Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy holidays from all the Goats!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tasty, and Medicinal Too

Recently, Foodgoat's drink of choice has been a gin and tonic, garnished with a slice of lime. The gin is Bombay Sapphire, the tonic is Canada Dry, and it all started when an Irish midwife I know mentioned that back in Ireland they used to say that a gin and tonic and a warm bath would help induce labor.

A couple sips were included in the arsenal of old wives' tales methods used to encourage GoatSpawn's well-timed arrival (just after Ladygoat's mom came in town, at the start of the weekend, after dinner, and on the Cleveland Browns' bye week), and since then, he's fixed up the cocktail regularly.

Gin and tonics was first popular with the army of the British East India Company in India. Tonic of course contains quinine, which was used prevent malaria. But since quinine was very bitter, the addition of gin made it easier going down. Modern tonic water has much less quinine, but lgin and tonics remain popular. Winston Churchill apparently once said that gin and tonics saved "more Englishmen's lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kitchen Renovation

What makes the kitchen a happier place? New countertops!

After four long years living with the ugly, worn down yellow boomerang formica laminate countertops that probably date back to the 50's or 60's , we finally upgraded to black granite countertops and a big, deep new sink. It makes a world of difference, even making the cabinets look a lot better. It's easy to take care of, and it's pretty too.

Of course, now the floor looks even worse.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

How GoatSpawn Changes Meals

GoatSpawn was born two days after my mother arrived in town, and it has now been four days since she went back home, leaving Foodgoat and I to go it alone with GoatSpawn. One thing we have discovered: we have to eat a lot quicker. We sit down to eat, and inevitably she'll wake up and say, hey, I think I need to eat too. So I scramble to finish my food, or Foodgoat scrambles to finish his food, so that GoatSpawn can get her meal. And we have to be more efficient in preparing meals too - it seems like there is just less time that we can spend fixing dinner, or one less person who can help, so convenience has emerged as a more important factor in deciding what to make for dinner.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MilkBreath Meets BeerBreath

I am now 5 weeks old, and it's been a marathon of eating and sleeping and trying to tell Foodgoat and Ladygoat what exactly it is I need. It's always been Ladygoat who takes care of my eating needs, but one night, it was Foodgoat who took me aside at dinner time. Being hungry, I wasn't too pleased that Ladygoat was nowhere to be seen.

But then Foodgoat produced something he called a "bottle" and lo and behold, it was full of milk! I was completely astounded. All this time, and it turns out he too has the power to feed me too! I looked at him with surprise the whole time: Why didn't you do this before, Poppy?
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GoatSpawn is Here!

After a long, long wait, I, GoatSpawn, have finally arrived!

I'm a tiny little girl and just 10 days old today, but my proud parents, Foodgoat and Ladygoat, think I absolutely overflow with cuteness. And they're getting even more infatuated with each passing day.

Me, I have been excited to be introduced to this whole "eating" thing. Previous to my official arrival, I used an automatic nutrient supply system, but now I use this fascinating two-tap system. I have found that if it magically makes itself available if I furiously twist my head from side to side with my mouth wide open. Alternatively, a high pitched wail suffused with epic suffering also seems to work.

Unfortunately for the rest of the Goats, the three-a-day meal schedule just isn't doing it for me. I have a tiny stomach and it can't hold much, so in that long stretch of nighttime when they like to sleep soundly and contentedly, I like to have a couple of meals. Maybe a snack or two. It's around these times when it really helps that I'm adorable.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GoatSpawn Blogs Again

Nine weeks to go, and the big question is: am I a boy or a girl? Nobody knows!

Some people thought it was a good idea to keep my gender a surprise, and some people seem to be annoyed and frustrated by the suspense. Some have strong convictions of one side or the other, but an informal poll is pretty evenly split.

Did diet have anything to do with this? According to old wives tales, women who eat more meat and salty foods get a boy, while those who eat more sweets and desserts get a girl. New research also suggests that a higher calorie intake around the time of conception, with its higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, is linked to boys. There was also a strong correlation between women eating breakfast cereals and sons.

So what was Ladygoat eating around January?

In other news, to pass the time, I've been trolling the web. Here's some stuff I found:
from I Can Haz A Cheezburger, courtesy of my soon to be uncle PJ ...

and an alarm clock that wakes you up with the smell of bacon ... by actually cooking a piece of bacon by two halogen lamps. Delicious!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Seen recently online ....

... a 1960's ad for rice

You know what would be unexpected for Foodgoat? If I made dinner ever. At least a dinner that did not involve dumping something out a cardboard box into a bowl and pouring milk over it.

... Food-themed baby costumes

GoatSpawn, I promise never to dress you up as the main course. (I will also avoid the other 19 baby products great for traumatizing infants).

