Thursday, April 21, 2011

Presentation Nourishes

A crumply brown bag containing several plastic baggies. The preceding is a "run-on sentence" and it is ugly as is the reality of facing a lunch that is poorly packaged and, more often than not, not very nourishing.

Too many people go to work and/or class with bland bologna and mayonnaise sandwiches, potato chips, diet cola, and an underlying depression that no clinical panel will uncover. People think they cover the bases when they have the three elements of a sack lunch: sandwich, side dish, drink. The sandwich will often have a meat, or so you think. Processed meat does not have to meet very many standards and the result is a big package of sodium and stabilizers making its way into you WHOLE WHEAT (*kudos*) bread. Potato chips are called a side dish, but what they are is a filler, like spackle. It covers up empty spaces, but has no structural integrity. Finally, diet cola is like hotwiring your car with bacon. Confused? Me too.

The reason I led with this disgusting image of a crumpled brown bag is because many of us have had one of those waiting for us in the cupboard at Elementary School. Did you salivate over the prospect of ripping open that thin post-consumer recyclables enclosure? Did you expect it to house the freshest of ingredients, the most satiating spread of handcrafted morsels, a dessert that made you look at your friend's Fun Size Candy Coated Chocolate Peanuts like the trash they were? Chances are, if you brought your lunch, you took the cookie out and chucked the rest. At least you could get first in line for handball.

My wife is picky. After one day of phoning it in as described above, she would probably run to an overpriced coffee shop and pay $5.95 for a $1.69 sandwich and a big iced caramel macchiato. I'm not being mean and I don't blame her. Those sandwiches look like they have real meat in them and the iced macchiato makes me feel like I'm drinking an upside-down grown up root beer float (delicious!). But it's not ideal for daily life.

But this is:

Www...WOWEEE! What is that? Did you do that with magic?

Is what my wife asked me. Not really, but that's how I choose to remember it. I usually like a little mystery, but I put this together in a little showy, provocative fashion with a little lace holding it together. Shoelace that is.

Bottle of Prosecco to the first one to comment about the mustard on the container. I know it's bad form, okay. This is popped potato chips and nectarine accompanying an Italian dry salami sandwich on naan with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mustard. She likes jalapenos on the side, so there they are.

This is a well balanced lunch. You'll notice there is more than one color to it all. There is a compliment of nutrients in this spread, as opposed to simple carbohydrate, simple carbohydrate, indigestible meat product.

Packaging sandwich and chips to look like a meal is an art. It is worth the effort because a meal that is enjoyed is a meal that lasts. You have to feed more than your belly during your precious breaks. When you derive pleasure from providing this pleasure, everyone wins.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Place Order Here

Of all the things I ever really wanted to write about, cooking is by far the strongest of my passions. But I don't like to just talk about recipes, because lots of people do that. There are plenty of recipe websites. I want to talk about some key aspects of being a man who cooks, quite honestly, for love.

Why do it?

Cooking is a woman's job, right? I am really glad that myth is pretty much over. If you're still hanging on to it, you're probably just scared of failure in the kitchen. Don't worry, it can be simple and enjoyable. You just need to take your time and learn from your experiences. Once you get a good rhythm, the results will be fantastic.

Professional kitchens are expensive.

Yes they are.

Who cares about the difference between sauteing and frying?

I don't. You don't have to be a food geek. Also, it's better not to sully good food with cockiness. You'll develop your own style quicker if you don't sweat the vocabulary.

How do they make food look so cool?

Practice, and a lack of fear. You will have to try a lot of different arrangements, but it will eventually come naturally.
In addition to examples and stories about how to cook for the sake of a woman's attention, I'll also be throwing in some ideas for meeting fitness goals.

I am what they call a hardgainer or ectomorph. I have to cook a lot of food and keep it interesting so that I want to eat. I also know how to keep calories down (for you or your significant other).

Basically, whether you are trying to cook to impress women, you are cooking for someone you love, or you need to cook for yourself healthily, which is a huge factor in attracting others in itself, my posts should help.

But remember, the smell of fresh baked bread won't cover up serious personality flaws. If you are still eating alone after a while of cooking, there might be some other factors.

Lunch for my wife:

There was a time when I was interested in impressing women in general. Cooking really came in handy for that. Now I can show others the results. I continue to cook for my wife and it gives me a good challenge. I think too many people get complacent when they get married and lose a little passion. I say take advantage of the fact that she's seen all your tricks and let it drive you to come up with new ones.

I like to pack tiffin boxes, bento style. My wife's came from a shop called Plastica. It's a great product because it allows variety in an easy to carry package.

Tier 1:

Turkey sandwhich:

Smart Bagel
Red Onion

Make sure you dry the lettuce well.

Tier 2:

Fruit salad

Belgium endive with Smoky Peach Salsa
Key Lime, split and topped with salt

Cut the cubes relatively the same size

Tier 3:

Three sauces with dipping veggies

Salsa Queso, smokey peach, and bleu cheese

vegetables can be celery, endives, etc.

Also topped with hot fries for crunch (crispy foods may get soggy if they share a compartment with veggies, if it's going to sit a while, you can wrap them in plastic).

The point of all of this is that my wife had something visually appealing that made her think of me and fed her appetite for food. She was happy because, frankly, it was ll delicious. We are both happy because these were all good food choices.

It's easy to get sloppy with lunch. Throwing a bologna sandwich in a brown bag is easy, but it may just make you crave a Big Mac. When you put thought into the meal you are preparing or about to prepare, you make it easier for the one you are serving to love the food and fall in love with you.