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JUST EAT THE FOOD

"Um, there's food in your hair."

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Hale & Hearty 2016


This recent presidential election highlighted an intense divide in our nation.

It is now more clear than ever that some people are Democrats, some people are Republicans, some people are vampires and some people are humans who love them.

But the one thing we can agree on across the political and mythical spectrum is that everyone enjoys a good bowl of soup.*

This is why 3-7 nights out of the week you can find me at the Hale & Hearty Soup on 23rd and Madison, taking up an obscene amount of window-seats with a hoarder’s cocktail of bags, coats and empty soup containers, dunking my chicken salad sandwich into a jumbo container of Tomato Cheddar soup with a fervor that can only be described as “NSFW.”

My neighborhood Hale & Hearty Soup is like Cheers! where everybody knows your name, only here absolutely no one knows who you are or gives a sh*t about you, and there is a surly Hispanic teen named Marco whose sole purpose, it seems, is to remind you of this.

The scenes of sexual tension between me and the aforementioned Marco usually go something like this:

Me: Hey there! How’s it going?

Marco: (surly and wearing a hairnet in silence, staring ahead)

Me: So what’s good today?

Marco: (dead eyes, more silence, more staring, thrusts hand at board)

Me: Alright! I think I’ll try a sample of the loaded baked potato! Sounds cheesy!

Marco: (removes lid from vat of soup and slams it down, throws ladle into liquid, slops soup into a tiny plastic cup and skids it across the counter at me)

Me: (catching cup) Woo! Looks good today. (sips) I’ll take a large one of this please!  This’ll get the juices flowing for my writing today!

Marco: (rolls eyes and speaks flatly) 7-grain or sourdough

Me: Sorry, what?

Marco: (annoyed) I said, 7-grain or sourdough

Me: Oh, both please!

Marco: (looks me up and down and tosses both breads on counter with disgust)

Me: Thanks bro! (goes for fist bump)

Marco: (systematically denies fist bump and shifts entire body away from me)

Despite this particular love-hate relationship, there is a striking sense of camaraderie among soup-lovers. It seems that hot, savory, liquid truly transcends race, gender, age and sexual preference.

As if to prove this, at the present moment this Hale & Hearty crew* consists of: a serial-killer-esque man in a a trench coat silently watching his Asian girlfriend eat soup in the studious and determined way of someone plotting how to murder their next victim, a 20-something blonde woman in post-workout gear pawing at her lentil soup, and a small Indian child in a stroller screaming for his mother.

As I sit, staring at them from my window perch, with traces of Tomato Cheddar around my mouth, looking out the window at trash bags piled outside on the sidewalk, the dog with three legs, and the woman who looks like she bathed with a can of tuna, I am overwhelmed with a sense of hope and unity for our country. 

It reminds me of Obama’s famous speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 where he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there are people who like soup and then there are people who are idiots.”

So I sit back, comforted by the fact that I am that small Indian child, I am that creepy white dude, I am that … Ok I am not that girl in workout gear.


JUST EAT THE FOOD


*For vampires, that’s blood soup.

*As I call them. I got us jackets but no one wears them.

Filed under Democrats GIMME DAT NSFW Obama Republicans hale & hearty soup the peoples improv theater the pit nyc upright citizens brigade yum Hale & Hearty

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Lunch For One

I’ve never been one of those “eat lunch in the park” kind of girls. You know the type with the work-appropriate sundresses, eating colorful salads and reading about DIY tampon doilies or whatever.

I’m more of a “sweaty, dirty pants-wearing, huffing food into my mouth over the keyboard and crying” kind of girl. (For more on this check out my post: How to Eat a Bag of Tostitos “Hint of Lime” Chips in One Sitting )

But today I decided to “go out and get some sun!”*

On my way to the park, I picked up some pan-seared salmon from Cafetasia off of Broadway. It had a B rating but I like to live on the edge.

"Pan-seared" turned out to be a generous term, as what was handed to me was a plastic container of gray fish soup.

"F**k it, not turning back now,” I thought, walking past a teen couple dry-humping on a mound of grass in Washington Square Park.*

I quickly scanned my surroundings for a vacant bench with enough space on either side so that I wouldn’t have to make human contact. Next I uncovered my salmon soup. It smelled like my five year-old sister’s wet swimsuit, but as it was my only available sustenance, I dove in.

