Rants & Raves – 06/02/12

I’m on a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico this week. If things are going right, I’m either meditating, bare foot running, or sipping a pina colada right now. I’ll be back in the world of all things digital on June 4. Until then, enjoy this post and take good care of yourself.


These range from mildly silly to outright disturbing. Just another week trying to understand our nation’s relationship with food.

I’d rather eat an actual sausage.
I’d like to give bonus points for imagination, but this baking experiment kinda grosses me out. This blog post explores the ins and outs of making “cupcakewursts:” cupcake batter baked inside sausage casings. I might have called them cupcakeWORST. (See what I did there?) Anyway, they look pretty unappetizing to me, and my patented Food Imagination™ warns that the eating experience would cause some serious cognitive dissonance. Feast your eyes.

This puts a whole new spin on the notion of a chastity belt

With the wholly unwelcoming words, “… there is no “u” in “my pint,” the new ice cream lock from Ben & Jerry’s requires the entry of a 3-number code to dip a spoon into the ice cream inside. As a former obese kid and adult, this pander to the worst hoarding instincts associated with issues around eating. I hate this product with a white-hot passion. Remember when Ben & Jerry’s was kind of anti-establishment, hippy cool?!

Poor cilantro! So misunderstood.
Yes, there’s the genetic thing that makes some people dislike cilantro — but now a formal study published in the journal Flavour (study abstract) seeks to quantify cilantro haters. “Cilantro is perhaps the most polarizing with large numbers either loving it or hating it,” said study author Ahmed El-Sohemy, PhD. I’ve recently softened my anti-cilantro stance, but only in particular dishes, like Thai coconut soup, or sprinkled on a pile of barbacoa with diced onions. But I still get a kick out of these cilantro-hating haiku.


Now that we’re appropriately grossed out and potentially riled up, let’s turn to the fun stuff…

Must-Read: Marriage Secrets
Dave and I have been a couple for 20 years and married for 5. I’ve had lots of adventures in my 44 years, and I’ve accomplished a few things that make me feel proud. Our relationship is the best of both — and I thoroughly loved this post from Lydia Netzer that outlines her 15 tips for a tip-top marriage.

Gluten-free in Italy

When I travel to foreign lands, I usually let my hometown food rules go lax so I can dig into the local cuisine. It’s almost always a pleasurable experience in the moment, but the aftermath can sometimes be brutal. That inspired my plan for Mexico: to enjoy myself and loosen up a little but to not hurt myself — which translates into no gluten for me. When I eat gluten, I become evil Mel. This is a lovely post about eating gluten-free food in Italy. And if you can eat gluten free in the pasta and bread capital of the world, you can probably do it almost anywhere. (Also, you should just really know about the Legal Nomads blog because it is totally kickass.)


I love Jean-Luc Picard a ridiculous amount, and some day, I will share the depths of my geekdom with an ode to Star Trek: The Next Generation. But not today. Today, we’re talking about engaging our hip stabilizers and glutes. This piece from Breaking Muscle outlines three simple preparatory exercises that will get you ready for the ultimate squat. And gives me an opportunity to include gratuitous Picard saying, “Engage.”

Be a Good Egg
I get asked a lot on my post about homemade mayo if it’s really OK to eat raw eggs. And in the comments over the last few months, there’s been a little bit of a debate. Here’s my position: I use cage-free, organic, omega-3 eggs that I buy at our regular old grocery store. I make sure the shells are clean, and I’ve never had a problem. Everyone must decide for themselves how they feel about the raw egg thing. This piece from The New York Times shares my sentiments.

Refrigerator Rules

This is another topic that comes up a lot: how long can cooked meat and veg hang out in the refrigerator? As I explained in Well Fed when describing my Weekly Cookup — and in this post about The Method Behind My Madness — I usually keep cooked meat and veg in my fridge for about a week. I always let it cool in the fridge in a shallow container, and I keep it in the back of the fridge where it’s coldest. I’ve never had a problem. Again you have to decide for you. This slideshow from the Huffington Post offers some handy tips for how to manage your fridge for optimal food safety.

Just for Fun

Booze Talks Back
In Well Fed, I confessed that part of the reason I don’t drink alcohol very often is that “you have a drink, then your drink has a drink, and soon you’re face first in a pile of french fries with cheese sauce.” This post from SadandUseless.com explores the nuances of what happens when you start taking advice from distilled spirits. Drink it in.

Best. Headline. Ever.
No need to read the article, really. Just enjoy the headline. (You’re welcome.)

Um… what?!

Sometimes, too much is really too much.
I want to get behind the idea of the 28-meat sandwich, but I just can’t believe it would taste good. And if it isn’t yummy, what’s the point?

And continuing the meat theme…
Balloons that look like meat. Yours for just $8.00.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’ll be back at my desk on Monday, basking in the yoga hangover from our week in Mexico. See you then… Satnam.

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  • Bridget says:

    I mean, I agree with the Ben and Jerry’s thing, but can you seriously tell me this wouldn’t be useful when you’re living with peckish roommates? After about eight separate incidents where my ice cream mysteriously disappeared, I’d either sit there and eat the entire pint or not buy it at all. And that sort of forced binging isn’t good, either.

  • Heather V. says:

    The cupkcake sausages make my stomach turn just thinking about it. And Ben and Jerry’s who really doesn’t eat the entire pint in one sitting….er…well at least in our house that never has been an issue. Ben and Jerry have been used strictly for medicinal purposes only in the past. 😉

  • Jodi says:

    Hey lady! Thanks for the shout-out and I’m so glad you liked the post. Great roundup too (those cupcake sausages are crazysauce).

    Luckily for you Mexico is corn-filled and wow do they know how to use it. In Tulum, head to El Camello, Jr for fish tacos and if you have time, try out El Tabano too for another great resto. Have fun!

  • Laura B says:

    Timely post on refrigerator rules, I have been giving myself food poisoning! I don’t have a sense of smell, so have been assuming everything was good, NOT! My new rule is three days worth, freeze the rest. And yes, I know the saying about assuming, very true.

  • Linda says:

    Wow…how do you find this stuff?! Hilarious! Entertaining! So appreciated.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hey Mel! I got your book and I’m in LOVE with your mayo recipe in particular. I make it once a week and it helps so much with keeping to this way of eating. It’s a rare paleo meal that doesn’t benefit from a nice dollop of homemade mayo. My question is: I find that almost at the week mark, the mayo starts to separate on its own in the glass jar I keep it in. I keep it in the back of the fridge so that it stays cold. Any tips or is it just normal and I need to just eat it faster? Thanks again for the wonderful book!

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm… I haven’t experienced the separation, so I don’t have any tips for you. I suspect if you just mix it vigorously, the oil will re-incorporate. Sorry to not be more helpful!