Changing Eating Habits via Circumstance

Thursday, January 7, 2010

-Why, hello there little sammich.-

Animals in the wild rarely change their eating habits by choice. They stick with what’s available and what’s in season keeping themselves aligned within their proper spot in the food chain that the universe has decided to allot them. Animals are very obedient this way and, arguably, lucky to have had such decisions made for them. They know what to eat, when to eat it, and how much to eat (Eat Beast being a special exception in each regard).

However, when taken out of their normal place or given extreme circumstances they may be forced to change their diet and not for the better. They may resort to pica (eating of earth) or binging on plants, animals, or decomposing matter which may fill them up but their systems may simply be unable to handle. Furthermore, no creature enjoys having their diet forcibly altered to something that they aren’t used too.

When I interned at the Long Beach Aquarium way-back-when I was tasked with wading into the ray pool and feeding them their bits of fish and chum. One day when we had to change the composition of their food, the rays lets me know their dissatisfaction with the food by slapping me with their tails. These adorable puppy like fish suddenly became little divas snubbing what to them was slop not meant for any self respecting manta, and they let me know it. The proof was the red whip like marks that streaked my ankles, like I’d been flogged in a Turkish prison by a limp-wristed guard.

I finally get why those rays were so pissed.

If I eat out again, or eat another sandwich, I may start slappin' the everlovin' hell out of people myself.

-The salami just sits there. Mocking me. Watching my gustatory suffering. Screw you, salami. Screw you to hell.-

Due to the fire my eating habits have been uprooted and thrown apart. My usual diet of salads, homemade Chinese, Thai and Middle Eastern food has been forcibly supplanted with eating out and lots of sandwiches. Now, mind you, I like both of these things, but I like them in moderation. Eating out every night loses its novelty after your twelfth sushi roll.

My body isn’t really used to things like fast food or processed food. I’ve trained it well. Suddenly, this onslaught of junk food I’ve shoved down my gullet, storming my own Bastille, is not going well. I feel funky. Slightly sick. Slow and sloth-like. I feel like I could cut open a good artery and use a spoon to scoop out the cholesterol and spread it on toast.

Sandwiches are great and all, but to mix it up on a regular basis you have to buy a lot of food. Have you seen the prices they charge for basic sandwich makings? Criminal, I say. $5.99 for six (six!) slices of gourmet deli meat? Lord Almighty, for a few more bucks I can go and buy a ham, cook it myself, and have thicker, much tastier meat for my samiches and get a lot more than six measly, deli slices. Who the hell do these deli meat makers think I am, Oliver Twist? Working the factory twelve hours a day for a crepe paper-like leaflet of cured turkey breast? No, no, Oscar Meyer. You can take your cold cuts and shove ‘em. Bastards.

Now, it’s not like this everyday. I’m still trying to cram in a few salads. Bake some chicken thighs. Eat some more normal fare. I’ve been drinking wine like there’s a prize at the bottom of the bottle as if it were a box of Cracker Jacks (not so much as to be alarmed, but hey, right now it's a perfectly acceptable time to drink two glasses a night).

Still, it’s trying. I’m looking forward to signing a lease somewhere soon and getting an address, a place where I can finally start stocking up my larder to it’s once former glory. A place where I can cook freely and regularly.

Until then, however, more sandwiches and eating out.

-I would mug a girl scout if it meant I could get a panini press out of her. At least my sammiches would be more awesome then.-


  1. Larder.

    My family calls it a larder and receive much chastising from the pantry people.

    Glad to know we're not alone.

    Also? That sammich looks mighty good.

  2. If I were you I'd invite myself over to friend's and acquaintance's houses for a wee bite. Use the homeless angel. Home-cooked food, no dishes...

  3. I bet you can get a George Foreman for 2 or 3 bucks at Goodwill.

    I know its not gourmet, but I have had some pretty amazing grilled smmies and chicken/fish/kabob meals made on a Foreman grill in my day!

