Erotic Sandwich Photos Too Hot for University Internet To Handle

Bahn Mi

“Bahn Mi” from… somewhere on the internet…

As you all can tell, I have no problem throwing the word “porn” around. Porn, porn, porn. And then of course I break out in the the chorus for “The Internet is for Porn” from Avenue Q. The first time I did that I was in a philosophy of religion class and someone said that a metaphor for God could be the internet and one of my back row Honors buddies pointed out that 90% percent of the internet is used for porn. I wrote my class journal for that week on how we think of God in human terms and since the majority of humans have pornographic thoughts regularly it made sense that we would just ignore that when trying to make ourselves look like photocopies of God. And who knows… maybe God does think about porn. It wouldn’t be anything like ours, I’m sure, but still… worth a really awkward thought.

It’s in the 90’s today and that makes me sad. And I had to wake up super early to try once again to convince the DMV that I am in fact a state resident who should be allowed to get an ID card. I had so carefully gotten together all my documentation together to go in and get it earlier this week and they let me do everything but get the card itself until I bring in another proof of residency. I got a sunburn standing outside the MVA at 8am only to be told that the additional documents I had brought in didn’t count but that I was allowed to print off other bank/credit card statements and use those. So I’m going to try and go back later today and have told my boss that afterwards I will be working from home because its just too much hassle to go back and forth and back and forth and really I’ll I’m doing today is reading this book for next year and coming up with questions all them new students will have to suffer through. It’s a good book and I find it fascinating but I already know that the new crop of freshies are most likely to complain at me about how it’s more than 160 characters (or however long messages are these days).

But since I was up so early and now have like the biggest pile of dead trees with all possible bank/card statements the MVA might accept from me all printed out I’m hungry. And I know I still have Bahn Mi materials in the fridge. I was going to share a lovely post once about about the wonders of bahn mi and how you should be eating them but then I can across a serious problem… The university’s firewall…

I swear this thing block anything and everything of any remote possible interest to the majority of humanity. The word “wine” shows up on a page? BLOCKED! Any reference to sexual relations of any kind? BLOCKED (Yep, even some news articles)! Bahn mi…. BLOCKED for Mature/Adult Themes of a Sexual Nature.

It makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time.

So there it is folks, somewhere in the post attached to the photo above is something so horrifyingly sexy that I can’t even open it on campus. It looks rally delicious… MUST BE A SIN!

Oh and look! A little bird has landed outside my office window and is trying to make friends with my Batman and Catwoman Lego figures… Since the internet seems to be off-limits I guess I’ll go play with Legos now.

Eat More Lunches!

Asaltado Vegetariano (Sitr-Fried Vegetable Sandwich)

“Asaltado Vegetariano (Sitr-Fried Vegetable Sandwich)” from Saveur

With school out for the summer and me being the only one that still has to come to campus I’m pretty much on my own for lunches. Usually it’s a much more communal effort to get everyone a packed lunch in the morning but now it’s just me and that means I’m so much less willing to put forth a lot of effort. But food is important and lunch is especially so in my book. After trying to get students through final exams, worrying about the next batch of students on the way in the fall, and only recently getting over the horrible illness of doom that had me practically strapping a box of tissues and a bag of cough drops to my hips for easy access… Well I let a few things get away from me and I gained a few pounds so it’s back to the routine and restarting the fencing training and hopefully the swimming circuit for the rest of the summer to make sure I don’t let the situation get the better of me. And, since having recently eaten and what I do behind closed doors with my earphones on isn’t exactly conducive, I can’t eat dinner until afterwards so lunch is important. I’m sure there are rules about all this stuff but since when have I ever followed the rules knowingly? So sandwiches and salads are on the menu along with my homemade bottles of chilled karkadé(which I talk more about in my previous post “Bug Juice“).

Hey. Nice Tots.

Tater Tots, Bullitt in San Francisco

Tater Tots, Bullitt in San Francisco

I don’t post a lot of less that gastroporn perfect photos because there is rarely a reason to. But when I saw “The Country’s Top Tater Tots Slideshow” from The Daily Meal there was really nothing that could stop me from trying and seeing whether or not it was even remotely appealing to my Foodie Nation (That’s you, Reader!)

I do have a fancy camera, I just really hate carrying it around and I also really hate those people at the table Instgramming their food. You’d think I’d be the exact opposite about stuff like that but I’m intolerably picky about food photos. Even the one for this post was carefully selected because it had one of the better compositions in the bunch. The idea of guacamole on tater tots is cool but not quite gastrogasmic, in my opinion. But it was the best picture of tater tots. Now, occasionally, I will post a photo from my phone on Facebook if it’s absolutely necessary. Example: Hotel Chocolat tasting room and a grilled cheese food court place in Boston. These are things the world just NEEDS to know about. An awkwardly lit plate of sushi that came out looking like it was crawling with diseases in a dump? Not going on Facebook.  I’m all for attempting to achieve the perfect Platonic form of food and if it tastes amazing or looks fantastic on the plate but ends up looking like someone took a dump in the photo? That’s just gross. Please don’t do it. And, if you do, don’t expect any praises from me. Because it may taste out of this world but if it looks like space junk’s junk on a plate… I think you get the point.

