Practice Pittcon Session
What motivates someone to spend five hours listening and correcting presentations for PIttcon? PIZZA PARTY!
Bradley was in charge of ordering pizza and he did a wonderful job! He took requests and he accepted my request for pasta pizza. Other pizzas chosen were white pizza with broccoli, BBQ chicken, and Hawaiian.
I had the Pasta Pizza, of course! This was the first time I ever had pasta pizza fresh from the oven. The cheese was still melting as I was eating it.
Problems with fresh pasta pizza:
- Pasta pizza purchased as a whole pie has much smaller pieces than what they serve for $3. This was disappointing, but it meant I could eat two pieces (which I did).
- The second piece had a soggy crust because there was too much steam trapped underneath it.
- When the crust is not crispy it cannot hold the weight of the pasta. It was a messy meal.
I am still happy that I got to experience the freshness of the pasta pizza. It was delicious and I earned a food baby. At the end, there were two pieces of white pizza with broccoli left. No one seemed interested in them so of course I took them home. My Pizza Bella craving will be quenched with my encore dinner meal.
- To feed 12 McGown group members, order four large pizzas. Only two pieces were left.
- Pasta pizza was a crowd pleaser but it tastes better reheated and as a large single slice.
- If you want a great turnout for practice presentations, and you do not want grumpy hungry students, pizza is an affordable party to have as an intermission.
Sodexo Culinary Class
I signed up for a free food event that was sent out through a Red and White e-mail. The event was supposed to be about how to cook soup. The woman hosting the event could not make it and another chef took her place. He instead taught about how to cook vegetarian (which was perfect for me). The event was free to attend and I also got a free apron.
Three meals were prepared:
- Quinoa salad: The protein source was qunioa and the dish was served cold. All that needed to be done was cook the qunioa, chop carrots and red onion, add thyme, add cherry tomatoes, add spinach, squeeze lemon, pour olive oil, and mix together. Delicious and nutritious!
- Fajitas: The protein source was black beans. The best part of this dish was the red onions and green peppers. It tasted just like Chipotle! He also added portabello mushrooms, but I would make it without them in the future. I still enjoyed a wonderful fajita.
- Lo Mein: The protein source was tofu. He cooked the tofu first to get it crispy which I loved. He used real lo mein noodles, broccoli,. ginger, portabella mushroom, red pepper, red onion, soy sauce, honey, and brown sugar. It was delicious, Adding the sweet ingredients helped the dish not taste too salty.
The event went longer than scheduled and a lot of people had to leave immediately. I, however, was in no rush and knew I could take home more food if I was the last one there. I ended up taking home the rest of the quinoa salad and lo mein. I also took home two Pepsi drinks and an orange soda which I gave to my roommate.
Moral of the Story:
Read the annoying e-mails that RPI sends because sometimes they discuss free food events. Also, sign up for any Sodexo cooking classes that are free. You get a free apron, learn how to cook, and score a free meal.
I am a culinary engineer, no big deal.
If you do not know what Purim is or what Hamantaschen are, google it.
Every Purim my dad buys me chocolate Hamantaschen. This year, my dad is in Israel and I received no Hamantaschen. There were also two events which had free Hamantashcen, but I had to work and eat free frozen yogurt instead (and it was no where near as satisfying).
I complained about this to a Grad TA while TAing experimental chemistry. I also told the Grad TA that I was mad there was no chemistry seminar that week because I will not have a free lunch. This reminded him that he once heard about some girl on campus that has a blog about scavenging free food on campus. She lives off of free food and blogs about it.
He gave a very exaggerated description of my blog showing he clearly never read it and was oblivious that I was the author. He also said the girl may have graduated and does not know if the blog still exists. Sorry, I take breaks from writing! I am a full time student.
I did not tell him that I was the author of the blog because I wanted to make sure I was the only girl at RPI who is writing a blog about free food. I am quite confident that I am so I posted a link to my blog on his Facebook wall asking if this was the blog he was referring to earlier.
Um, yeah. I… didn’t realize she was in our department. She apparently works with you? Please tell me this isn’t you and I didn’t just make an idiot out of myself.
I confirmed that it was me. He later told me that he owed me Hamantaschen. I told him not to worry and I was happy that my blog was something being discussed on campus.
A week later he presented me with two plates of Hamantaschen:
Some of them had chocolate filling but most of them had a jelly filling composed of an unidentifiable fruit. It was my breakfast for a couple of weeks.
Take away messages:
- I got Hamantaschen for Purim!!
- Spread the word about my blog! Also, please explain it without the exaggerations. I do not only eat free food. I just post about a lot of my meals which happen to be free.
- Chocolate Hamantaschen are the best. If it is free I will eat them with any filling, but if you are cooking for me I LOVE CHOCOLATE!