However, I make no promises regarding squid costumes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Six Dead, Six Full of Deliciousness

Reports have confirmed that six lobsters were killed in an early evening mass execution in a Cleveland suburb.

(Last known photo of the victims alive.)

All six crustaceans, who appear to be unrelated, had been kidnapped and held hostage. Cause of death was ruled superheated steam exposure.

The weapon was identified by the whimsical painting of the victims on the side of a pot.

The motive appears to have been tastiness. Succulent, juicy, tender, sweet tastiness.

Authorities are investigating six suspects, including a 3-year old boy, who is reported to have said, upon seeing the lobsters, prior to the killing, "EEEEWWWW! That looks gross!! ...(pause).... I want to eat it."

Photographs have surfaced of the alleged murderers (aka Foodgoat and Mr. Negative), who, shockingly, they show no regret about their actions, which ultimately included tearing lobsters bodies limb from limb, sending lobster juices flying all over, to get to the succulent, oh-so-delicious meat.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GoatSpawn Exposed

GoatSpawn here, checking in with the world.

When I'm not busy growing all the necessary parts for human life (which takes a lot more time than you would think), I'm already contemplating this food thing. So far, I only get to see the food after some processing by Ladygoat, but I've found when she eats, I have the energy to begin another round of trying to beat my way out of this place. Especially since she has continued to insist upon a daily cup of coffee. (My current digs are quite comfortable, except that every once in a while, this loud booming voice announces, "Spawn ... I am your ... Father." )

Indeed, Ladygoat has continued to eat a lot of things since I've been around. While some women get puritanical every little thing that passes into their system, Ladygoat has tried to forestall pregnancy paranoia. Fortunately, her doctor seems to follow the same philosophy, since, when asked about diet, he just shrugged and said, "Everything in moderation."

Among the foods I've already be exposed to:
  • Soft cheeses, including mozzarella, feta, bleu cheese, and brie: Puh-leeze, as if Ladygoat could go nine months without cheese. And the risk of food poisoning, specifically listeriosis? Ladygoat's never, ever gotten food poisoning from her cheese sources.
  • Deli meats: What would Foodgoat make for lunches without deli meats? The alleged problem is risk of food poisoning, listeriosis again. And like the cheese, Foodgoat's preferred deli meat sources have never steered him into food poisoning.
  • Liver: Ladygoat loves liver. And the fact that it's high in Vitamin A sounds like a good thing. Unless, maybe, you eat liver and have a vitamin A-packed supplement. But if you have a choice between the nutrient-rich food and the nutrient-rich pill, don't you always take the food? Especially if it comes with fried onions?
  • Bacon and hot dogs: They may be high in nitrates. But they're also very high in tastiness. And, the research is skimpy and inconclusive (nitrates in well water as a result of contamination is probably far more problematic than the occasional, but oh so delicious! slice of bacon). And Ladygoat must ... have ... bacon.
  • Fish: The whole mercury thing has made fish a complicated ingredient to monitor. Just keeping track of all the different types of fish and the various suggested frequencies made Ladygoat's brain hurt. She resorted to the general philosophy that some fish was better than no fish.
  • Uncooked foods like sushi: Ladygoat specifically asked her doctor about sushi, who assured her that as long as it was prepared properly, sushi was fine. They had a long discussion about the merits of particular sushi restaurants, and Ladygoat's favorite was deemed safe. So sushi she did. Very happily.
  • Alcohol: While it's pretty clear that more than 3 - 4 drinks daily during pregnancy isn't such a great idea, what risks (if any) light to moderate drinking have are much fuzzier. There may even be benefits (which makes sense, since pregnant women have had wine in Europe for time immemorial, which has not seemed to cause a collapse in civilization). Ladygoat's doctor said she could have the occasional glass of wine with dinner, so she has had the occasional sips of wine and beer. Foodgoat has responded by drinking twice as much.
Well, I see that it's getting late, so I will now wait 'til things quiet down around here, so as to begin yet again to try to kick my way out. I'll bust out of here eventually!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A New Blogger

Hello readers ... there's a new blogger in town!

Well, maybe not quite in town just yet. But I thought I'd jump on this blogging thing, so as to build up the buzz for the big debut in a few months.

Guess where I'm staying until then?

One of these is the GoatSpawn belly, and one is the beer belly!

So far, I haven't made many food demands. Well, except for that one part in the beginning when saltines were the only thing that tasted really good. But other than that, I have sent no food craving signals to the surface.

Just you wait, though, Foodgoat ... one night soon, Ladygoat may suddenly "suggest" that you go get her a bucket of KFC chicken. With some lemon ice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Hello fellow beer readers,

Rarely do I get a chance to post some breaking food news, and today I have a doozy. My favorite beer company"Great Lakes" just released a new limited version- the Imperial Dortmunder and must share with you all how incredibly good it is.

