In our home, burgers serve the same role that pizza delivery serves in the average American household; if we are tired, lazy or just feel like kicking back in front of a football game, we make burgers.
Of course, our version removes the bun and the fries in favor of wine and beer because we prefer to drink our carbs.
Until a recent cooking mishap, we believed that we made damn good burgers. We were wrong. A fortunate accident set us straight. We now know how to make burgers so ridiculously good that they cause Tourette’s. Everyone who has tasted them has reacted similarly, “ Holy f@#k! I will never make normal burgers again.”
Is it even possible to be a foodie while avoiding sugar and simple carbs? We frequently ask ourselves this question while playing Twenty Questions with the wait staff in an upscale restaurant.
“Is the lamb sweet or savory?” “Are there croutons on the salad?” “How about if we tell you what we don’t eat and you order for us?”
Nearly every chef we have encountered will modify dishes if asked nicely. We occasionally take advantage of this, but we prefer to eat dishes as designed. We eat out because we want to try new foods and new preparations.
More often than not, we have to scour menus for the single dish that most closely mirrors our diet. Occasionally, we discover a great restaurant where ordering low carb is not only easy, it can be done without feeling like you are sacrificing anything.
“How much hairspray does it take to make a McDonald’s Big Mac look edible?”
Our fellow travellers and tasters on our Culinary Tour of Istanbul were the famed food photographers Nancy and Chris Cassidy. Among other projects, they do nearly all of the mouthwatering photography for the Rick Bayless empire. It’s unlikely that they have ever photographed a Big Mac, but we couldn’t resist asking. For the first and possibly only time in our lives, we were sitting across from people who could answer this time-honored question.
Chris shook his head, clearly indicating that our question was a stupid one. “You can’t do that any more,” he said. “There are still tricks you can use, but everything in the photograph has to be part of the actual dish.”
We would’ve been less shocked if he had told us that the process involved medical waste extruded through a 3D printer. The last thing we expected to learn on our trip was that the fast food pictured in advertisements contained even a small percentage of actual food.
Andrea is the cook in our house. Steven is in charge of dishes. In most households this would be an unfair division of labor. In our household, it balances out perfectly because when Andrea cooks she uses every pan, dish and utensil in the kitchen. Andrea cooks like our four-year-old nephew eats. It’s a joyous, full-body experience. Nothing is left untouched. The aftermath looks like the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
We are not to be trusted. We will lie to you. We will tell you that your outfit matches if we think you are too fragile to hear otherwise. We will tell you how much we enjoyed dinner with your new boyfriend. If we are performing a card trick, we will look you square in the eye and tell you that your card is “lost in the deck,” even though we know exactly where to find it.
We will not, however, lie to you when it matters. You will never hear us say, “You’re guaranteed to double your money” or “To us, that lump looks harmless.” Nor will we try to convince you that cocktails are just as enjoyable under the No Mixer rule. The sad truth is that most cocktails are now off limits.
Our friend’s seven-year-old daughter refuses to draw heads on her figures. Give her a piece of paper and set of markers and she will create a colorful world of birds, clouds, trees, flowers and headless bodies dressed in elaborate costumes. The last step in her creative process is to sketch a teapot onto each set of empty shoulders.
“Have you ever heard of the artist Magritte?” Steven asked. She shook her head no. “I love your picture,” Steven added. “But I have to ask, why is everyone in your drawing half human and half tea service?
“I’m no good at faces,” she answered, “but I’m great at teapots.”
We took Drink Your Carbs to the bottom of the world to test it in one of the harshest environments on Earth.
While planning our expedition, we imagined ourselves as modern day Shackletons surviving off our wits, seal blubber and cask strength whiskey. It turns out that this lifestyle is now prohibited under the Antarctic Treaty. These days, visiting is more like being transported into an episode of the Love Boat in which Puerto Vallarta has been replaced by a frozen continent. In our case, the role of Captain Stubing was played by a stereotypically gruff, but caring, former Russian naval commander. Charo was played by a balding Canadian named Scott.
In other words, instead of hauling a wooden sledge through chest-deep snow, we did our trekking from a balcony suite on the Ocean Diamond, a Quark Expeditions luxury ship.
According to Forbes Magazine, only 8% of Americans achieve the goals set in their New Years resolutions. Every one else fails, bombs, flops, nosedives or otherwise falls short of their own expectations. Forbes presents this as bad news.