Turning Water into Wine, ES Style

I get made fun of a lot on ES Staff emails for a variety of reasons, one of which is my love of instant ramen noodles. I’m not sure if my fellow ES writers are horrified or if they think I’m gross, but now maybe everyone will understand why.

Last year I was dating a man who loved food as much as I did, but like many people…hated cooking elaborate things. The relationship is long gone but this “recipe” isn’t.

After  a month or two of expensive dates, both of us became really poor. I was eating soup out of a box mix (still am, but whatever), and he bought a case of instant ramen. Now, ramen? I know what you’re thinking. I did too. I judged him. I said, “I can’t believe you’re almost 30 and eating ramen for dinner!!”

But then something happened. He made the most delicious thing to come out of his kitchen, and it went something like this:

The Best Ramen Ever

1 brick instant beef ramen (he preferred Maruchan but I think Sapporo Ichiban is far superior)
2 parts Frank’s Red Hot
1 part Tabasco
1 part Sriracha

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Unburdened By a Reference Point

cottage cheese sandwich

Although I was only in Florida for a few days, I became enamored with two new foods, actually, three. I’ve already declared my love and ambition for smoked whitefish. The other two are Cuban toast and cottage cheese. Cuban toast comes pre-buttered, which is an obvious win. And then there’s cottage cheese.

I’ve never tried cottage cheese before. I remember seeing it— bright white and slimy—in my college cafeteria. I never touched it. I haven’t had any exposure to the cheese since. I’ve never seen it in any fridge I’ve lived with. I’ve never been served it at a friend’s house. I’ve never seen it ordered at a restaurant.

In the morning before our flight back to DC my uncle asked what I wanted for breakfast. I said I didn’t eat breakfast. He gave me the whole metabolism spiel and listed a few choices. One of them cottage cheese. I jumped on it. I’ve been wanting to try it and it would make my uncle happy, so he scooped a spoonful on a plate. I took a bit. Magic.

It was like a congealed, less tangy, less salty feta. It was awesome. And it’s supposed to be good for you, no?

A few days later I purchased both a half pound of smoked whitefish and a tub of cottage cheese. I bought Nancy’s brand cottage cheese. It looked healthier than the rest, with the addition of L. acidophilus, B. bifidum and four strains of lactic cultures, plus it was on a sale.

Nancy’s cottage cheese, though, delivers on its promise of unique old-fashioned tangy character. This cottage cheese tasted like yogurt, not feta light. It was okay, but kinda weird to eat by the spoonful. It needed to be toned down.

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