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An email showed up in my inbox this morning that made me a little nostalgic. My college is having its annual homecoming next weekend and the picture in the notice took me back:

This is the scene when driving up to the school, which never ever got old.

Warren Wilson is an old farm school, which is now a college with a farm where every student works and service to the community is required. It is a lovely concept called the Triad.

My first semester I was a dishwasher and my shift was breakfast. I loved it. It was peaceful and my mind could wander while spraying out pans and loading trays full of plates.

I also got to do a little baking and cooking in the kitchen. I actually continued doing it for extra money, even after my crew assignment changed.

It also made me smell like maple syrup.


C. and I got engaged in May of ’08. Seems like a really long time ago now!

It was such a happy time. Not only because I was marrying the person who loved me in a way that I wanted AND needed, but because I got to REGISTER. At Crate and Barrel. Oh yeah.

With C. in tow, my mom, sister and I ran to the nearest location in Raleigh, NC. We got the guns and started scanning. C. was SUCH a good sport, but eventually got really overwhelmed and freaked out about a cupcake carrier. (Which just happens to be in my kitchen right now, thanks to best bud).

Over the next year that first attempt was changed pretty regularly, with C.’s input, thanks to their online registry. He could participate without being overwhelmed by the store.

Everyone was so generous with us and as a result I have an amazingly well stocked kitchen. One of our first gifts (a shower gift) was a waffle iron. We registered for the model/type recommend by Alton Brown (Good Eats) and used his recipe the first Sunday we were back from the Honeymoon.

In fact, I keep a short hand form of this recipe under the wheat flour in my kitchen. It’s the only one I will ever use. Its perfection.

I often make a double batch and freeze them for to-go waffles all week!

Supplies: hot waffle iron (highest setting), batter, ice cream scoop and cooking spray.

All Done!

With black berries and cream…

Here is the recipe…I mean it…you will NEVER look back. I put some of my notes in there, too.

Basic Waffles

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Serves: approximately 6 (8-inch round) waffles

  • 4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
  • 4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • Vegetable spray, for waffle iron


Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. (I put mine on the highest setting b/c I like darker waffles)

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!)

Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. (I use an ice cream scooper and put in two level scoops). Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

I love McDonalds. I really do. I know a lot of people say it gross and stuff, but I grew up on it. As a child, all chicken products were McNuggests.

And today, in moderation, I still think its awesome. And when they started making all white meat nuggets…you couldn’t find a happier girl.

In fact, McDonald’s recently saved me from falling asleep at the wheel. My flight was canceled and they couldn’t get me on another one in time to get on the cruise ship. I had to rent a car and drive all night to make it.

The 24-hour McDonald’s came to my rescue at 3am. I got a coke and a 6 piece nugget meal. The fries were hot and fresh. Yum. I am normally an orange drink girl, but I got a coke for the caffeine. It really helped. Me, I-95 South, a grand marquis, nuggets and a TON of 18 wheelers. What a night.

This woman, however, takes what could be called ‘the love of McNuggets’ one step too far…

I have to say:

My first thought when watching this video was not ‘wow, that lady is crazy’ but instead, ‘wow, I really want McDonald’s for lunch.’

But I promise, even though there is a McDonald’s right across the street, I am eating my fried rice with all sorts of CSA veggies instead (its actually really good).

The first time my mom made zucchini bread I turned my little nose up at it. She did something she normally didn’t do and really pushed me to try it. Oh, the wisdom of mothers.  It was delicious!

I’m still a sucker for it. As soon as I saw zucchini in the last CSA bag I knew it was time. But I wanted to make muffins instead for ease of eating at the roof party. I found a great recipe on smitten kitchen, where many a great recipe is found.



Into the pan:

Into the oven:

Into my mouth:

I love fried rice. I had it for the first time in 8th grade. I ate only white rice previously. I went to a hibachi restaurant for a friend’s birthday and there was no choice but to eat the rice with that scary brown stuff on it. But, surprise! Scary brown stuff was salty and delicious (see yesterday’s post).

However, it still wasn’t totally safe to order, some places added vegetables! Or little shrimps! And I wasn’t comfortable making it at home, since I didn’t have a hibachi grill and all. Ha.

By the time I got to college I learned to add an egg to the white rice, then soy sauce, then chicken and recently, frozen peas and carrots. And I changed to brown rice.

What I made last night was NOT safe fried rice. And it was a challenge to eat, to be totally honest.

That’s chard, summer squash, garlic curls. I eventually added the greens and removed the mixture from the pan. Then I scrambled some eggs. Took those out, fried the rice with some soy sauce and then added the components back in:

It was very pretty rice.

But, like I said, I had trouble eating it. The squash was quite delicious, and the garlic curls added an onion-y tang that was very nice…but the chard. I didn’t like the texture or the taste. But I ate it. Like a champ. The whole dish tasted so…GREEN.

It was a little disheartening. I just hope I adjust to these flavors if I keep pushing myself.

Jenn, a friend from NC, sent me this very interesting article on super tasters and salt yesterday (thanks Jenn!).

I had read about super tasters liking salt more than normal (or medium) tasters before. Its usually on the “Are you super taster check list.”  Did your mom experience very bad morning sickness? (check) Do you looooove salt? (check) Do you hate coffee? (check)

This article is a good backgrounder, and has some pretty interesting links. For example:

“There are even songs about supertasters.”

Awesome. I also love how the main researcher has my last name (different spelling) and the research was done very close to my home town in PA.

