Friday, July 15, 2011

City Limits

Good Afternoon Darlings,

I've been in Maine for just about 45 days. And while I love being here more than I love being anywhere else, being a city girl, I really miss certain things about the city.

I miss a good meal. Being out here in the sticks, it is dining hall food or bust most nights. And while I'm not going to hate on the food that we are served, I am going to say that it has no nutritional OR taste value, which pretty much makes it guilt inducing without a choice. Now, it's not that I don't choose to eat guilt inducing food on the regular at home. We've discussed this. I like food. I love food. But let's be honest, a mushroom crusted strip steak with a gimlet (or 2) is not quite the same as macaroni and cheese with ritz crackers on top. I work with kids, and I'm sure that the kids love it and that their metabolism takes away the "guilt inducing" part of it. But it's not something I am completely in awe of. In fact when it comes to junk food, I would rather eat the real thing - KRAFT blue box mac and cheese. Pizza from the dodgy place around the corner, not with "mutigrain crust," and pasta - if I'm going to eat pasta, I want for nothing more than a steaming plate of capellini with really good olive oil, really good shaved parmesan, and really good anchovies.

I miss being able to walk 9 minutes to my local sushi place and paying $11 for good sushi. The same goes for Pho, Vietnamese, and hipsterchicbreakfast. I miss my Starbucks (but my bank account doesn't) and I miss happy hour (but remind me to tell you about my replacement for over the summer some time).

I can smell the beef tendon wafting, ever so slightly  mixing with the fresh scent of cilantro and jalapeno.
Oh how I salivate at the thought. 

You are probably wondering what they feed us up here. Well, here's the thing: it's free, so there is no use complaining about it, but I'm going to anyway, because I am a food snob and I like to complain about things. We have a salad bar, which is very large in size, but very small in quality. We have things like 3 different types of hot peppers to fill our salads with. Sometimes there is chocolate pudding on the salad bar, sometimes there are radishes and beets. But there is hardly ever any other protein than tuna, and while I love tuna - the prospect of getting Mercury poisoning while without health coverage seems quite daunting to this little lady. And I also don't want a doctor to have to write me a get of jail free card, like they had to do for J Pivs. It seems a little lame - like "Oh sorry I can't come to work today because I ate too much tuna." Isn't that sort of the same study in gluttony as "Oh sorry I can't come to work today because I drank too much red wine?" I mean no boss that I know would really be happy to excuse you from work because of alcohol consumption - so why would they excuse you for too much tuna? It seems silly -  but it may happen in the near future as my tuna consumption has hit an all time high. 

Sometimes on the salad bar, we are able to enjoy baby corn, which as we all know - serve more of  a comical value than any sort of nutritional one. Ohh I'm eating my baby corn for all of it's (fiber, sodium, carbs, and cals!). Not the case. I'm eating my baby corn so that I can pretend I am Tom Hanks in Big. If you have no idea what  I am talking about, please see below (but really you should be ashamed of yourself)

IMO Tom Hanks could have ended his screen career here and died a legend. This movie doesn't ever fail to entertain, and the sweet pad he buys in the city would still thrill any teenage boy today. Talk about a movie to last the ages. 

What other delicacies does the salad bar hold? Well usually beet root, which I can't complain about because I love beets. Also, sometimes canned pineapple rings and pears. OH REALLY? You want me to eat canned fruit? Why don't you just put a bowl of sugar out in front of me and I'll eat spoonfuls of that. IT"S THE SAME THING. Who decided that it was a good idea to eat canned fruit? What's the point of eating a pear (the food of the GODS) out of a can - you don't get the satisfaction of the first crunch, or the first dribble of pear juice down your chin and on to your too expensive for pear juice blouse (usually worth the price of dry cleaning). And canned pineapple? Only if you are going to make a centerpiece for a 60s themed party: 

Mad Men Party 2008: Pineapple and Maraschino Cherry Centerpiece (Thanks Aynsley!)
Canadian Club for the boys, Champagne Cocktails for the girls
Canned pineapple to do anything but make fun craft projects exploring our parents generation is an abomination to all good in this world. Pineapple is supposed to be sweet and tangy. Canned pineapple is just sweet. So sweet that it usually makes me gag when I eat it. There is no crunch. There is no tang. There is no closing your eyes and feeling like you are in paradise. There is, however, closing your eyes and fearing that your next course of toasted Spam may be burning in the room next door.

We eat more ground beef here than I ever have in my entire life. Meatballs for lunch? Meatloaf for dinner! It's like a call and respond. I could probably write a song about all that you can do with ground beef. Our official toilet plunger has been complaining all summer about the monstrosities that are the toilets here. No wonder. 

Anyway, I'll stop complaining so that I can go fill my brand new tumbler with some coffee. 



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