ginger root, fennel, and a great rutabaga

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not big on vegetables.  Actually, “made no secret” might be a bit of an overstatement.  I worry my parenting skills might be questioned (or a blood panel ordered) if I openly admitted exactly how lacking in vegetable expertise I am.  Let’s just say, for sake of clarity, that I have an extremely limited palate.

And nothing makes that fact more glaringly apparent than a stroll through the Harris Teeter produce section.

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vultures by any other name…

So here’s what I want to know: why don’t I weigh 115 pounds?

For real.  Not because I’m exercising or watching what I eat or meditating myself into a zen space where I no longer feel the desire to overeat.  I’m wondering why on earth I don’t weigh 115 pounds because I eat with vultures.

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the evils of leggings and the perfect cheese fries

The last few potato chips in the bag.  An open can of cashews on the counter.  Stumbling across a Snickers bar two hours before dinner.

We’re talking about the kind of stuff that sucks all the oxygen out of the room.  The things that have almost a magnetic pull, drawing me to them, calling my name until I finally cave.

These are evil.  Pure eeeevil.

White cheddar cheese popcorn.  omg, what kind of devilry is this?!  The first bite is shocking, the second mouth wateringly delicious.  Before I blink twice I’m eating this stuff by the handful and have to force myself to stop after inhaling half a bag.

White cheddar cheese curls.  Okay, come on.  Is everything covered in this white powdery goodness completely addictive?

Lularoe leggings.  Sweet pumpernickel, there are no words.  Sista-friend introduced me to these and I was immediately sold.  I mean, who doesn’t want a pair of leggings that make you feel like Flo Jo?  I own two pairs now, and when I wear them I spend the whole day running my hand down my thigh.  I’m certain I must be raising eyebrows around town but damn, it’s magic.

Black Friday sales.  Okay, now that these have gone online I’m in a world of trouble.  My hard and fast rule of not shopping for myself the month before Christmas flies right out the window when I see something I really really want marked down 50% or more.  Over the last five years or so our Black Friday scores have included a vacuum, travel gear, lamps, and some really nice sheets.

Salty snacks.  I used to be all about the sweets.  Cakes, cookies, chocolate – all were my kryptonite.  Lately, though, it’s the tang of salt I crave.  Pringles, potato chips and dip, cheesy fries, tortilla chips, salsa, and peanuts all call to me like a homing beacon.  ‘Tis the season for a good cheese ball with Wheat Thins, and I can chow down on that mess all day long.

Decadent appetizers.  Nothing pulls me down as fast as seeing “cheese fries” on a menu.  Texas Roadhouse has them down to an art – giant steak fries seasoned with some mystery salty goodness, tons of melted cheese, and bacon crumbled over the top with ranch dressing for dipping.  Mmmmm…..

 

our twice cooked turkey

Thanksgiving week is a bit of a blur.  I was sleep deprived, emotionally spent, and physically exhausted from the DC trip so I was just grateful to remain upright for most of it.  It’s important to set reasonable expectations, I always say.

I really thought I had, too.  Bee came through like a champ, bringing all the sides plus two desserts to boot.  All BrightSide and I had to do was make the turkey breast and mashed potatoes.  Culinarily speaking, it was the easiest holiday we’ve had in a long while.

Gracie didn’t even steal the turkey.

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the art of snacking

There’s an art to snacking.  Sure, anyone can grab a handful of chips and be done with it.  But hitting your snacking needs head on?  That takes years of experience.  Decades of perfecting the nibbles.  I figure by the time I’m sixty-five I’ll have this thing down pat.

But, for now, here is my handy dandy snacking guideline.

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pity the orphaned dessert

Sure, you might only feel like having half that doughnut.  But what’s going to happen to the crumbly remains you leave behind, huh?  You think just anyone’s gonna want someone else’s leftovers?  What if no one else is eating bird sized portions that day?  Now you’ve doomed that doughnut to days of going stale and a dumpster burial.

Dessert killer.

“Thank you for asking, but no, you may not cut that whole cupcake that’s ‘just too much’ in half.  Even if you walk around with a petition and get signatures from everyone affected by your actions, you cannot only take half.  When it comes to communal food situations, it’s all or nothing. Taking whole desserts is one of the stipulations you agreed to by living in society – you will wear pants unless asked otherwise, you will sing the ‘ba ba ba’ part of “Sweet Caroline” at the top of your lungs whenever it plays, and you will never sever desserts.”

Why You Can’t Just Take Half of That Dessert – Sass & Balderdash

the devil dances on my shoulder

I don’t like to think of myself as weak.  Which of course is a sign of weakness in and of itself, daring to presume that I’ve got this whole thing under control.  What a crock.

So while there are lots of big things that weigh on me, here are some of the little ones.  The evil temptations that knock my legs out from under me as the devil dances merrily about my prone body.

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but damn, the chicken salad’s good

Oh my gosh, yes.

I have this crazy, irrational, enormous anxiety attack every time I try to deal with ordering at Panera.  Just walking through the door catapults me back to awkward seventh grade status.  I’ve yet to feel like a competent adult in that place.  Not one single time.

Yes.  This.

“…There is no fresher hell for even the mildly socially awkward than the pain that is ordering lunch at Panera Bread.

The first issue I have to resolve when I walk into a Panera is the fact that, no matter what time of day I enter that store, there’s no line.  People congregate somewhat near the registers, hesitantly lingering nearby and hoping someone will make an executive decision and form a line.  But where?  The multiple counters and registers drawing from a single line is another source of anxiety – are there two lines?  Are we forming one line for both registers?  Who was here first? Are you even fucking IN line at all?  Are these people over here still deciding, or did I just cut in front of a room full of passive-aggressive white-collar employees who will make things extremely uncomfortable for the next twenty minutes forcing me to listen and wonder if they’re talking about me in voices just loud enough for me to kind of hear them talking, but not loud enough for me to actually be able to make out the words and create a confrontational situation?

I understand why no one wants to commit to actually getting in line, though – the menu is a nightmare.”

I Can’t Handle Ordering Lunch at Panera – 649.133