Thursday, May 19, 2005

an ode to cottage cheese toast

As this last semester, the last month, (and not to mention my entire foreseeable academic career) is quickly winding down to its end, I think that it is necessary to bring attention to one of the strangest and most delightful rituals I have had in the past year. Me, Becca, and lunch. For two people so obsessed with food, it is remarkable strange that we eat the same thing almost every afternoon, perched in our black wooden chairs at the little wobbly wood breakfast table extending from the center island.

If I were trying to be all gourmand-y, I might say that we indulge in the elegant French tradition of tartines, an open-face crispy bread topped with such delectables as a light and airy cheese curd over a spread of tangy dijon, fresh garden tomatoes, crunchy cucumber pickles, and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper to top. A palate cleanser of seasonal fruit fruit. To finish, a selection dark chocolate.

If I were to speak truthfully, I would say that everyday we foodies inexplicably eat a piece of toast with cottage cheese, tomatoes, and pickles (often the kind sweetened with Splenda - gasp of horror). Mine is always with obscene amount of mustard (I can’t help it; I’m pretty sure my love of the stuff is genetic. Just ask my dad.) We heat up left over coffee from breakfast. Sometimes we munch on pretzels, straining and using our entire arm length to reach them at the bottom of the huge plastic pretzel container which lives under our cookie shelf. (Yes, we have an entire shelf dedicated to cookies). Then, our lunch always finishes with chocolate Jello pudding, delicately scooped out of one of those portable plastic cups. I like to eat mine with this tiny spoon that I mysteriously acquired somewhere in my travels (Did I steal it from an airplane? Who knows.)

Becca and I are both obsessed with food, with good food. We talk about it all the time and can usually be found doing crazy cooking experiments by night, always overdoing the quantity and reveling in our love of the culinary. But during the week (this lunch-time habit rarely overlaps onto the weekends) it is a comfortably easy and surprisingly satisfying culinary strangeness. Our lunch-time ritual has given our hectic days of classes, studying, and work a nook of afternoon coziness, a respite from our stresses.

As I shed the life of a college student, I think that I will probably also shed my habit of cottage cheese toast for lunch. But I will always hold a fond spot for it in my heart, probably located in the space under the cookie shelf.

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