Friday, January 8, 2010


I've always had a weird struggle with food. When I was about 11 years old I decided that I was frumpy and overweight so, I made the decision to be the first worst vegetarian in all of West Virginia. "Whaddya mean NO MEAT?... You want bacon instead?"

I lasted about 9 years on cereal, ketchup sandwiches and microwave noodles before buckling in college to a two day old Philly Cheese Steak. (YES, I still call them "Philly Cheese Steaks". I also refer to soda as POP and the way you people pronounce "radiator" and "Acme" gives me a full bellied laugh every time. Please don't ever stop.)

Growing up in that yo-yo diet crazed part of the 90's had a huge impact on the way I looked at food. It was my enemy. Fourteen grams of fat a day was the limit. Plain yogurt, black coffee and 5 macadamia nuts for breakfast, cardio for lunch and a 200 calorie plastic-wrapped microwave disaster for dinner. Mom started sneaking vegetable oil into the few meals that I allowed her to prepare for me, simply to keep me alive. (Thanks Mom.) It was my 103 pound summer and I wouldn't do it again if you promised me fame, fortune, and another forbearance on my student loans.

After 28 years on this silicone waif infested planet, I have decided that it's okay to have a healthy bum. I know enough about Photoshop to understand that Demi Moore's hips aren't concave in real life and regardless, Kelso ain't complainin'. The girls walking downtown with legs so thin they disappear if you blur your eyes look pretty friggin' cold this time of year and I'll bet you a dollar they haven't licked the ricotta off a plate of lasagna in a loooong time.

Working and living in Philadelphia has opened my eyes to eating as an experience. The Reading Terminal Market is a gold mine of delicious cheeses (whose names I cannot pronounce), veggies and a smörgåsbord of freshly slaughtered meats! Capogiro makes the richest creamiest most amazing gelato I have ever had and it has COMPLETELY screwed my love affair with ice cream. (I'm sorry baby, it's just not the same anymore...) South Philly Pho is the cheapest most delicious soup in the world. I could quite literally drown myself in the steaming bowl of steak*, sprouts and Sriracha and die a happy girl. The restaurants that I've discovered in Philly make me wish I hadn't wasted those 9 years on ketchup sandwiches. These days I sample foods sorta like I experimented with hallucinogens in high school... "Hey, what's that? Screw it, gimme some."

So, thank you Philly Phoodies for steering me away from canned pasta and boxed mac and cheese. Thank you Steph for your gumbo and Tacy for your stress relief baking. Thank you Capogiro for completely ruining soft serve for everyone. And thank you Pho houses everywhere. I love you. I'll see you later tonight, please save me a table.

*I don't know if it's really steak and I TOTALLY don't care.

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