    Also, just want to say that I am so sorry to hear about the fire. I know we don't know each other, but I read your blog religiously, and so i feel like I know you, and my heart hurt for you when I read the post.

  4. I often say that if I had to eat one food every day it would be a sandwich. That's all hypothetical though, and I know how tiresome eating out can be. Is there a nearby Whole Foods? Pricy, but the salad bars have lots of veggies and whole grains.

  5. hi garrett--just wanted to say how sorry i was to hear about your fire. how awful that must be! i really enjoy reading your blog & hope that your life can get back to some semblence of normality very soon. take care & i'll be praying for you to find some peace.

  6. You know I think I like you all fired up (excuse the pun) and pissed off! You are quite hilarious this way plus your metaphors are simply perfect. I think my favorite was when you were talking about the sting rays and how they hated the change of menu, "The proof was the red whip like marks that streaked my ankles, like I’d been flogged in a Turkish prison by a limp-wristed guard."
    Even with all you've got going on, you seem to be holding up but it is rough out there, without the right utensils. I am a college student who studies by day but cooks and bakes by night (and drinks but hey,it comes with the job description). I find that you can improvise with just about anything. A good 12 inch nonstick skillet is your new best friend! Ok, that does not truly comfort you like a burly Russian woman who makes you rest your head between massive bosoms but I can't send you Olga, sadly enough.
    With all that said, I love this passion sandwiches seem to have on you. I am positive sandwiches have never inflamed someone quite as much :)

  7. For a panini press, just use a regular skillet on the stove and also heat up an old-fashioned cast iron bacon/burger press and put that on top. Presses it down and adds a little heat at the same time. Flip sandwich over to complete the cooking. I've also used just a plate on top w/ a tea kettle full of water to just get the squashing value of a panini press.

  8. "I feel like I could cut open a good artery and use a spoon to scoop out the cholesterol and spread it on toast."

    Arg! That is one visual description I could have done without, but highly effective.

    Hope you get a salad soon.

  9. so sorry to read about everything that you are going through. i think the worst part is how long it takes you to get back to the regular things you take for granted, like eating at home.
    i have to say however that sandwich is making me envious. i'm pregnant, and haven't been allowed sandwich meat for over six months. so while i definitely feel sorry for your sandwich repetition, i want to lick the computer screen. who knew deli meats could cause such insanity!

  10. I'm not going to presume to tell you how to eat - I'll just contribute once again that your situation totally sucks. I actually have a lot of much more vulgar expressions that I'd like to use but I don't think they're appropriate. Fire sucks!

  11. I am very sorry to read about the fire in your apartment. Really sorry.

    There are so many things that we can loose on fire but you can also find a brand new future for you in the remains of this terrible accident.

    I am sure you will remake your life beautifully and soon start to believe in the creation powers of fire!

    Good luck!


  12. I feel for you! I get equally frustrated when I visit family and end up eating this sort of stuff. I can't imagine doing it for longer than a few days! :( I recently visited my sister (who does not cook and does not ever eat real food), and after the first day I woke up sooo cranky. Not even coffee! They don't even drink coffee! I need my coffee from a French press, daily. It always feels amazing to return to fresh, homemade food. I hope you're able to do that very soon!

  13. Gah. I'm so sorry about your apartment. The first thing I did after seeing your fire pictures was go out and get renters insurance. And then I emailed everyone I know and told them to get renters insurance.

    On the sandwich front, I'm a grad student too (public health and epidemiology) and sandwiches are definitely the food of last resort in my house. That being said, there is one sandwich I really enjoy. Get some fresh (cooked) or tinned tuna or salmon (we can get really good tinned fish up here in Canada), add some olive oil and lemon juice and squish with a fork for a tuna/salmon salad consistancy. Toast some whole wheat bread, grate a whole bunch of carrot and add some sunflower seeds and your fish.

    Hope things get better soon.


Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.

Vanilla Garlic All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger