Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Food. Food, food, food.

MMMmmggmhm. What's to talk about? Math, science, how about cooking? I like to cook. More importantly, I like to eat. Cooking just produces good food.
Sweet Sunni Jesus, there is so much fucking information out there on nutrition and diet and exercise. The diet and exercise plan I enjoy the most is: "Get healthy enough so you can binge on steak, ribs, cigarettes and beer." Why live if I can't enjoy spicy foods, fired chicken, tobacco, and beer? I mean, have you tried fried foods? It's fucking delicious! Done right, you have a juicy piece of food wrapped in a crunchy shell. The crunch of the greasy shell is satisfying, and all the flavors of chicken, hot spices, and oil mix in the mouth and sit on the taste buds. If that magic point is hit during cooking, then when you look down at the pale flesh of the chicken, sometimes dark juices start to stain it
I can get food at Dominos, McDonalds, or Wendy's, and when I travel I do. A big mac just brings childhood, really, because it was something that was eaten as a reward for a doctor's appointment. It was something we got on long car trips out to Indiana. There's something about the minimalism of fast food. They really don't give you anything even close to special, and the veggies they give you to make it look "gourmet" and "healthy" is really just shit. However, it's still a flavor, it's still an experience, and the looks, the sights, and the sounds is part of the experience. I can't expect more than what I get at these places, and that's why I go. Not every meal has to be something that will keep me alive forever, or an exercise in the way to stimulate all the senses. Ravel's Bolero is just as pleasing to the ears as Handel's Messiah.
These foods, these delicious sweets and meats and fast food treats, they're only good once in a while. God! It is so easy to binge on these things. To spend three or four days with nothing but barbecued ribs, grilled steak, juicy burgers on thick buns with toppings of onions and mushrooms and thick heads of lettuce all mixed in sweat, spicy sauce, sounds like heaven. This does not travel through the body well. The morning of day five feels like the hangover from hell. Sweats, indigestion, diarrhea that either forces its way out of the gates or tries to sneak its way out with farts. Just a reminder of good things are nice in moderation, but really only want to kill you when taken in large quantities.
The creativity of cooking is part of the beauty of cooking. Food that only keeps me alive isn't food. Microwave pizza keeps me alive, but it tastes like molten plastic on wet cardboard. The pepperoni they claim that's on it slides down the gullet past the taste buds on a slide of "cheese" and never gives the brain time to recognize "That was pepperoni". Cooking gives me an outlet for creativity, much like writing. Like my writing, my cooking often fails. Out of that failure, comes new insights and new techniques to try. Rice is an amazing thing. Like microwave pizza, it barely qualify as food by itself. It's just there, it's just simple, it's just plain, and it's just something that barely has it's own taste. Its simplicity is what makes it amazing. Cooking rice and soaking rice is a practice in patience. It's something that makes you wait. When mixed with other simple ingredients (kale, other rice, spinach, mushrooms, small pieces of beef) what you come up with is that mixture of taste, that experience that a Venezuelan girl told me was "fulfilling". It makes a dish that demands attention from all the senses. Good food when recognized as good food becomes shit. If it's enjoyed everyday, it becomes a mediocre miracle. The good stuff needs to be mixed with the bad stuff, as a nice little compare and contrast. To really appreciate food, the full spectrum needs to be experienced. I mean the spoiled foods, the burnt foods, the foods rot your teeth out when you bite in, these foods need to mixed with the cosmic, orgasmic foods in order to get a full picture of life.

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