Friday, August 17, 2007

Dinner For None

It's official. I have, for one reason or another, totally given up these foods. They are off the menu, out of the rotation, not on the list, without standing.

1. Cheetos. This one is a shocker to everyone who knows me. I am a Cheetos devotee from way back, but last month, I finally hit my limit. I binged and they turned on me. My stomach was a roiling bag of greasy insurrection. Never again.

2. Doughnuts. I cannot recall the last time I had one of these, actually. Or called them by anything but their nickname "GutBombs." Oh sure, they look good. But once I would eat one, it would stick with me--literally, and in every way--for days and days. Honestly, I think the last time I consumed one was in 2000.

3. Orange Juice. Okay, not a food, but a beverage. It always looks so nutritious and sunny and innocent and healthful. But if I drink it, I immediately pay with The Vomity Belches of Destruction. You know what I mean. Those burples that are squirty little surprises of acid in your throat. And then comes the stomach ache. So not worth it. So, forget you, Orange Juice. A day without you is like a day with more sunshine.

4. Sloppy Joes. I finally have come to the realization that, after all these years, I just really do not like these and I do not care who makes them, so do not flood me with your special recipes. It's not the fact that they are or aren't really sloppy. I just don't like them. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because I feel like they are really a sauce masquerading as an entree sandwich. Maybe because my mother used to make such interchangeable chili, sloppy joes, and spaghetti sauce that I just got sick of all three and took it out on the sloppy joes by default. I almost never make them for the Dept., and when I do, I use Manwich. And I just pick at a clump, sans bun, on my plate.

5. Fish. Of any kind. Don't try to tell me all about orange roughy or halibut or tilapia--how mild they are or how they "aren't fishy at all" or how they are firm and meaty like chicken. That's a lot of crap and you know it. Fish is fish. And no, I don't like salmon, really, and yes, I've had it grilled, planked, poached, maple-glazed, and cooked really well by someone who knows how. In Alaska! Pulled right out of the ocean in front of me! So there! I will eat shellfish, but not oysters, which are just the equivalent of a fishy softboiled egg. Quelle horreur.

6. Dutch Loaf. This used to be my favorite luncheon meat when I was a kid. I haven't had it in decades. I probably would, but it now looks so suspect to me, in light of my adult knowledge of nutrition. Also, my kids won't eat it, nor will my husband, and I'm not about to buy it just for myself. So, it's goodby Dutch loaf. (Probably just as well anyway.)

Now, this list is not to be confused with foods I don't like; in a pinch, I'd probably eat each and every one of these if pressed. For example, if you were to invite me to a dinner party and one of these was on the menu, I would be polite and eat it (although if you threw a dinner party and served Dutch loaf sandwiches and Cheetos, I'd probably discreetly tuck a few bucks into your pocket at some point).

So, what foods are off your menu forever and why? Any surprises?
Last Year at The Dept. of Nance: The Alaskan Adventure--Part VIII, The End


  1. I wish I could give up doughnuts, but just down the street from me is a 24-hour doughnut cafe (with equally fatty and appalling gyros--yum!). And OJ...I KNOW what you mean about the belches. I'm not a big fan of it in general--unless it's mixed with lemon-lime soda. I also do no like sloppy joes of any sort. And, what is Dutch Loaf?

    I tried to think of a food I've given up or given up on. The closest is beer, and I haven't thrown in the towel yet. I just can't drink it without making the "urgh" face.

  2. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Cheetos: loved 'em when I was a kid. About 10 years ago I binged on some (at my godson's birthday party, what a surprise), and suddenly looked at my orange stained fingers and thought about my plastic lined stomach and haven't touched one since.

    doughnuts: I still have the occasional Krispy Kreme. But only one. And only a couple of times a year.

    Sloppy Joes: Haven't had one since I was about 12.

    Fish: I was hooked on shellfish and fish in Madrid. Since coming back Stateside, and not living on the coast of anything, I find I rarely have it because even the expensive stuff where I live is not so fresh.

    Orange Juice: The older you get, the more stuff there is that will give you heartburn.

    Dutch loaf I have never had this in my life and do not even know what it is (beyond your description of luncheon meat). I tend to shy away from anything that categorizes itself as luncheon meat, however.

    *All fast-food hamburger restaurants. Whatever they serve. It ends up sitting in my stomach like a ball of lead for hours.

    *Pressed turkey slices. I don't know what is in those things, but none of it ever came from any creature that stands on two legs.

    *Listerine. I realize this is not meant to be consumed, but it does enter one's mouth and requires holding it there for what seems like light years before one is allowed to spit it out. I have no desire to feel like a human blow torch.

    *Capers. Who on earth ever thought there was a market for these?

    That's all for now. There are other things that should be permanently off my diet, but I can't seem to give up on ice cream and potato chips. I compromise by not buying them very often, because I seriously cannot do portion control of any sort when they are in the house.

