Heeeey, I'm back!* This blog is about how to eat good on bitch money.

*This is a lie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

post III, the riposte

Robin! How dare you post in some ancient comment thread! I almost missed your crazed diatribe and let it stand unchallenged. Let me TRY to deal with the worst of your atrocious misstatements.

"Powdered milk is not as evil as Om Nom thinks it is, but it does not compare to regular milk unless put in baked goods or disguised in hot chocolate."
Powdered milk isn't "evil," it's merely revolting. It is not possible to disguise it--well, I guess you could bake with it probably. I never tried. It is the only problem with milk chocolate as most mortals know it: you can taste the sour powdered milk. I now know from reading Candy Freak that it's possible to get candybars made without it, but you have to spend like $46/bar.

"You see, food and its tastes are all a matter of two main things: how open-minded you are to new tastes and what you are used to, taste-wise."
If this were true, we would all prefer powdered milk hot chocolate, because we all grew up on Swiss Miss. In fact, food and its tastes are a matter of one thing: whether you have the sense enough to know what's good when you run up on it.

"Several years ago, I decided on to 'eat to live,' not to 'live to eat.'"

"Eating to live entails figuring out the bare minimum of foods you like and can live with, both money-wise and nutrition-wise."
Then swiftly loading up your trusty handgun and dispatching yourself because if you're eating to live you got no reason to live.

"...Can humans manufacture the vitamins they need from the foods they eat and the sunlight they receive (vitamin D is manufactured by the body due to sunlight expose amounts)? Children who lived in Swiss valleys tended to get rickets much more frequently than those who lived higher up on the mountains. The children in the valleys were vitamin D deficient. So the answer to the question of whether humans can manufacture most of the vitamins they need is 'Mostly, yes, they can, but not entirely.'"
No, given the evidence you provide, "mostly but not entirely" is not the answer to the question you asked. Rather, it's the answer to the question, "can juvenile Swiss valley-dwellers manufacture all the vitamin D they need?" Mostly (they ain't dead), but not entirely (they all done come down with the rickets). About no other nutrient can we tell a gatdamn thing from your example. I must tell you that Juan Valdez concurs with me: he has a mean headache right now despite the fact that he gets plenty of sun. He has been unable to manufacture the vital nutrient, caffeine, and he doesn't get it from his diet since I put him on Postum instead of coffee. (Sue me! I was tired of listening to him crack his knuckles early in the morning.)

"I decided to try to buy as little as possible at the grocery store as I could."

"The rub? I don't really like to cook all that much."
Ay. There is the rub. Learn, yo.

"I am more of an information guy. Ideas are like food to me."
I wonder if the rickety Swiss kids could manufacture vitamin D... from ideas? (You're supposed to read "from ideas" the way George W. reads "from Africa" in that little speech he gave that time about the yellow cake.)

"If a kid grows up only drinking powdered milk (I did not), he is going find regular milk to be a greasy, odd beverage that takes some getting used to."
Wait up because here's another of those ideas for Heidi et al to munch on: what if all milk is revolting? Yes, Pippi! Think on't long and build strong bones the better to ride Mister Nilsson (or was that the name of the monkey? Hell, I can't remember Pippi for beans). Milk sucks. Milk sucks, and that's not just an "idea," it's an obvious fact. Milk sucks. Cream is okay. Whey is bearable. But milk sucks except when it's straight out of the cow. And I know this because my parents tried to get me to like regular milk and they tried to get me to like powdered milk and they made me try chocolate milk and they made me try milks of all butterfat percentages and I hated it all. I did not like anything dairy except yogurt and ice cream and whipped cream and cheese and, of course, glorious butter. I hated milk categorically 'til I tried it fresh-out-of-the-udder, when I loved it, but you can't get it that way in this godforsaken country unless you own a cow, so I maintain that for all practical purposes, milk sucks. O, I drank it when they told me to: one eats what is put in front of one. I ate to live in those days because I had no choice. Now that I have a choice, I live to eat, and I don't drink milk... because it sucks. All those "eat to live" years I drank the stuff, I always knew that it sucked.

"The opposite food plan, 'living to eat' ...says that tasting is one of the most important things a person does. But is it?"

"I find this approach to life to be a materialistic one."
No, it isn't. It's merely sensible. The opposite approach is a self-loathing one. Why would you put something that sucks in your mouth unless somebody bigger than you was making you?

"It is also very expensive to eat that way."
Quite, quite the opposite. Living to eat is far cheaper than eating to live. Take butter, for just one instance. Butter is astronomically better tasting and mouthfeeling and all that than margarine. Margarine's one true advantage over butter is price. My lifelong dedication to butter saved my circulatory system. Now my blood flows free, unobstructed by petrified Country Crock. I don't need a coronary bypass. I save the big money.


"Corky" said...

Yeah Robin! What she said!!

Fitch said...

I had no idea that Hersheys with almonds milk chocolate bar was made with powdered milk! Tastes fine and good to me.