And back to tater tots and how much I am absolutely in love with them.

I have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t like tater tots. I’ve met people who haven’t had tater tots and they are very sad people. I usually cheer them up buy making them tater tots. Yes, they are not healthy as a food choice and I fully recognize this. A lot of people think that I actually eat like I blog. That would be ridiculous and if I did I would weight about a million pounds right now and have a lot more serious back problems. In fact, I’ve been losing weight since I started food blogging. Who needs breakfast (which I totally just forgot to even think about this morning before leaving the house) when they can WRITE about breakfast? Well that’s a rather dumb example but I’m less hungry looking at these tater tots than I was making excel spreadsheets of all the students I’m ready to give a good kick in the pants for not passing any of their classes and STILL trying to register for next school year. There is so much money being wasted I wish I could dip myself in honey and just stand outside naked and hope it would stick to me so I could quit this job and go live in the country with a couple chickens and a goat. But then my money would be sticky and I don’t like that so I’ll keep my clothes on for the time being.

Oh yeah! This post is about tater tots.

Best tater tots I’ve had in my area? There are two locations. One is actually the university’s cafeteria.  I’ve griped about their food in the past but their breakfasts are great and eating them every day DID make me gain a ton of weight back when I used to eat them more regularly. For $5 my Kenyan sister and I who worked together as tutors would get a nice waffle, an omelette  and a massive pile of tater tots and share it in the office while starting our day off right with an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I don’t know how they managed to get those tots so crispy but I have a feeling it wasn’t in the oven.

With that same “sister” I discovered that, awkwardly enough, Hooters had good tater tots. Every time I tell someone this they get all bent out of shape that I was at a Hooters. And yes, I try not to write “Hooters has great tots” too often because I’m clumsy enough that I know I’m going to mistype it one of these days. But seriously, they do. Go try for yourself and then try telling me that place hasn’t got fantastic tots.

And check out the other photos of tater tots across the country. Hooters is not included but The Aviary is and I hope to someday be able to afford that excursion and I know what I’m hoping they’ll still have for me to try when I go.

The Dark Side of that Corner Office with All Those Legos in the Window (Now with a Side of Soup!)

Vader's Dark Side Roast Coffee

Vader’s Dark Side Roast Coffee

It’s lunchtime in the bottomless pit of horrific grade…itude (yeah, that makes it sound better) and I’m on my second cup of coffee. I now know that 2 is the number of cups I can fit into my travel mug and that 2 cups of coffee is still not enough to wake me up on a day like today.

I know I should not be drinking coffee. Just last week I warned a third of a class full of students how coffee was like a gateway drug and that you shouldn’t use it to keep yourself awake when you really should just put down the cell phone or get off Facebook and go the f**k to sleep. I also told them to practice safe sex. That last one could get me fired but there are just WAY too many students running around with their babies on this campus. Clearly someone needed to tell them what a condom was and how to use one because abstinence only works until someone gets naked and you’re all like “Yeah! Sex!” I’m more concerned about this situation:

Guy with baby tries to hit on random girl.

Girl is all impressed with his, let’s be honest, less than satisfactory parenting skills. The kid’s eating carpet lint. Pick her up.

Guy  talks all about being a dad… Dude, your baby is wandering awfully close to that sharp object….

Girl giggles.

Guy says they should go out some time. Oops! Baby fell down some cement stairs and hit her head and is now crying!

Girl gasps.

Guy picks up baby…. “Daddy’s here…”

Girl…. “He’s so sensitive!”

NO!

That man has a baby. If he has time to be dating you he is doing something wrong.

Wow… I really should slow down on the coffee. That and I should probably rethink my whole quadruplets plan. And… hey! Someone messed with my Legos! [Wonder Woman is now aggressively attacking Lex Luthor, she’s hanging on to his laser majigy with her laso, and Superman is on top of the Kryptonium.] Well that doesn’t make any sense…

And now for something completely different:

I made soup for my family’s lunch today. Since we’re all spread out all over the area I even prepacked it into nice little containers. But I forgot the veggie meatballs at home so it’s just soup. I really like soup and think there should be more of it. I also, don’t mind making soup. It’s simple and, if you’re doing it right, doesn’t involve too much cutting up of onions so there’s no crying. Yay!

Here are some upcoming soup ideas to be implemented this week for family lunches:

Dahl Makhni

“Dahl Makhni” by Alfred Prasad on GreatBritishChefs.com

Pea Consomme with Mint

“Pea Consomme with Mint” from Foof & Wine

Split Pea Soup with Portobellos

“Split Pea Soup with Portobellos” from Food & Wine

Warm Carrot Parsnip Soup

“Warm Carrot Parsnip Soup” by Brittany Mullins on Eating Bird Food

Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup

“Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup” from 101 Cookbooks

All of these soups, and many others, can be found on the Gastrogasms: Soups and Stews board on Pinterest.

It’s a Coffee Kinda Day…

Coffee

It’s one of those days and I’ve reverted to drinking coffee to get me going. So much paperwork and so few students showing up to make it worth my time…

For more, visit the “Coffee, Tea, and Accoutrements” board on Pinterest.

