yours, tiramisu

winter cravings + models overtrained on men/women

Most of the US is below freezing right now, and the cold is making me crave everything warm and soupy. I can't get any of it because I don't have any reason to leave in this hellish cold to spend money unnecessarily on food, so I'm going to channel my inner Noa Goffer and write about the foods I crave instead.

The thing I crave most is soondubu-jjigae, a spicy Korean stew starring silken tofu. I am actually not crazy about tofu, but I don't mind the soft tofu in soondubu-jjigae, since it is very mild and almost liquid. I like my soondubu with seafood and not beef, not because I particularly care for the meat of the boiled shrimp & clams, but because I like the depth of flavor they add to the broth. I can't quite pin my finger on what it is (a mild sweetness, mayhaps?), but I do know every time I get my soondubu with other types of meat I always regret it. I love ordering soondubu on cold winter days, cracking a raw egg in it to cook in the residual heat, and crunching away on tangy fermented banchan as I watch the spicy stew bubble away in its hot stone bowl. I don't know if I have low standards or if the Korean restaurants near me are just very good, but I can't remember the last time I was unsatisfied with a soondubu. They're all so good around here.

I also want a big steaming bowl of pho, with every meat in it: brisket, tripe, tendons, flank. I love how comforting good broth is without being too heavy, how I can tweak the heat and acid to my liking with the addition of sliced jalapeño and lime wedges. I want to fish out all the different pieces of meat I can find and dip them in hoisin and sriracha, savoring their different textures and washing them down with greedy slurpings of beef bone broth. Pho doesn't usually come with as many accoutrements as tofu stew does but I always leave with a stomach full and warm anyway.

My cravings extend beyond stews and soups. I would do anything for a large order of wings right now. I want them fried till they're audibly crispy, tossed heavily with lemon pepper seasoning and handed to me in a Styrofoam container with a generous side of fries. Perhaps surprisingly, my ideal wing is small, so I get the crunch of flavor without a large mouthful of dry meat. I always prefer to savor wings alone so I can be as messy as I want while tearing the meat and cartilage off every last bone.

Oh dear, I'm so very hungry. Did I mention that already?

I made plans to go bouldering tomorrow with two friends I met through Kayla. I don't know them well at all and frankly I have no clue how we all ended up in Kayla's server, but! it'll be a welcome way to push myself out of my comfort zone, is what I'm telling myself. One of them is visiting from New England, and the other somehow lives within a few minutes of me. I still can't quite comprehend that some random guy I met on Discord works at the gym I used to climb at and that we've probably crossed paths before without even knowing it. The world is such a small place.

This prospective hangout makes me think about a snippet from Visa's post when "women are people" doesn't work:

Sometimes guys say “idk how to talk to girls” and the ladies respond (understandably, but unhelpfully) “you know girls are people, right...?” – this is an eg of cultural confusion. Because what the guy is conveying is “my model of people is overtrained on male-male interactions”

I sort of have the opposite issue. Most of my friends are women (and have been, for about as long as I can remember), so my model of people is overtrained on male-female interactions. (Maybe because they're generally more eloquent and emotionally attuned than guys? I don't know why exactly.) The imbalance isn't terribly drastic, but I do struggle noticeably more when meeting new guy friends. What do I even talk about? I always feel like the conversations stay so agonizingly shallow.

I think it will go fine, though. They both seem very kind, and we're also doing something I'm very comfortable with. Bouldering is a great way to meet people, because you'll always have a safe topic of conversation to fall back on, and you get nice built-in breaks from chitchat every time you get on the wall. Which is a win-win if I ever saw one.

#english #food #life #wordvomit