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Food For Thought

Nathaniel Lee | Friday, November 5, 2010

Dear readers,

Welcome to “Food For Thought,” a new culinary and quasi-intellectual, fully functional guide to navigating the dining hall, and life at Notre Dame. Each week, your taste buds will be titillated with a new recipe or entire meal that anyone can create in our on-campus eateries with a little creativity, effort and expert use of the bagel-toaster. Along with your daily dish, you will be treated to a life-lesson, bull session or rhetorical debate over your dinner.

Main Dish: The Steak Sandwich

1)    Make sure that there is steak (flank, sirloin etc.) being served.

2)    Take two slices of sourdough bread and spread one side of each with a thin layer of real mayonnaise.

3)    With the mayo sides up, cover one side of the sandwich with sliced onions.

4)    Cover the opposite side with sliced banana peppers.

5)    Sprinkle a light layer of bleu cheese on top of the banana peppers.

6)    Place a slice of deli cheese on top of the onions.

7)    Go to the carving station and get your cuts of beef, remove any fat and lay the strips on top of the slice of cheese.

8)    Drizzle A-1 steak sauce on top of the meat.

9)    Finally, apply heat to the sandwich in the form of a Panini press or sandwich toaster, depending on your DH of choice, and after the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, enjoy.

Dessert: Bird Feed

1)    If “for here,” grab a teacup (serves one) or a cereal bowl (serves two to four). If “to go” grab a Styrofoam carryout cup.

2)    Fill the container about halfway with granola from the cereal section.

3)    Top with raisins and chocolate chips.

4)    Drizzle a spoonful of honey (per serving) on top of the mixture.

5)    Add two spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter.

6)    Mix thoroughly. Avoid any pockets of unblended honey, and enjoy.

Dinner Discussion: The phenomenon of the utterly dangerous “Farce-ity Athlete”

Today’s meal is one high in protein, calories and healthy fats, which makes it perfect for the active, athletic student body. Most keep themselves in good physical condition, and many aspire to compete in athletics with their friends, dormmates or against their biggest interhall rival.

However, there are a hazardous few who forego the dieting, hours in the gym and laps jogging around the lakes in favor of a nice pair of Adidas sweats. These scandalous individuals, known as “Farce-ity Athletes,” are sure to delight those of you who go to the dining hall for “people watching.”

These students, with careful wardrobe choices, attempt to pass themselves off as one of our heralded student-athletes, but do not in fact play a varsity sport. The reasons they do this range from desire to feel accomplished, low self-esteem, belief that they are athletic enough to walk-on to a team “if they felt like it,” and, most importantly, to pick up chicks. The ensemble of the “Farce-ity Athlete” can take on many manifestations, but there are a few key tricks for which to be on the lookout.

First, is the athletic gear intended to look like varsity issued clothing? Do not be fooled, this was purchased from Adidas at a high cost. Likewise, a trip to the bookstore can deck people out in a “Blue Monster” or “Grey Monster” ensemble (matching hoodie and sweatpants) that would fool even Brian Kelly, all for the low-low price of several hundred dollars.

It takes a keen eye and a lot of stalking to determine just what is actually issued to the athletes. Keep an eye peeled for Nike attire, a surefire tip-off that the individual is posing as a fitter friend and not the back-up punter.

For the true jersey-chaser in all of us, here is what you can look for to tell the real athletes apart.

Shoes: The Adidas shoes that athletes get are typically not available for public purchase.

Backpacks: An athlete typically has an issued backpack exclusive to the varsity sports, complete with a nametag that signifies their sport. Do not be afraid to ask for government-issued identification to verify ownership of said backpack.

Attitude: If the person you are hounding is spotted walking very slowly and/or lounging around in front of DeBartolo Hall with other people in the exact same outfit, in all likeliness they are the real deal.

If all of this seems like a fantastic idea to you, and you want to show up to class on Monday with everyone thinking you just made the team, the best tip is to get a roommate who plays one of the lesser-known sports. Few have the knowledge to question the kid in the Irish Fencing jacket.

So for those of you who swear that the starting center-fielder talked to you this morning, you have the hook-up to the next hockey party, or can’t wait for basketball season to start so you can go watch that guy who sits in front of you in Philo start at power forward, you’ve been warned.