Monday, August 25, 2014

Long Overdue (Just Like My Library Books)

Wow.  It's been quite a while.  In my defense, Joey and I did move this month.  And we're on a shoestring budget right now.  Whatever we make for dinner is pretty much the only option that night.  So I can't really afford to adventure.

Unless it's for free.  This is where political campaign fundraisers come in.

My father has long been a supporter of a local state politician.  He actually goes out and campaigns the old-fashioned, Chicago way: walking door to door and handing people political flyers.  I kid you not, he has almost been vehicularly manslaughtered by the footmen of the competition.  Chicago politics are intense.  When my sister and I were younger, we would get bundled up and go with him (Chicagoans spend about half the year bundled up).

This dedication has paid off in the form of free bowling and food once a year.  Other people pay upwards of $500 for this event.  Our invite always comes stamped "COMPLIMENTARY" right over all the three- and four-digit dinner options.

For years, I have avoided the salad at this event.  It's a pre-mixed Caesar salad.  I'm all for salad.  I think salad is wonderful...with the right dressing.  Caesar dressing is spicy!  There's way too much pepper in it!

But the meal was free.  And it might be my last adventure for at least a couple weeks.  So I grabbed a plate.

Exactly what it says on the tin: a plate full of salad.

And I started eating.  And it was spicy!  And I accidentally got a crouton, which Miriah was generous enough to eat for me.  Still, I adventured.  I have to take advantage of every adventurous opportunity that I can nowadays.

It was spicy.  But I ate it all anyway.  Just call me the Merriweather Lewis of political campaign fundraising dinners.

All of that salad was consumed by me!  I'm amazing!

I rewarded myself for having such an adventurous spirit with a hot dog.  Hot dogs are the best.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Year of Adventures

One year ago, I decided to actively eat disgusting foods.  But I had (and still have) a very skewed view of what qualified as "disgusting."

My views were not affected by morals.  I do not categorically avoid foods because I am vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, fruitarian, or any other type of eater restricted by ethical or religious qualms about eating certain things.

(Uh oh, cue minor rant about privilege....) Yes, when possible, I try to get meat and produce from companies that I know treat their animals well or better yet from farmers' markets.  I prefer Heartland meat over anything I can get in Jewel.  But I can afford to prefer that.  Other people cannot afford to buy grass-fed beef over industrial beef.  I respect that and do not judge what people eat based on how it came to be on their plate.  I judge it based on if it's gross.  (End rant.  Thanks for sticking it out!)

But my views on what makes a food gross are also not tied up with cultural norms.  I understand why people eat grasshoppers, squid, livers, testicles, you name it.  While I would not seek out a testicle as part of my meal, I might feel differently if I hadn't grown up in a very specific part of the world.  I also find culturally "normal" foods for my region to be disgusting.  Pickles, for example.  In the Midwest especially, people eat pickles off of sticks like popsicles.  They are disgusting.

Pictured above: Nightmare fuel.  Photo from

But a lot has changed in a year.  I have had many adventures, with varying degrees of success.  There are foods that were securely on my "Do Not Eat" list that are now very securely on my "Do Eat" list.  And I have come to terms with the fact that I may occasionally have to eat birds.

These are the foods that have made the jump to the other side:
  • Bell peppers
  • Beans
  • Cooked tomatoes
  • Cooked onions
  • Squash
  • Small amounts of pepper
  • Larger amounts of mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
If I can make that much progress in my first year adventuring, imagine what I can accomplish in my second!