First of all, I have to extend a virtual hug of thanks to Susan for allowing me to guest-post on her blog. Although I’m not a mom, I can certainly relate to her struggle to transition away from a ‘non-cooking’ lifestyle. It took me many years to learn how to ‘think out of the Lean Cuisine box.’ I actually don’t remember when I first understood that there was a way to make pancakes, cakes, and cookies without using Betty Crocker. As late as age nineteen, I was absolutely flabbergasted when a friend of mine made pancakes using flour rather than relying upon a box of trusty yet politically-incorrect Aunt Jemima pancake mix.
Given my background, there is no way I could ever become a true ‘food snob.’ In my mid-20s I was still buying microwavable, low-fat pancakes and frozen potatoes with pre-melted processed cheese slathered upon them (yes, I was one of those ‘healthy’ single chicks who scarfed down 300-calorie frozen dinners followed by a pint of low-fat frozen yogurt most nights). The Internet has played such a critical role in my transformation into a ‘scratch cook,’ before giving you my favorite snob-free banana bread recipe, I can’t resist sharing with you some ‘field notes’ in case you do indeed want to become a food snob—or simply pretend to be one on the Internet.
How to be a food snob—or just sound like one
- Have a single, overriding yet very narrow passion. Examples of food snob passions include the idea that anyone who orders pineapple on a pizza has committed a hate crime against Italian-Americans everywhere, that anyone who puts garlic salt on anything should be barred from the spice aisle, that ketchup and Pop Tarts are a scourge upon humanity that must be eliminated—or conversely that anyone who expresses any type of dietary concern about their food (such as worrying about calories or food contamination) is uptight. If you’re a cooking-type food snob, make sure you respond with a recipe every time someone asks where they can buy some nice blueberry muffins. If you’re the kind of food snob who dines out a lot, when someone asks for a cake recipe, make sure that you tell them where you get your red velvet fix for five dollars per cupcake.
- Be extremely judgmental. If someone says they can’t afford to go to David Chang’s new restaurant, be very disdainful about how they obviously don’t care about eating well. Remember that having a high income is totally synonymous with being a food-savvy person! If someone buys regular fruit to feed their kids for snacks rather than organic fruit, make sure to have lots of statistics to quote about all of the harm they’re doing to the bodies of their children. If someone is dying of thirst and admits to buying a container of bottled water, make sure to lecture them about horror they have done to the planet. Remember, correct grammar, spelling and capitalization are always optional—you’re an emotional person and you care about food, otherwise you wouldn’t be so angry!
- Remember that your way of eating is the only way. If you’re a vegan, make sure that every time someone serves something that isn’t vegan, you tell them how much better it would taste and how much better for the planet it would be if they used Tofutti. Conversely, if you love meat, make sure that if you’re responding on an innocent Internet thread about how to cook steak, you include lots of pointless asides about stupid vegetarians. Always mention vegans and bacon! Anyone who mentions vegans and bacon all of the time automatically gains food snob cred! Because, you know, people COMPLETELY change their lifestyles ALL OF THE TIME based upon nasty comments made to them online. You are so not making those comments not to draw attention to yourself.
- Cultivate one offbeat ‘normal’ type of food obsession, to make sure you don’t look like you’re trying to be a snob. Admitting to a passion for McDonald’s fries (this is a popular one, since Julia Child used to love ‘em, supposedly) is okay, because it is totally obvious that you, with your encyclopedic knowledge of food are eating the fries in a really, really ironic way. Be incredibly disdainful of aspiring foodies who occasionally eat Fluffernutters. They don’t get that the specific type of fast or convenience food that you choose to eat is a kind of foodie performance art and only bolsters your foodie credentials.
- Act horrified and pity people who use random types of food appliances. If someone melts chocolate in the microwave occasionally, make sure to mention that you don’t even know how to turn one on. If you admit to having a microwave, say you have used it only to warm up a cup of cold espresso made from extremely expensive beans. If you make your own bread and someone has a bread maker, talk about how you feel like an Earth Goddess when you are ‘caressing’ your dough (particularly if you are male).
Okay, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of some of these foodie snob ‘sins’ from time to time. But overall, I have to say, I’m far to aware of my own perfections—both as a cook and as a human being—to have the time for Full Time Food Snobbism.
The label of foodie, however, I wear proudly, and this totally mellow, no fuss, easy and from scratch recipe for chocolate banana bread will please food snobs and non-snobs alike….
Marbled Chocolate-Banana Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or, you can just use 2 cups of all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 /4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/ 2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter
- 3 /4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 beaten eggs
- 3 overripe bananas—mashed into a pulp
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
- 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the cup of chocolate in the microwave, microwaving the chips 30 seconds at a time until soft. If you have ‘microwave issues,’ you can also melt the chips using a bain-marie, melting the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Allow the melted chips to cool.
- Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt together.
- Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Incorporate the banana mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Spoon ½ of the banana mixture into the pan. Incorporate the chips into the remaining dough. Pour the chocolate-banana batter on top of the ‘regular’ banana batter and swirl, using a knife.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick can be extracted clean. Cool thoroughly before slicing.
For more recipes, humor, and stories about my life, check out my blog Chewthefat.
Note from Doughmesstic:
Thanks so much! This sounds like the perfect thing to make this weekend to carry you through until Monday! I hope everyone has a great weekend – I’m on my way to Iowa for an excursion to the Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 250. I’ll be meeting up with my old blogging friends, like Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks, and Vanessa from French Foodie Mom, as well as Mindy and Claire, who work for the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and Roxi who, well, does PR for just about everything Farm related in the midwest! I can’t wait to see everyone again!
See you back here Monday for a guest post from my son Seven, who’ll be teaching us to make Gluten Free Marshmallow Brownies. On video. What a ham! See you then!