Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gastronomical Pet Peeves

I could fill a whole book about things that annoy me, food-wise, starting with mayonnaise, but there has been one that keeps re-surfacing recently, and it simply must be addressed.

Pretend you are at a cocktail party. Something important enough that you dressed up, brought a bit of make-up to work for 5:00pm re-touching, and even made sure to carry a spare pair of flats in your purse so you can change in and out of your impractical (but very cute) high heels. Nonetheless, before said cocktail party, you were so busy sending last minute emails and returning phone calls that you put off that you didn't have time to get anything to eat before arriving.

I, for one, am a huge believer in having something to eat before attending ANY sort of professional event where alcohol will be served. I don't care if it is a seven-course meal cooked by Alain Ducasse. A PBJ from home, a quick granola bar, or something starchy will never go amiss. Unfortunately, I just could not get my sh*t together before a recent event, and scooted on up to midtown, hoping, praying, relying on the fact that there would be some sort of crudité or some hors d'oeuvres being passed around with which to line my stomach.

So, here we are, schmoozing and trying to seem as lively as possible while listening to my stomach grumble, angry with me that all it has encountered since lunch is some cheap vodka and three cubes of cheese. Trying to eat and mingle at these things is always very tricky for me--you can't NOT have a drink in your hand, otherwise everyone thinks your a stick in the mud, and so that only leaves one hand free to eat, meaning your limited to single cubes of cheese or carrots dipped in whatever nasty mayo-based concoction they have before you (what is wrong with hummus, people? It tastes so much better!). Thankfully, the passed hors d'oeuvres came out before things got too dire.

Passed hors d'oeuvres at these sorts of things must all come from the same catalog--mini quiches, pigs-in-a-blanket, chicken skewers, and some sort of cracker with lobster paste--but they all serve one purpose at these sorts of things: preventing me from getting black-out. It is gauche, but it is true.

And this is right about where things turn sour. Here I am, sipping my booze, discreetly trying to fill my stomach with something that doesn't require a lemon wedge, and out come the piece de resistance of passed hors d'oeuvres. The mini egg roll.

These things are always lukewarm to the touch, and seem like such a marvelous little thing, especially when they follow the "cracker with lobster paste." You pick it up by its whimsical little toothpick, bit into out, and out squirts boiling out egg roll oil.

Now, this never happens when your talking to someone in your same socio-professional "bracket." No. It happens when you're talking to "someone important," perhaps a Noble prize winner, or maybe someone whose won Pulitzer. Regardless, they are obviously smarter than you, because they knew better than to try and eat one of those damn mini egg rolls. Otherwise, they would look like me, standing there, eyes watering, doing my best not to try and spit out the offending piece of mini egg roll into my glass (gross), yet the boiling oil in my mouth is so hot that I simply cannot swallow, and so am just sort of standing there with my mouth half opened and a pained look on my face, all while trying to still look as interested as possible.

Damn you mini egg rolls is all I have to say. Where are those mini quiches when you need it?

That is one thing I will certainly NOT be having at the wedding.


  1. SO true! Why are those things always so hot in the center? Good incentive to stick to the fruit and cheese plate.

  2. hahaha that is THE worst. And they always have something green, like spinach, in it so you get it stuck in your teeth.