A little background: and little ritual of mine is to head to the local beer store "Beverage Warehouse" and pick up something I never tried before. Normally I gravitate to the beer from England because I have found many excellent beers from GB. But this past year my beer of choice is a local brewery "Great Lakes" and I love their Dortmunder Gold- absolutely love it!

Now today, Great lakes released the Imperial Dortmunder---- I actually am the first person in my area to try it, so I feel the need to relay the experience...... It's good.... oh yeah it's good.

As you can see the color and body is quite simular to the Dort Gold (ignore the foaming head on the gold Ladygoat poured that one). Other than looking similar the taste is quite different. The Imperial is a PERFECT beer. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me readers it's perfect. Its dry hoppy and a touch of sweetness. It's so good even Ladygoat can tell how heavenly wonderful this beer is. [please forgive my crude writing style compare to Ladygoat- she is a much better writer than I- and I am feeling the effects of drinking two beers in one sitting :)]

So if you live in the Cleveland area- pick up the Imperial Dort ASAP. It is ........ Wonderful. If you never tried a Great Lakes and you love beer: head to your specially shop and try out the Dort. It gets the Foodgoat highest praise..... It's sooooooo goooooooooood.

Friday, June 20, 2008

BiscuitGoat Logs Off


May there be ham in heaven.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

The dog Biscuitgoat is the subject of a plot!

I don't want to sound paranoid, but lately I've realized there are people who are out there to get me. I'm serious. There are those who are actually hovering around, calling, planning, plotting my death. Don't think I don't know what you're talking about.

All just because I'm an old dog. Okay, a really old dog. And I can't get around quite as quickly as I used to. And part of my head is sunken in, causing one eye to dry out requiring regular applications of Visine. And I might be a little scrambled, as evidenced by that one night that I got into the spare bedroom, shut the door, got into the narrow gap between the corner wall and the bed and stood there for who-knows-how-long until someone happened to wake up at 3 am to find me in stuck facing the corner of the room and unable to move because I can't possibly back straight up.

The conspirators will say it's for my own good, it's to relieve my suffering. You want to alleviate my suffering? GIVE ME MORE HAM.

It's not that I'm afraid of death, you understand: I've seen the Twilight Zone episode, and I know I'll be let into heaven. What I don't know is whether there will be any ham in heaven, or any meat products at all ... after all, it would seem antithetical to have slaughterhouses in the holiest of all planes of existence. And yet it wouldn't be a place of complete bliss and delight if we all had to eat vegan.

So, just to be on the safe side, I'm getting all the ham I can get while the getting is good. Just today I had three different kinds of ham and felt much better for it. So even though even I must admit that my death may come sooner rather than later, DON'T RUSH ME. There's still ham to live for.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Dog Responds to the Food Prices

The dog Biscuitgoat has not only taken over the blog, she's taking letters from readers.
Dear BiscuitGoat,

My dog Max has become a fan of yours, so I was hoping you could use your influence to help me out. With the economy being what it is, we've had to scale back on our spending, and I've switched Max over to another, cheaper brand of dog food. Now Max is mad at me and has gone on a hunger strike. Can you please explain to him the realities of today's food prices?

Yours, Cheap Pack in Chesapeake
Dear Cheap,

Times are indeed tight. And alas, being the lowest members of the pack, it is always the poor fate of us dogs to be affected first when conditions change. It's always our stuff that gets skimped on first. We don't get new toys. We get groomed by amateurs. They cancel our subscription to Dog Fancy.

But dogs are understanding, and we could take all this, without complaint, if that's what it takes to keep the pack together. It's a little harder to take crappy, stale, tasteless, probably poisoned with industrial chemicals from China, dog food. Maybe all dog food looks the same to you, but I assure, it is not. There is some brands of dog food that I have starved rather than eaten, and then there are some brands that buy their ingredients from unregulated and possibly contaminated Chinese sources. Remember that pet food recall less than a year ago?

Fortunately, my pack feeds me Bil-Jac, a local pet food company that uses only fresh, quality real meat and chicken from local producers. It's really quite delicious - in fact all the dogs that visit try to eat my food. Because I have managed to look particularly sad and pathetic lately, they have not only fed me the dry Bil-Jac, but the frozen Bil-Jac, which is so fresh that you have keep it in the fridge. Which is really good.

In other words, some things are worth paying more for. Cheap food, including cheap dog food, are cheap for a reason, and sometimes comes at a serious cost later on.

