Friday, December 21, 2007

All about food

Food. I feel like thinking about food at the moment. Not that I’m particularly hungry, but that I need to reflect on what I’ve been shoveling into my body. I suppose it’s the first step toward developing a resolution or two for the New Year. And I just returned from the airplane lavatory, so I’m going to think back on the foods I’ve eaten lately, in reverse order, to imagine how I’d be feeling if they were not inside of my body. This is where things get momentarily crude and if you prefer a dainty read, then I suggest you skip a couple of paragraphs. Not that there’s anything wrong with natural human body functions, of course.

It feels so great to go to the bathroom on an airplane. Not just one of the ten pee breaks to be taken during a five-hour flight, but having your once-a-day special seating way up in the air somewhere over Nebraska.

You know how it is. The plane takes off and the air pressure changes. You get that horrible bloaty feeling all over: the kind that doesn’t just remain in your stomach but oozes into your extremities. Your calves feel like they’ve expanded; your head feels packed with Charmin. It’s always worse if you eat prunes for breakfast. Although very few options exist to remedy the change in altitude, expulsion is an option. Nose blowing and ear popping only go so far. Sometimes, you just need to just need to take a crap (And then, please unhook the air freshening gel from the little holster above the toilet and hold it directly in front of the air vent for 15 seconds. I recognize it will smell like an old lady’s powder room, but it provides a sense of Febreze-like freshness for the incoming passenger).

I, personally, don’t know what happens when one poos in space. I mean, perhaps it stays in a bucket under that forceful blue flush, but I’ve heard stories about big chunks of bluish ice (and the attached chunklets) dropping into chimneys, crashing into McDonald’s, and damaging elementary school gyms.

I digress. Working backwards with food here….. Before slipping into the lavatory, I indulged in an in-flight delicacy. Brad is sitting next to me and we ate our delicious United Airlines snack boxes. He got the smartpack and I opted for the minimeal. That means I ate potato chips, cheese spread, applesauce, crackers, pretzels, Milano cookies, and pepperoni. If you think about it all being squished into a big ball, it’s completely gross. He nibbled at granola, pears, bagel chips, sour apple sugarless mints and Cashew Roca. Okay? Who the hell is packing these things? And why have United’s snack boxes been proclaimed the best and healthiest food in the domestic sky? Anyway, it’s too soon for any of that to have made it into the deposit I just left 37,000 feet above Omaha.

Let’s just imagine I’d avoided the snack box. Then I’d still have raisin bran sliding around in my gut from breakfast this morning. That was on top of the midnight snack of a reuben sandwich that made its way into my belly. I still feel a little Thousand Island dressing sticking to my esophagus.* The late night snack was courtesy of United Airlines. They offered seven dollars in food and a room at the Comfort Inn due to an aircraft mechanical problem and flight staff that essentially timed out. During the time spent waiting through the updates from staff and the gate changes, I snarfed down about one-third of a garlicky Caesar salad (or what passes for one) from the Corner Bakery “To Go” at O’Hare’s Concourse C.

After a day off in Chicago, I’d like to think it was only travel-oriented food that was gross. But it wasn’t. I will say, if we could remove all of the food I just described, that would be great. If that were the case, then the last thing in my stomach would have been the chocolate pecan pie from Frontera Grill. Can you believe I hesitated ordering it, deciding I only really wanted the flan-topped chocolate cake with cajeta? Well now I will go buy Rick Bayless’ cookbook and make that pie happen in my own home. Perhaps every week. The sweet completed a bright culinary experience in an otherwise bleak food week.

The previous night, dinner had been at Tomboy, an Andersonville Lesbian-ish restaurant. I ordered a server-recommended tilapia in pumpkin sauce. Hmmm. Next time I crave that dish, I’m headed to the Canned Foods Grocery Outlet store for a bucket of 79-cent pumpkin pie filling and a $1.99 piece of past-dated fish. I’ll just lay the fish on some mashed potatoes and spinach and dump the pumpkiny goop all over. Lesbians! I’m hoping that my recent lavatory visit was the completion of my body’s experience with that fish. Would I call it the worst dish I’ve had in a year? Easily.

Here’s the deal: If I had avoided this trip to the Midwest, the last thing in my body would have been a bit of arugula, gnocchi and chocolate-coconut ice cream made with coconut milk. Good San Francisco food. I would have sadly missed Frontera Grill’s crunchy ceviche, smoked mahi mahi tacos and mole-doused enchiladas (and the tamarind margarita with chipotle peppers and sugar on the rim, which our gracious server shook precisely 50 times). But I also would have missed a bleak salad at Culver’s “Home of the ButterBurger” and horrid chicken blobs from O’Hare’s Man-Chu Wok.

A clean colon. I’m on my way home and looking forward to a fresh food start in 2008. I will try to eat better food this New Year. I will think about what the inside of my stomach looks like as the cheese and chocolate mix with turkey burgers, Flamin’ Hot Doritos, pudding, Flax cereal, cranberry juice, dried apricots, and Meyer lemon ginger cookies. A big mound of pinkish gelatinous opaque meat-like goo with assorted chunks and stomach acid. But first, I will head to Memphis for a few days for lots of barbecue, caramel cake, and fried catfish.

*That reminds me that when my friend Viet turned 21, he felt so grown up he went to the bar and ordered a thousand island iced tea.

No comments:

About Me | Contact Me | 2007 Joey Goldman