Deep Fried Oreos

deep fried oreosI pride myself on cooking well, and across cuisines, ingredients, and meals of the day. If someone can’t eat a certain kind of food—close friends know I never eat raw tomatoes—I enjoy coming up with substitutes, different recipes, and so on. Cooking to me represents an ever-shifting journey that feels at times like archaeology. There is literally nothing I can come up with in the kitchen that hasn’t been done by someone else before me, so I at least attempt to hold that history sacred when I’m fixing up a dish.

When I found out we were with child, after all of the excitement rolled through us, one of my first thoughts was that I’ll be able to adjust to whatever food preferences Susanne has for the duration of the pregnancy. And yet this moment marked the peak of my culinary confidence in this regard.

Staying away from the omnipresent What to Freak Out About When You’re Expecting, I read up on nutrition in pregnancy. Keep up the protein levels, push the nutritional content and stay away from processed sugar. Pregnant women only need about 300 more calories a day (it’s breastfeeding that demands a big increase in daily body energy). I thought up interesting, varied meals to put in front of Susanne and “the blueberry,” which became our first nickname for the fetus, based on a description I’d read of where we should be, back in week 6.

Mushroom risotto, made with organic chicken stock and fresh-picked, local cremini mushrooms. It was creamy, low in sodium, and easy to digest. Susanne pushed the mushrooms to the edge of her plate, as close to the end of the pottery as they could get without collapsing on the dining table. I inquired about why. Was it the texture? Flavor? The notion of consuming fungus?

“I like the flavor fine,” she said, as if an affirmative approach would suit me.

The next night, it was the onions as an undercurrent aromatic flavor in a sautee. They made for a little unhappy pile across the plate from where she sat.

I should have known better than to prepare chicken cacciatore—in-bone chicken pieces cooked up with onions, green peppers, olives, tomatoes, and a wee bit of red wine (don’t worry, the alcohol evaporates off before serving), served over long-grain rice. Susanne sniffed the vapors rising off of the food, and apologized. She offered that it would probably make for a lovely lunch the next day. Heading to the kitchen, she prepared a dinner of cut up Pink Lady apples and cheddar cheese.

the lettuce eaterAn hour or so later, she asked if I would fetch a leaf of lettuce for her from the fridge. Lettuce? Plain lettuce? Yes, that’s what she wanted.

Munch, munch, munch, and in two seconds the green vegetable was gone, as if it had never existed. Hey, if that was what blueberry wanted, that was what I’d procure for it.

Half past midnight, my sleeping was interrupted by an unexpected noise: munch, munch, munch. On Susanne’s chest she’d piled 4 or 5 lettuce leaves. I opened a weary eye.

“Hi, honey,” she said, between bites. Nobody told me that pregnancy would turn my partner into a rabbit. She doesn’t even like rabbits, really.

We determined that there was something to the “blueberry” moniker. Maybe we were encouraging the fetus to become a vegan or fruitopian. This was no good—not in a household so fond of barbeque ribs from scratch with homemade sweet and spicy sauce, or roasted lamb shank. Determined to change course and avert food-related disaster, we have changed the nickname.

Our fetus from here on in will be called “Deep Fried Oreo.” How you like them caramel apples, little one?

Photo credit: Noel A. Tanner on Flickr
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6 Comments on “Deep Fried Oreos”

  1. hsofia
    March 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    It’s funny because I’ve never heard of a pregnant woman wanting anything too complex in terms of flavor. Savory – yes! Cheesy, creamy, salty, meaty, frothy, milky – yes, yes, and more yes. Citrusy, crunchy, watery – yep, and more of those, please. But I’ve never heard of cravings for casseroles or soups or anything with more than a handful of ingredients, really. I’d like to meet the lady who craved chicken cacciatore!

  2. evmaroon
    March 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I picked it as supper because it’s one of our favorites, but you’re right: simpler is better. I’m learning as we go. Last night was fried rice with tofu and asparagus. She thought it was great.

  3. Nicoline
    March 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I *love* your title for current gospel of pregnancy, “What to Freak Out About When You’re Expecting.” Susanne is probably highly sensitive to smells just now, so you may want to give some thought to fixing things that don’t smell. Salads, maybe :-) But it takes different women different ways. For example, I couldn’t stand coffee when I was pregnant, even though I used to drink it by the gallon before, but I don’t remember having a problem with smells. That is, until it came time to give birth and Eric decided to put a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. It took me years to get over that, and I don’t much care for pizza to this day, though the kids are 18 and 19. Just so as you’re warned….

  4. Brenda
    March 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    the nickname for our first fetus was “sprout”….no nickname for the second- we were too exhausted. (aaah the poor neglected second/middle child!). I think your nicknames are much more creative :) I really enjoyed meeting Susanne – you guys are going to be fun parents!!
    PS- I ate Mexican food several times a week with both pregnancies (after the yucky first trimester) and both my kids LOVE Mexican food…coincidence??

  5. March 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Sounds like you’re doing well in what is, for most of us, uncharted territory. Or if not wholly uncharted, at the very least a landscape of unsure footing.

    I would think being a Major Food-Dude would give you some advantage over we, the culinar-ily challenged, when it comes to the care & feeding of an expectant mom.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m hoping for you…;-D

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