Internet, would you be so kind as to weigh in on something for me?
You see, my husband and I are at opposite ends of an issue, and I’m not sure if it’s one of those things where there is a definite right and a definite wrong, or if it’s one of those things where there’s a fat grey area in the middle, or if it’s one of those things that no one really cares about at all.
But I care. I really do. And I need you to tell me if I’m caring meaningfully… or if it’s one of those things like “all of the sudden” vs. “all of a sudden,” where I feel Very Strongly about one way, to the point where the other way grates on me a little (I just finished a book that gave me a LOT to think about, and filled my head with horrible images and the woe of a hopeless, heartless, cruelty-filled world, and yet one of the things I remember the MOST is the author’s [incorrect, I maintain!!!] usage of the phrase), even though I am 90% certain that it’s simply a matter of preference or a matter of regional variation rather than a matter of right or wrong.
(See also: the difference vs. “flick off” and “flip off;” and the difference between “pants” and “de-pants.”)
Lest I get riled right off the subject, let us move back to my original request, which is for you to weigh in on something.
Specifically, I’d like you to weigh in on food temperature.
I’ve touched on it briefly before. But I want to discuss it again, and there’s a practical reason behind my request: I’ve recently joined a breakfast-making club at my new job (my policy at least for the first few months will be to say yes to everything, because I want to become part of the team as quickly as possible, and plus, who says no to a breakfast-making club?) and so even though my assigned Breakfast Day is a few weeks hence, I am already fretting thinking about what to bring.
(Let me assure you that I have no idea whether I used “hence” correctly back there. In fact, I’m leaning toward not correctly. But I like the way it sounds there, so there it stays.) (Behold! The deterioration of the English language is before you!)
(I would also like you to know, apropos of nothing, that I am making dinner while writing this post. I’m making tacos, if you must know, because they are easy and delicious. And I am pausing in between sentences to eat freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese. My husband and I are at odds when it comes to cheese, too, just to be completely forthright with you. He prefers sharp while I prefer extra sharp, despite the fact that I shredded up some extra sharp for our chili last week and he didn’t know the difference. I even TOLD him that I’d done it and he ADMITTED that he didn’t notice the difference, and yet he still maintains that not only is sharp superior in flavor to extra sharp, but that it melts better, too. I am choosing to see this as very charming instead of infuriating and so have shredded two piles of cheese on the cutting board for tonight’s tacoing. The extra sharp is for me.)
(Perhaps this post would stick a little more closely to the point if I weren’t constantly pausing to stir the taco meat or stuff my face with cheese.)
So: food temperature.
The other day, I was thinking out loud about breakfast foods I could bring for my first breakfast-making club assignment, but I kept hitting on one major issue: heat.
My office is a good 30 minutes from my house, so I ruled out anything that needs to be eaten whilst piping hot. Which is… everything. Bacon. Eggs. (Ack. Especially eggs.) French toast. French toast casserole. Pancakes. Waffles. Grits. Oatmeal. (Gag.) (Are there… other breakfast foods?)
Because I firmly believe that food-that-is-meant-to-be-hot should be hot. HOT. Not warm. Not lukewarm. Not room temperature. Not cold. HOT.
That is why I do not eat cold pizza or take bites of Chef Boyardee ravioli from the can. (Double gag.) That is why I prefer to heat leftover soups and spaghetti on the stove rather than in the microwave. That is why Thanksgiving is so stressful for me: so many meant-to-be-hot items that all need to be ready (and hot) simultaneously.
But my husband avers that I am in the minority when it comes to food temperature. He, after all, doesn’t need a bowl of soup to be visibly steaming in order to enjoy it. (How? HOW does he enjoy it?) And he thinks that I am wrongly – stupidly, even – ruling out a whole list of food that most people would find completely palatable at room temperature.
To that I say ew.
(You are beginning to feel sorry for my breakfast club, aren’t you?)
But I am willing to acknowledge that my food quirks are not universal. And if I AM in the minority, well, why should my entire breakfast-making club have to pass on some perfectly good lukewarm French toast casserole just because I believe it needs to be hot or not at all?
Anyway, what I want to know is, how important is food temperature to you? Is there a range of acceptable hotness? Do certain foods have a wider hotness-spectrum than others? Which foods MUST be served piping hot and ONLY piping hot? You can extend your answers to non-breakfast food, if you like – I’d be interested anyway.
And, as long as we’re thinking about food, what would you like to eat at work on a Friday morning? (Gluten free suggestions and links to recipes would be VERY welcome.)