Tag: Book

10 Favorite Quotes From Jim Gaffigan’s

Food: A Love Story

My neighbors probably thought I was nuts. I laughed out loud during the entire time I read Jim Gaffigan’s book Food: A Love Story. Gaffigan and I are basically food soul mates. Well, except for his opinion on pie. He prefers cake over pie, commenting that pies are just things that people throw in clowns’ faces.

Here are ten of my favorite thoughts on food from Gaffigan’s book:

1. Eating kale: 

IMG_8550

p. 104

2. Taco salad:

From What I can tell, the recipe for a taco salad is pretty simple: Dump eight tacos into an edible bowl (98).

3. Whole Foods, or as Gaffigan calls it, “Whole Paycheck.” 

They should just have a garbage can at the entrance of Whole Foods with a picture of a wallet positioned over it. “How many items do I get? Two? I’ll get the grapes for five hundred, and, Alex, I’ll have the loaf of bread made of wood for ten. . . ” (105)

4. The ever-ending stream of “new” Hot Pocket flavors:

A couple of years ago when I saw a commercial for the Chicken Pot Pie Hot Pocket, I just assumed they were messing with us. . . I figured it was just a matter of time before I’d hear someone ask, “Have you tried the Hot Pocket Hot Pocket? It’s a Hot Pocket filled with Hot Pocket. It tastes just like a hot pocket. I’m going to go stick my head in a microwave” (196).

5. The Reuben sandwich: 

Reuban

p. 150

6. The packaging of fast food burgers:

“Can you have the chef wrap the burger in paper so it feels like I’m opening a present?” (234).

7. Dining in food courts:

If you are over the age of eighteen, it is impossible to eat alone in a food court and not look like a serial killer (266).

8. Muffins for breakfast:

You know the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Nuffin. A muffin is just a bald cupcake, and we all know it. p. 280

9. Fruitcake:

Whenever I’ve made the mistake of tasting fruitcake I always think, Did I just bite into a Skittle? Or was it a thimble? (285).

10. Ordering ribs:

Ribs are what protect the pigs’ or cow’s lungs and are really great with barbecue sauce. . . It’s amazing how casually we order ribs (116).

If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a cake or pie person? 

Clara Cannucciari’s Asparagus Sandwiches

Last year, I became fascinated with Clara Cannucciari (August 28, 1915-November 29, 2013) after reading Clara’s Kitchen, a book she co-authored about growing up during the Great Depression. The cover of her book states she is, “Everybody’s favorite YouTube Grandmother,” as she also hosted online cooking segments through age 96. 

She’s certainly mine, as none of my grandmothers ever appeared on YouTube, not even our incredible adopted Grandma Burrell. 

Clara describes growing up during a time when food was scarce and jobs, scarcer. She shares the recipes that sustained her family and the necessary adjustments they made to reduce food wastage and save money. Her recipes are simple. Some, remarkably so, yet I often found myself wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Her family was rarely able to afford meat and relied on sustainable and local food systems such as raising their own chickens for eggs, planting a vibrant garden, canning excess produce, and foraging for wild edibles.  For example, Clara describes how to prepare dandelion greens and burdock stalks, plants that are still available in our own backyards or parkways.

Did you know that you can place anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich? My significant other and I have eaten many recipes from Clara’s book, including many of these sandwiches. One evening, we made “Salad Sandwiches” from leftover rainbow chard quickly blanched in hot water, shocked in ice water, and sautéed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. We also feasted on eggplant burgers, replacing ground beef with a fried slice of eggplant, plus the usual burger accoutrements. 

Our favorite of all was this asparagus sandwich and we’ve made it many times, since.

Asparagus Sandwich EditedClara’s Asparagus Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sliced bread
Butter
Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Lemon or lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉.
  2. Wash the asparagus. Remove the woody ends (I like to snap off the ends).
  3. On a sheet pan, drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the stalks in a single layer and roast for a few minutes. Flip the asparagus, and roast for a few more minutes or until tender.
  4. Toast your slices of bread and butter them. Place the asparagus between the buttered bread, sprinkle with freshly grated cheese, and spritz with a squirt of lemon or lime.

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