Theo waxes poetic on the virtues of pepperoni pizza

Theo is a Sous Chef at Fig and Pig Catering. In the past, she has studied at the Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Bra, Italy and lived and worked on organic farms. 

“Some are fortunate/pesky enough to get a second shot at a simple task. It’s something I do everyday, and I do it with a lot of pleasure. Linda approached me to write a food journal for 5 days. So I ate for five days and missed my deadline, then tried again and this is it.”

Monday, June 24
I start the day off strong with white rice, chunks of white fish, squash, bean sprouts, zucchini, pork, and mushrooms. It’s my mom’s cooking and it’s pretty much my standard breakfast – one which I’ve grown to appreciate and be satisfied with. I can’t stand eating sweets in the morning. It’s simply atrocious. Even looking at a sweet makes me feel hollow and unfilled in the morning.

Lunch is one and half slices with a glass water. From a random pizzeria, it was just slices, but I was surprised by how bland it was. However, when one is ravenous, all food tastes good even if s/he recognizes its inadequacies.

After a catering event, I stuffed my face with the canapés we had made in lieu of real dinner. This amounted to: two mini cheeseburgers with mini brioche buns, three halves of vegetable rolls that I made from beginning to consumption, one mini BLT, and a glass of rosé. Later that night, I also snacked on two glasses of sweet tea vodka – very dangerous but addictive.

Tuesday, June 25
I had the same breakfast as the day before – rice, fish and veggies.

For lunch, I had several mini brioche buns that I found in the back of the car as we were driving to the event we were working. It was happy, because TomCat makes delicious bread.

Later lunch: I regret this 100% but everyone’s got to have a taste of Chili’s at least once in their life. I ordered a strawberry margarita and I got two because it was two for one special. What could I say? My compatriots ordered a basket of nachos, which came with salsa, and they ordered queso…. The nachos were probably 2x the size of my head. The queso was a brown sauce that came in a terracotta dish and had little lumps of mystery meat. I haven’t had mystery meat since I was 15. Fast food chains have their merits and certainly deserve to exist as they already rest in the hearts of millions, but for the prices Chili’s charges, they certainly can afford to serve real meat instead of what I can only imagine was imitation meat. It was a good laugh and one strawberry margarita was left to melt in the hot day of June.

Later Later Lunch: As we were trying to find our way to the mall, we realized that we could dig into the lobster salad we had prepared with the mini brioche buns as scoops. It was great! I may have had extra lobster salad on the beach while the rest were body surfing because there were only two body boards and because the sky looked something so ominous I may have tattled on the pair to a lifeguard as I huddled on the edge of the entrance to the beach. And a beer.

Later Later Later Lunch: Because we hadn’t had a proper lunch, we stopped into SwingBelly’s after a quick romp at Long Beach for actual lunch and a couple of beers. We started with a Corona and a small basket of pickle chips. Now I have never heard of such an incarnation of pickles or even dreamed it was possible, but I must say they are the devil’s treats and I would happily go back for seconds. We determined that it was twice fried and the waitress confirmed our hypothesis. So that’ll likely be a new summer experiment.  We shared a plate of brisket with fries and side of corn bread and a similar platter but with ribs. The bbq was ok, very good in terms of smoking but the seasoning was a little lacking in salt.

I finally made it home after what felt like a suburban teenage dream and anal adult’s nightmare. I was over the eating because honestly, it was far too much food.

Wednesday, June 26
Standard breakfast, same breakfast as the last. I ate small portions of it so it’s lasting through out the week.

For lunch, I ate half an artichoke sandwich and half an ABLT – (avocado BLT), a slice of watermelon, and a mini bottle of water – which I might add makes very little sense to me. It was all provided by a caterer based in Cobble Hill. Very tasty. I also nibbled a chocolate peanut butter cookie through out the afternoon. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the whole cookie after the previous day’s feasting and the sandwich I had just eaten.

After meetings and running around, by 4:30 I am sufficiently hungry for dinner. The catering company I work for went to visit a fun restaurant in Staten Island. It’s called Enoteca Maria. The cuisine is Italian but the concept is what sold me: a rotation of Italian nonna’s from different parts of Italy. Each day the menu is different and the food freshly prepared. Today, we started off with wine from Basilicata, and complimentary bread with three mini appetizers of eggplant, summer squash, and chopped bell peppers. Then we added pigs feet with cannellini beans and red sauce, one lamb chop, and sweetbreads to the mix. Yumo! This is all before the main course (of course). The main course was actually cuttlefish with mashed potatoes and bread. I finish off dinner with a glass of riesling.

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Pigs feet with cannellini beans in red sauce.

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One lamb chop

I have a midnight snack of two small bowls of rice and a few pieces of the white fish. I ate this at midnight because I don’t normally, and also forgot I was doing a Diary post so I went a little piggie…..

Thursday, June 27
The usual breakfast, and for lunch I have leftover SwingBelly’s ribs and a small bowl of the spring roll mix I brought home that my mother stole and re-doctored. I was not a happy eater.

In the afternoon, I snack on a fruit smoothie I made myself with frozen mango, cup of serviceberries that I foraged, an orange, and lime juice. It was a great smoothie.

This afternoon snack was supposed to be my detox drink,  meaning I wasn’t supposed to eat dinner… but I panicked and ate anyway. It was just rice and the same dishes I had for breakfast. Very satisfying. I prepped my mango for the next day, popped it in the freezer, then gnawed on the mango seed. So far, so good dinner.

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Friday, June 28

Breakfast was the usual rice and fish, then the mango drink. I snacked on almond twist from Simply Bakery in the afternoon and it was a little stale, but was small enough to feel insignificant as I wandered through Chinatown on a scorching afternoon looking for groceries in all the wrong places. And while I didn’t get to eat this dinner, I made this meal for my mom:

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This is what her dinner looked like.

What I actually ate: a beer, two slices of pizza (margarita and pepperoni*), and some summer rolls that I made with a little-person friend. His were not nearly as neat and tidy as mine, but equally delicious. Then chocolate ice cream.

*Can I just say, Pepperoni pizza has been exiled from my life for a long time. I had my first reencounter a month ago. I could imagine my eyes dilating, my face opening up, and my mouth formed into an O. The textures and flavors are so intensely well matched, the oils are such a joy, and the saltiness is always predictable. I had lost all memory of what the flavors were like and thus could not have accurately described it to someone who had never consumed this meat bread combination. I had unjustly forsaken flavors and textures I knew nothing about. What a shame it was but also how wonderful to have a “first time” again and the ability to remember it vividly. Moral: don’t be prejudice against food you don’t know nothing about.

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