Friday, August 29, 2008

Eating while drinking: how much is too much?

A friend recently mentioned how I always feed them when we drink. Not just a little, they say, but a LOT and how that makes them comfortable to drink with me on a week night or before a day that they need to get things done.

It got me thinking how often I usually involve food with drinking. Regardless if its beer, wine, liquor, whatever, I usually try to always have dinner as well as late night snacks available. Recently, at 1:30 in the morning, (read=we just got home from the bar and were drunk) I realized we didn’t eat that much for dinner and I boiled some noodles and warmed up some marinara sauce from the fridge. Yes, that’s right, I made pasta at 1:30AM. But, I bet we all felt better the next day because of it. (Particularly with the aid of my hangover cures, posted earlier.)

For the record, eating doesn’t help you actually “sober up”- it has very little effect on your blood alcohol content. However, it can help absorb some of that alcohol from your stomach and usually lessons the hangover. So, while I don’t recommend eating a cheeseburger to sober you up enough to get behind the wheel, at least have comfort in the fact that eating does help the next day. (Hopefully enough to burn off those late night calories.!)

But I wonder, do we really serve that much more food than everyone else while drinking? Usually, once we exceed 3 drinks, its time to serve a near full-meal. Is this really that odd? Is it too much food? I suppose, glancing at my waistline, that perhaps the Lush way of eating and drinking is overdoing it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not a vegetarian, but a meatatarian

I saw a hilarious commercial the other day. I’m sure it offends vegetarians everywhere but whatever. (actually I know it does because in trying to find the clip of the commercial to post, only complaints about it came up)

A guy and a girl are eating at Wendy’s. Girls asks Guy if he wants a bite of her salad. He says no, “I’m a meatarian”. (blank look on Girl’s face) He goes on to say he only eats meat and points to his “baconator” cheeseburger. He says it’s a lifestyle choice and you have to be really committed.

I, of course, find it hilarious. (I’ll try to link to the commercial once I find it) While I have recently tried to like more veggies, and have succeeded in adding a few regulars to the Lush menu, I’m far closer to a “meatatarian” then a vegetarian and lightyears away from a vegan. Unless its alcohol, almost everything I consume came from an animal or is an animal. (sorry, PETA)

On a side and somewhat related note, another hilarious anti vegetarian thing to watch is South Park’s episode from season 6. The ending is fab.

Right or wrong, I appreciate good low brow entertainment. That and good wine. Even better at the same time. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Really old Reisling

A few weeks ago we had a garage sale to get rid of some of the pre-wedding handme downs. We didn’t have much of real value, most of it was junk, but junk that took up space. A lady purchased an old patio set asked us to deliver it, since she was just a few houses down. No problem, of course, so Mr. Lush takes off. He comes back with a large container of wines that she had from her father, and she doesn’t drink wines. Sounds very exciting right? The vast majority of it is Riesling from 1979-1986. Hmm. I have never had 20+year old Riesling before, but I thought it lasted a while and call Lucy to ask her. She had heard the same, but had never had one.

Curious, Mr. Lush and I open a bottle of 1982 Spatlese. (Spatlese refers to the level of sugar/sweetness in the wines) Hmm. Its awfully golden. That’s what happens to whites when it ages, right? Smell. Hmm. Smells like sauternes-ish. Probably not going to be very Reisling, right? Taste….sort of apple juice like. Not moldy apple juice or funky apple juice. Just apple juice like. Dang it. We tried a few more, one with the Luce’s, who thought the same thing. Dang it. After looking it up we see that Spatlese wines will keep for 5-10 years, maybe 15 in extraordinary years. The youngest wine we had was a 1986, so they will all probably be thrown down the drain. Of course, I’ll open them and taste, hoping that perhaps we had one bottle that magically managed to stay good, and will probably be disappointed that the wine acted just as it should’ve….it was past its time. It might’ve been fantastic in 1990, which is probably how long she’d had it, based on other bottles in the bin.