Someone once gave me an xpensive box of chocolates, super luxe, super $$$ and you know what? Nothing better than M and M, Three Muskrats, Chiggers i mean Snickers, and Hershey's with almonds as well as anything you can buy at a movie theatre concession stand!

I am a low brow choco snob!

Nom nom, if you lived in New York City, we could go on a food field trip and you could show me all the bad stuff i should avoid and all the good stuff i should avoid and all the stuff i should eat every day.

Yeah, that would be pleasant and yum!

FJP said...

Hey NNN! This is FJP, I once wrote on the NYTimes wellness blog about how much I enjoyed your comments and how it would be cool for you to have your own blog. I have really enjoyed your blog too! I, too, like to 'live to eat' and find it both economical and satisfying--emotionally and physically.

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Yesterday I ate from both ends of the chocolate spectrum. Guess which is better:

--Reeses peanut butter cups
--a $5 chocolate bar "infused with Earl Gray tea"

The answer... may surprise you!

(In that the snotchocklit was the major big loser to the fabulous Reeses than which almost nothing in the entire world is better. How. Do they make the peanut butter. Do that? If I died and went to heaven and found out there was a God and He said, You may ask one question of me My child, I would ask Him how Reese makes the peanut butter in the peanut butter cups so perfect--is that the real reason you sent your only begotten son ya ya ya et cetera, "God?" Because I think it is, "God." I think that was your Plan the whole time!

I actually love crap chocolate. Love it! So as to the burning question of powdered milk, for the sake of argument it matters to me deeply but when it comes to bar chocolate, you know: whatever.

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Hey, hi, FJP! Hi!

Robin P said...

Welllll!!!! Look what the cat drug back into her nearly-abandoned blog: the owner and proprietor her own self, Om Nom, the Food Empress!

Hurrumph! Some of us had to keep things interesting around this unusual establishment while the owner stepped out for FIVE DAYS! We had to make interesting, intelligent posts querying profound questions about eating philosophies, then plumb the depths of same, while Missy was visiting the Lady with the Short Fingers at the End-of-the-World Farmer's Market, and leaving my ex-gardener, the esteemed Juan Valdez, starved for good coffee by making him Postum, which my alcoholic older brother (one of two) once humorously referred to as "Frustum".

I have a lot of business to attend to here, so I will do so post haste!

To wit: "living to eat" IS materialistic, and tends to lead to gout, enlarged egos, pestilence and spending a lot of money on food. I give you Cajun chef, Paul Prudhomme as Exhibit A, your honor!

And you are a hypocrite, Ms. Nom! So you love crummy chocolate! The stuff made with powdered milk that you claim to be able to taste! Since when is powdered milk sour??? It is milk that the fat has been taken out of, then the water, until it is milk protein powder. My box o' the stuff adds a couple of vitamins to the mix on the ingredients list, but there ain't no melamine in it, least not any reported yet.

So yes, it is Corporate Food, but pray, tell us how you distinguish yer corporate food choices from everybody elses? Seems to me your wonderful food choices are whatever it is you like. Hurrumph, for final measure!

@corky's comment: lazy post but I'll give it a Chuckle rating.

@fitch's comment: I almost lived on Peanut M&Ms for a spell. Food of the street-corner Gods, it is!

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Well, one, Ti-Paul cooks with MARGARINE--look it up, you doubters!--which discredits him fully and finally and forever as one who lives to eat. I still like him, it's just he has a few SEARiously wrong ideas. (Get it? I used a cooking term? Sear? Haaaa!)

As for powdered milk chocolate... okay, sour is the wrong word. It's... like... a... dry, sortof... mummified kind of taste in your milk chocolate that's wholly absent from your dark chocolate. Of course your dark chocolate is too damn dark and it's bitter and what the hell is the solution I don't know unless it's spending $46 on one of those bars made with cream. But I will tell you this, if you get to a state of maturity where you can admit to yourself that you honestly prefer milk chocolate to dark and you start buying a lot of high-end milk chocolate, you will figure out a thing or two, and that is that when it's good, the hifalutin chocolate is far superior to Hershey's and Cadbury, but when it's bad, and a WHOLE LOT OF IT is, it not only does not approach those grocery workhorses but it's actually nasty beyond belief. And when it's nasty, it's always the milk problem. Okay, no, not always because sometimes it's foxed or whatever that word is, where it gets ancient/too hot on the way to the store and it's all dried out and the fat migrates to the surface and gives it that hideous white bloom and it won't even melt in your mouth--granted, that's worse than the milk issue--but that's not usually the problem. Usually the problem is that it's got a really strong dried milk taste to it and is just unappealing in the extreme. Dried milk tastes like Elmer's. Don't ask me how I know what Elmer's tastes like, okay? It was a dark time in my life.

