Friday, July 29, 2011

Quirky McQuirkerson from Quirksville - take three

A couple more food quirks hit me today, so I decided to make my set a trilogy. Yeah, I fell victim to one of Hollywood's classic blunders, but you know, it's my blog, I'll do what I want. Don't forget to catch up on volumes one and two.

Frozen lunches

There are actually two quirks embedded in here.

I won’t eat frozen meals with chicken in them. (Unless they are Hot Pockets.) I got a Chicken Alfredo once and the chicken was so nasty and rubbery, I just said, “Nope, never again.” In all truth, it probably was just a piece of rubber masquerading as chicken (as is that crap you get on your sub at Subway, but that’s another story), but I have decided to just say no. The only reason I believe I can tolerate Hot Pockets with chicken in them is that there is usually enough cheese and preservatives that either you a) don’t notice the rubbery chicken or b) the excess of cheese and preservatives has broken the chicken down past its rubbery stage. I’m not sure, and I don’t think I want to know the answer.

See that open flap on the right? No, no
no, we can have none of that!
I never heat, stir, and heat some more – I just heat it all at once and stir later. No one likes hearing the beep, going to put their food in, just to have whoever’s food is in the microwave walk up, stir, and hog the microwave for another three minutes. But that's not so much a quirk as office etiquette.

No, the real quirk has to do with the handling of the box. When my super-irradiated food is complete, I will put the tray back in the box to carry it back to my desk. Ahh, but here’s the thing, I must (I repeat must), rip the loose flaps off the box from the end where I opened it. It makes for easier sliding, I guess. I don’t know why I do it. But yesterday I didn’t do it, and while I was eating my just-a-smidge-shy-of-nuclear-mac-and-cheese Smart One, I had to rip the flaps off the box. I couldn’t stand to have that box sit there on my desk, taunting me, without those flaps ripped off. And then, when I’m done, the tray must slide back into the box before being thrown away. That is the way it is. Don’t ask me why, this is one I do not comprehend in the least. I just know I can’t stand it when I don’t do it. 

Bottled Water

I’ve addressed this one before. There is a taste difference between Aquafina and Dasani, and don’t tell me I’m crazy because there is. However, I bought a bottle of Enon Springs (the Speedway “house” brand) while in a hurry the other morning. It was disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Like, think Dasani disgusting. No, actually I’ll do Dasani in a pinch, I don’t think you could pay me to do Enon Springs again. I personally prefer Fiji, and not just because it’s in a pretty bottle (though that helps). I also like Volvic, which I have only ever seen here in Whole Foods – it makes me think of Europe, that’s the bottled water I always got when I was in France.


How have I written multiple blogs about my quirks and not addressed the crazy way I eat salads? Wow, there’s a lot here too…

I do love me a wedge salad, though, this particular one
does NOT meet all of my criteria. Reference the tomatoes
and nasty dressing.
Let us start with lettuce.
Ohhh, hahahaha, that was so not even funny.

I cannot, will not, eat a salad with any other type of lettuce than iceberg. I know iceberg doesn’t have a lick of nutritional value, and I don’t really care. I don’t trust lettuce I can’t identify. But there’s a story here … my manipulative mother, who I do love dearly, used to go grocery shopping on the weekends and then, in the biggest bowl we owned, she’d make a huge salad, which we would eat all week. She started buying dark, green leafy shit and I was like, “I ain’t touching that.” She’s like, “It’s romaine lettuce, it’s good for you.” Well, okay, it’s lettuce, okay. It wasn’t until I was older, much older, like in my 20s, that I put it all together that her “romaine lettuce” was actually spinach. Umm, eww. So my general rule is if I can’t identify it, I won’t eat it. And whereas now I can actually identify romaine, I don’t like it. So, it’s iceberg for me. (Before you ask, yes, I have special-ordered salads to make sure they came with just iceberg. It’s rare though, because even I admit that’s too much.)

But wait – there’s more…
I will literally pick through a salad to toss out the lettuce I don’t want. Now, yes, if I’m eating one that has “mixed greens” this does involve yanking out anything other than the beautiful light green color of my safety net of iceberg lettuce. It also involves taking out any pieces of iceberg that contain too much white, too much green, contain a rib, or have any sort of discoloration on them whatsoever. I lovingly refer to this as “reject lettuce.” It’s actually embarrassing for some people to eat a salad with me because I do usually end up with half of it on a separate plate. C’est lat vie. A lot of times Scott and I will only order a single salad. I’ll pick through what I want and he’ll eat the rest. (He’s picky too, but not as picky as I am.)

