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Food critic Tonya Kuxhausen writes reviews of meals she prepares for herself at home. Food is at the center of each article but the whole dining experience is considered and commented on. To paraphrase Socrates, an unexamined meal is not worth eating.

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Notes from Underground Kitchen

When I'm going to review something I've cooked, I often take notes during the experience. Sometimes sitting alone at the table I'll write down my thoughts about the meal. I took these notes the other night; I intended to write something about it later, but when I found the notes I thought maybe they stood on their own. Here they are:


Thai Kitchen original pad thai stir fry rice noodles with sauce.

boil water to cook rice noodles. scramble tofu with egg, olive oil. stir fry red bell pepper. add rice noodles and sauce, stir and fry for a few minutes. add egg/tofu mixture and cocktail peanuts. taste. disappointing taste like ketchup. add crushed red pepper flakes, sprinkles of hot sesame oil, fish sauce taste. much better. add spinach, bean sprouts. fold in spinach to steam under noodles. squeeze half a lime over the whole thing. add lots of fresh cilantro.

some cilantro falls on floor under chair. i eat it anyway. dinner seems mostly about condiments. thoughts of mom's refrigerator full of condiments. mine is very much like that. i compulsively buy food. there is lots to eat. lots of condiments to dress up the same old thing. listen to beck's sea change and obsessively watch the snow. i guess i feel a little sad. except for all the coffee i've had. i'm hyperventilating. i would do anything to get this coffee out of my system. that's it. i'm quitting coffee tomorrow. no more coffee for T.

the only wine in the house is skeptical -- the 4 bottles from work. i open the one from 1999. it's terrible so i pour it down the drain. seems so cheap. color even seems strange. i just have water with the pad thai. think it would be better with wine. vodka? no. i have to study later. beer? no. too full. stomach hurts from coffee. i could have a sip of the raspberry stoli but it doesn't seem to go. fushion? no. better not.

eat two helpings of the pad thai. it's delicious. pretty enameled chopsticks from anna. the peanuts are good. like the scrambled egg/tofu a lot. maybe next time no spinach. definitely more peanuts.

why haven't my friends called me back. how did i end up here? i think i feel manic. no, i don't. i can't feel my feet on the floor. rapid, shallow breaths. i feel really tall. suspended from wire. my eyes are like saucers. my skin is transluscent. i'm in love with spin class, the feeling I get from exercise, and the snow. where is everyone?

sauce still tastes like sweet ketchup at times. maybe next time make sauce from scratch.

no dessert.