I hate being “that foodie guy,” and I hate listening to people like me. But I’m one of them.
I’ve eaten sushi in Tokyo. I’ve slurped pho in stalls in Saigon and gobbled yellow curry in Bangkok. I’ve had Belgian frites in Bruges — they’re not French fries. Bratwursts in Berlin. Fish and chips in London. Dim sum in Hong Kong. Steak in Texas. New York pizza in Brooklyn.
I lived in Korea for six years, so I’ve had everything from Korean barbecue to the less-popular dishes like chicken feet, pigs’ face and silkworms.
One reason I liked living in Boulder was the food.
But I don’t live in Boulder anymore. I live with my parents an hour south of Denver.
After living away from home for 19 years, traveling the world and living on a different continent, coming back home to my mom’s cooking has been — um, please don’t tell her this — less than special.
Before I moved to the real world, I didn’t realize people actually made tomato sauce. I thought it came from jars and cans. Now I don’t even get red sauce because it makes my dad rush to the bathroom faster than I used to run there and cry when he called me fat.
We get pizza from time to time. There’s $10 Tuesday at Papa Murphy’s. Very few independent pizza joints exist here, but my mom likes the Domino’s pepperoni and doesn’t like trying anything new.
My parents are in their 70s, so I understand they can’t handle the spices I’m used to. But I’ve been living in a country where even the breakfast can be slathered in red pepper sauce. I spend a lot of mealtime dumping Tabasco on my food. My parents are afraid of Cholula. Maybe it’s the wooden cork.
Safeway supplies our bread. We buy in bulk and freeze it, then wonder why it sucks. If we eat vegetables, they’re covered in ranch or butter. I’m weird because I snack on raw carrots.
Last week, we ate at Olive Garden, which is actually much better than I expected. There’s a deal if you buy a meal, they’ll give you an extra one to take home for later. So yesterday, we had about five different kinds of pasta. You have no idea how nice variety is.
One thing I’m still not used to is “Asian restaurants” or “Oriental” sections of the supermarket. That’s kind of like if there were “white people restaurants” or “American” aisles at King Soopers.
Colorado is famous for great beers. I know this because from time to time, we’ll get a nice case of Coors Light cans. Sometimes, I’ll buy a make-your-own six pack at the local liquor store, and my dad will say, “You know you can buy about four six packs of MGD for the same price, right?”
Our 2-gallon jug of burgundy wine (from 2015, it was a great year) goes in the fridge, and our opened white wine goes in the cabinet above our microwave. Our Pinot grigio sits next to the booze my parents have had for the past few years and my rotating cast of vodkas and whiskeys. Yeah, I’ve been drinking a lot lately.
The best part about eating at home, besides being free, is that we always dine at 6 p.m. Just in time for Bill O’Reilly.
So I’m going to nuke something that looks like pizza, hook my artery up to an IV of Carlo Rossi and continually stab myself with my mom’s epi pens.
Bon appetit. Or should I say, “Get your ass out of your room! Dinner’s ready and Bill’s on!”