I could be mad at the Wine Gods again, but one bottle did have a lovely rendition of a tapestry of the wine gods in a garden, so I thought perhaps it was a sign that I shouldn’t be mad at them, since I'm collecting art wine labels.

Friday, August 22, 2008

See, looking things up IS useful

Recently, due a near obsessive compulsive disorder to look things up, I looked up how far the Olympics are scheduled. Aside from satisfying a curiosity, I was able to use that knowledge nearly immediately. While at a school “team building” activity yesterday, we had trivia. One of the questions was “Where are the 2014 Olympics going to be held?”.

Are you kidding me? I actually know this, and just found out. And only one other person out of 60+ people knew it, and some of these people knew EVERYTHING. How awesome. I can’t wait to tell Mr. Lush that its actually USEFUL that I frantically look things up. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have know it when I needed it. Yeah!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Want to go to the 2032 Olympics? Not so fast....

I’m sure you all know one….someone who actually goes and looks it up when a question is presented that they don’t know. It doesn’t have to be important or school related. It can be something like what side of the street do you walk on- facing traffic or the same direction as traffic to can a President who’s served 2 terms become president again if they were elected vice president and the current President was removed from office. This person doesn’t just casually look it up-often they will get up, mid conversation to go google it. Or a pending question that was posed when a computer was unavailable will bother them until they finally look it up.

Well, I’m one of those people. Mr. Lush loves it sometimes and hates it other times. Hates it when I prove him wrong and loves it when he wants to know something or when he feels like messing with me and will just pose a question to see if I will go dash and look it up.

My most recent pending question was “How far out are the Olympics planned?” While in Kansas City this weekend, Mr. Lush and I were watching the Olympics at a bar (read=no computer available) and that question came up. Mr. Lush thinks its “oh, just one out or so”. No, it has to be like 3 or 4 at least, don’t you think? With no answer and no way to look it up, it was dropped. Until I looked it up today.

Now, we know if Lucy was on the Olympic committee it would be planned until at least 2042, with backups for potential natural disasters or major wars of destruction. However, Lucy is not on the committee, so currently the Olympic locations are only planned out through 2014. (Vancouver 2010, London 2012, and Sochi (in Russia-I didn’t know either) 2014. Currently, Chicago is on the bid for the 2016 games- feel free to “add your voice” if you’d like .

Thought you might like to know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Engagement rings are just baubles on appendages

DEAR ABBY: I despise wearing rings, which is a problem because I plan to become engaged. I'm OK with a plain wedding band, but baubles on appendages interfere with useful work and creativity, and they turn me off.
I have an expensive heirloom ring I would gladly give to my lady if she'd keep it in the safe deposit box where it belongs. I don't want to insure it, deal with it if she loses it, or know I caused her to be injured if a thug tried to steal it. If I give it to her, she'll want to wear it. She doesn't need an ornament to prove she's special or loved.
What can I use in lieu of an engagement ring? I'd rather give her an annuity or something useful. The thought of a $10,000 ring on a hand that belongs to a productive and intelligent working woman suggests self-indulgent exhibitionism.
I know I'm fighting an uphill battle, but my feelings are valid to me. I feel the same when I see rings in the workplace and socially. Why not just duct-tape a $1,000 bill to your forehead if you want to call attention to yourself? Any ideas? -- PRACTICAL IN DENVER

DEAR PRACTICAL: Before you pop the question, be absolutely sure you and your lady have a meeting of the minds on this subject. Candidly, from the tone of your letter you come across as rigid, opinionated and controlling. While you are entitled to your biases, if you marry an "intelligent and productive working woman," she should be able to decide for herself what kind of jewelry is appropriate.
Also, I find it sad that you would rather keep an expensive heirloom ring hidden in a safety deposit box than have your lady enjoy it -- presuming, of course, that it's her taste and she WOULD enjoy wearing it. So if you're looking for ammunition in arguing this with your girlfriend, I'm sorry, but you have asked the wrong columnist.

