At Home

Dr. Oetker and Me: A Confessional Short Story.

I have the same pair of shoes that my boss at the magazine has.  They’re good shoes: navy blue canvas Jack Purcell’s.  (Shoe aficionados adore them for their simple, classic design, done by Jack Purcell himself back in 1935.)  I admit that mine are a little worn, but I’ve had them since 1995.  My boss’s are in mint condition and he wears them on “casual” days, with a pressed pair of khakis, an oxford shirt and maybe a cashmere cardigan.  

The day after my boss wears his, I always wear mine in the hope that he’ll see the shoes and think, “Gosh, we are so similar!”  And believe me, I do my best to show him that they’re on my feet.  Maybe I’ll accidently drop a magazine or some files in front of his office and have to use my feet to pick them up.  Or maybe I’ll do some high-step dancing or shimmying down the corridor should our paths cross because maybe, just maybe, us being so similar will lead him to think that, “Maybe we should give this kid a promotion!”  Because that’s how editorial assistants rise above the faxing, the filing and the phoning:  they wear the same shoes as their boss and shit starts to happen.

I try too hard, and sometimes I  try to appear like somebody I’m not.  That’s why I’ve never told you that we eat a lot of frozen pizza; specifically, Dr. Oetker’s frozen pizza.

I’m not proud of it.   I wish I could tell you that I always have homemade pizza dough on hand in the freezer.  I don’t though: there’s just the frozen Dr. Oetker pizzas–usually about 6 boxes (we stock up when they go on sale at No Frills.)  I don’t know why I’m telling you now.  Maybe it’s on account of Tiger Woods’ Nike commercial which made me realize that we all have our demons, and I’ve been lying to you about mine, but more importantly, I’ve been lying to myself.  

Last night the Beast had to work until 8:00pm.  Normally, that would give me plenty of time after work to pick up some supplies and make a homemade meal.  But I had work to do from home.  This is why we love Dr. Oetker, because all I had to pick up was an avocado to throw into a salad and Dr. Oetker would take care of the rest.  We had some leftover roasted fingerling potatoes, some arugola, fresh cilantro and red onion at home.  These ingredients, in edition to the avocado and a simple lime and olive oil vinaigrette, would bring our frozen pizza dinner to new, and more reputable, heights.

Okay, I omitted one ingredient in that description.  Bacon bits.  I didn’t want to tell you that we usually have a bag of bacon bits in the fridge.  I wanted you to think that I’m not that kind of person.  I want you to think that I’m sophisticated and knowledgeable when it comes to food.  So I carefully curate what meals I tell you about.   Now you know about the bacon bits.  And the frozen pizza.

By 8:30pm I had the oven pre-heating so that by the time the Beast walked in the door at 8:40pm, all I had to do was toss those pizzas inside for 12 minutes.

As you can see, these are little itty-bitty pizzas, surely not meant to be shared.  We bake two at a time and cut them in half to share both varieties, in this case: spinach and mushroom.  This, plus the salad, made for a delightful dinner.  

Okay, I’ve made another fucking omission:  I also made cheesy garlic toasts.  We had left-over bread that would have just been thrown out!

And the Beast just loves it when I make cheesy garlic toasts!  I did it for him–not me.  I only had one of those tiny toasts and he had three. 

There.  Now you know everything.  But maybe you suspected that I have the occasional affinity for inappropriate food after reading past posts on Harvey’s and McDonald’s. Maybe it’s me who needs to start accepting who I am.   I am somebody who is interested in food and its history; in the history of the ritual of eating and dining; in eating good food at home and at restaurants; in frozen pizza and bacon bits and cheesy garlic toasts to use up leftover bread; and in wearing old, beat-up sneakers to get ahead in life.  

I also ate a no-name Easter cream egg after dinner.  It wasn’t even fucking Cadbury. Pathetic.

Foodie:  **1/2

Beast:  ***

Categories: At Home

12 replies »

  1. Cadbury Mini Eggs are currently on sale for $3.50 for a big bag, or $0.35 for the small packets. These are obviously more delectible than those no-name creme eggs, and I’m still feeling the Easter fever. Eat your heart out.

  2. Jessie! You just live once, and in heaven pizza doesn’t exist! Just enjoy and if you had a hard day at work and had to wait sooo long for your love you are worth a yummy pizza like that!

  3. This is fantastic, it makes me feel less guilty about loving frozen pizza. In our house we too stalk up on sale items and pizza is one of them! Last night I came home to find my sweetie had purchased Dorritos, chocolate, mixed nuts all on sale. Somehow on sale makes you feel better about it. The best find so far is the Planters jalapeno flavoured almonds – if only they’d come in a larger size!

  4. ohhhh finally!!! It doesn’t matter what you eat, but how…fantasy, curiosity and pleasure.
    I loved it Jess!!! And it made me hungry for more

  5. The TV ad for Dr Oetker (not a real doctor) over here features a couple, very much in love, enjoying a couple of the Doc’s pizzas in an intimate setting: candlelight, classic white tablecloth, nice glass of red wine… oh and it all takes place ON A BUSY BRIDGE WITH TRAFFIC.

    I had a Dr Oetker pizza last week. It was terrible. I LOVED it. Thank you for making me feel better about it!

  6. I keep pizza toppings in the fridge (sundried tomatoes, sliced pepperoni, grated cheese, anchovies, artichokes…). Then when the kids and I need a quick meal, I pull a bag of pitas out of the freezer and we all make our own pizzas. Delicious and they cook up in about 10 minutes at 450.

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