NOTE FOR JEWS: In israsel, Hamtaschen are referred to as Oznei Haman. While in America, we are taught that the cookie resembles Haman’s hat, in Israel they are taught that the cookie resembles his ear (oznei).
Named Chemistry Seminars
So there are chemistry seminars with cookies and beverage, and then there are named chemistry seminars. These are the seminars that are in bold on the schedule. It means some super important professor is coming to RPI and we have to make an impressive presentation and array of food for them. If you do not go to any chemistry seminar, you at least have to go to these.
First week of Named Seminar Presenter:
I made a wonderful three course meal. I started with cheese and crackers. The cheeses included dill sprinkled cheese, white cheddar, and pepper jack. Then, I moved on to my strawberries to cleanse my pallet. Finally I finished with four cookies. To wash everything down I made tea.
At the end of the seminar I noticed an absurd amount of cheese leftover. I decided the most ethical thing to do was to take as much of it as possible so less of it is wasted.
Let’s just say cheese will not be on my grocery list for awhile. I put most of it in my freezer until I am ready to consume it. Yes it was awkward walking home with a plate of cheese. Luckily, I only had to endure the sarcastic comment from Professor Moore who told me cheese is not healthy. He delivered the retort with a smile though.
Second week of named chemistry seminar:
I made another three course meal. I started with cheese and cracker sandwiches. The cheeses involved were gouda, white cheddar, cheddar, and pepper jack. Next I had a plate of strawberries and seedless watermelon. I finished off with four cookies.I also had tea.
Tips for food preparation at named seminars:
- Arrive early to get the good fruit.
- Make cheese and cracker sandwiches. This is the most efficient way of eating the cheese. Also, I used three slices of cheese in my sandwiches but in the future I would only use two.
- Watch your cookie intake. Too much sugar will cause you to fall asleep or be that really uncool person who keeps bobbing their head up and down to stay awake.
- If there are leftovers, make a to go plate. You might get judged but it is a waste of food if no one takes it. You know Sodexo is going to trash it before giving it to a poor person/college student.
Valentine’s Day 2013
Unfortunately, my real Valentine was in Boston, but I still got some wonderful treats, for free of course!
When I went into Experimental Chemistry 4, the TA, who is also my grad mentor in research, gave me these wonderfully delicious cookies!!
They were perfectly heart shaped sugar cookies with red sprinkles. I love a good sugar cookie!! I ate the whole bag once my lab was finished. They were well needed while studying Micro P Chem.
To continue studying for Micro P Chem, I met friends at the library. They were purchasing beverages at the cafe while I was admiring two Dunkin’ Donuts boxes.. I also noticed a post it that said, “Help yourself.” I opened the boxes and found:
I grabbed the chocolate chip muffin with chocolate drizzle (found in the left corner of the box on the right). The muffin was huge (hence the wimps that cut their muffins in half), and covered in sugar crystals. It was an ideal eat your feelings study treat.
Moral of the story:
You do not need your Valentine to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
My Best Sandwich
I walked into lab and saw Akshar. He told me to go to the Polymer Center. Of course I knew that meant free food.
At the Polymer Center there was a make your own sandwich setup, chips, fruit salad, potato salad, and shitty Sodexo dessert.
I made a masterpiece of a sandwich.
My sandwich assembly:
- Bread (there was only white bread left)
- Provolone cheese
- Provolone cheese
- Provolone Cheese
- Spicy Brown Mustard
I took my first bite of my epic sandwich and it tasted like a Whopper from Burger King. I was in heaven. I attribute it to the combination of pickle and onion. It was the most glorious taste I have had in a long time.
I also had Jalapeno chips which were good. A bit too salty for me to consider purchasing but definitely acceptable as a crunchy free food side. My meal finished with a fresh strawberry.
This lunch made me jovial for the rest of the day. Nothing satisfies a food baby more than a well made free meal.
If it doesn’t look good, and Sodexo is the provider, DO NOT EAT IT! My friend made that mistake with the dessert. Sodexo does very few things well. Use your best judgement when deciding what to put on your plate. You could also make your guinea pig friend eat it first if you trust their taste palette.
The only reason to go to chemistry seminars…
Is for the free cookies and tea!!
When attending seminar:
- Arrive X>15 minutes early. This ensures that you have your choice of any of the cookies.
- Grab a schmorgus board of cookies. Cookies are the only thing that Sodexo can do correctly. They do not make a bad cookie, unless they are serving it in the dining hall. My plate above contains five cookies: two chocolate chip, two chocolate with white chocolate chips, and 1 oatmeal raisin.
- Make tea or pour coffee. It is very fun to dip the cookies into hot liquid.
- Make sure you have enough to drink. Some people get two cups of beverage so they do not need to get a refill. It is very important that your thirst is quenched before the seminar begins. You do not want to be the awkward student that walks behind the presenter to make a second cup of tea.
