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Yesterday, my younger sister and my father went to the beach to see if any clams or lobsters washed up during the aftermath of Noel.  They came back with a shopping bag of ten huge clams. My father put them in a big pot together and the clams proceeded to stick their big tongue-like appendages out and move around the pot, making sighing noises and bumping into each other. This was a little much for me, and I started to feel extremely pit-in-my-stomach bad for these clams who were going to be boiled alive and transformed into stuffed quahogs. In the end I rescued the largest most active clam, named him Reginald, and my father returned to the beach and hucked him into the surf. A compromise of sorts.

My dad had to go to the supermarket for clam-meal ingredients. Said supermarket is a small Stop and Shop across the street from where I live. It’s set up so that when you walk in, the first thing you see is the “On Sale” section. This little floating aisle is packed with cake mixes, snack packs, pancake batter, syrup, sugar, etc. The end cap facing the door is cookies and donuts from the store’s bakery. The end cap on the opposite side is dieting items. Yeah- attached to “Sweet and Yummy” sale section. Boxes of meal bars, Slim-fast Shakes, those 100 Calorie bags of tiny snack foods. It’s insidious. Now, I don’t hold with the theory that fat people are fat because they eat too much, and poorly. But the majority of society has been steered to believe this. So, taking into consideration the [unfortunately] widely held belief that men and women are fat because they eat cakes, cookies and Doritos non-stop, the strategic placement of diet items following the “bad” foods is a Dr. Claw style marketing scheme. I know this isn’t breaking news or anything- it’s just that noticing a blatant attempt to manipulate in my own tiny supermarket brings it home. Makes me sigh.

Diet food is also insanely expensive, as I’m sure you all know. The Advantage Meal Bars come in boxes of five. First, that’s just weird. Six is the magic number. Maybe four. Never five. What’s more, this silly little box of weight loss is almost seven dollars. And the diet industry is really a nefarious murder-by-starvation plot. Each “meal bar” in this particular brand is 150 calories. That’s it. If you replaced all three meals with one of  these little sugar-free candy bars, you’d only be taking in 450 calories or so. As a recovering anorexic, I can tell you right now that 450 is the kind of calorie count that makes a food-disturbed mind go “Whoo-hoo!” and regardless of whether or not the company that makes these is advertising replacing all three meals with said bars, or just a breakfast swap-out… 150 is not a meal.

Okay, now I’m going to abruptly stop complaining, and introduce my cat, Hades. I’m fairly certain that he is quite nearly one of the cutest cats [if not the cutest] living in the world today. I know, I know. Everyone will want to argue this. It’s like the parent who is certain their child is the smartest, prettiest and most gifted. But let me tell you, I’ve known some cats in my day. An aunt on my mother’s side had over thirty cats at one point. I’ve had fuzzy mewling kittens, and roly-poly chubby cats. None of them can touch Hades. If he wasn’t so skiddish around strangers, he would be in show business. He’d be hocking Friskies, or searching for his scent-free litter box. He’d be on the label of extremely soft toilet paper, and the whole world would agree that the Meow Mix commercials were hugely improved by Hades’s “angel vocals”. He’s cute, okay? Rly rly.

An italian restaurant called “Foppianos” opened like right behind my house. It is a hop and a skip away. A jump? Not necessary- it’s that close. I had dinner there earlier tonight, with my aunt and father.

Anyway, the food is awesome. It’s like… upscale Olive Garden. I got cheese ravioli, a dish I thought I would find you know… okay. It’s ravioli. You can get ravioli out of cans. School cafeterias, etc. This ravioli, however, was pretty much the most satisfying meal I’ve had in ages. It was so delicious. And I ended the meal with a piece of tiramisu cake. It’s one of those places where the waitress comes by with a platter of dessert “examples” that are not for eating. It’s the only time I’ve ever had tiramisu that wasn’t in dainty, tiny cube form. It was yummy.

The experience would have been sublime if not for the people screaming at the bar. You know, okay… I get it. You’re excited for football. But this isn’t really a sports bar. At all. Like… far from it. This place has yellow roses on every table and candles and all that ritzy junk. Go elsewhere to clap, scream and let out that shrill ear-splitting sports whistle. My family and I spent the entire night going ‘Huh? What?’ to each other.

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