your tongue feel. That didn't quite do the salty crunchy thing for me so I quickly moved on to these:

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These were much better at getting to want I wanted and held me till dinner. As I said, dinner was early and simple. Not being an expert in the leftover field, I winged this one. I wanted a version of an open face hot beef sandwhich that you get in restaurants sometimes.

So I got the bread out:

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And meat:

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I heated up the gravy and added a little beef stock plus a cube of concentrated stock for extra flavour:

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Melted some butter in a skillet until it was sizzling:

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And added the beef and fried rapidly. (I figured how bad could anything cooked in butter be?)

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Layered the beef over the slice of bread and scooped gravy over top of that:

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Served with what else but Tater tots! (I was going to make fries, but since I've got fires planned to go with the wings tomorrow, I decided tots were a good substitute)

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And now to Council. I've been on this council for 10 years, and for the last 5 years, I've chaired it. I like to say that Ryan and I are both graduating this year. :biggrin: I always stop and pick up coffee and donuts for the group, so if I remember, I'll snag a picture of some. (well actually, I'll pick up extra for home, since Ryan sulks if Council gets donuts and he doesn't.)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Council meeting is over which was full of fascinating discussion on next year's school calendar ( I serve on the committee for formulating it) and updates on our D.A.R.E program which is our drug awareness resistance program, (which I serve on the advisory board for). It was good to come home and indulge in a little sugar.

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Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I started buying donuts at the bakery every morning about the same time I quit smoking. I often choose the colored sprinkles because they're so cheerful. :smile:

SB (didn't gain any weight though) :smile::smile:

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We didn't really have dinner per se tonight. It seems that about every two weeks, we have a night where no one really wants to sit down at the table, and lord knows, I sure didn't feel like cooking. But, I had some leftovers. Grazing.

Paul and I started off with a mess of these

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The leftover tenderloin, sliced not too thin, topped with a mixture of cream cheese and horseradish (thanks for the idea, Marlene, way back on New Year's Eve!) with a caper on top. After I tasted this one, I upped the number of capers.

Diana was home today with a touch of the stomach flu, and finally felt like eating before she went off to volleyball practice.

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For her, ultimate comfort food is peanut butter toast. Skippy crunchy. Or, do they call it chunky now? Another one she sort of likes is this with bacon bits on top. Does anyone remember a Skippy with bacon bits that was available a long time ago? Or am I going crazy?

Peter wanted ramen noodles. Now, I should state right off the bat that my family is very picky about ramen noodles. For us, they must be MAMA noodles. In the packet. Not the cup. Don't argue, please (I'm a little on edge these days anyway). We've tried the Japanese ones. The Korean ones. They all pale in comparison. Should you not have tried the MAMA ones, please do! I buy these things by the case (30 packets per case; $5.99). They are not only available at the Asian markets, but most large supermarkets with an international section also carry them. I currently have a case of the minced pork flavor. End of ramen lecture.

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In addition to the noodle "pillow" there are two other packets. The first one is grease with some bits of brown stuff. These have been stored in the basement (cold) so the grease is congealed. The other packet is really two packets -- one with seasoning, and the other with hot peppers. The seasoning side also has a few minced dried green onions. Peter doesn't like it with the hot peppers (dried and finely ground).

In the pan, before the addition of water.

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You can see the powder and the grease.

Three minutes later!

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Peter was one happy camper.

Marlene, how many donuts are left?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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First, the steak sandwiches and the ramen both look SO good. I'm in the mood for comfort food, and they're both way up on my list!

Second, here's another "rah rah go team" from up in the nosebleed section - you guys are doing something terribly difficult, and doing it in front of an audience to boot! Don't worry that you stumble once in awhile - remember, this is a process, and it's more important that you get up and keep going than that you fell a couple of times.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I'm absolutely impressed by all you quitters. I've read a few pages, had a smoke and read some more. All of the word of encouragement from the many other former smokers are giving me a lot to think about. I think I can do it, I'm just not there yet. It's also nice to know that you're human and backslide sometimes. What got to me the most was the entry about how many cigs you haven't had and not to count the ones you have. Good job and great food!

Someday I'll quit as well but going public like this takes a lot of courage.

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    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
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