Apart from the sloshing mixture beneath it, it really wasn’t that bad. I started snacking on the accompanying container of white rice, alternating bites and was having a pretty good time with it. 

Soon a homeless gentleman man pulled up next to me and spread some cardboard down for a nap. Things were looking up.

Then it happened: I turned, grabbing my purse and the plastic container holding my salmon soup crashed to the ground, splashing oily fish water all over my pants. 

"Raaaaah!" I yelled, to the surrounding people’s blank stares.

F**k the park.

JUST EAT THE FOOD

Have you ever spilled s**t on your pants? Done something embarassing in a public setting? Email me at: justeatthefood@gmail.com. Let’s talk about it.

* As my mother often suggests to me with anxious eyes in a tone usually reserved for mental patients on the verge of breakdown.

* May or may not have lingered a little too long looking at them. I’m a creep. It’s my cross to bear.

Filed under CollegeHumor the pit nyc salmon wet bathing suits fish yum eating alone sadness

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White People Love Chicken

Editor’s Note: Since I posted this, multiple people have informed me that it is “platanos” not “plantanos.” I’m leaving this in as a prime example of my whiteness. Maybe this was why the waitress smiled at me when I asked for more…

My boyfriend, James, lives in Harlem and every night he eats at a little chicken and rice restaurant down the street from his apartment.

It’s $5 for a whole plate of food, and he speaks about it with the reverence that devout Catholics have for Jesus or the excitement that Kristen Bell feels when a “sloth is near”*

I went there with him the other day, and it went something like this:

(We walk in, greeted by a smiling Dominican woman behind the counter)

Woman: (to James) Hola papi! Lookin’ good! How are you?

James: I’m great, darlin! Got that ill mondongo today?

(they both break out in a chorus of laughter)

Woman: (laughing) Oh you!

Me: (hovering in the background in my puffy coat, laughing loudly, clearly confused) HA! HA! Right??

Both: (stop laughing and look at me as if I had just farted)

James: (pause) So anyway… Can I get the lunch special?

At this point, I feel like I should mention something to you.

I’m white.

Alright, pasty.

Alright, borderline translucent…

And I don’t just mean skin color. I’m talking country-club going, khaki-wearing, socks with sandals white.

If I was a genre of music I would be smooth jazz.

I used to try to pretend I wasn’t as white. I went tanning, dyed my hair dark brown, and wore hoop earrings. But it just felt weird, like that time Christina Aguilera was brunette and did a music video with Lil’ Kim*

I wish my life was like one of those Old Navy commercials with the black dad and Asian mom and Native American children all dancing in the sunlight, throwing snowballs and wearing knit hats.

But alas, I am sorely, painfully, Caucasian. 

James is white too. But I don’t think anyone has ever told him this, and sometimes I literally have no idea what he is saying.

The other day we were walking down the street and he pulled me aside whispering, “Yo, everyone be sleepin’ on Harlem son.”

“Yeah, son…” I whispered back, “They mad tired!”

Judging by the sad look on his face, I feel like this wasn’t the correct response.

Back to restaurant: at that point I wanted to yell, “Hey! I can dig it! Chicken is the ill na na!” but I restrained myself and instead climbed onto one of high stools on the counter with my hands in my lap, like a five year-old waiting for din din.

James quickly ordered two lunch specials. As the waitresses were dancing to the radio, flirting with the regular customers and dipping ladles into different spicy sauces, I sat there tapping my foot to the beat in my J. Crew turtleneck.

Then it came: a heaping plate of morro rice, kidney beans, plantanos and roasted chicken breast with crispy skin glistening.

It was over. I dove in, forsaking all cutlery, face in the plate, eating bite after bite of delicious chicken with rice, kidney beans, and plantanos.

I alternated between James’s plate and my own, stealing his chicken skin, to which he promptly responded, “What the f**k son??”

"Sorry daughter!", I joked. He didn’t laugh, but I know he liked it.

Then with crazy eyes and chicken grease on my face, I grunted to the woman with maroon hair behind the counter, “More plantanos please!” She gave me a nod and spooned six extra fried plantains on my plate and smiled. We finally understood each other.

"Food is colorblind", I thought, downing a 22 of Budweiser.

Then a second thought came to mind, “This beer tastes like sh*t.”

