It’s a nasty, cold day today, filled with snow, sleet and slippery roads — so I’m home with the kids and decided to whip up a hearty soup. I was chopping up the ingredients: onion, garlic, leeks, bacon, carrots, zucchini; when I got to the last ingredient, I paused. Celery. The dreaded celery. Well, not always dreaded, because I have a weird relationship with celery. If it’s cold and I can dip it into something (peanut butter, tzatziki), I love it. But when it’s in a warm dish, it totally skeeves me. That inherent stringy consistency turns into a mushy, threaded lump that haunts me in soups the world over. I was worried that if I didn’t add it (new recipe), the soup would be missing a key flavor or be as unbalanced as the chef, so I compromised and chopped less than the recipe called for and into teeny, tiny bits lest I notice its unpleasant presence. As I was dicing the greenery, I realized there is another such culprit in my life (if not several): raisins. I like raisins on their own or chocolate covered, but I do not like them cooked … unless we’re talking raisin toast (swimming in butter). However, if I see a dish like stuffed cabbage and it has golden raisins in the dish? Blech! Now where is the rhyme or reason behind these odd proclivities? I have no idea — I can’t explain their origins or any childhood trauma involving cooked raisins or celery. Another odd one is cheese. I love cold cheese, especially on hot, buttered toast. I have issues with warm cheese, but only in particular situations. I like pizza, but the cheese has to be light. If there are those big gobs of mozzarella that seem to lure people by the million to Pizza Hut and its crust, I will choke and gag. If forced to eat such pizza, I just remove the cheese to my plate, where I stare at it in wonder. Why would anyone want this seemingly insoluble mass inside him? You can chew it until the cows come home and that shit will still be a big, gummy wad of goo. On the other hand, a little warm brie can be a delight. I only like grilled cheese about twice a year and really only when made more appealing by adding sliced tomato and/or ham. But cold cheese, cold cheese is generally a delight (don’t even get me started on smoked varieties).
So these are a few of my freakiest things and now I need to hear yours. Because I know I’m not the only freak out here. I read about some of you with your freakfests going on over at The Facebook, so if you don’t out yourselves, I will.