Gnocchi

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My relationship with food has always involved a mildly unhealthy dose of obsession.

For example, from first grade to fourth grade, I had to eat three spoonfuls of tuna fish salad every day for lunch. I absolutely hated tuna fish salad by the end of lower school, and yet I continued to force myself to do it out of perverse reverence for the routine. (Seriously, why are kids so weird?) I could not eat tuna fish salad – or egg salad and chicken salad for that matter – for another four years afterward without feeling ill, and even the smell of mayonnaise-based salads repulsed me. To this day, I still have an aversion to plain mayonnaise.

Thankfully, I grew out of that strange childhood habit and grew to love egg salad and chicken salad (and tolerate tuna salad) again.

The obsession with one dish has continued in less disgusting forms – whenever I try a new Thai restaurant, I must order their pad thai, for a new Indian restaurant, it’s malai kofta. And for a new Italian restaurant, my first dish that I must try is gnocchi.

I tell myself that it’s because I want to have a common point by which I can compare different restaurants against each other. But let’s be honest, I can’t really remember every pad thai or gnocchi that I’ve ever had. And really, what self-respecting Thai restaurant doesn’t make a decent pad thai?

The day may come when I can’t stand to look at another plate of gnocchi or malai kofta (I can already sense that the end is near for pad thai), but for now, I content myself with knowing at least I’m not obsessed with pickles or Wonderbread or something carcinogenic.

This gnocchi recipe is an oldie but a goodie. I posted about it before, but what can I say, I’m still a sucker for good gnocchi.

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The Lost Month

IMG_1619Here’s a recipe that I made over Thanksgiving…a month ago. I was actually super-excited to post this recipe because it turned out so great that I made it twice, once for Friendsgiving with my friends at school, and once with my family for Thanksgiving dinner.

And then things got crazy. So crazy, I started making all these new habits that I haven’t ever had before. Here are a few:

1. Making it my mission to ruin my cholesterol levels by eating 3+ eggs a day. That’s what happens when you have no time for food. Scrambled eggs or fried eggs or really any eggs that can be made in 5 minutes or less becomes your staple diet.

2. Speaking of no time for food, skipping lunch and getting hunger pangs around 3pm. Fun fact: after an hour, the pangs turn into hunger ‘euphoria’. Or you faint.

3. Listening to music while walking because time between classes/the library/bed is the only time you have for any leisurely enjoyment of anything.

4. Hanging out with no one but people from class. Bonding through trauma. (Ever had to work with Stata before? After one semester of Stata hell in cold computer labs full of miserable people, you really empathize with your sullen and unforgiving statistics professors.)

5. Going to bed at a reasonable hour. In my youth, I used to like hanging out with people, so I’d pull crazy all-nighters all the time, which obviously led to a whole host of sleep deprivation problems. In my wise old age, I’ve realized that sleep is what gets you through hell week after hell week. (Food probably ranks pretty high on the list too, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from International Finance, life is like the trilemma. You can’t have it all.)

And yet, despite the death of my social life, there were times when I felt like I had no time to even catch my breath. The amount I’ve learned is astounding, but even more astounding was how quickly quality of life can deteriorate in just a month. I’m forever scarred by the one day I was so out of it, I started eating some old lasagna with a layer of what was cheese, but was actually mold.

But it’s finally over, and I’m finally home. Never before I have I appreciated being home so much.

So uh, happy Thanksgiving guys? And happy holidays! :)

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