I can just see the vintage movie poster of myself, 20 feet tall, red-eyed, scary, and possibly exuding a green misty-like substance from my mutant endocrine system out of my abnormally lizard-like pores.  Beware, good citizens:  Pregzilla is on the prowl!

It’s what I felt like yesterday after hysterically throwing myself behind a shrub during a fit of uncontrollable sobbing over nothing more or less than an uneaten salad.  Okay, it was a little more than that, but it really got me thinking about several things in my life (including whether or not I should institutionalize myself until the end of November).

One of these things is something I really think we’re lacking in our society these days: the concept of food and fellowship.  Not everyone may have nearly  the same over-the-top reaction to these situations as I do, but neither do I, really, under normal circumstances.  What  got me yesterday was how a two-and-a-half-hour family picnic put on by my church turned into a forty-five-minute eat and run fest, sans fellowship, but including a lot of rushing around to fold up tables and stack chairs in order to get the hell out of there and onto better things.  Behind that shrub, I really started to ponder the dynamics of it all, while, of course, dusting the leaves off my skirt and wiping brown crap from my tear-stained face.  What is up with this rush-rush society of ours, and why do we cringe away so heartily from a good long moment of delightful, earnest conversation between bites of honest-to-goodness food (real food, may I also add)?

I just don’t get it.  I remember those days with so much joy – sitting around the dining room table on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a big pan of baked rigatoni in the middle, a glass of wine sitting idly by, the big band music playing gingerly in the background so as not to disturb the lilt of  ten separate conversations going on between the handful of people scattered between our kitchen and living room.  I remember how long that day would play out, with no apparent plans for the future.  There was no good reason to get together – no birthday or holiday – other than for the very act of getting together – the simple enjoyment of it all.

I really got my panties in a bunch yesterday – believe me I know it! – but I feel like it was for a good reason (other than the five separate hormones coursing through my bloodstream and taking over my once-lucid brain). When the instructions on the flyer told us to bring a dish from our “country of origin” I went with my grandfather Ermino’s native Sicily. When I discovered that hardly anybody else did the same it really got me.  Sure, people have their lives and responsibilities, and I get that, but there’s something genuinely special about sharing oneself with those around them, and that’s what I wanted to do for my church family.  I made a lot of nasty comments back there behind the shrub (on the back lawn of the convent, no less) about  “stupid Catholic weirdos and their obsession with quickly exiting any activity no matter how sparse the parking lot is” that no one heard ’cause they had all gone home already, but what I really wanted to do was cry to my long-gone dad about how much things have changed and if there was any way to get those days back again.  The fact that it was the first time I’d been able to cook in the kitchen since the end of February also had something to do with it.  It was like when I first found out about my food allergies and the initial devastation I felt when I thought I’d never be able to cook like I once did.  Cooking is like life for me.  In so many ways it’s how I create and function and feel.  It’s also how I love.  I brought my now-husband Tim a homemade pork chop to his door long before I ever attempted to kiss the man.  It’s the hormones, but it’s not just the hormones.

I think this world would be loads less stressful if we just took the time to sit down and fellowship together.  It would keep emotionally unhinged pregnant women like me out from under the shrubbery and might not ensure, but at least give hope to the notion that peace begins in the middle of the place setting between your knife and fork.

Hormonally yours,

Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

PS: I think the best comment came from our pastoral associate (aka: awesome chick), Lisa, who, in her unmistakable Irish brogue, advised me not to cry over spilled aoli.  I have to say that I laughed hysterically over that one.


Eat It.


I’m trying to get used to this. The “covering up of the lower half of my face while sprinting through a grocery store I used to be the produce aisle-goddess of” thing. The “not being able to step inside a restaurant after 5PM because it might possibly be bluefish/green pepper/anything-with-a-shell night” thing. The “can’t eat the perfectly delicious slab of eggs on my plate for breakfast ’cause suddenly they are the most vile creation and how could I have craved that just ten minutes ago oh my God I am going to throw up…..” thing. Oh, and the “by the way, now I’m crying ’cause I feel bad that you took the effort to make me a wonderful breakfast that I just rejected and retched all over the place which will result in you leaving me tonight while I nap on the couch ’cause I’m obviously RUINING YOUR LIFE so go ahead and do it and marry someone with no taste buds instead who will make you happy and not reject your organic, yellow-yolked farm-fresh egg creations” thing!

