Thursday, December 4, 2008

People give me strange looks

At work, I'm in the kitchen all the time. Getting water. Making morning snack. Making lunch. Making afternoon snack. Getting more water. And sometimes what I make is pretty run of the mill (toast for snack, hamburger for lunch, that kind of thing). But then other times I get a ton of questions. Such as...

1. "Do you know you just poured your tea down the sink?" - while I could be so involved in a conversation that I really know not what I do, I really am intending to pour my steeped tea down the sink. Because decaf tea doesn't have as many yummy flavors as regular, I sometimes buy regular and decaffeinate it myself (steep it and pour it out, because most of the caffeine comes out in the first 30 seconds).

2. "What is that?" - every time I break out the hibiscus tea, this question comes out. I brought the hibiscus tea back from Egypt, and it's quite tasty. Very sweet (with sugar added) and flowery. When it's dried, it looks like a deep red flower. I keep it in a big plastic bag, and nobody knows what to make of it. Then there's the pumpkin butter (I'm still working through the original batch bought at the farmer's market). I was asking this morning whether it's something I ate as a kid (the question was out of the blue, and I thought it was referring to jam in general, so I admit to being a bit flabbergasted at the question). Nope, just a tasty new treat I've found.

3. "Do you ever actually work?" - I get this one because I tend to assemble my lunches in the kitchen (rather than cutting up salads before work, I'd rather bring all the fixin's and make it there), and I have a morning snack, an afternoon snack, and I frequently get water. To my co-workers who may read this blog...yes I do work! A full week! But it also helps me get away from my desk, stretch, and be all around more focused if I'm not staring at the screen the entire day non-stop. It also gives me social interaction with my co-workers.

I learned two new terms from Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Neophobia - the few of the new (used in this context for trying new foods) and neophilia (liking to try new foods). Neophobia does have an evolutionary advantage in that if you try a new food that's poisonous, it could harm (or kill) you. But we also have neophilic tendencies so that if a particular crop (or crops) fails, then we won't starve. I think I'd have to put myself in the neophilic category, because I get bored with the same old thing all the time (I once had a co-workers who said she found her healthiest diet was to restrict herself to only seven kinds of food. Shudder). And so the branching out leads to some strange looks (and I believe in part horror when I offered my friends dried Mexican spice worms at a party...). But I must say, I do kind of enjoy the new things and showing other people the cool new things I've discovered. But then, I wouldn't have a blog if I wasn't into sharing about food, would I?


Charlotte said...

Ah well, my favorite people are the ones that everyone looks at strangely:) Your hibiscus tea soundly delightful. I am definitely a neophiliac!

Dazy said...

I like the iced version of hibiscus tea. This is very refreshing on hot summer days.