No melamine in it? Oh-ho-HO, I beg to diffairrr and so do the media! In fact, enn pee arruh just reported a few weeks ago that Cadbury chocolate bars (forget which sorts but probably the fruit and nut, since that's the one I favor) had come up positive for the melamine. I restrained myself from going on NYTimes Well and screaming this at JillyFlower (AKA "The Aussie Who Is Always Wrong") in that one thread where she was going oooooonnnnnn and oooooooonnnn forever about how all American food has HFCS (FYI: outside Australia and Park Slope and such, that abbreviation spells credulous yuppie foodphobe) and will kill you whereas British food is glorious and a tonic for the corpuscles. There was some nonsense about encouraging us to travel outside our narrow horizons to Canada to get Cadbury since it's so much better than Hershey's, which... I mean, COME ON! The two are totally indistinguishable. I restrained myself not because I have too much self respect to go around yelling childish taunts ("Ha ha, Cadbury blowz! Toldja, Kanga!") but because I know that in all the world wide web, only I routinely haunt six-month-old flame wars hoping to spark 'em up again. The JillyFlower has wallabied off to other battles.

"pray, tell us how you distinguish yer corporate food choices from everybody elses?"
Mine are the ones that are better than everybody elses.

"your wonderful food choices are whatever it is you like."
Mmmhmm! And whatever it is I like is the best! That's why I'm so handy to know.

"Hurrumph, for final measure!"

On the peanut M&Ms: my dad used not to get them because he said the peanuts were rotten. All my childhood I thought, "I can't taste any rottenness in these delicious chocolate enrobed nutmeats*. I must be a cloth-tongued mule." Now I realize my taste buds were fine, he was just remembering an older, lesser M&M. I think they must have had some quality control issues at M&M/Mars when he was in his crucial candyformative years, and so they lost him as a customer. It's very sad, because of course we who eat M&Ms nowadays are fully aware that they have no rotten peanut issue at that company--have not for years. What a difference a generation makes! Whereas I avoided heart failure because I had the luck to notice in early youth that margarine is the very definition of ass, my father notices the same thing about M&M/mars's peanuts and loses out on a lifetime of enjoyment. M&M/Mars suffered nearly as poignant a loss. My dad could eat a couple pounds of plain M&Ms in an hour no problem. If he'd been cutting the plain M&Ms with peanut M&Ms instead of with popcorn or fudge or whatever he had on hand, they'd've doubled their profits.

*inside joke between me and the author of _Candy Freak_, my new favorite book in the world. I know he must read this blog. Hi!

La Cork said...

Robin, I think u have a crush on miss nom!

Robin P said...

The Om-inator: if you really want 'da sh!tz' in the peanut butter/chocolate department, try to find some Deaf Smith Crunchy peanut butter at a health food store. Accept no substitues for this Valencia-peanut only natural peanut butter. It'll set you back about $6. Then buy yourself some fancy semi-sweet chocolate chips. Nestlés® will do. Ghiradelli's are good, but are really no better than Nestlés® Semi-Sweet chips.

First mix all of the oil on top of the Deaf Smith peanut butter back into the gluey mass in the jar. This is quite messy. Put paper towels down on the counter and use a long-bladed butter knife to do this task thoroughly. Your wrist will be slightly aching by the time you are finished with this oily chore. Wipe off the sides of the jar, which will be slick with peanut oi.

Then take a goodly portion of the mixed PB out of the jar, put it into a bowl, then mix however many chocolate chips into this delicious brand of peanut butter that you desire. Even a high percentage of chocolate chips tastes wonderful in this PB.

Finally, sit somewhere peaceful and using a teaspoon to slow down your consumption process, proceed to take small spoonfuls of the PB and chips into your mouth. Chew slowly to break up the peanut chunks and chocolate chips in order to release their full measure of flavor.

After a week of doing this, weigh yourself on a scale, and notice that you have gained five pounds, but had one of the best eating experiences of your lifetime.

@la cork's comment: Hush, little baby! Shoo! Papa is working!

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Hm... that sounds more than all right.

Opposite to the Reese essperience, though. See, the whole point of the Reese is that the chocolate is way lightweight (not like the chip you recommend) and the peanut butter is supersupersalty and ersatz--exactly opposite of the PB you recommend. So while I see the value of your snack, I can't help noting it sounds like the anti-Reese. Like please be careful, for instance, because if ever you ate that and then ate a Reeses, there would be a huge antimatter explosion and the universe would disappear.

Robin P said...

Reese's Peanut Butter cups are acceptable but crap-tastic. I am thinking now that you are the Craptastic Foodie Queen rather than any sort sophisticated arbiter of taste as you seem to believe yourself to be. Essentially, what is good is whatever you like and pronounce on. Other foods and tastes you revile, often with specious reasoning about corporate-this, chemical-that, or fake-health reasons. Just so I know the rules here.

You may or may not have noticed but somebody at Blogger is goofing on the 'captcha' letters one has to enter before a post gets accepted at any Blogger blog. All of the captcha sequences here spell nonsense words rather than simply being random sequences of numbers and letters. It is some sort of inside-geek humor in action. Which see:


The captcha word I am asked to enter now is 'derfori'.