Half it your way

There’s a saying: Go big, or go home.  Maybe you’ve heard it.  (If not, go back to the beginning of this paragraph and begin again, only more slowly.)  This is one of those things often said by people (such as coaches) who have a vested stake in the performance of someone else, but no actual responsibility if they fail.  Spectators who encourage gamblers to go “all-in” with their life savings are another example.

I have always considered that saying to be a false dichotomy.  No matter how big I choose to go, I have every intention of going home afterwards.  Perhaps I’m just a wimp (Disclaimer: Yeah, pretty much), but going big enough to threaten my ability to go home (skydiving, crime wave, going all-in with my home on a pair of deuces) is not for me.

Hold that thought for a moment.

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Actual cooking

I don’t cook.  I actually cook.

Actual cooking derives its name from the reaction I get when I tell someone that I decided to make something complicated, as exemplified below:

Me: I’m thinking of making veal picatta tonight for dinner.

Not me: You mean you’re going to ACTUALLY cook?

Actual cooking is the highest form of dining, the pinnacle of the five levels of in-home food consumption.

Level 1: Eating in.  Eating in involves the least preparation, and usually produces the best results.  The secret to eating in is that it involves only transportation.  Find pre-prepared food somewhere in the world (or “out”) and bring it to your place of residence (or “in”).  Works best for cold foods like sandwiches and fast food from nearby restaurants (5 minutes or less away).  (Note: It is not a requirement that you personally commit the act of transportation.  You can outsource this to many local establishments for a small fee.) Continue reading


Food is a sensual experience — if you eat sensually experienced food.  I don’t.  I eat a lot of fast food, which does not get its name from any of the five senses.  Fast food is less an experience than a process.  The successful experience of fast food is built on continuity — this sandwich tastes the same as the sandwich I ordered the last time.  Whenever I go to any of my favorite restaurants, I order the thing that I like at that restaurant.  If I wanted something else, I would go to a different restaurant.  When I go to a Japanese restaurant, I order chicken teriyaki (with shrimp if they have it).  When I go to a burger joint, I order the bacon cheeseburger.  I always get chicken and broccoli at a Chinese restaurant, the Chicken Planks at Long John Silver’s, original recipe at KFC, a baked potato with cheese at Wendy’s, and so on.

I am not in a rut.  Stop saying that.  I just know what I like.  I have been eating for over half a century, on and off.  They say that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill.  If you assume one hour a day spent actually eating on average, I have approximately 18,000 hours of practice, which means I have been a master of eating for 24 years. Continue reading