I was sitting in front of the television set munching on frozen Girl Scout cookies–those deceptively thin Chocolate Mints that I bought from an aggressive little marketer last spring.
At such times, one needs a designated friend for restraint. So I called Edna to come be with me since I have all the will power of a jungle lion eyeballing a juicy missionary. When I explained this to Edna, she shook her head. “I know your type,” she said. “You’re a foodie.”
“No I’m not,” I said defensively as though I had been charged with some moral indiscretion. “I only buy cookies once a year from the Girl Scouts. It’s a patriotism thing.”
The Foodie Quiz
“Well, there’s an easy way to tell if you’re a foodie or not. I’ll know by the way you answer a few simple questions.”
“Okay,” I said, pointing the cellophane cookie tube in her direction.
“No, thank you,” she sneered. “I’ve already had my health smoothie. Let’s just stick with the questions. First, do you shop on an empty stomach or after you’ve eaten?”
“I can do either,” I said proudly. “I’m quite gifted in that regard.”
Edna rolled her eyes and continued. “Do you horde recipes?” she asked, glancing at my kitchen shelves with their array of bulging cookbooks and bloated files.
“I plead the Fifth Amendment. What’s the next question?”
“Do you eat after 10 p.m.?”
I shuffled my feet and looked toward the ceiling. “Well, if I have to. Sometimes it’s necessary to polish off the leftovers that don’t fit into the refrig.”
Edna shook her head, unwilling to sympathize with my weaknesses.
“Are you one of those who knows the difference between bacon and pork belly?”
“Of course. What kind of foodie would I be if I didn’t know that pork belly is uncured and thicker than bacon.”
“Okay, final question: Do you watch the Food Channel?”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked innocently.
“You know what I mean. Do you watch that over-aged frat boy, Guy Ferri, or the goofy Alton Brown, or that zanny Belle of Grease and Grits Paula Deen?”
I tried to dodge the question. “Hmm…Paula Deen. Did you know they’re doing a life-size butter carving of her likeness for the Georgia State Fair?”
“So you do watch Paula Deen?”
‘Uhh…occasionally. Mostly I watch Extra Virgin, the show with the cute Italian couple.”
“Oh, yes, the adorable, little lovebirds. I don’t know how they ever complete a show for all the ear nibbling, finger licking, and wine tippling they do. I’m convinced they run off to the bedroom during the commercial breaks, returning just in time to pull the baked lasagna from the oven.”
“At least their food looks edible,” I said, “which is more than I can say for the recipes they cook on the BBC show, Two Fat Ladies. Clarissa and Jennifer would cook anything that had wings or a root: from Spatchcock to Bubble and Squeak.”
“I know spatchcocking is a way of flattening a bird, giving it the look of road kill before it’s cooked, but what’s Bubble and Squeak?
“It’s what we’d call Cream of Leftovers. It’s the British way of cleaning out the refrigerator. The name comes from the bubbly look and squeaky sound the concoction makes in the frying pan.”
“I agree that Clarissa and Jennifer are confident and witty in the kitchen. Even imaginative. But I have trouble with any recipe that starts with ‘chop and strain six pigeon livers and add to a skillet of rendered fat along with a handful of juniper berries.’”
“I don’t think they eat their own cuisine,” I said. “After filming those shows, I bet they hopped onto that Thunderbird motorcycle with the sidecar and headed for town, where they could get some hearty pub grub and a pint of Guinness.”
“By the way, did you know that Jennifer died? I read that her last request wasn’t fried pigeon livers; it was a tin of caviar! Clarissa was on her way to the hospital to deliver it, but she didn’t get there in time,” Edna noted with a bit of sadness in her voice.
“Ahh…how sweet. It just proves that foodies lookout for each other. Here, have a Cranberry Citrus,” I said, breaking into another flavor favorite. “It has real fruit, low fructose and no artificial color or sweeteners.”
Her eyes lit up and she began to drool. “Really? It sounds like health food. Give me a Diet Coke to go with it.”
“Certainly,” I said heading for the refrig. “Coke’s the perfect paring with Cranberry Citrus.”