Yeeah. And I’m not really sure if I’m succeeding all the way.

Therefore, my little chickens,  instead of posting recipes that will cause me to gag (even if for a good cause), or elaborate through the detailed mechanics of said digestive reflex, I’m going to list all of the things I’m actually enjoying about being a pregnant foodie.  I’m thinking it’ll help my morale, amuse my readers and finally get a post on this page.

Feel free to bask in the stretch-mark preventing light of the following perks:

  • I can eat the following delightful creations hour after hour (and multiple times a week) without ending up with a body-snatching systemic condition that takes a month and a half and three bottles of cranberry extract to eliminate: Bananas! Yogurt! Cheese!  More bananas, yogurt and cheese!  Bananas sliced in a bed of yogurt and cheese! Bananas at three AM!  Cheese at five AM!  Yogurt anytime!
  • If a friend is raising money by selling dozens of homemade gluten-free cupcakes and zucchini bread I can buy them and eat them WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY or ashamed that this is paying for their yoga retreat weekend in which they will eat leaves for three days.
  • Restaurant servers are really, really nice about bringing  nachos to the table “right friggin’ now, please!….. and um, a plate of lemons (and a glass of water, no ice)”. Especially when you threaten to rip their stomachs out….or smile sweetly.
  • No one gives you a fit about eating constantly through any given activity, including but not limited to, continuing education classes, musical theater rehearsal, the process of giving a paying client a massage, and/or a church wedding with full Catholic Mass.
  • Consuming three cheese steak wraps in a matter of  two days is no longer looked at as weird, obsessive behavior or something a person off the wagon from OEA would do.
  • People suddenly look at your mid-section, not with disgust, but endearing curiosity. Mostly.
  • Drinking V-8 with anything is perfectly acceptable. Even chocolate. At 5AM.
  • No one thinks you’re being dramatic when you get to the top of 10 steps, clutch your chest and exclaim, “God, that made me hungry!”

and lastly…..

  • The beautiful little alien that is occupying so much space in your organ system and causing you to feel like an android  will one day look at you with eyes already halfway superior to their sockets and huff, “You are so weird,” and it will all be worth it. Bananas and all.

Cellina – The Hopeful (and ever growing) Foodie

PS: in searching for a pic of a “scary banana” I stumbled across images of the equally scary art subculture of banana carving. Here are some examples for your amusement/horror.


Tin Roof: Nauseous!

Die, Lettuce, Die.

There’s a half-written post waiting in drafts right now while I write this.  I could work on that (it is quite a good vacation write up, I must say), but I rather just write this, even though I know for a fact I won’t be posting it for at least another seven days (at least).  Why all the italics?  I’m thinking the occasion calls for it, since it seems the other half of  this amusing food addict (we’ll call him, Tim)  placed a gluten-free bun in my yeast-free oven about six weeks ago.  In other words: yep,  I’m pregnant!

Prego, prego, pregnant, or as I like to refer to it, knocked up.  Right now all I seem to be referring to every day and all day long is the curious urge to yack at every turn.  Just writing the word ‘yack’ makes me want to spill the whole bag of Trader Joe’s yeast-free naan bread I ate for dinner last night into the nearest receptacle (otherwise known as The Printer).  It may make some wonder what it’s like for a person who’s dedicated half their life to the worship and writing of food to be so innately and suddenly  turned off by that very thing.  It’s, in a word,  interesting.   The actual joy of having such a blessed and wonderfully-timed total life  change, you’d think,  would make the constant nausea worth it.  At this point I’m taking an emotionally ripped-out page from the likes of The Secret, Mike Dooley’s Leveraging the Universe and something positive I read in a Guidepost magazine and lying myself into intention-filled, hormone-induced acceptance.  Honestly, we’re both absolutely delighted, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel like I’m turning into an alien (cause, well, I am.  Or least I’m housing one for a predetermined amount of time). To have one whole category of all that is edible suddenly turn into a  smorgasbord of intestinal terror that ecapsulates all five senses and makes you feel like a psychopathic jungle cat is, yes, difficult.  But it’s kind of amusing, too.