Dogs are not especially picky eaters (I myself will eat many things my pack considers absolutely inedible) so if Max isn't eating, you can bet that dog food is probably all kinds of nasty. I say find other ways to cut back and pay for some acceptable dog food. Plus, I suspect Max is also mad because he's the only one being asked to sacrifice. Are you still getting fancy double tall fancy mochas in this age of uncertainty? (And don't tell me you deserve the treat because of all your stress. Puh-leeze. You don't know stress until you've been chased around the house by a Dyson vacuum cleaner attempting to suck up your soul.) Still going on big vacations (which you don't take us along to)? Then consider budgeting there instead.

Anyway, good dog food is not that much more expensive. What the current economic crunch should teach you is not to cut back indiscriminately, but that one should prioritize their money and focus on what's really important. For me, that would be tasty, healthy food.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Dog Betrayed

I thought we were a happy pack. I did. Sure, we had our occasional disagreements - did I have to come in right now? you don't want that last piece of bagel do you? - but all in all, I was content and I thought they were content as well. Sure they left all day long, but they always came back eventually.

And then one night they came later than usual. They did this sometimes. Maybe they worked late. I didn't think anything of it. But then ... I got a whiff of something. Something different. Something like ... ham. Really good ham.

I looked more closely. They were dressed particularly well. They seemed suspiciously pleased with themselves. And yes, on closer smelling, it was definitely the scent of ham. Expensive ham.

I tried to ask them where they'd been. As usual, they wouldn't tell me. I pretended that nothing was amiss, but I suspected something. Maybe it was nothing. I should trust them. I wanted to trust them ... but I had to know for sure. So I'm not proud of it, but I looked at their cell phone records. And that's where I found the pictures. Incriminating pictures that left no doubt about what they had done.

They had spent the evening with some Lolita.

I should have left it alone, but I had to know more - all the sordid details. So I listened in on their little private conversations they have between the two of them.

Ladygoat's butternut squash ravioli was delicious, but paled in comparison to Foodgoat's sea scallops, which were tender and luscious and flavorful. They went wonderfully with a side of rich creamy polenta. Even the bread sticks - much like big soft pretzels - were very good.

But the highlight of the evening was starting with the "Big Board for Two", a sampler of cured meats that included salami (made in house), sopressata, and three different kinds of prosciutto, along with pickled fennel and a sweet apple salsa-like thing. Served on a wooden cutting board, it was like a sushi plate, but of meat - each item was bite-sized, flavor-packed, and perfectly complementary in flavor.

The prosciutto was made by La Quercia Artisan Cured Meats in Iowa, and while the Berkshire prosciutto and the spicy prosciutto picante were absolutely tasty, it was the smoked prosciutto, the Speck Americano, that blew them away. Smoked with applewood, this prosciutto was not just good - it was memorably good. It had a yumminess that was on a whole other scale of measurement. Slightly sweet, slightly smoky, complex and just really tasty.

You should have heard them go on and on, the shameless hussies. They know perfectly well how much I adore ham, how much I love prosciutto. And they go off and eat prosciutto - the very best prosciutto - without me.

It was of little consolation to find that they had never been there before, that it was their first time. They had planned it, you see, they had planned it for a long time. And they were planning on going again. Without me. Just because the food was delicious, the prices reasonable, and service impeccable.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fur Job

The dog blogger BiscuitGoat continues her takeover of the Foodgoat blog ...

WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!

If you watch, as I do, Battlestar Galactica (for I too like to ponder the fate of humanity) you know that one of the great mysteries yet to be revealed this season is WHO IS THE FINAL CYLON? The fans have been debating for months - but I, Biscuitgoat, knows who it is.

Furthermore, I am willing to reveal it. Beware, this is a tightly kept secret!

It's me! You weren't expected a Dog Cylon, were you? But then again, why shouldn't there be a Fur Job among the frakkin' toasters? There are dog robots even now, providing companionship to kids and elderly Japanese people, so it just stands to reason that dog Cylons should have been developed alongside the humanoid Cylons. As we have seen this season, the Cylons can experience the full range of feeling and love, so naturally one would expect that their first inclination would be get a wittle puppy wuppy.

And now that you have taken a good look at me ... you must realize that yes, you've seen my kind before. A dog that just looks ... dog-ish. No particular breed, just plain old stereotypical dog. Everywhere you go, you'll see the same dog model.

Therefore, I must be a Cylon.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dog Bless America*

The dog blogger BiscuitGoat continues her takeover of the Foodgoat blog ...

I haven't paid much attention to politics in my life. But two years ago, after passing the test (with flying colors, I might add) I became a
Canine Good Citizen, so I feel it's my duty to contribute to the democratic process as much as I am able. Seeing as I'm not 18 yet though (4 more years to go!), I can't vote, so blogging and influencing the voting public it is.