The above photo comes from the following link: http://500px.com/photo/11251671

The Pre-Thanksgiving Post: Part 1 (The Rant)

I know that most of the readers of this blog do not know me personally and are probably not aware of what’s going on in my life. So here’s the gist of it: I got a job. Full time and a half with no benefits but still… A job. I work as a First Year Experience Coordinator at my alma mater which means I work with freshmen. 130 freshmen, in fact. There were 135 but I lost a few somewhere along the way. Or more like I could never find them. Part of my duties in this job is to try and help the “Class of 2016” bond as a group and create strong ties to the campus community. How better to do that than with food?

So while my job is an administrative one I’ve tried to make as many of our programs and events include food of some sort. Actually, while typing this section of the post I am supervising a Freshman Study Night and there are enough snacks and hot drink fixings here to sink a small ship. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Enticing young college students into the house of learning with the promise of hot chocolate with whipped cream and fancy biscuits to dunk in it. A lot of the students still don’t seem to realize I get paid to do this.  Sometimes I don’t realize I’m getting paid to do this. Then, magically, checks show up on my desk and thus my bank accounts grow.

In years past my family has tried various traditions for Thanksgiving. We never seem to stick to any one. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories was from while I was living in England and a friend and I decided that life just wouldn’t be the same unless we had a proper Thanksgiving. One of the American professors that the school held a Thanksgiving dinner for the American students but you had to pay and it was vegetarian (my friend was NOT okay with that) and it was missing some seriously major elements: (1) Pecan Pie, (2) meat, (3) participation in the kitchen, (4) our friends.

So my friend and I decided that the only proper thing to do would be have our own Thanksgiving dinner and invite our non-American friends so that they could experience Thanksgiving our way. Not to mention the regular Thanksgiving on campus was ONLY for American students and we didn’t have too many of them in our posse. What is it about groups of Americans in Europe? I swear they aren’t that loud and obnoxious in their own country. We planned dinner for about 15 people. We made our lists, bought our groceries, scrubbed the dorm kitchen so it was usable and asked around campus for all the supplies we’d need like plates, silverware, chairs, etc.

Thanksgiving day comes and we both have class in the morning so nothing can happen until after lunch. That’s when we start hauling stuff over to the dorm from the cafeteria and people start to notice. It’s when we’re carrying over an extra table that a couple other students offer to help us out that we realize we might need to up our numbers for dinner. After all, people are helping us set up for dinner and they’re asking questions about Thanksgiving and we’re telling them it’s about being thankful for everything we have and bringing people together. So within an hour of beginning our preparations we’ve gone from our original 15 guests to around 20 and as the afternoon goes on we’re up to 35 and so we call in some favors and ask some friends to bring us a few more ingredients to make sure we have enough food. We’d apparently planned for everyone on our original guest list to eat until they rolled over dead because we didn’t have to ask for too many extra ingredients.

By the time people had pitched in to help set up, cook, clean up afterwards, etc, we had a total of (and we counted) 55 people attend our Thanksgiving. While it wasn’t the same at Thanksgiving at home it was still very special to me. It was after that big event that we put on that I was asked to be the Social VP at the school which brought on a whole different kind of intensive kitchen workout. But that’s another set of tales.

Like I said in a previous post, Thanksgiving is a magical time for me. I tell people who I bring or invite home (or wherever I happen to be) for Thanksgiving that this is the one day a year you can eat whatever you want. I know this has next to nothing to do with the spirit of the holiday but I don’t care. That’s a big part of  it for me. If you’re a guest in my house on Thanksgiving I will do my very best to make sure that what you love to eat most in the world in on that kitchen table at some point during the day. It just so happens that the Thanksgiving staples (mashed potatoes and stuffing) happen to be one of my favorite food couples in the world. I ask for it on my birthday along with pecan pie which I’m pretty sure I could eat a truckload of all on my own if I didn’t have parents. (I always make sure my mom makes two for Thanksgiving so I’m assure to have at least a half to a whole pie at my disposal throughout the day)

But every Thanksgiving we get ambitious at my house. My dad buys the biggest turkey and then 2-3 chickens. My mom checks out books from the library. I go online. Magazines get murdered. Lists get made. We all start yelling. It’s really quite horrifying how much we yell when planning family events/meals that are supposed to represent peace and togetherness. I’ve had friends state this quite bluntly to me. And somewhere in there we end up with a menu that works for everyone.

While the same thing is probably going to happen this year there will also be the potential addition of young college students joining us which is both a little stressful but in a good heartwarming kind of way. I hope that the students who come feel the love in how loud we yell at one another about who is cutting what completely wrong. But it is important to me, as me and as their adviser (possibly boss, we might get some older students) that they feel like Thanksgiving is magic no matter where they are or who their with. And also like they couldn’t possibly eat another crumb by the end of the night.

The second part of this post will be a special Thanksgiving Gastroporn Menu which includes some of my personal favorites for the holiday as well as some new things I’d like to see (and hear) my family argue about later.

To be continued…