  3. I just have one question- what is Dutch Loaf? ( I just read the comments above- I guess we ALL need the answer for that one)

    Off my List:

    KFC- we ate a lot of it growing up- now the grease factor makes me ill.

    Chef Boyardee- I got sick on it once. Never again.

    Same thing goes for apricots.

  4. All--This definition of Dutch loaf is from the Hormel website:
    A blend of pork and beef seasoned with spices and formed into a coarse textured loaf. The loaf is smoked over hardwoods for added flavor. It is intended for the loaf to be sliced thin and used for luncheon meat. Also referred to as Old Fashioned Loaf.

    Is it an "Ohio Thing?"

  5. jenomena--That's another one: gyros. I'm off them. I used to adore them and actually bought the stuff to make them at home. Now, I'm just very ambivalent. Even at the fair or local festivals, I am not tempted.

    ortizzle--before I forget, I went back into my post and added the hotlink to my final Alaska post. I can't believe I forgot it!!

    now then: I am so with you on fast food burgers. And fries unless they are Wendy's, which still remain as actual fries past the moment they are paid for, unlike the others, which turn into wooden stakes coated with a tannic grease. I still can enjoy the occasional taco bell burrito supreme, which I was totally hooked on when pregnant with Sam, Dept. progeny #2.

    I am fond of capers, especially in my Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Toss, a wonderful recipe of my own design. They add a nice olive-y, bitter note when not used with too heavy a hand.

    Listerine breath strips could be used to "interrogate" prisoners a la Alberto Gonzales, if you know what I mean. Those things are lethal.

    Lays potato chips saved me from being put in a hospital last year due to underweight issues. Okay, those and possibly Nutella.

    PotU--I adore 'cots, but not when fresh, which is when their texture is irritating. I keep expecting juice.

    I will, every once in a great, long while, get a craving for CB Ravioli. It is amply sated after two bites.

    KFC--Only extra crispy is acceptable, and haven't had it in eons. Now you've got me thinking longingly of it. Once, when traveling down by car to Florida in my early youth, we stopped at a KFC. We were shocked that our order came with a huge tub of gravy. It was so good, I wanted to just dunk my chicken in it and then drink what was left.

  6. Pizza...After 7+ years of grabbing approximately one a week as stand in for real dinner on somebody's game night, I find I cannot eat it anymore...and I used to love it. That's not to say I still don't buy it one night a week on somebody's game night, I just don't partake and I'm not even tempted.

    And really, Nance, you should try Mahi Mahi. I kid! I kid!

  7. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Alaskan Adventure: I think I must go to Alaska some day. Just to experience those pictures. And, with any luck, I would not run into Jill and her cell phone. That's one of my biggest pet peeves: people who tell the story of their lives on their cell phones in a booming voice, usually in very public places, with no regard for how very tacky and un-entertaining they are.

  8. Is Dutch Loaf the same as olive loaf? We used to eat that when I was a kid, but it can go terribly wrong in your stomach quite quickly.

  9. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Off my list?

    1. Velveeta - If it says "Goes with everything!" on the label, you know it's government issue.

    2. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - Couldn't get enough of it as a kid. Tried some a few months ago, and it tasted like a box of salt with some macaroni mixed in. How in hell did I ever eat that stuff?!

  10. I didn't know what Dutch Loaf was, either. Sounds like a very regional item.

    I don't eat pickles anymore. I used to eat them like crazy when I was a kid, and I think I OD'd on them.

  11. Give up doodles? Are you on crack?

    Also, you'd eat my salmon. My 5 year old niece who won't even eat hamburgers from McDonald's will eat my salmon. It's a mouth full of joy.

  12. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Fish and other seafood. Blame it on my Catholic upbringing (eating fish is penance) and my refusal to eat anything at the freakin bottom of the food chain. UGH.

    Funnel cakes and other forms of fried dough. Bleah.

    I like tomatoes in salad but tomato sandwiches have fallen out of favor.

    Margarine and most generic branded foods. There IS a quality difference, and I can taste it and I won't eat the cheap stuff unless economics force me too.

    Dinner rolls that are not made me from scratch--just a whole lot of white starch.

    Instant potatoes.

    I haven't eaten bologna in at least 20 years.

    Jell-O. About three years ago, this became a food I never wanted to taste again.

  13. mrs. grumpy--my ambivalence of this teen staple is documented in an archived post. and the pizza in my town is terrible anyway.

    ortizzle--i'll send you an alaska pic every now and then.

    anali--no, no olives. believe me, if i knew what a stir Dutch loaf was going to cause, I probably would never have mentioned it!! lol. But, now that I's sort of a cross between chipped ham and...cotto salami, but with a much coarser texture. sigh.

    f. cookie--we still employ the velveeta here. cubed velveeta+picante+microwave=zippy dip for tortilla chips. the boys can't live without this snack.

    gina--i used to get my very own big honking jar of kosher dills for christmas from a cousin once in a while. that's how crazy over pickles i used to be. now, i don't even eat them on burgers anymore.

    scarlet--i know, i know. it's like giving up oxygen. what is my problem?

    v-grrrl--ditto on them all. it's incredible!!!

