Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Occupied Mind

For an update on Maevey, please see the next post on the blog.

I consistently battle a streak of worry wart.

I come from a long line of worry warts, and I have the jagged, bitten fingernails to prove it. When I get infatuated with a concern, I have a real problem trying to go to sleep.

So it's past one in the morning, I am sipping on a Hoegaarden (a great Belgian beer I first had in a little pub on London's Portobello Road last September) and typing away to the lovely image of Conan O'Brien in a Latin dance costume, complete with ruffled sleeves.

I suppose God is offering to me his own amusing distraction.


I am a bit of an emotional eater. On occasions when others are too nervous to have a bite, I can successfully inhale a Big Mac, a sleeve of Thin Mints and bag of Doritos while scooping up a pint of Ben & Jerry's (Phish Food is the best) and sipping down a pitcher of margaritas.

'Cause that's just how I roll.

Tonight my cupboards are almost bare (intentionally), full only of items that require laborious preparation - like dry pasta, dry beans, dry oatmeal. Notice a theme here? I suppose the logic is this: if I am really that hungry, I will invest the time and energy to prepare something.

Unfortunately this logic has led me to make my fair share of trips to the nearby Fresh Market for pre-made deliciousness - because I am more often wanting to grab a quick gourmet something than I am willing to take the time to prepare a meal as tempting as, say, Quaker Oatmeal.

It turns out I am not alone.

Recent statistics show at-home food preparation is on the rise. Part of it is the economy - two chicken breasts divided four ways is far more affordable than taking little Johnny and Jenny to the neighborhood Chili's (did I mention I hate chain restaurants?) for dinner. Another reason for the trend is all those cooking shows on Food TV. Giada, Rachael, Emeril, the Contessa, even Sandra (groan) - they all have followers fans who aspire to the same culinary greatness.

That said (I am finally getting to that point about ready-to-eat), most people don't have time to whip up Ina's Cornish Hens with Cornbread Stuffing. I mean, really, it looks delicious. Those perfectly crossed legs look fantastic and the Contessa really had me when her recipe called for real butter, but really - sometimes I don't even have time to wait for condensed soup to heat up.

Ergo - grab-and-go.

The success of places like Whole Foods and Fresh Market have grocery stores clamoring to provide culinary sophistication with the simplicity of add-water-and-stir. They realize there is there is a unique convergence erupting at dinner time: busy people don't have the time to prepare the sophistication their palates crave.

And so we cave in to prepared sushi, made-to-order paninis, a treasure trove of flavor at the olive bar.

Be honest. When was the last time you passed up the Yogurt and Onion Kettle Chips for the organically grown fingerling potatoes?

Gosh, all this talk of food is making me hungry - and sleepy.


Chris F. said...

I'm really hungry now. But I will have to settle for a few hours of sleep first after working all night. I will be sure to whip up something nice for lunch.

WestEnder said...

I'd like to see Paula Deen and Ina on Iron Chef where the secret ingredient is butter.

I once saw Sandra make a "crepe" with a flour tortilla. I am not making that up.

A good late-night snack is grape nuts and yogurt. Fun and crunchy, fills you up, and healthy to boot.

Denae said...

hi hon. i know what you mean. there is nothing like some double stuffed oreos to take a notch out of my anxiety over certain situations. missing you lots. dd