I’m addicted to croutons. If it were up to me, a salad would be all crouton and very little lettuce. But, it’s not up to me. But there are some other things I can’t stand.
  • We all know I can’t stand onions. Any sort of onion on my salad – nope. Can’t handle it.
  • Or tomatoes. Eww.
  • Cucumbers are a no – I’ll tear up some pickles, but not before their bath in dill. I don’t know why, it’s just who I am. Love me or leave me, dammit.
  • Olives – not on your life
What’s this leave me with? Lettuce, chicken (if it’s an entrĂ©e salad), croutons, cheese, carrots and the occasional small pieces of red cabbage (if they are too big, forget it, into the reject bowl). Super healthy, I know. And you wonder why I weigh what I do. Now you know.

As far as salad dressing, it’s Italian or nothing. I have tried others, I have tried vinaigrettes and I can’t even stand those. But I don’t like “Zesty Italian.” Only “House Italian.” Let’s just put it this way, Gordon Ramsay would probably call me a donkey due to my unrefined palette. It’s a cross I’d have to bear.  

Orange Juice
No pulp, dammit. That’s just disgusting. Truth be told, my mom buys the “extra pulp” kind because my stepdad loves it (she can’t stand it), and Jocelyn asked for orange juice. I gave her some and she goes, “This orange juice is old.” I cracked up. “No, honey, it’s just got pulp in it.”

This one is multi-faceted too.

First of all, I love pizza sauce. I order my pizza with extra sauce. I have for years. Even thin crust pizzas. Because those minimum-wage-making pizza cooks don’t ever put enough sauce on it for me. A lot of times when I order extra sauce they want to put extra cheese on it and I’m like, “Noooooo, don’t defeat the purpose of extra sauce.”

On the flip side… I’m very particular about my pizza sauce. For example, I cannot stand Papa John’s or Dominos. The only way I can tolerate Papa John’s is if Scott ordered enough extra garlic sauce for me to override the awfulness that is Papa John’s sauce. (Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to U of L, huh?)

Since Dominos redid their sauce, I can’t stand it. So, they are out. Pizza Hut I can tolerate in small doses, but I think it’s very, very sweet. The pizza sauce on the pizza subs at Penn Station is simply vile.

I do like a good barbecue chicken pizza (hold the onions  - do you see a pattern here?), and even white pizza is pretty good. If I’m going to a place with crappy sauce, that’s usually my alternative.

I am a thin and crispy kind of girl. Give me the choice of a thin crust or a pan pizza and I will take a thin crust every time. (No, it’s not just because I can eat more without the guilt. Though that helps.) Whenever we order from somewhere, Scott knows I’ll beg for thin crust. It got to the point we ordered two separate pizzas, one for him and one for me because of our differences in crust desires. But that got too expensive and we ended up wasting too much pizza so we opted to go the compromise route – which, more often than not does involve me winning. (Welcome to my world!) But I’ll settle for hand-tossed if I must. Don’t give me that pan crap though. No, no, no.

I do appreciate the irony in the fact I LOVE, absolutely LOVE breadsticks, but don’t like pan pizza. It is what it is.

What a way to close, but with my biggest quirk of all, and the one the disgusts a lot of people… 
Playing with my food when I am done eating
Scott knows I’m done eating one of two ways – my plate is clear, or there’s still food on my plate and I start playing with it. He has told waitresses on many instances to take the plate away.

I don’t just push my food around with my fork, though that is sometimes all I do. No, generally, it’s a matter of playing “scientist” and seeing what happens when I mix different things. How many loose condiments are on the table that I can combine? (My mom has encouraged this behavior because she has offered me different things to combine. It’s one of those trainwreck kind of behaviors. You want to look away, but you’re intrigued and want to see what happens next.)

Plus, no trip to Mi Mexico is complete without finding the perfect tortilla chip and leaving a “salsa shark” and a “queso shark.” *insert Jaws music here* Before you accuse me of ripping off Kevin Smith, I’ve been doing that since long before I ever saw “Clerks.”

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