8/365: Gum

Oct. 8th, 2008 11:10 pm
valadilenne: (Disney: Sing sweet Nightingale)
You're getting an extra dose of the project tonight because this week has been insane. But I don't fall behind, see? I just do another one.

I've recently developed a thing for gum. I think it has to do with grocery shopping for myself and there being a massive aisle at Target full of nothing but gum and candy.

The new flavors they keep coming out with are interesting: "Fabulous Fruitini," "Fresca Sangria," "Strawberrymint" (which is interesting, but really not my thing, though I'll go through the whole thing anyway). I buy citrus-y flavors because mint makes me feel like I can't eat anything after I chew gum.

Two main reasons I'm into it, I guess, and these are obvious because everyone does this:

I can share with other people and see what they think of the flavor. It makes people like me if I give them a new flavor of gum to try. That's pretty cool.

I'm afraid of people thinking I have bad breath. This is a legitimate concern. Sometimes no matter how well you brush your teeth, you still wind up having an awful taste in your mouth halfway until lunch. Gum doesn't just mask the flavor--it increases saliva production, which improves teeth and helps clear bacteria off the tongue.

Thumbs up, gum.
valadilenne: (Whimsy: Owl family)
This is another strange one.

Cottage cheese is one of those things that you either love the hell out of or stay away from upon fear of death. I think it has to do with texture.

I was raised on cottage cheese. Mom refused to pay for ricotta cheese in her homemade lasagna, so she would buy cottage instead and then we'd eat the leftover cheese the next day in little glass bowls. We never put pineapple or fruit of any kind on top--that's a very strange concept to me, and when I see those commercials where dieting women are dumping syrupy fruit all over the top of their white curds, I can't help but think how gross it is to ruin something so perfect as cottage cheese.

Mom always bought skim cottage cheese, but I've secretly developed a taste for a very specific strain of the stuff: 4% small curd. There is something about really cold cottage cheese made with whole milk that is heavenly. Maybe this is the concept of umami--that mysterious "other taste" that the Japanese roughly translates as "tasty" or "delicious." This is true. If you've never tried it, I recommend. It's the good stuff.

I'm halfway through my weekly allotment as of today and I have to say I could eat this stuff forever, calories or not.

Here's an interesting aside for the whole texture point: despite loving the way cottage cheese feels, I can't even look at tapioca. It resembles fish eggs and I can't fathom eating something so slimy and disgusting and see-through.
valadilenne: (Food: green tea)
This is an easy one.

It's creamy, slightly sour when it's done right, and you can add pretty much any white meat to it. Seriously can't go wrong with this stuff.

The only downside I can think of is that it's really nasty in leftover form. Cream sauce congeals and has a chalky consistency when reheated.
valadilenne: (Default)


I have a terrible secret.

I can't stop making Jell-O. It's as if I've all of a sudden realized that vaguely fruit-flavored congealed sugarwater is delicious and I have this nostalgic craving for Jell-O Jigglers. I've put a pan of Jell-O in the fridge to firm over night and then in the morning I'm going to turn a cup upside down and cut circles into the gelatin. If I had a star-shaped cookie cutter, you bet your ass I'd be eating red stars come noon.

This isn't just a thing with regular Jell-O, though. My grandma, being from the Lutheran side of the family, is Really Into Jell-O. She does things with it I would consider blasphemous, being that she peaked in gelatin related activities in about 1957 and hasn't really gone past the whole "olives suspended in lime Jell-O topped with mayonnaise" thing. This is what's known as a Lutheran Funeral Salad, and we eat it every time we show up at her house in Iowa. Yes, when we visit grandma we eat Funeral Salad. I know that's weird, but it's not even dessert to us. It's part of the meal proper.

The one time she served it with these olives I asked her what the little black things were, thinking they were a strange candy. Apparently she took offense at my uneducated ways and the next Christmas I found myself with a Jell-O cookbook to ensure that I knew how to carry on the family tradition. Strangely, there's no such thing as putting celery chunks and other vegetables in the dessert in this cookbook. It's more like using various colored puddings to make ladyfinger cakes and delicious-looking molds.

So help me God if I find myself chucking mandarin oranges and shredded carrots into orange gelatin dessert when I'm 70 I'll know it's time to check out. For right now I'm sticking with the stuff I loved in kindergarten.

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Valadilenne

May 2009

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