- Watch your sugar intake! I have a high tolerance for sugar (hence my plate of five cookies). It is a common myth that sugar makes you hyper. It will increase energy levels momentarily and then you will crash HARD. The sugar intake needs to be monitored because you do not want to be the jerk asleep in seminar. If you are a novice dessert eater, stick to two cookies. You can aspire to my level of sugar tolerance, but the transformation does not occur overnight.
Seminar occurs every Tuesday at 4PM in some room in the DCC. Go for the free food. If you learn something related to chemistry, then that is a bonus.
Group Meeting Spring 2013
The first group meeting of the semester was rather epic with Cecily presenting.
Cecily is a master baker. She bakes with love and lots of butter! She has yet to bake something that did not completely rock my world.
She made rice krispie treats and Ooey Gooey cinnamon cake.
I only tried the cinnamon cake because the rice krispies had gelatin (which I prefer not to eat because it is an animal product). The cinnamon cake was the Ooeyest Gooiest cake that ever melted in my mouth. I had five pieces. I wish I could have eaten the entire cake but my food baby can only expand so far.
She also provided a wonderful array of beverages.
Teas and lemonades are very popular among the McGown lab group members.
How to prepare a snack for group meeting:
- Bake with love
- Bring an assortment of drinks
So I kind of got in trouble at work (Dante’s Frozen Yogurt).
I was called into work last minute to work from 4-6PM. My manager was grateful and told me I could take one of the half-filled “Froyo to Go’s” and put toppings on it and enjoy.
And I made a work of art.
Swirl of white chocolate mousse and salt caramel pretzel froyo.
It was a delicious sweet and salty combination.
Then, the manager told me I could take froyo home with me. He never quantified how much so I decided to take orders from my friends. I got two frozen yogurts for my roommate, one for my chem friend (Chemical Jim), and four for me to share with my boyfriend. I put these yogurts in two bags and walked out of the store.
Moments later I receive a text from my manager:
“You didn’t take 2 bags of yogurt did you”
“I said two yogurts not bags of yogurt. mario called me, he must have seen you.”
Why yes, it is creepy that I am watched 24/7 at work. Thank you unbiased reader for noticing. Of course I was not reprimanded but I still felt bad because my gluttony was caught on camera.
Moral of the story:
When given an inch do not take a mile.
Also, be careful what you do when your place of work watches you on surveillance cameras for the entire duration of your shift.
The sweetest honey Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
^See what I did there? I blended the title into my blog. First attempt at that. I fancy, huh?
So the above quote is from Romeo and Juliet. My teacher in seventh grade loved this quote the most, and it is one of the only things I remember from the play. The quote is trying to teach moderation. Too much of a good thing, such as the sweetness of honey, leads to an unpleasant experience, such as a stomach ache. I decided to apply this lesson to my binge eating.
Currently, I eat at a lighting fast speed to eat all of the food I can before I get full. The problem is, I still eat after I get full. Once your stomach is at full capacity, for me at least, food stops tasting good. Even a moist chocolate brownie will taste flavorless after the food baby has been conceived. I used to eat with the goal to eat as much as I can fit into my stomach. Now, I need to eat with the goal of eating as much as I can before food begins to taste flavorless.
I really cherish food. Unfortunately, my pride of eating more than a person my size should overcame me and I forgot about my passion for the taste of food. My new goal is to stop eating once I know that the next bite will not taste like the first.
I tested this new goal out at RCS meeting. They had a pizza party! I am a sucker for Pizza Bella pizza if you could not already tell from most of my entries. In addition to pizza, there were brownies and Sun Chips. I began with two slices of cheese pizza and Arizona green tea. Then I proceeded to eat a generously cut brownie. The brownies were made from scratch by Katie Linkens. You could tell she used butter. They were absolutely delicious! After the brownie I had a handful of Sun Chips. At this point I really wanted another brownie. I also could have eaten another slice of pizza. I knew my stomach was not at full capacity although I definitely had a two month food baby already. I decided to restrain myself and contribute to the RCS conversation to get my mind off the free food that needed to be devoured.
At the conclusion of the RCS meeting one slice of cheese pizza remained. The RCS President asked who wanted the last piece. Katie said that I would take it, and she was right. I took the piece of pizza and thought I would box it up when I got home…but it looked so good in my hand. I love biting off the triangle tip of pizza, so I took one bite. One bite led to several more bites. I did, however, stop munching after the halfway mark of the pizza. I stopped eating a couple bites before I knew the pizza would stop tasting wonderfully cheesy.
Take away message:
I have a new goal. I am trying to moderate my binge eating. I will try to stop eating before food loses its taste. So far, my first day was a small step in the right direction. I definitely could have eaten the entire piece of pizza, but I stopped myself. I hope I do not regress. The taste of food is more important than achieving the largest food baby possible.