JUST EAT THE FOOD

*This is actually really cute: http://youtu.be/t5jw3T3Jy70

* Still not sure what the f**k that was about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg8QgUIKXHw

Filed under chicken and rice CollegeHumor comedy funny the peoples improv theater the pit nyc weird fat girl yum

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Eat - (Pray + Love) = My year of indulgence

Have you ever loved someone so much you would do anything just to spend one moment together? You would give them everything you have, because you know that you will never find another person who satisfies your needs in the way he does? And every morning you wake up and thank God you found him?

Well, that’s how I feel about sour cream.

“What?” I hear you saying, “That’s not a person. That’s a topping.”

You raise an interesting point.

Sour cream and I, while not a conventional couple, have a very intense relationship. Sometimes if I can’t find something to dip in it, I’ll just eat it right out of the container. A week ago my roommate walked in to find me crouching behind the refrigerator door, wide-eyed, frantically spooning sour cream into my mouth. I’ve never seen that kind of disappointment in someone’s eyes before.

That was a wake up call.

That afternoon I decided that I needed an excuse to rationalize my disgusting behavior, and what better way than to start a blog!

That very day I began a year-long journey of indulgence, where I will eat whatever the f**k I want and document my progress, as well as my inevitable weight gain and crippling depression.

It’s kind of like Eat, Pray, Love. Only minus the pray and the love part.

It’s kind of like Super Size Me, only there’s no political message behind it. Just me, straight up, eating my brains out, until I become the size of a giant bean bag.

It’s like Mardi Gras! If your idea of Mardi Gras is eating alone in your apartment while watching Top Chef and crying.

So here we go!

I woke up around at 3:30 PM today.

I say “woke up”, but I didn’t actually leave bed until 4:30 when I rolled my fat ass out of bed, ripped open a packet of ramen noodles with my teeth and followed it with lemonade out of the carton.

It is now 5 PM and I am comfortably back in bed. At this point I’m considering getting a catheter so I don’t have to get up ever again.

“What are you doing?” you ask,

Indulging

This is my Valhalla, my heaven, my paradise.

So throw on your robe and grab a family-size bucket of Ben and Jerry’s.

Sh*t’s about to get real.

JUST EAT THE FOOD

Filed under collegehumor comedy funny eat the food food girl nyc sour cream yum gross obesity the pit nyc the peoples improv theater

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WELCOME TO JUST EAT THE FOOD



 

My name is Caroline and I have an intense relationship with good food.

Whether I’m eating at home, at a restaurant or hunched over take-out in the back of a movie theater, I have been known to attack a plate of food with a ferocity that scares small children.

Lunging, I dive my fork into whatever is in front of me, shoveling it wild-eyed into my mouth while greedily sucking in breath through my nose to avoid suffocation. (This is especially sexy on dates!)

Honestly, you could tell me that you’re going to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, naked, with no oxygen, but mention the possibility of a snack and I am on board*

To prove my devotion to the culinary arts (and the greater art of being a fat-ass), here is a sad but true story from my life: one time I was making Spaghetti Carbonara, a classic Italian dish that I learnedfrom my Italian grandmother (aka Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything”) on a hot plate in my tiny studio apartment.

I transferred the pot of boiling water to the strainer in the sink when the pot slipped out of my grasp and spilled a cascade of boiling hot water onto my sock foot. “MOTHERF**KER!” I screamed, gritting my teeth and wincing from the pain.

Hobbling, I opened the refrigerator door, cracked an egg and beat it together with parmesan, crumbled the pancetta, set the table, salted and peppered my meal and ate it.

Twenty minutes later I remembered that I had severely burned my foot. I removed my sock to find that entire top layer of skin on my foot had melted off*

My foot now resembled something out of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video, but all I could think was, “At least that pasta was good!”

So that’s a little bit about me. Now I want to know about you!

What do you like to cook? What are some of your stories with food? Thongs or granny panties? Let’s get personal!

Send restaurant suggestions/pictures/recipes to justeatthefood@gmail.com and I’ll post my favorites!

I’ll also be posting weekly stories, recipes and inspiration and restaurant reviews.

Thanks for stopping by :)

And remember, JUST EAT THE FOOD

*As long as it’s not f**king Cheese Nips. Seriously. Cheese Nips are the bastard, redneck brother of Cheez-Its. They taste like a cheesy cracker dipped in sh*t. Please stop eating them, America. Send Nabisco the message it needs to hear!

* Here’s the damage in case any of you are freaky like that:

Filed under comedy crazy food funny girl the pit nyc the peoples improv theater collegehumor michael jackson yum