Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ramen

Pup #1 is on the periphery of our local restaurant scene. He's worked at a few places and has even more friends who continue to work in the biz. A few of his buddies are chefs. One of those guys is Ian, who does his magic at Thai Ki in Easton. Countymouse, Pup #1 and I went out for happy hour the other night and stopped by Thai Ki for a bite to eat. We had the pleasure of sitting at the kitchen bar and watching the chefs at work. Ian was a sweetheart and prepared a special dish for us, Pork and Prawn Salad. I have been craving it every day ever since. (Although you wouldn't know it from it's name, it's really a rice noodle dish with sausage and shrimp and some lettuce in it.) Yum yum.

Now, I love food. I consider myself a foodie but I am not a food snob. EC sister and I share a love of wonderful food. Where we differ is that she really is a food (and alcohol) snob. She is of the vein that if it doesn't meet her Standards, it isn't worth eating (or drinking). On the other hand, I am more of the Garth Brooks school of thought and long ago accepted the fact that I have "Friends in Low Places". I value having a good time over whether I am drinking a microbrew or a Natural Light or having cheeseburgers or pate'. (In her defense, ECS is mellowing with age.)



(Don't pay attention to the crazy German pop ups.)

Not so long ago I saw a blog that mentioned the book, 101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles. I like ramen. ECS wouldn't touch them unless she was ready to start eating her fellow survivors a la the Donner party. The concept behind this book intrigued me. Ramen noodles as real food, huh? Countrymouse lived on ramen noodles and microwaved "baked" potatoes his first year in podiatry school. All my pups were introduced to cooking by making ramen noodles. (I can still picture Pup #2 making ramen and how he always had to put the *seasonings* on a large wooden spoon before he would stir it in the water.) The thought of ramen as an actual food source was odd. I googled ramen recipes. Amazingly, there were 467,000 hits. Amazing. I checked out several and, the truth is, I am ready to go shopping. Obviously there are plenty of soup and noodle bowl recipes but there are salad and desserts and main dishes too. Who knew? I thought I was being fancy when I threw a few scallions and chicken in my ramen.

The be all and end all website for ramen (and I should point out that it is "rah-men" and not "ray-men") is The Official Ramen Homepage. Matt Fischer is the guru of ramen. I happened to revisit this site today. When I saw today's post, I was convinced I was out of the ramen loop. Gerber is introducing Top Ramen baby food. I have seen it all! My WCS makes all her pups' baby foods... I wonder what her take on this is?? I am still trying to process this.

Generally, even if they taste good, I think packaged ramen is considered *bad for you*, mainly because of the extremely high sodium content. (Probably why they are so loved.) There is even *good for you* ramen now. I have bought these and actually like them better but they cost a whopping $.0.98 a pack as opposed to 12 for a $1.00. Why would anyone want to feed these to their babies? They eat plenty of other questionable things (cheese doodles, hot dogs, etc.), do we need to figure out a way to feed them ramen at 12 months? Egads man!

So while my semi-grown pups are sure to enjoy some tasty ramen dish in the next week or so, I am convinced that ramen is best saved for the *big boys*. Let our little ones eat anything else. Their tiny little GI tracts will suffer enough as time goes on... infancy should be filled with innocence and bliss, and somehow I do not think that includes ramen.








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