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My Rarefied Hobby

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Oops. I kind of left you all hanging for Day 4, huh? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. I don’t really have pictures from Day 4 anyway. It was an afternoon Cubs game followed by some beer and me crashing early because we had a flight to catch the next morning. Nothing was overly spectacular or memorable about that day, except that it was freaking hot and our seats for the game were in the sun and I thought I was being boiled alive.

Let’s speed up to present day, shall we? Last week was kind of a bust as far as blogging goes. Brent was out of town on business Tuesday through Friday and cooking for myself has never really inspired me, so I mostly ate pasta with marinara and some salads. Brent had plans this weekend to spend time in Chicago with some friends, so when his flight landed Friday morning and he was preparing to leave again, I figured I had had enough of being alone and I went with him and hung out at my parents’ house for the weekend. Again, pretty uninteresting as far as blogging goes.

This week I’ve been cleaning and cooking up a storm in preparation for the start of the semester on Monday. My freezer is stocked and my house is much cleaner than normal but when Brent got home tonight I was physically and mentally exhausted and in no mood to cook more. Brent suggested we go to a new pizza place that just opened near our house. We’ve been waiting for 800 Degrees to open since we first saw the “Coming Soon” signs.

We split a Misto Salad and their signature pizza with Italian Sausage and Ricotta. The food was excellent. The atmosphere was not. It was more “Chuck E Cheese”-like inside than I was expecting — lots of screaming kids and a big birthday party going on. We decided to move to the outdoor seating area and I was much happier. I was starving so ignore the huge bite taken from the pizza slice. 🙂

-1The salad was impressive and the pizza was tasty. There were a lot of other pizza combinations I’d like to try, so I’m sure we’ll be going back.

Brent likes to make fun of my “old-timey hobby” of cooking from scratch and when he tells people I make all our bread, they’re generally pretty surprised. He was telling me about this article by Michael Pollan, which includes an interview with Harry Belzer, a food-marketing researcher. Brent told me as I was making pierogies from scratch last night that so few people do what I was doing that they could not even track the percentage. From Pollan’s article:

I kept asking him what his research had to say about the prevalence of the activity I referred to as “real scratch cooking,” but he wouldn’t touch the term. Why? Apparently the activity has become so rarefied as to elude his tools of measurement.

I don’t think of cooking the way I do as too much out of the ordinary, but considering I know no one in my real life who does the same I guess I can believe it is.


4 responses »

  1. Despite the less-than-charming atmosphere, I’m glad that the food was still worthy!

    I’m all for cooking from scratch, so you’re not alone 🙂

  2. I’m old-timey, too. Dan refers to it as “pioneer survivorlist mentality.” 🙂

    P.S. I’m going to make a pie from scratch tonight. So there!

  3. Ahhh! I hate when the atmosphere is like that. It makes me feel like a horrible person to notice but there is nothing I hate more than out of control kids & noise to ruin a good dinner.

    It’s interesting that cooking truly from scratch is considered so rare. I think it doesn’t always seem that way in the blog world since there are so many people doing and blogging about it but I know I get similar reactions to you when I talk about what I make with my friends and family. They’re always shocked to hear I make things like cheese, bread and veggie burgers. I just love the process and it tastes so much better that way.

  4. Pingback: Hello Blogworld, I’m Back! (for now) « The Idle Loaf

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