15 Sorta Kinda Truths About Dinner
- Shredding bagged lettuce makes it taste fresher and better. It doesn’t matter what kind of lettuce — romaine, iceberg, endive — Last night I made some chili-rubbed chicken and placed it on a bed of shredded spinach (pictured above; recipe below), which I usually find chewy in its whole raw form. Not the case with the shred. Along the same lines, the fine chop of anything as it pertains to a saladex summerus will almost always upgrade it.
- When it comes to entertaining: Each kid under eight years old is the equivalent of five grown-ups in terms of volume and space and mess generating.
- Heat is the great equalizer when it comes to bagels. I’ll take a just-out-of-the-oven bagel from Missoula over a cold outer-borough bagel any day. (Please do not forward this to my Bronx-born Jewish father.)
- Dinner will taste twice as good when it’s eaten outside. It will taste three times as good when eaten in an outdoor space surrounded by white string lights. Four times as good when eaten in an outdoor space surrounded by white string lights and with a view of any body of water.
- Magic Formulas Worth Committing to Memory: Melon + Salt; Mint + Peas; Peanut Butter + Fudge Brownies; Bacon + Brussels Sprouts; Bacon + Eggs; Bacon + Maple; Bacon + Bacon; Bacon + Shoe Leather
- The quality of dinner at a restaurant is in converse proportion to the number of words on that restaurant’s menu. For instance, Tom Colicchio’s menu at Craft. This is how it reads: Mushrooms. Potatoes. Braised Short Ribs. A menu like that is always going to win out over the one listingPork chops marinated in brandy and pomegranate juice with sweet potatoes and miso-mango chutney on a bed of shaved salsify and butter lettuces. (Another red flag: the pluralization of lettuce.)
- Kids are able to tap into deep wells of resourcefulness with remarkable efficiency when it comes to assembling the ice cream, the peanuts, and the chocolate sauce for sundaes.
- You won’t find a single parenting expert who endorses using bribery to convince a kid to eat.
- You won’t find a single parenting expert, who is a parent, who hasn’t used bribery to convince her kid to eat.
- Food eaten on sticks has a 40% higher rate of consumption with kids. Food served in conjunction with dips: 20%.
- Pop Tarts, Apple Jacks, Toast-R-Cakes, and other usually verboten breakfast foods possess nutritional merits when consumed on vacation.
- Everything tastes better on vacation. It just does.
- Anything braised tastes better the next day cold, eaten right out of its leftover dish with a fork, while standing in front of the refrigerator.
- Be wary of people who say they enjoy radishes dipped in salt.
- It’s practically the law that the phone call from the client – the one you’ve been dying to check off your list all day — always comes five minutes before you are leaving the office to make it home in time for dinner. Don’t question it. Don’t fight it. Don’t try to control this phenomenon or — worse — allow it to control you.