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Archive for December, 2011

Update: The amazing photograph accompanying this post has been selected for Food Gawker! Congratulations, Craig, and thanks, Food Gawker!

As I publish yet another entry professing a love for all things gourd during the frozen-precipitation months, I feel it is time to admit something funny (for you) and, simultaneously, horrifying (for me): I am allergic to squash. I am NOT allergic to squash in the sense that if I eat cooked squash, I have some kind of reaction where different parts of my body burst out in hives and my throat opening narrows to occlude all possibility of breathing normally. (Fun fact: the science name for hives is “urticaria”—who knew?) Nope, I have eaten squash for a long time, and have never had a problem eating it.

It was only when I began cooking it that I noticed this issue. Frankly, the first time it happened, I attributed it to chance or some other encounter I’d had but couldn’t remember. But the second time, I thought to myself, Oh. Squash is doing this to you. Damn you, squash! Why must you treat me this way?! You see, I am allergic to touching raw squash—inside or out. So the first five times I cooked with squash, it went something like this:

(1) Make delicious food item involving (and likely centered around) squash.

(2) Notice a few hours later that the palm and fingers of my right hand are bright red and really warm.

(3) Goes away two days later, forget about it.

(4) Repeat every couple weeks, all winter.

Apparently, touching any part of squash resulted in some bizarre local immune response in the skin of my hand, which I figured out by realizing that the hand holding the knife (yes, I’m a sinister one, of course) was largely spared from the reaction, while the hand holding the squash received the full brunt of it.

But it was totally worth it to come up with this amazing recipe.

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Banner Year

As you’ve no doubt noticed (just now), I have a BRAND NEW BANNER!

Tomorrow I will post a recipe for you all the cook for your families and friends over the holidays (it’s a good one, so get ready). But for the moment, let’s all stop and revel in the magical work of the one, the only, the marvelous Craig Glick Miller, and his gorgeous, sassy model wife. Those guys are seriously talented. Thanks, Craig!

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Work Lunch

Before I begin complaining about my lunchtime options and habits at my job, I should start by saying that I am seriously grateful for the cafeteria half a mile down the hall (yes, really). It may not be the highest quality food in the world, or contain the largest variety of options for people with dietary restrictions (vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free eaters, that kind of thing). But it is constant, open 24 hours a day, extremely affordable, and nearby.

Commence complaints: I don’t have a place to really eat at work. I eat at my desk every day, and pretty much keep doing science while I’m eating. Yay. The kitchen options available to me are a microwave and a fridge, which is pretty much open season for everyone else in the department unless your food looks disgusting. This does not stop me from bringing leftovers for lunch a couple times a week and labeling them in hopes of them not getting stolen, especially because there’s really only one restaurant nearby, and it’s expensive and they give you everything—including really hot food—in styrofoam containers. And I’ve heard cancer is lame, so I stopped eating there.

Commence happy thoughts: By having such limited options, I realized that the cheapest and realest food generally available to me during lunch comes from the salad bar. Did you know salad is delicious? I don’t mean salads made of iceberg lettuce with ham, shredded “cheese”, and bacon bits, drenched in disgusting ranch dressing. I mean spring greens with brightly colored veggies and olive oil. Oh my goodness! I had no idea such things could be available in cafeterias, but they are in mine.

This is what I eat for lunch every day, and where I eat it (in front of the keyboard, hunched over my cubicle-like desk), after I've eaten about 1/3 of it - a mountain of salad somehow always improves my day!

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