Furthermore, in this election, there are Important Issues facing American dogs today. Not the least of these is the fact that there are over one thousand MWDs (Military Working Dogs) stationed in Iraq.

So, I consider each of the presidential candidates. First, I look at their pet record.

doesn't have a dog, and has no pet-owning record that I've been able to find. (FoxPetNets has repeating insidious rumors that Obama has a friend who once owned a squirrel but that's just mean-spirited gossip.) However, he did make a significant campaign promise: when the election is over, he promised his daughters they could have a dog, whether or not he wins. Usually one can't trust campaign promises, but Obama seems to have a calm assertive energy, and I believe him. Plus, the man has excellent taste in ham. (I'm partial to prosciutto myself.)

Clinton has a dog - a chocolate Lab named Seamus. Seamus was a gift from Hillary to Bill after their Lab, Buddy, was run over by a car. Buddy came after their cocker spaniel, Zeke, was also run over by a car. I'm not implying any impropriety, and no investigations have ever been called for. It's just ... it seems rather careless of them. Maybe it's unfair. But I wouldn't trust her to walk me down a busy street, so I can't very well trust her to run the country.

On the pet ownership issue, McCain, though, takes the cake. Right now he has Coco, a mutt (who he once saved from the brink of death with his quick action!),
Sam, an English springer spaniel, two more dogs named Lucy and Desi, two turtles named Cuff and Link, Oreo the black and white cat, three parakeets, and 13 saltwater fish. His ferret, alas, recently died of cancer. In the past, they have also had two mini-Dobermans, two snakes, one rabbit, a hamster, a mouse, an iguana and a gecko.

This makes it hard for me not to endorse John McCain. Clearly, the man can bring together an impressively diverse pack.

Still, I've got my reservations about him.

I must think of all my compatriot dogs stationed in Iraq. Remember, 100 human years is 700 dog years. That's a long time for us dogs. Our entire species could be completely different by then. And war is as hard on dogs as it on humans.
Remember in "Courage of Lassie" when Lassie got drafted, and came under fire right on the front lines? SO SAD. Lassie had PTSD! She had such a hard time adjusting back to civilian life! She had flashbacks! I have tried to do my part by sending care packages of Bil Jac treats and Doggles to our dogs in Iraq, but wouldn't it be better for us to send them home, than for us to send them there?

And, this very large menagerie of McCain's might also be suspect as well. Isn't it only crazy old ladies who amass these very large packs?

And, there are other issues I must still consider: their position on pet insurance, affordable pet medication, and standards for regulating the dog biscuit industry. Like everyone else, I'm watching this election carefully.

*Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Foodgoat or Ladygoat.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dog Blogs the Draft

It's the football draft weekend again, and I'm just glad that Foodgoat is not trying to put a giant Browns foam finger on my head, so I thought I'd play his draft day game too: take a shot every time there's a trade between teams during the first round. Today he's drinking Midori, the melon liqueur. How bad could it be?

Eight - no, wait, nine - trades later ...

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Pack Will Provide

I have heard a great deal of anxious talk in the last few days among the humans about of food rationing. Now, this is not a new issue among us dogs. I have known several dogs who advocated the food hoarding lifestyle, including a husky who insisted on burying every bone she got in the backyard. It's understandable, after all, a dog has to have contingency plans. However, it's messy, the humans for some reason get generally displeased by the digging and stashing away, and there are freshness issues.

But most of all, I say, The Pack Will Provide. I've lived a long time and stayed with a couple of different packs, and there has always been food in my dish, even if sometimes it wasn't ham. Occasionally, the food was a little more crumbly than usual, but then another giant bag appears and all is right again.

Not only that, but I've hunted with my pack a few times now, and to be honest, it looks pretty easy. You just drive up to this window, and food comes out in a little bag. I've been able to hunt this way all year, so it doesn't seem to be seasonal thing. And so, I'm not going to start hoarding food, or worry too much about this allegedly coming food crisis. It's a lot of panic, IMHO. Certainly I don't think packs should be hoarding rice (I never touch the stuff myself anyway), as this induces further panic and drives up prices. Like the bones buried in the yard, you'd just get a lot of stale rice after a while. Be calm and submissive to the rice market.

Anyway, in the absolute crisis of my pack running out of food, there's always the grass in the backyard. And it's looking very long and green these days.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Blogger on the Block

You may have noticed that Ladygoat and Foodgoat has been somewhat absent of late. They may tell you that they has been preoccupied with Some Recent Exciting Developments, but it looks to me that they have been doing the same old things they always do, which is sit in front of the TV and computer and try to warm their freezing cold feet under me while I'm getting my after-dinner nap (which, frankly, I resent).