Salt blocks bitterness, which is why we love it. The research also finds that while super tasters tolerate salty foods better, we don’t often add it to our food. Seems like a paradox.

Why? “That’s a hard one to answer,” Hayes says. “If you force me to speculate, I’d say that as people perceive smaller differences in things, it becomes more desirable to seek those things out. It’s true of wine connoisseurs, but it’s true of art and music as well. It seems that being able to pick up smaller differences makes experiences more salient – more front-and-center.”

I’m totally a salt connoisseur, btw.

MMMM…Salt lick…

Today is the day! I will zip away in my zip car to pick up my first CSA bag. I got my first “in the bag” email last night.  But you, dear reader, will have to wait till tomorrow to see what it contains!

Now a serious moment. I had a panic attack when I read the list of veggies last night. Some of the stuff is on my ‘truly scary veggies’ list. The ones I have not even attempted to think about liking.

To calm myself, I will include a list of the baby steps I’ve made along the way, as encouragement.

Spaghetti: I went from no sauce at all, to only white noodles and smooth marinara, to chunky sauce. Now, I eat brown noodles and fresh sauces. Tomatoes are a BIG win!

Mexican Food: I would eat tacos with just beef and cheese .  Double rice, no beans. Now I eat beans and even avocados. I looove Mexican food and it has really broadened my horizons. Beans, another big win!

Chips and Salsa: This is my favorite. I used to just eat the chips. Then I started dunking them in the ‘salsa water’  just to get a little flavor. Now I scoop up everything and eat all kinds of salsa! Even with onions!

Bread and Rice: White to wheat/brown. A hard and slow transition.

Soups: Also hilarious. I used to get every ounce of broth and meat out and leave a pile of dry veggies at the bottom of the bowl. Sad really. Now, I just eat it like a normal person! (most of the time)

I get compliments (or should I say comments…) on how well I can pick through food and just get out the stuff I like. It is an impressive talent I have honed over the years, it will also be a hard habit to break!

Stay tuned tomorrow for CSA pictures!

A preview…gulp…

As I mentioned yesterday, I plan to take pictures of my CSA wares for posterity. I love to take pictures, some say I take too many. Some (eh,ehm) would be wrong…you know who you are.

I have wanted a DSLR camera for years and years. I had an old SLR from my Aunt that I used in high school, but it broke in college. But, when it came time to get a DSLR, I got close, but could never bring myself to actually purchase one. I ended up with a line of really great point and shoots. My current camera is a very nice Nikon Coolpix that works really well. I’ve taken some great shots with it, like this one, which might be one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken:

Its my wonderful husband dutifully trying to catch a sheep for me while we were walking in Wales.  Isn’t he sweet?

And this one:

My first homemade pasta attempt, in the DC snowpocalypse, pre-pasta roller (too thick!).

I’ve avoided a DSLR for one reason. TOO BIG. I traveled a lot internationally and I could never imagine carrying that big, not to mention expensive, thing around my neck.

But C. kept his eye out and was on top of it when “it” was announced last month. The “it” that was the solution to my complaint.  The “it” that is to become my next camera. Hopefully.

Um. Yes. Please.

Small, but with most of the functionality of a traditional DSLR,  not to mention gorgeous. I have no grand plans to be pro, I just want to take good pictures with something that doesn’t require its own luggage.  It comes out July 9th. The reviews are pretty great so far. I can’t wait to hold it in my hand and see if it’s really right for me. So excited!

I mentioned in my first post that I love to cook and eat out at fancy restaurants. I once read that most food critics and chefs are ‘normal’ tasters, which makes sense because they can taste and enjoy the widest variety of foods.

But, I’ve always loved to cook. When I was young, I asked for Gourmet magazine (RIP) after seeing it at a doctors office. I watched PBS and other cooking shows, eventually the food network, and learned technique. I would make elaborate meals, then eat cereal while the rest of my family enjoyed them. I can cook well even if I don’t like the ingredients, which is odd, because tasting is such an important part of building flavor. However, understanding how cooking works intellectually can get you pretty far. I’ve had a lot more fun, though, as my tastes have expanded.

I actually had a dream last night that I was in a cooking competition (maybe watching too many on TV?) and I made eggs and hash browns and they were awful. I was so embarrassed!

One of the first meals I made in Middle School…

Then didn’t eat because of the onions…


When you eat the way I do, it draws attention. A lot of people don’t like certain foods, but my case was (is) pretty extreme. Since most social events revolve around food, people notice if you fall outside of ‘normal.’ Sometimes the attention is good, other times, it can feel like you’re under a microscope.

Yesterday, I rode home with two lovely people. I had never met them before, but we were connected through a family friend because they were making the trek from NC to DC and had a back seat they could loan to me.

Luckily, I’m a talker. Its easy for me to make small talk in most any situation. I wasn’t nervous in the slightest to be in a car with strangers for 7-8 hours.

Here is where these two ideas collide. People talk about food a surprising amount, and they are fascinated by my oddity. They ask me eager questions and love to hear about the super taster tests.  Since starting this blog, and after yesterday in the car, I realized just how much hating most foods is part of my identity.

What if I start eating like a normal person? Who will I be then? After 27 years of being one way, its not so easy to change. It is an interesting part of my personality. Of me. What if I am no longer the pickiest person in the room? What will I talk about at parties?

Sometimes, it feels good it fit in. But sometimes, it is nice to stand out.

Super taster or…?

The Story

I'm skeptical of vegetables and joined a CSA to see if I can make friends with them. This blog exists so that I can hold myself accountable to eating what I paid for and document what I can do with lots of local produce!

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