Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weekend Dietary Hijinks

I think we had kind of a fun discussion last week in response to a photo I posted of my breakfast. The debate focused on the relative health value of the breakfast and sort of ultimately boiled down to a discussion of meat v. vegetarian carbs v. processed foods. I almost believe that there are as many "valid" diets (or ways-of-eating-for-life) as there are people in this world, because you can find scientific support for pretty much any eating plan nowadays.  (Except probably processed foods.  I don't see too many people sticking up for processed foods, except to say that perhaps in moderation you won't kill yourself with them immediately.)  I personally am easing myself into a paleo-like experiment* for the next couple months, but as much science as there is behind such a diet, there is as much science behind the opposite (vegetarian) diet and everything in between.

*  Let me take a moment to clarify that I am not "dieting."  I'm trying to figure out a new and healthier way to eat, because I feel like I need to change something in my diet.  Diet here meaning way-of-eating, not temporary caloric restriction.

Anyway, this post is not about healthy eating. In fact, if we try to "issue spot" the number of problems with my eating this weekend, we will all get very tired and take a nap under our desks within a couple of minutes. Let's not talk about healthy eating today. Instead, let's talk about what I did this past weekend.

First, a bagel-making class.

Here is my shameful Jewish girl secret: Every time I have attempted homemade bagels they have failed. (Or so I thought.) They taste fine, but they bake up weird and flat.  [Edited to add:  What's a Jewish girl's favorite thing to make?  Reservations!  hyuk hyuk.]

This was my most recent attempt a few months back:

I mean, Cupcakes & Cashmere I am not. (HOW DID HERS GET SO ROUND???)

So, when a friend alerted me to a bagel-making class at a community college in Arlington (part of their adult education curriculum), naturally I could not wait to sign up. I was hoping for the secret to nice round, puffy bagels.

I didn't get such a secret, unfortunately, but the class was still a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. The type of 20-somethings who don't mind giving up a bit of sleep on a weekend to bake and eat bagels are my type of people.

1 - "proofing" the yeast. 2 - letting the dough rise (in the bowl) and letting myself rise (in the coffee cup). 3 - the instructor shows us how to shape the bagels by poking a hole in them. 4 - topping the bagels. 5 - bagels that the instructor put together that rose overnight, which we baked in class. 6 - eating the spoils.

This is the recipe we used.

We got to take home the bagels we assembled in class to let them rise overnight and to bake on Sunday. But instead of baking bagels on Sunday, I experienced a different kind of food overload.

Second, a trip to All-You-Can-Eat "Farmer's Market Brunch" at Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers

Lordie, lordie lordie.

Understand: FFB is the type of trendy, urban hipster type of restaurant that serves "sustainable" "farm to table" American food. It's the classic type of place you'd want to go for brunch. So when I heard that they offered an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet featuring everything on this menu...

...naturally I had to check it out.

(source, because let's face it, I was way too eager to eat this stuff to actually take my own photo)

It did not disappoint. The food was good --- not exceptional, as is the curse of most all-you-can-eat situations, but quite good --- and the experience was SO much fun. Tons of food, not just on the buffet but also circulating around you. Waiters came around with trays of biscuits, cinnamon rolls, eggs benedict, flatbread, and SUSHI.

Show me a person who can resist a warm cinnamon bun and I will show you a Cylon.  (source)

Also, bruleed grapefruit is NO JOKE.

Does this make anyone else want to buy a brulee torch? No, just me? Okay.

The biggest negative was that the line for the first brunch table (the veggie table) got somewhat long at points, but if you didn't want anything from that table you could skip it, and at max I think we waited about five or ten minutes before we reached the kale salad.

How did you spend your weekend? Are you as big a fan of brunch as I am?

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