  14. Any sort of "American cheese" that comes in squares. I'm convinced it's some sort of soft plastic. Velveeta. Kraft "Parmesan" (salt with a whiff of cheese).


    Milk, except in cheese and yogurt.

    Beef and sheep of any sort.

    Cheap coffee. It tastes like hot water that someone dragged a brown crayon through. Yuck. I'd rather experience caffeine withdrawal.

    Caraway seeds and anything with beets, ever since I got the flu one night after eating borscht.

    All bivalves (scallops, mussels, clams). Cannot even witness someone else eating them.

    Zucchini if its skin is not absolutely thoroughly cooked.

    Non-organic peanut butter. Jam.

    SunChips. I watched my belly bloat and swell like a hot-air balloon, then didn't sleep at all that night.

    Processed cereals and "instant" oatmeal.

    Walnuts even though I love them (too atringent to my mouth and throat). I'm always sorry after I eat them.

    Sweets, especially ice cream and brownies. They sometimes give me asthma and hives. Not worth it.

    Wish I could quit bacon, but I still manage a couple of insane yearly binges; it's so bad, but I can't help it.

    Trying to give up my biggest "vice" food, CheezIts. They're a habit that makes no sense, given my utter disdain for items in #1.

    Burger and hot dog buns--these are "breads" with a message, and the message is instant constipation.

    But I'd happily eat all the fish you don't want.

  15. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Love your list! For me it's head cheese. Everything about it: the name (good God!), what it's made of, the gelatinous consistency, and the disgusting flavor... Plus the fact that my ex-husband adored it. Just the thought alone makes me gag!!

  16. Bologna...too much as a kid, can't stomach it; Spam...ewww; I'm actually not a big fan of spaghetti either! But as you said Nance, if hard pressed, I might eat the aforementioned!

    Now foods I love but probably shouldn't...Chitterlings, mmmmmm; Fried Catfish; and PASTA!!!

    I absolutely love seafood, fish, crab, shrimp etc. and could probably live off of it if given the opportunity!!! And LOVING any milk/dairy, although due to my recent bout with lactose intolerance, I should really learn to have those is moderation!

    "The Vomity Belches of Destruction" This is magnificent word usage...I MUST use this at my earliest convenience!

  17. I will never eat chitterlings again. I tried them once, my body rejected them and they flew out of my mouth ( I SWEAR I didn't spit) accross the room onto the floor and the dog ate them. In fact, chitterlings are not even allowed to be in my house. Jason brought some home once and I made him keep them in the garage. Nasty, just nasty.

    **Tera, I'm very sorry that you'd put such disgusting items into your body.

    On the other hand, with the exception of dutch loaf, I love all of your forbidden foods. Cheetos remind me of my childhood and they still taste good to me.
    Doughnuts...I don't eat them too often because I know that I shouldn't. But I love them. Glazed are my favorite.
    Orange Juice is the best way to start my day. Yummo!!
    Sloppy Joes are good as long as Jason's mom didn't make them ( in which case they turn into "sugar" joes). I prefer to eat mine topped with a piece of american cheese and regular lays potato chips on a honey bun.
    I love fish. All kinds. I especially love shellfish.

    What do you like, Nance?

  18. I never really liked Cheetos, but I would actually be a bit excited to have a doughnut or a sloppy joe (since I haven't had either in a while). And OJ is my drink of choice.

    As for my off the menu food, it has to be pretzels. Unless they're covered in chocolate, what good are they?

  19. sputnik--frankly, i'm floored by your list of negatives. dearest, what do you eat? but my deepest sympathy is reserved for one item: chocolate. quite honestly, i am without speech.

    girlanddog--i've never been able to look away from it in the deli case, but i have never even tried it. i agree--it's the name.

    tera--baloney is one of those things that i never really cared for, but if i get a taste for it, will eat once in the proverbial blue moon. i, too, am crazy for pasta, but only lighter dishes featuring it.

    nina--i do like lots of things, too many to list here. i'll eat any kind of potato, love fried chicken, barbecued spare ribs, chinese food, if there's duck on a menu i'll order it, a good steak medium rare, beets, goat cheese, Lay's potato chips, pralines...there's a little list of this-n-that for you. but i cannot abide large, overwhelming portions. i turn off immediately and just give up.

    i.h.--pretzels are my go-to when i need something really crunchy but can't stand the thought of grease in my tummy. chocolate-covered pretzels are great PMS meds!!

  20. Anonymous8:58 PM

    "That's a lot of crap and you know it"---ha ha ha!

    I will never eat canned peas again. NEVER. I had them once, and I couldn't believe something so vile existed.

  21. swistle--hi, and welcome to the Dept.! boy,do i ever agree with this one. and can you believe that "across the pond", where they must really believe in truth in labeling, they have something actually called Mushy Peas?


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