i am a cheesetarian

When I was a little kid, I was lactose intolerant. I use this excuse—I’m pretty sure it’s valid—to explain why I drank soy baby formula until I was six years old (maybe older, but I’m leaving it at six for the sake of my waning aspirational self). Isomil, I think, is what it was called, or “Sarah milk” in our house. Hey, at least I wasn’t the product of creepy attachment parenting, breastfeeding until I left for college… (Someone, take an icepick to my brain!)

Eventually I grew out of the lactose intolerance and began drinking normal milk like a human. I still did weird, borderline sociopathic things like microwaving ants and squishing caterpillars like tubes of toothpaste, but I could eat cheese pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese to my chubby little heart’s content.

Lately, though, things have taken a turn. Over the past week or so, whenever I eat something with a lot of cheese—like, say, pizza or pasta with cheese sauce—within half an hour I’m on the toilet praying to every divinity I can think of.

I’m hoping that maybe this is just some weird spell rather than the unwelcome return of lactose intolerance, but just to be safe I’m cutting out dairy for a while. Which means I’m essentially going to fast.

In a week or so, I’ll eat something really cheesy and see if it makes me feel like a wild animal is trying to claw its way out of my asshole. If not, I might be in the clear.

Keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’ll be sharing some vegan-y recipes.

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whatever wednesday

Maybe I can make mac ‘n’ cheese without following a recipe, I thought naively. It was a Wednesday, warm outside and growing darker. I was, as usual, pantsless and watching shows on Bravo about Rachel Zoe/rich housewives/the Kardashians, etc. (I live alone.)

(Well, actually, I live with a 95-lb cat, who if I haven’t mentioned is at all times up for adoption.)

And thus began a new tradition: “whatever Wednesday.” Hopefully by next week this will somehow magically morph into “totally awesome, delicious culinary masterpiece Wednesday,” but not today.

No, this Wednesday I was too lazy to check up on how to make a roux, so I heated up some oil and then added in about a handful of flour. After a while this mixture turned brown and started to separate and smell funny, like burned popcorn. The underdeveloped logical side of my brain kicked in, and I decided to pour this out and start over. With butter and flour. That didn’t really thicken, either.

photo(11)

Well, what the hell! I added in some cheese, anyway. The mixture became stickier, so I added some milk. Voila—that allowed it to thicken a little. Then I added some random spices (meaning, what I had in my cabinet, meaning, garlic salt) and, well, eventually I added some marinara sauce from a jar because I had stopped giving a f*ck about 10 minutes ago.

The sauce wasn’t awful. I cooked some locally made conchiglie pasta that was really excellent and used the sauce sparingly. Then I watched a pro-vegan documentary on Netflix called Vegucated and decided that I never wanted to eat anything ever again. Or, at least I’ll feel guilty for more than 5 minutes the next time I drunkenly break down and guzzle a bacon cheeseburger.

I have a question for anyone with any domestic know-how: why does water boil over like this when you cook something starchy, like pasta? How can this be prevented? I’ve tried adding/subtracting water, but this doesn’t seem to make any difference.

photo(10)She’s seriously asking a question about boiling water…oh, brother.