We describe Drink Your Carbs as a guide to cutting calories and losing weight without giving up alcohol. But this only tells half the story. Drink Your Carbs started as a joke. In many ways, it’s still a joke. It just happens to be a joke diet that works.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, except for Santa who trying to choke down his billionth cookie of the evening.
In our experience, the over-21 set tends to be Santa skeptical. Some people get hung up on the impracticality of delivering presents to the roughly 2.2 billion Christians worldwide. Others concern themselves with the physics of flying reindeer or the difficulty of stuffing a morbidly obese man down the narrow flue of a modern chimney. At Drink Your Carbs, our skepticism springs from the sheer volume of cookies left on hearths that, for politeness reasons, Santa is required to consume.
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.