Since they have been neglectful of the blog, I've decided to take the blog into my own paws. I'm pretty busy, what with sleeping and eating and paw licking and did I mention sleeping?, but I think I can squeeze it in. (If I'm good enough at it, maybe I can make enough to get that stimulus package, which I understand can buy a lot of biscuits. )

Expect to see a lot of posts about the various types of ham Foodgoat has been purchasing at the local Italian store.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Chili-Delphia Story: Dorito's Spicy Sweet Chili Chips

How much did we enjoy Dorito's Spicy Sweet Pennsylvania Primary Coverage From Chili-Delphia - The City of Brotherly Crunch! - on the Colbert Report last week?

Enough to try out the Dorito's new Spicy Sweet Chili flavored tortilla chips! (Not that we are ever influenced by clever marketing ploys at all.)

Foodgoat found them, surprisingly, not bad at all, considering that he doesn't care for the regular Doritos Nacho Cheese flavor much. A little spicy ... and then, yes, a little sweet. Crunch-goat-licious!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thank Goodness Easter is Over

It's a great relief to me that Easter season is over, because Easter candy is quite possibly the most unappealing holiday candy of the entire year. There are Peeps (no one actually eats these, do they?), there are Cadbury eggs (raw eggs, even pretend candy raw eggs ... eww), and then there are the aisles and aisles of cheap, sugary, probably grainy and untasty, milk chocolate bunnies.

In third grade, we had to sell foot tall milk chocolate bunnies. I ended up eating a lot of them myself. I must have overdosed then, because I can't stand the idea of eating a Easter chocolate bunny now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Addicted After All

Not long ago, I decided to give up coffee for a few months. I didn't drink that much to begin with - 16 ounces at the most, spaced out into tiny sips throughout the workday, thanks to my handy thermos. Usually I wouldn't even finish it. That's not much, right? So how bad could it be to stop drinking coffee for a while?

I kept a giant plastic bottle of water on my desk in the morning instead of a thermos. I sipped cold water and felt virtuous.

But it's now almost two months into cutting out the morning coffee, and you know what? I'm done. I'm so over the experiment.

I don't need the thermos, but I think I'm going to go back to coffee in the morning. It wasn't that I got headaches or got all Mr. Coffee Nerves on everyone (okay, maybe a little), but starting mornings without at least a few sips of steaming hot something just didn't feel right. I love tea, but it's more of an afternoon and nighttime thing, and hot cocoa is too sweet. Half a cup of hot, black coffee, on the other hand, is perfect.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Retro Lunch

I previously mentioned that recently, Foodgoat resumed a practice of his youth. Tired of buying the super sweet sodas (or, if you must, pop) and generally opposed to paying for bottled water, he started buying milk at his work cafeteria to drink with his homemade, bagged lunch. True, it's skim milk now. But not many grown-ups are pairing their lunches with milk at all.

Today he is having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a Granny Smith apple, a bag of Fritos, and milk. How charming is that? It makes me want to buy him a Star Wars lunch box on eBay.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can I Get A Napkin Please?

I do not generally associate food courts with delightful dining experiences, but then I wasn't lucky enough to be one of the unwitting customers for this hilarious and totally awesome improv-infiltrated food court musical.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tasty, Tasty Murder

I saw this classic Threadless t-shirt on sale for $9 today, and I thought to myself, I'm glad I eat meat.

I don't feel any guilt about eating the delicious flesh of animals killed solely to satisfy my hunger. None at all. Should I?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cheesy Dreams

It's an old wives' tale that eating cheese gives you nightmares. I've actually never heard of this, until I came across a study by the British Cheese Board in 2005 that looked into it.

They found that eating cheese before bed actually helps with getting a good night’s sleep (it's the tryptophan). The best finding, though, is that different cheeses cause different types of dreams. For example:
  • Stilton, a blue cheese, not surprising perhaps, resulted in really vivid and weird dreams, though not necessarily bad dreams, for 75% of men and 85% of women who ate it. How weird? Talking soft toys, a vegetarian crocodile upset because it could not eat children, dinner party guests being traded for camels, soldiers fighting with each other with kittens instead of guns and a party in a lunatic asylum.
  • Brie caused women tended to experience nice dreams, such as Jamie Oliver cooking dinner in their kitchens, or sunny beaches, but men had obscure dreams, such as driving against a battleship, or having a drunken conversation with a dog.
  • Cheddar-eating participants tended to dream of celebrities.
Now this is a study just crying out for verification and reproducibility. Time for some nighttime snacks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Krab People!

Times being what they are, the time had come to pass up on the crab, and to try out krab.

I know I've had krab, or imitation crab, before. I must have - it's often used in California rolls or in crab dips and the like. But it's not something I really remember tasting.

Crab, on the other hand, I've tasted - and love. When my parents bought crab, it was fresh - so fresh that if you dropped it you'd have to chase it to get it back.

