Sunday, December 25, 2022
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Sunday, December 11, 2022
As I got older, my eating habits changed. Considerably. I ate salad, something I would customarily slide over to my mother's side of the table when dining in a restaurant. I ate broccoli, granted it had to be mixed in a spicy sauce and served with a plate full of other chopped up ingredients within the cozy and mysterious confines of a Chinese restaurant. I still pick sliced tomatoes off of a hoagie, but I will happily consume the lettuce and onion, an act unheard of when I was a child. My wife often marvels at my evolved eating habits, commenting, "Your mother would be so proud of you!" I'm pretty sure she would.
Almost a decade ago, I wrote a pretty disparaging piece about raisins and my dislike of them. I was convinced that there was a universal conspiracy to get people to eat raisins. Not to necessarily like raisins, just to eat them. I observed that raisins were covertly snuck into various foods in a effort to get them eaten. They had to be hidden in bread and noodle casseroles and cakes. The name of a particular dish could not include the actual word "raisin," for fear no one would eat it. So, things like "cinnamon rolls" were never identified as "raisin cinnamon roils." "Coffee cake" was similarly ambiguous about all of its components. Even for the tiniest amount of raisins, they'll say: "You can't even taste the raisins!" It's like the people who say: "I know it's a Jim Carrey movie, but you'll like it." It's still has Jim Carrey in it! Only "raisin bread" appears ballsy enough to put its most reviled ingredient first in its name. Obviously, that was for those other people. You know, the ones proliferating the whole "raisin agenda." But, I hereby rescind my stance on raisins. I like them. I eat them. I concede that they are not among my favorite foods, but I no longer gag when I discover one in a bite of baked good, nor to I make a little pile of them on the side of my plate when politely eating something that contains them.
|Not a cow.|
A few years ago, based on the advice of a doctor, I began eating breakfast on a daily basis. This was a meal that I skipped for most of my adult life. But after a series of vasovagal syncopes, my doctor recommended that I eat breakfast every morning to combat the feeling of hunger during the day, thereby preventing future fainting episodes. So, every morning, before I leave for work, I pour myself a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. Nothing extravagant and no actual cooking is involved. I always make sure there is milk in the house, a regular requirement that lapsed after my son moved out on his own. One day, a year or so ago, my son suggested that I switch to almond milk, citing its health benefits. He explained that dairy-based milk is passé. I was hesitant at first, but, once I tasted almond milk, I was hooked. The "unsweetened" variety has no discernable taste and, I believe, is lower in calories than the stuff that comes from mistreated cows. So almond milk it is... and has been for some time now.
Last week, after seeing that the current supply of almond milk was running low, I added it to our running shopping list. During the day, Mrs Pincus went to the supermarket and purchased everything on said list. The next morning, I began my daily ritual of turning on the Keurig, getting a bowl from the kitchen cabinet, getting cereal from a different kitchen cabinet and grabbing the carton of almond milk from the refrigerator. I grabbed the newly purchased almond milk, removed the safety seal and poured an amount over the waiting Honey Nut Cheerios in my bowl — just like I've done on countless mornings. I picked up the bowl and mug and headed upstairs for some classic TV reruns before I left for work. I plopped myself down on the sofa, flicked on the TV and put the first heaping spoonful of cereal in my mouth.
Something was..... off.
Sunday, December 4, 2022
On the night before Thanksgiving 1983, I stopped drinking. By this time, I had reached the legal drinking age in Pennsylvania and took full advantage of the situation. My friend Scott and my friend Sam decided that we would see how much alcohol our bodies could tolerate. We found ourselves at the bar of The Dickens Inn, a British-themed pub in the historic section of Philadelphia. Here, we downed a few beers while we engaged in conversation with a couple of British sailors who were stationed on a ship docked on the Delaware River. We tried our darndest to keep up with their drinking, but our lightweight Northeast Philadelphia Jewish sensibilities were no match for their hard-drinking, seafaring ways. Soon, the bartender began plying us with shots of peppermint schnapps and beer chasers. Those sailor literally drank us under the table. I say "literally," because that where I ended up — under the table. To be more accurate, I wound up on my ass at the bottom of a flight of stairs. I was carried out of the place by Scott and Sam and loaded into Scott's car, but not before I was warned: "If you puke in my car, you are walking the rest of the way home." To Scott's satisfaction, I waited until I got home to throw up my guts. And with a houseful of people arriving for Thanksgiving the next day, I managed to crawl out of bed just as the last guests were leaving. I missed dinner while I prayed for sweet death to alleviate the throbbing in my head.