Mozzarella Sticks Make You Human

A few weeks ago, I was in the checkout line at Target and – total impulse buy here – picked up a tube of squeezable applesauce. It’s called GoGo squeeZ and is similar in concept to yogurt in a tube, Go-Gurt. Which I mentioned here on the blog not long ago, listing it as a food item I once enjoyed but would never eat again. I have no idea why I bought it, other than morbid curiosity. It sat on the kitchen counter for weeks, uneaten. Yesterday I was in a rush to get back to work after my lunch hour and, not having time for a fresh nectarine or grapes, finally grabbed that tube of applesauce. I unscrewed the cap and ate it while driving to the office.

Shockingly, it was delicious.

“If only they could see me now,” I muttered out loud. I’m not sure who this they is – or why I was speaking to an empty car – but what I was thinking was, I pride myself on being a “foodie,” so it goes totally against my nature to eat a product with a ridiculous name like GoGo squeeZ. The moniker offends my grammatical sensibilities every bit as much as my palate. And yet, there I was, scarfing it down…and loving it.

This made me realize that even the most culinarily bold and adventurous food snob on the planet has his or her own little guilty pleasure. Evidence of this was apparent Sunday, when we came home and found an empty box of TGI Friday’s frozen Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce on the counter, awaiting the recycling bin. No big deal, only it belonged to K., the friend of ours who is moving to Portland and crashed at our place over the weekend when we were out of town. K. is the most ardent foodie I know. She’s got a food blog and is forever posting pics of gourmet meals she has ordered and/or cooked herself. Things like beef tartare and albacore poke and Meing Plaa Dook. I have no idea how you’d even pronounce that last one, let alone what it is. The point is, she’s into gourmet cuisine like nobody else’s business, so to see an empty box that once contained frozen mozzarella sticks kind of blew my mind. It humanized her.

Getting the "foodie" seal of approval since 2013...
Getting the “foodie” seal of approval since 2013…

I like when people seem more human. Like school teachers. You ever run into your teacher in the grocery store or some other public place? It’s a humbling experience when you’re 8 years old and you bump into Mrs. Shaw putting pantyhose in her shopping cart. Suddenly, those multiplication tables don’t look nearly as daunting. Several years ago I ran into my boss while shopping. This stern, buttoned-down man was dressed in board shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and flip-flops. It damn near blew my mind. The next time he asked for a report, I told him, “Hang ten, brah.”

He didn’t appreciate my humor.

On a completely unrelated note, I mentioned previously that we’re going camping this weekend. In order to prep for our trip, I turned to my latest obsession, Pinterest.

Yeah. About that…

A few months ago, my sis-in-law, Esther, urged me to join Pinterest. She said it was right up my alley. My reply? “But that’s for women, right?” A lot of my female friends are into the site, but I didn’t know a single other guy who would admit to checking it out. So I did a little research, and found out that Pinterest skews 80% toward women. Exactly what I thought. Curious though, I decided to try a little experiment. I’d sign up for Pinterest for a week or two in an attempt to “get inside the female mind.” Only once there, I got totally sucked in. There are plenty of “manly” categories, like tattoos and cars and fishing. Hell, type “hot women” into the search bar and you’ve got your own free soft-core porn site.

Not that I’ve done that, of course.

But I did create a “Back to Nature” board. And it’s chock full of camping ideas. Recipes, instructions for making fire starters and lanterns, charts listing different types of knots and animal tracks, links to cool trailers, etc. It’s been seriously helpful already.

Despite getting grief from some of my friends who happen to have a Y chromosome, I’m diggin’ Pinterest. Fortunately, I don’t buy into the concept of strict gender roles. Men hunt, women gather, all that garbage. Hell, Tara can change the oil in her car, while I’d have trouble locating the spark plugs. Whatever. I whip up a mean mushroom risotto, and I’m proud of it.

So I posted on Facebook this morning,

Some of my guy friends have given me a hard time over my interest in Pinterest, but when we’re camping this weekend and I bust out my homemade mason jar lantern with colored tissue paper and battery-operated candle, who’s going to have the last laugh then?! Right. I thought so…

My friend Ron promptly commented, “Who was giving you crap Nancy? I MEAN MARK!”

Other comments soon followed. The wit was astonishing.

“Nothing wrong with my store bought Coleman… Hand over your man card please…”
Me: “You’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. Along with my homemade fire starters consisting of empty TP tubes and rolled up newspaper…”
“I’ll be sure when I pry… I don’t mess up your French tip manicure.”
“Mark did you pin my post on how to start a fire using 50 everyday objects you can find in your purse?!”

Yeah. That’s what I have to contend with here. Though I’ll admit, the comments did made me chuckle.

Cape Disappointment, here we come! Err…in 33 hours. But still. It’s right around the corner. Have an awesome weekend!

9 thoughts on “Mozzarella Sticks Make You Human

  1. Oh the shame of frozen mozz sticks and squeezable applesauce. One thing K had going for her was that they were from TGI Friday’s and squeezable applesauce is awesome especially for those with little kiddies, on the go or in a rush to get back to work.

    Have fun camping with your homemade mason jar lantern.


    1. I’ve had mozzarella sticks on rare occasions, but I make them at home. They’re simple: take string cheese, bread it, fry it, and serve it with a jar of marinara sauce. A little more labor-intensive than heating up a box of TGI Friday’s, but probably better tasting, too.


  2. I saw that post on FB & wondered what the heck was going on. Now I know. One of my favorite snacks when I was young & single was frozen corn & frozen peas thrown together in a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes, then served hot on a plate with a little margarine & a touch of salt. I would eat a whole plate of this while watching a movie (my guilty secret).


  3. You crack me up! Embrace your Pinterest addiction 🙂

    P.S. a few years ago I made mason jar solar lights, they are AWESOME! I take them camping everytime we go & the rest of the time they sit on my front porch…I absolutely love them!


    1. Mine turned out to be a fail. None of the 4 were bright enough – it was easier just to carry around a flashlight and a portable battery-powered camping lantern. Oh, well. At least the hobo packs turned out delicious!


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