Foodgoat doesn't quite that fresh, and I'm not even sure we can really get that level of crabbiness here in Cleveland. But we do often buy excellent, freshly made crabcakes from the West Side Market and the occasional can of crabmeat.

Alas, that can can come in at upwards of $25 a pound. Imitation crab, we noticed, rang up at $11. Would it be worth it? It was time to find out.

Imitation crab is actually made from fish - specifically, surimi, which white fish meat that is ground into a paste and becomes gelatinous and rubbery when cooked. Usually that fish is Alaskan or walleye pollack, a very mild tasting, plentiful fish (it's certified as a sustainable fish, so you can eat it with confidence that you're not draining the oceans of life). Surimi has been made for over 800 years in Japan (it's also used to make fish balls and other types of processed fish products), but imitation crab meat was introduced in the United States in the early 1980s.

To turn surimi paste into something crab-like in texture, they add starch (usually wheat or tapioca, for firmness), sugar (for preservation), and egg whites and vegetable oil (for cohesion and shininess). To give it a crab-like flavor, they add both natural (from actual crabs) or artificial (from New Jersey) flavorings. Add a little food coloring to give it a crab-like pinkishness, and all the ingredients are in.

This paste is formed into smooth sheets, which are then cut into strands that are rolled into a rope, and steamed cooked - and in the end, it looks a lot like crab (and, some say, like string cheese).

We initially got the krab for California rolls, but ended up making a crab salad instead. Texture-wise, it was awfully rubbery, rather than meaty. Taste-wise, well, I really wouldn't mistake it for real crab in blind taste test.

However, it wasn't bad - - it was mild and vaguely crabby and generally inoffensive. It just wasn't really much like crab.

But, imitation crab is quite popular and lot of people genuinely like it. I think I would be more enthusiastic about it if it didn't pretend to be crab. If we just called it fish fillets or ground pollock or something, I feel like it could stand pretty well on its own. Obviously, it does all right in California rolls, mixed with avocado and rice and wasabi. It would probably do excellently in a creamy seafood dip or a mixed seafood cassarole.

But as a straight up crab substitute? In recipes in which crab is central to the flavor? Not so much. In recipes where the crab is central to the texture (like crab cakes or crab salad)? Really not so much.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sick and Tired, of Being Sick and Tasteless

It's no fun being sick. Especially when it's a sickness that hits Foodgoat, then takes me down, then gets Foodgoat for a second go round. And a sickness that wipes you out, and keeps us in bed, delirious and coughing, for days, and one that continues to linger on annoyingly for weeks.

But, even worse, being sick means having losing your sense of taste and your appetite. When your great comfort and enjoyment in life comes in food, it's depressing to find that nothing tastes good and nothing even sounds tasty. As a result, we haven't managed to make a good, interesting meal in weeks.

Instead, the only things we have had the energy or inclination to eat are Cheerios or bagels with cream cheese. One day we managed miso soup. Oh, and lots and lots of hot tea with honey. Indeed, we've gone through more honey in two weeks than we have in two years. Everything else, though, just tastes like cardboard. Which is really very sad.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nothing Says Love Like Bacon

For Valentine's Day, Foodgoat and I shared an intimate meal ... over burgers and fries from Wendy's. After all, what could be more romantic than matching Baconators?

The Wendy's Baconator, introduced last June, consists of six strips of bacon on top two quarter pound beef patties with two slices of American cheese, mayo and ketchup.

Besides having the most awesome burger name ever, the Baconator is actually really tasty. Wendy's burgers tend to be among the better of the fast food choices, but the Baconator stands out as being particularly yummy. The key, I think, is the bacon: the hickory smoked bacon is slightly sweet and quite flavorful and crisp. It's an aptly named product. And it's huge - much bigger than I could finish off. Or would want to: the Baconator comes in at (gulp!) 830 calories.

But every once in a while, Foodgoat and I look into each other's eyes ... and decide what we really want is a Baconator.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Taco Tuesday

It doesn't look pretty, and it can an agonizingly long time to digest. That was today's taco dinner, as well as the waiting for Super Tuesday results to come in. Hopefully the primaries will end leaving as good a taste in my mouth as the tacos did.

Foodgoat has managed to perfect his taco construction technique: blue corn hard shell tacos held inside a soft tortilla with a layer of warm refried beans. You get the crunch and the flavor of the blue corn hard shell, without the danger of structural collapse. Some ground beef (flavored with taco seasoning), some cheese, some salsa, and of course a dollop of sour cream, and you can face a night of primary returns fortified.

Tacos never look very big, but they are incredibly filling. Foodgoat doesn't know if it's the tacos or Hillary Clinton causing the indigestion. Maybe it's both.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Food You Don't Expect For Your Birthday

For his birthday, Foodgoat got just what he wanted: a case of military MRE's, or Meals Ready to Eat.

