All references to the Tick aside, this post's subtitle is, "Foods I eat with a spoon out of the container that are not meant to be eaten in that way."
Maybe it's because I live alone, or because I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint and save water by washing fewer plates, but I find myself diving right into food containers these days with the help of a spoon and getting right to the meat of things.
Cutting out the middle men: plates, any kind of appropriate serving utensils, other foods that these might accompany....etc.
But let me be clear about two things related to eating in this way:
1. Ice cream does not count. Why? Ice cream does not count because I believe that it is truly meant to be eaten out of the container with a spoon. Ice cream is a food that doesn't NEED to go on top of anything else, but stands alone. Thus, eating it out of the container is perfectly acceptable in my book.
2. Eating foods out of containers with spoons is WAY more acceptable than drinking beverages directly from communal cartons. Even if you live alone....John.
So without further ado, I will detail for you the foods (some of them are really condiments) I eat straight out of the containers.
1. Cool Whip. I love Cool Whip. I might even like it better than real whipped cream. I like the fluffy airated texture, the sweetness and the slight creaminess. But let's be clear: Cool Whip contains some interesting (by which I mean alarming) ingredients – Polysorbate 60, I'm talking to you! Recently, I found a Cool Whip-like product that is a bit more "natural" – TruWhip! No Polysorbate 60! Sans high fructose corn syrup! And it is tru-ly good.
2. Nut Butters. It's difficult for me to express my love for nut butters. Peanut, almond, cashew....I even like soy butter – and that one's not even a nut! But we all know I am. My current favorite is Justin's Nut Butter. Pictured above is the Honey Peanut variety, which has just the slightest amount of sweetness that is just perfect with the peanut flavor. And it's very creamy. I'm also a fan of the Maple Almond and had been using it all summer as my pre-race meal (although in that case I would put it on a bagel). And yes, I will take a spoon at any time of the day and dig out a heaping teaspoon full and eat it. Like a lollipop. It's awesome.
3. Pesto. Basil and cilantro compete for top billing on my list of favorite herbs. Some days I really can't decide which I like better. But the best news is that I can make pesto with either of them! The above is a cilantro pesto that I intended for a pasta dish. Instead, I just started eating it with a spoon. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Here's how to make it so you can do the same:
What You Need:
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (add more olive oil for a thinner consistency pesto)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
OPTIONAL: If you like your pestos nutty, then you can add 1/2 cup of pine nuts. Also recommended are pistachios (less expensive than pine nuts) or walnuts.
What You Do:
Throw all the ingredients except the cheese in a food processor and blend to combine. You may want to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula to make sure all the good stuff gets in there.
Once it's all combined, add in the cheese and give the processor a few pulses to combine.
You can add more olive oil if a thinner consistency is desired.
Store in the fridge for a week in a sealed container. Demerits if you can actually keep it for a week without eating it all.
4. Hummus. I will spread hummus on just about anything. I usually keep a container in the fridge at my office with any arrangement of cut veggies and Stacy's Pita Chips for lunch. But sometimes I forgo the veggies and just dig in. My current favorite brands are Sabra (I like the flavors with Tahini) and Sonny & Joe. But if you weren't aware, hummus is ridiculously easy to make yourself. And you just might want to so that you can control the ingredients. For example, I threw the leftover cilantro from the aforementioned pesto into mine. Here's how to do it:
What You Need:
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
The juice from 1 large lemon
1-2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
What To Do:
Put the chick peas, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor and blend to combine well.
Add in the salt and pepper to taste.
As a last step, add in the fresh cilantro and give the processor one final twirl to combine.
I add the cilantro last because if you blend the herb too much it will turn the hummus green instead of the leaving it chick pea colored with flecks of fresh herbs. Keep in mind, I'm not opposed to green hummus, I'm just telling you how the chemistry works.
5. Lemon Vanilla Bean Preserves from Maiden Preserves. I found this at the Bedford Cheese Shop and posted about it the other week. I eat this as a dessert—like ice cream. It's that good. I'm going to start hoarding jars.
6. Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup, Spicy Variety (not pictured): I've never met a ketchup that made me forget that there were fries on the table. Congrats, Sir Kensington, you've done what Heinz could not.
7. Andrew's Honey, Whipped Cinnamon Variety (not pictured): Find him in the Union Square Farmer's Market every Wednesday. The whipped honey is a different consistency than regular honey - it's more solid. You can actually scoop it out of the jar and spread it like a paste. Which is handy for cheese plates, and less messy in general. And it's downright perfect for spoons.
What do you eat with a spoon out of the container...when no one's looking? Or when everyone's looking (that's how you know it's REALLY good)?