This is just funny to me. While I do have some very efficient friends (Luce’s) and I can see that perhaps this man really feels that typical engagement rings, are simply “baubles on appendages”, I would think this uber minimalist attitude comes through in other areas and that his girlfriend would have some clue already of what she’s involved with. He clearly has some sort of issue that needs to be worked out and Abby’s right on calling him rigid, opinionated, and controlling. I for one love my wedding ring and often look at it and smile. (yes, I know….new brides, huh??) If it makes me happy, its worth it, right??

Either way it made me chuckle that he’d rather propose with an annuity than a ring that would “suggest self-indulgent exhibitionism” and I thought I’d share.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Darn you wine gods!

I hate disappointing wine experiences. Not when you unsuspectingly open what should be a perfectly good bottle and its gone bad/spoiled. That stuff happens sometimes, although I will say that we’re rather lucky and it hasn’t happened much. I mean when you purchase a bottle, maybe its expensive, maybe its not, but for whatever reason you have hopes that it will be good and then you open it….and its not what you hoped. The torture continues, as you hope that “it just needs some air” so after some vigorous “air” via swishing, decanting, aerating, etc, you taste again….and still, its just not that good.

This happened over the weekend. I picked up a bottle of Napa County Line, a merlot/cab blend that from Robery Sinskey, who I typically like. We were in Kansas City, so we took it back to the hotel and opened it up and it was just way too fruit forward, almost juice like, minus the sugar, of course. Air didn’t help, temperature change didn’t help. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good. And we had no other wine in the hotel to make up for it- we couldn't say c'est la vie and open something else. Instead we suffered through about half of it, then went about our evening. The next morning while packing, I looked at the bottle on the desk and I was almost sad. Like the bottle had let me down in some way. I angrily shook my fist in the air and said “darn you, wine gods, darn you!!”.

I didn’t really, but it made a good ending, didn’t it?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Watch out for the "Throwed Rolls"

Recently Mr. Lush and I drove to Table Rock Lake to visit my parents. We left early to get ahead of I-44 traffic and thus arrived in Springfield, Missouri in time to eat at Lamberts. Mr. Lush has wanted to eat at Lamberts every time we go to Table Rock and every year we don’t because the wait is just too long, always at least an hour. But not this time. This time we wait. For an hour. In high 90 degree heat. Upon studying the menu, I noted that it said they don’t take credit cards. What? Who doesn’t take credit cards? To further puzzle me, it said “checks welcome”. What?? Who on early doesn’t take credit cards but takes checks???!! To my additional dismay, they also don’t serve alcohol. Not even a Busch Light. What??? So, we have to wait an hour, can’t drink, and have to pay in cash?? I look at Mr. Lush and think “this better be worth it”.

We are seated at almost exactly an hour. We of course know what we want. Within 3 minutes of sitting, I see that yes, they really do live up their name “home of the throwed rolls”- they really do toss them at you. The roll-thrower is quite good and can toss lightly or chuck it across the room with accuracy. And they are tasty rolls.

On to the food. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, our food arrived. Tons of it and its cheap. Huge open faced roast beef sandwich with 2 sides, with free food "refills" should I have had room, for 10.99. In addition, they are walking around with about 4 more sides-such as fried okra, fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes and something else. I don’t know who on earth could eat that much to get a REFILL. It was all pretty good-home style cooking. Not my everyday fare, but good. Mr. Lush got the meatloaf which was a bit dry, but the rest was good.

So, we waited an hour, but ordered, were served, finished eating and paid in 30 minutes. So all in all it was a one hour thirty minute dining experience for about $35 including tip. Is it worth it, you ask? Well, if you’ve never been, sure, go once. If you love homestyle cooking, sure, lots of good food for cheap. But will we be going back? Not for another 5-10 years, if that. I’m a fan of less of a wait, a place to sit comfortably while I wait, a tasty alcoholic beverage option while I wait for an hour, and the convenience of paying with a credit card. I'll take all that over a "throwed roll".

But that’s me.