MREs are self-contained, individual rations in lightweight packaging designed for field conditions where organized food facilities are not available. They're designed to last 3 years in 80-degree weather; longer if stored in more optimal conditions.

Why would he want this? Peace of mind: we are set for at least a week should disaster strike. That can of Wolfgang Puck soup is just not going to cut it for us if we are hit by gamma rays from an exploding neutron star or Canada attacks Cleveland or if a volcano blows up in New York. (34 is apparently the age when paranoia strikes).

Plus, MREs have apparently come a long way from their days of being known as Meals Rejected by Everyone, Meals, Rarely Edible, or Three Lies for the Price of One (it's not a Meal, it's not Ready, and you can't Eat it). Nowadays, they are reputed to be quite palatable. The military changes up their menu of MREs every year based on feedback as well.

Typically, each MRE has:
  • Entree - the main course, such as Spaghetti or Beef Stew
  • Side dish - rice, corn, fruit, or mashed potatoes, etc.
  • Cracker or Bread
  • Spread - peanut butter, jelly, or cheese spread
  • Dessert - cookies or pound cakes
  • Candy
  • Beverages - Gatorade-like drink mixes, cocoa, dairy shakes, coffee, tea
  • Hot sauce or seasoning - in some MREs
  • Flameless Heater - to heat up the entree
  • Accessories - spoon, matches, creamer, sugar, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc
Want to learn more about MREs? This site is loaded with information.

Since we have not actually been hit by gamma rays recently, we haven't yet tried eating any of the meals. But stay tuned for the next time the power goes out!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Food Hack, One Non-Food Hack

The food hack:

To prevent foods from sticking to the pan when pan frying or sauteing, preheat the pan before adding any oil or butter. Use the heat setting you intend to use when cooking (not high heat), and pre-heat for a few minutes. When is it ready? When the pan is about 180 degrees, or until it passes the "butter test": add a dab of butter on the bottom of the pan. If it bubbles briskly without burning, it's hot enough.

Add your oil and allow the oil to heat. Then throw in your food. No sticking to the pan!

This tip ended a long string of bad pan stickiness I've had lately.

Why it works:

I truly thought I read about this in Harold McGee's The Invisible Ingredient editorial, but re-reading it, I don't see it anywhere, so I'm at a loss as to where I heard it. But here's Foodgoat's best guess as to why it works -

When the metal pan is cold, its surface has actually rough, although it may look and feed quite smooth. Heat will cause this metal to expand, which causes the surface to even out and become smoother. But, if you add the oil when the pan is still cold, the oil gets into those surface hills and crevices, preventing it from smoothing out.

Oil added to a preheated surface, however, sits right on top of that surface, so that it acts as the slick, lubricating layer you need to keep food from sticking to the pan.

The Non-Food Hack

If, by chance, you should suck up the Wii Sensor bar with your vacuum cleaner, thereby mangling it beyond all recognition, you can still play with your Wii by lighting two candles, set about 9 inches apart, in front of your TV. Your Wiimote and all the games will work just as well with this super low tech sensor bar stand in. This is how we spent our Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It's really quite romantic.

Why it works:

The sensor bar doesn't actually sense anything, nor does it send any data to the Wii console. It just has two blue lights, one on each end, that the Wiimote uses to triangulate its position. It's the Wiimote that talks to the console. The sensor bar is just plugged into the console to power the lights. Candles provide the needed lights just as well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Milk It For All It's Worth

Last Friday was National Milk Day, in honor of the first day, in 1878, that milk was first delivered in bottles.

Foodgoat is a longtime devoted milk drinker who routinely pours a big tall glass to go along with his dinner at home. But now, he has also made milk his drink of choice for lunch at work. While everyone else grabs a soda (or pop, if you must call it that) or a bottled water at the cafeteria, Foodgoat is among the few adults drinking milk along with their meal.

And why not? Maybe because buying milk at the cafeteria is sooo 3rd grade. But for Foodgoat, as in about 36% of those of Southern European descent, milk can continue to be a healthy, delicious option for adults as well as children. Milk, more nutritious and more filling than soda, has calcium and protein and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals. There's surprisingly a lot of controversy around the health benefits of milk, but I attribute it to the agitations and warmongering of vegans.

Me, I do not have dairy herding in my genes. I am among the 90-100% of Asians, who stop producing lactase, the enzyme required to digest milk, in adulthood, and thus can be found curled up and clutching their tummy after having a big a milkshake. Fortunately, there is yogurt.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Minas Tirith during the Battle of Pelennor Fields ... in candy!

Here are the two food-related ones out of the 10 creepiest old ads ...