This is a great season to love food. The Passover Seder, Maundy Thursday, Easter Dinner: this month is full of beautiful food traditions. So I’ve been thinking a bit about food this week. Food was not a big deal in my house growing up: my parents didn’t host holiday meals and rarely cooked “for fun.” But in my house now, food. is. a. big. deal.
One of the most interesting things I read while pregnant was how early a fetus can taste the food that its mother eats (21 weeks!). For a brief primer, check out this NPR story on food memories. I took this knowledge as a challenge to eat as many wonderful, diverse, and (oh, right) healthy foods as possible while I was acting as incubator and food processor.
I still think a lot about food now that Remy has arrived. This week, my lactation specialist/angel (truly, she should be sainted) had me come in for an extra visit. Remy hasn’t been gaining weight as quickly as he should be. Before I left, she made sure I knew two things: 1) don’t worry yet and 2) make sure I am eating the 2,500 calories each day that I should be.
Remy’s slow-and-steady-wins-the-race attitude doesn’t worry me so much. But I am worried about eating all of those calories. We rarely make anything out of a box (although I admit I do love me some blue box mac and cheese on occasion), and it turns out that it takes a lot of carrots (100 actually) to get to that magic number. As much as I love food, I will admit that it is sometimes a struggle to remember to eat snacks while I am commuting/studying/avoiding studying/nursing at all hours of the day and night. Also, I may or may not have taken one for the mommy-baby team by eating three delicious (oh, so delicious) root beer float cupcakes last night. Mostly, only, I assure you, to get up to my calorie goal for the day. Unfortunately, the post-sugar-let-down headache is really interfering with my attempts to avoid studying for finals by baking other treats.
All of that to say this: I would love some high-impact but still relatively healthy suggestions for how to beef up my calorie intake. So if you have secrets, please share.
Since I’ve been thinking a lot about food, I’ve been reading/listening about food (of course). This week NPR (apparently it’s an NPR kind of post) had two really interesting stories about food. The first was this interview with Michael Ruhlman. Ruhlman is the co-author of Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient. Yes, 235 amazing pages about eggs. After hearing the interview, I mentioned to Tom how beautifully, sensuously even, Ruhlman described a properly scrambled egg. So Tom gave the low-heat method a try. And our morning eggs have been wonderful. Plus, the online story includes Ruhman’s recipes for a delicous looking frittata and a seafood roulade.
The second story, about the nervous system and the Sichuan pepper, reveals the frequency of the buzz that the Sichuan pepper leaves in your mouth: 50 hertz. If you’d like to hear how the Sichuan pepper tastes, be sure to listen to the story. I’m not a big fan of spicy, mouth tingling foods, but I do love to learn about the many intersections of food and science.
Alas, my finals will not study for themselves, and Easter food preparations will not magically get done without me. I hope you all have a delicious week!