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DINING IN

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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key
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five hearts
excellent!

four hearts
very good

three hearts
good

two hearts
not good

one heart
yuck!

broken heart
ouch

four hearts

Like fuzzy caterpillars


The weather was shitty and I was pressed for time. Not much in the house and I had cramps. The frozen, half-full bag of edamamae was likely months old, but it would be a quick and reasonably healthy dish. But have I had these since last summer? Since we moved in? Either way, the bag smelled like freezer, and its contents were covered in frost. I heavily salted the water and poured in about half of the edamamae. I buried the rest deep in the trash. Meanwhile, I debated: Should I toast the veggie burger or fry it? I decided to fry. The unopened box of Garden Burgers, Fire-Roasted Vegetable flavor, seemed like a step up from the edamamae. I could at least remember buying these.

I didn't expect the edamamae to be good, but they really were. They were cute and crunchy with a really nice flavor. No trace of freezer. Truth be told, I got the rest out of the trash and put the bag back in the freezer. It was only in the garbage for a few minutes anyway. I couldn't let a good snack like this go to waste. I'll finish them this weekend with beer. Mmmm.


The Menu (03-07-02)

Edamamae
Veggie Burger, "Hold the Bun"
Swiss Cheese
Chocolate Chips


The veggie burger was awesome. I'm glad I discovered one brand, one flavor, that I actually like. The trick would be not to overdo it and consume too many this week. Anyway, one side was a bit too dark, kind of burned (I was distracted during the frying). But I melted a really thick piece of cheese on that side and it was perfect. The cheese was melty all the way through, and the veggie burger was evenly warmed and tasty. The sharp Swiss was a nice complement to the fire-roastedness of the veggie burger. I ate it on a nice red plate with a fork. It seemed almost classy.

I didn't read or anything. I just ate. I looked closely at the edamamae. They're so interesting. Kind of like fuzzy caterpillars, I marveled that I wasn't grossed out by them. Most were plump and bright, but some of them were limp with skeptical brown spots. I tossed those to the trash (and left them there). I think edamamae is one of my favorite foods, and I'm glad for the unintentional break from them. I chased away other thoughts by maintaining a Zen-like focus on their shape, texture, and flavor. I love them.

Dessert options were severely limited. But not disappointed, I had a handful of the Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I eat these all the time. I hope no one gets tired of reading about them, because I never get tired of eating them. I have to make a special trip to Lunds for these. I've tried other brands, but once you've had a taste of the Ghirardelli, you can't go back. They've got the perfect ratio of bitter chocolate to sweetness, a velvety smoothness that tastes like heaven.