Friday, July 07, 2006

Infrequently Asked Questions, Part I

Q: Why don't you have any pictures of yourself on your website?

A: So that when I tell you that I resemble "a young Sophia Loren," you won't be certain that the proper response is to fall out of your chair, laughing.

Q: You call yourself a "food snob." Don't you enjoy any lowbrow foods at all?

A: Sure I do! I enjoy processed cheese and Marshmallow Fluff as much as anyone else. I just don't delude myself into thinking that they're "good." In truth, it's usually pretty easy to make most combinations of fat, salt, and/or sugar taste good, but it's the food analog of a cheap trick. I have much higher respect for the sophisticated marriage of interesting flavors and textures, or the pure beauty of fresh, delicious blends of simple ingredients.

Q: I simply don't have the time or energy to make my own pasta sauce. Can you recommend a decent commercial brand?

A: Acceptable brands include Classico, Victoria, Rao's, Barilla, and Patsy's. Brands made with organic ingredients are generally a good bet, as they tend to focus on quality. Steer clear of cartoon grandmothers, and of any brands that mispronounce Italian words in their commercials.

Q: Is it true that sewing is therapeutic?

A: Absolutely! Just not in the way that you think it will be. Forget those visions of blissfully humming as you sew by an open window with flowing drapes, the sun streaming in and warming a plush velvet cushion upon which is perched a soft, purring cat. The reality is more likely to be you, cursing a blue streak as you break YET ANOTHER needle or remove YET ANOTHER tangle from the bobbin case, until your spouse comes in to make sure that everything's ok, because he hasn't heard you swear like that since, well, EVER...and then you force out a quick smile so that you can return right to work because SO HELP ME, I will figure out how to use that stitch that makes the fucking decorative stars if it takes me all night, and....wait! Wait! I've got it! It's perfection! Whew!

Q: When you have a day to yourself, what do you do?

A: Make elaborate plans over my morning tea. Highlights of the day include finishing all my chores in a mere fifteen minutes, followed by museum jaunts, window shopping while dressed up a la Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's with unheard Mancini music playing in the background, baking a souffle, and lounging on my couch with a good book. In reality, I log onto the Internet, and by the time I log off, I have just enough time to shower, run errands, and eat something.

Any REAL questions you'd like me to address?


Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Classico and Barilla are good--but I love Newman's Own, especially the Sockarooni.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I like the Newman's Own, too; just tried it for the first time last week. Chunky, but not TOO chunky.

I also kind of love Francesco Rinaldi, meat flavored. "Made by Italians!" Is that bad? Because it's always on sale, and it seems to have more heft than, say, Ragu (owned by an Evil Corporate Empire) or Prego (cloying sweetness does not belong in pasta sauce-- er, gravy).

Also, Sophia Loren ain't got nothin' on you. :)

11:43 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Classico fucking rules. That's like, the Cadillac of spaghetti sauce.

Hmm. Real questions? I'm brain fried -- I just spent two hours sitting in the sun watching my children get all sorts of filthy. All I can think of is like, "What's your favourite movie? What band have you seen the most live? Do you like cereal?"

11:43 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Ok, I'm putting Newman's Own on the grocery list. I like his other products.

As for Francesco Rinaldi, I've never tried it. I'm slightly skeptical, but they've got proper pronunciation of both "Ciao!" and "Francesco Rinaldi" in their commercials going for them, so I deem them Acceptable. They also get bonus points for not dumbing down the spelling (Boyardee / Boiardi, anyone?). Frankly, though, in light of the Sophia Loren compliment, you can eat any brand you want. :)

Hmmm, favorite movie? I've got several, which include but are not limited to Diary of a Mad Housewife (which, in the worst marketing mistake of the century, has never been released on DVD), Swept Away (the original, not the Madonna vanity project), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet.

As for bands, does Raffi count? To be honest, I'm not all that into seeing bands live. I like the version of a song that I get used to from the album, and--old crotchety person alert--I think concerts are almost always too loud. I do, however, love hearing live music outdoors, and, with very few exceptions, can listen to most any kind of music this way.

I do like cereal. I eat the same brand for several days in a row, until I get sick of it and switch. I'm contemplating the purchase of a box of Corn Flakes this week.

12:12 PM  
Blogger ptg said...

When my gastroenterologist told me I had to eat only non-processed foods, it was truly a blessing in disguise. I haven't had anything but 'made from scratch' sauces in over 10 years.

I eat pasta almost every day, often more than once a day. I do it for the medium-slow carbohydrate and because it is nearly sodium free.

Both of my ex-wives used Ragu extensively. It could be what drove me to drink.

Get a Doctor's note, Arabella, and folks will stop calling you a food snob and start making decent food for you when you go to visit. Use the Ragu to kill ants.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

lol...I relate all too well to number 5. And I'm embarrassed to admit that I love Prego organic sauce :p

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Would you post a recipe for REAL Marinara sauce? I've been trying for over a DECADE to make a thick, tangy, lightly seasoned tomato sauce, but all my attempts have failed miserably so far.

Your sewing description is exactly why the sewing machine I got for my birthday in January is still in the box.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Ditto on seeing bands live. Too loud, too smoky, has to be outdoors.

6:19 AM  

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