Eating Dinosaurs and Acid Tripping Authors

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know my husband is Chinese. Most of the time, his nationality/ethnicity makes little difference. The extent to which I notice it at this point, is my overwhelming jealousy at his, and my children’s ability to turn a deep, rich, caramel color the second they even see the sunlight. I am practically undead. I burn faster than you can say “Help Me, Buffy”.

There are a few more occasions where our backgrounds make things interesting. For one, for one month per year, during the lunar new year, our home smells like oranges, has red streamers hanging,  and gold and red envelopes are everywhere. Another thing is that our children were given jade and gold bracelets to wear the first year of their lives, which we inevitably took off, as kids are wont to bang the damn things on the floor over and over, and it makes you want to murder whoever had the idea.

Another difference is the food we were raised with. I was raised with a slightly odd mix of hillbilly, eastern european, and midwestern comfort food. That basically meant my chicken was either fried, paprikashed, or shaped like a dinosaur; my noodles were almost always buttered; cheese was an imperative, and pizza was once a week. We were on a first name basis with the pizza guy. We called him “creepy pizza guy”, aka “Creepster”. See? First name basis. Canned corn was an acceptable vegetable, and one I often mixed with my mashed potatoes.

My husband grew up with some very interesting foods. Where he finds my paprikash and kolache unique and exotic, I find his jellyfish, thousand year eggs, and coagulated duck blood porridge “interesting”.

Being married has really expanded both our tastes. We eat things that when we were growing up, we’d NEVER eat. Turns out that I like jellyfish. It’s tangy and chewy. He likes tuna casserole, a food as foreign to him growing up as sea cucumber was to me.(to be fair, sea cucumber looks like one of the animal penii Tony Bourdain eats on the regular..NOT appetizing.) Together, we’ve both decided that Ethiopian food is pretty damn boss.

Eating outside our comfort zone is one of our favorite things to do. It’s also one of the healthiest. I am not saying that we’re willing to go all Andrew Zimmern, and eat cow’s blood right from the vein, but Peanut soup from Senegal or marionberries from Portland? Yes. BTW, marionberries are not the illegitimate children of the former DC mayor and his many for-hire concubines. They’re delicious little berries that make a great pie. Not that the mayor’s kids can’t make pie, but it’s hard to get the crust just right when you have to stop halfway to bail your father out.

Some of the food is so richly good for you, and so delicious, it’s a crime NOT to eat it. However, most of us shy away from foods we don’t recognize, and don’t bother trying to cook it. What.A.Shame. But I suppose that is why you have me; for your daily inappropriate joke, and weird food concoction.

If you’re a healthy eater, eventually you’ll become weary of the eating the same things in constant rotation. New veggies, fruits, and preparations can cure your weariness.  I get so sick of kale. There. I said it. I just can’t eat one more leaf!! If I do, I feel as though I may lash out irrationally at the farmer’s market guy. Every time I see it, I’m tempted to quote “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”…

“We can’t stop here, this is kale country!” All I need is a sweet convertible, a pair of aviators, and Benicio Del Toro….{pause for wistfulness}

Instead, in our home, we take breaks from the same old same old …by inviting several couples over and having them put their keys in a bowl…to disinfect them…what sort of wife do you think I am??? We change it up by going to Chinese grocer and seeing what is in season.

This season? Yung Choy. It tastes like a combination of spinach, watercress, and broccoli. It has tender leaves and a very crunchy stem. It responds well to a gentle steam and saute, and will definitely cure your broccoli boredom.

preparing it couldn’t be more simple. Trim the ends, clean well, and steam in a wok in a little bit of stock and lemon juice. Stir in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, and you’re done! SO.So.good.

Go. Buy some. It’s in season, so it’s SUPER cheap.

What’s the weirdest regional food you enjoy? (please say lutefisk)

10 thoughts on “Eating Dinosaurs and Acid Tripping Authors

  1. ohmygosh can I actually comment? I sadly have contracted my husbands tastes I think---to meet my own :-) Ive resolved to expaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand so the child isnt as I am. I am typing fastfast to see if this works. xoxo
  2. Well it is possible that I grew up eating boxed and canned foods and most things that I try are new! Trying sushi four years ago was a pretty big deal to me. I tried it on a date with a new guy (my current BF)...because you can't be all picky on a first date. And I LOVED it!! Your writing reminds me of Julie Powell's. I will be looking out for the movie based on your book in the coming years. ;-)
  3. My husband has definitely expanded my palate, but for the life of me, I can't convince him that jello salad has any place on the table. Of course, he might be right about that one. Love people who make Buffy references, by the way. (One week to Vlad!)

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