Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Organic Spinach Ribbons Topped With Smoked Mozzarella

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food Can Be A Frenemy

We've all had a frenemy.  We've all had friends.  We've all had enemies.  We've all had frenemies.

We've all had food.  We've all had food we thought was "our friend" but, well, in the just wasn't.  We've all had food that was a frenemy.

So I think food is like a frenemy.  Let's digest it.  (no pun intended there - wink, wink)  Let's think about it!

My first friend I can remember was the boy who lived down the street from me in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His name was Freddie.  Lisa & Freddie got in A LOT of trouble together.  We were like dynamite together...explosive!  We laughed.  We fought.  We hugged.  We made mud pies.  We ate mud pies.  We went trick or treating together ....and he always tried to steal my candy. We went to each other's birthday parties...he always tried to open my presents.  We kicked each other.  We kissed.  We tattletaled on each other.  He stole my toys. I tried to ride his dog, a Great Dane, like a horse and fell off and cut my lip on the floor.  He bit me for trying to ride his dog.  He bit me twice for trying to ride his dog.  Okay, so wait - was Freddie my friend or my frenemy?  I guess he was both.

My first food friend I can remember was chipped ham.  That's what it was called in our house.  Honestly, it was just extremely thin sliced ham my Mom called chipped ham.  I don't know why.  There are a lot of things my Mom did that I'm not so sure about.  Creating "alternative names" for foods is, I assure you just one of them.

The deli we went to was in this strip shopping center - it was next door to the drugstore where I got my Underoos (I had them all) and my Archie comic books and my "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific" shampoo and my "Lemon Up" shampoo and where my Mom bought some Johnson & Johnson detangler she sprayed on my hair after I washed it and where my Mom bought her pantyhose that came in blue eggs.  I loved to play with those blue pantyhose eggs. I'd fill them up with rocks and throw them at Freddie.  (hmmmm, guess that officially made me Freddie's frenemy! --lol!!)  So the deli was like the one where Alice's boyfriend, Sam, worked on the show "The Brady Bunch."  The butcher kinda looked like Sam actually.  (yes, I really do remember)  I also remember this gynormous steel meat slicing machine and I would stand there absolutely mesmerized as the ham came out looking nothing like it did going in.

And, oh the taste.  I can still taste it - just like I can still taste the cheeseburgers I used to eat at "Cafe Americana" in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil.  I haven't tasted ham like that since (like I haven't tasted a cheeseburger like the ones in Brazil since) and I doubt I ever will.  I assure you I have since eaten beyond my fair share of sliced ham.  So my Mom would get her mound of chipped ham wrapped in white butcher paper and I'd skip out of the butcher shop with her because I knew I was having a slap-yo-mama good ham sandwich for lunch that day!  My first food friend was a chipped ham sandwich on white bread with mustard only.  And that's still how I eat a ham sandwich today.  Ham, white bread and mustard.  Ham can be my friend.  Ham can be my frenemy.  If I eat too much ham my already pronounced cheeks begin to resemble cantaloupes (versus the normal "apple" state) due to the sodium in the sliced ham.

My second friend I can remember is Cricket.  Cricket and I lived in Suriname, South America - both of our fathers worked for ALCOA.  We attended a private American school that was strictly for the children of American ALCOA families.  Lisa & Cricket got in A LOT of trouble together.  (do you see a troublesome recurring behavioral pattern here?)  We were best friends.  We were the bestest of best friends.  We played Barbie's together - and she "permanently borrowed" some of my Barbie outfits.  We spent the night at each other's houses all the time.  We got tapeworms at the same time and thought it made us blood sisters.  We ate lunch together at school every day - I would share mine with her but she wouldn't share hers with me.  We went to each other's birthday mine she would always say, when I opened gifts, "Oh, I already have that."  Okay, so wait - was Cricket my friend of frenemy?  I guess she was both.

My second food friend I can remember is pizza.  I know what you're thinking ...everyone loves pizza Lisa.  Okay, but this was no ordinary pizza.  This pizza was in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil.  This pizza did not come from a restaurant.  This pizza was not delivered in a car with a neon PIZZA sign on its roof.  This pizza came frozen.  This pizza was my lunch every day -and I do mean every day.  I, like in Suriname, attended a private American school that was strictly for the children of American ALCOA families.  This school (where the horrible Mr. Dillard was my teacher) was about seven blocks from my house.  I'd walk to school every day.  I'd walk home for lunch every day.  I'd walk back to school after lunch every day. I'd walk home from school every day.  Actually, I take that back - I pretty much r-a-n home for lunch every day!  I knew my pizza was waiting.  Our maid, Luisa, would have it sitting on the table for me at 11:40 like clockwork.  It was a beautiful thing.  The crust was pale. The crust was crunchy where it should be and soft where it should be.  My pizza had pepperoni on it.  My pizza had this sauce that was spicy but not too spicy.  Then there was my pizza cheese.  My pizza cheese was oh so ooegy gooey.  It was kinda stringy when you ate it.  This was the best pizza I had ever had - and still is to this day.  And trust me, I've had a love affair with pizza all my life.  The pizza in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil however is my first true pizza love.  Pizza can be my friend.  If I eat too much pizza, sadly it becomes my frenemy.  As in I can't button my favorite pair of  perfectly worn, super buttery soft, super faded button front Levi's.

Present date, I have a lot of good friends.  I definitely think I have had some frenemies.  I have tried very hard to remove these people from my life as I've gotten older because, honestly, what's the point?  I feel like life is just simply too short for all this frenemy business.  It's just too short.  I'm thankful for the friends I have and consider myself fortunate to be a part of each of their lives.

Present date, there's a lot of good food in my life! There's homemade salsa.  There's a Smart Chicken wild rice casserole.  There's Porterhouse steak.  There's grilled chicken salads.  There's homemade hummus.  There's sushi.  There's shrimp.  There's veggie lasagna.  There's crispy turkey bacon. There's homemade alfredo sauce.  There's organic spinach pasta.  There's capers.  There's cucumbers.  There's vine ripened tomatoes.  There's lobster.  There's asparagus.  There's oysters. There's homemade garlic bread. There's smoked turkey.  Well, you get the picture!  There's a lot of good food in my life!

So how about a good food?!?   Below is the recipe for my homemade salsa.  I can already taste it!   Grab some chips and get 'ta dippin!   Sadly, salsa can be my friend one day and my frenemy the next!  (depends if I remember to take my Prilosec that morning)


1 large can of whole organic tomatoes (juice included)
3 vine ripened tomatoes
1/2 of a purple onion - chopped
1large  handful of cilantro - torn
1 very small handful of parsley - torn
3 whole fresh garlic cloves
juice of one lime
3-4 tosses of salt (salt to taste)
6-7 turns of cracked pepper (pepper to taste)
2 heaping tbsp of chili powder  (more if you think it needs it)
1/2 of one fresh Habanero pepper (seeds out if you don't want the heat)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and hit "pulse" 4-5 times.  The number of times you blend depends on the consistency you desire.  Chris and I like it kinda chunky.  This is also beyond delicious over grilled chicken or fish and on tacos - heck, it's beyond delicious on everything!!

Always "Push The Parsley!"
~ A Girl Cook

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