For one, there are things that I do eat. All day. Without ending.  There are foods  I crave that I begged my body weeks ago to want (like carrots, celery and salad) and others that catch my eye out of nowhere (like the half jar of salad olives I devoured last night along with that poor bag of naan).  These things make up for the fact that edibles I delighted in just a few weeks prior – steak, chicken, more steak, more chicken – have the ability to turn my stomach with merely a scent.  I think that it’s doubly amusing and ironic that someone like me who is very candid about her weekly and sometimes daily struggles with food allergies wants nothing more than the very roughage-heavy diet of the average house rabbit (again, all day, all the time).  I’ve consumed enough LaraBars to buy stock with the company!  I’m going to turn orange, move to Hoboken, and start my own reality show if I don’t lay off the carrots a little!  I worked through two consecutive  baggies of celery and wheat crackers, plus half a gallon of water at the movies while watching The Hunger Games with my cousin on Monday (irony at its best)! If you’ve never had a massage therapist devour a stalk of celery between elbows thrusts to your rhomboids, it’s quite an experience, let me tell you (or so I was told by the woman who practically leapt off of the table *topless, mind you* to wrap her arms around my neck when I gave her the happy news, and the reason why I was crunching between therapeutic strokes)!

All in all, I can’t wait to tell the world that a new and improved foodie will soon be added to this already over-populated Earth. I’m biting my tongue between sweet chews of chocolate energy bars and copious swallows of ginger and chamomile tea.  That day will come soon, and when it does my mouse will hit publish and you will see this post loud and clear.  Until then, I put both hands on my ever-swelling belly and make a wish, knowing that  magic is just around the bend, and miracles are already coming true.

Cellina – The Hopeful (and gestating!) Foodie

soft, yet deadly

The queen of foodie-dom (that would be me) is back from her annual Winter break, and just in time, so it seems!

The tide is turning for this hopeful foodie –  with mucho review opportunities coming out the ying yang, plus lots of friends popping their dreary little Winter heads out of the woodwork eager to be tasting recruits at every restaurant and eatery I nosh at (and then write about).

Since all of this good stuff is happening I thought it was high time I go back to basics and elaborate on what all this writing is about in the first place.  Yes, it’s time for me to go all 12-step meeting on you and share my story – what it’s about, why I’m here, and what fungus really, really means to me.  I’m sure this will change and evolve over the years (most hopefully for the better) but right now here is where I be (and what a wonderful place to sit and share for a while).

I would like to say it started a few years ago with symptoms akin to a faxed memo from my digestive system telling me exactly what was going on with my body and what I needed to do to make it better.  In reality (that sarcastic little sucker we all love and adore) it was more like this: after years and years of strange bodily occurrences, that included anything from prego-like bloating, rosacea on my pretty little face, and horrible gastritis through the better years of my high-school experience (that made the one bathroom in our house a very scary place) to more frightening symptoms like thrush, brain fatigue, swelled joints anywhere from my knees and shoulders to my fingers, and general full body pain, I started to realize at about the age of 23 that this body of mine was falling apart way too fast and that it wasn’t just serious stress (a huge factor, but not the only culprit). Something obviously had to give.

Going to all of the various doctors was frustrating and embarrassing – the internist looked at my thrush and, although nicely, demanded an HIV test.  The GYN – completely stumped at the chronic occurrences of infections of the bacterial and candidic kind – threw up his hands when I told him I suspected I might have a systemic condition, lamenting that he was only a specialist who knew but so much about the connection between systems in the body (he also hysterically questioned my nightly habits, even asking at one point if I had an intimate inter-species relationship, since, to him, every GYN issue had to be sexually transmitted).  This, of course, did wonders for my self esteem and faith in the Western medical community. I went to the library and logged onto the ‘net, looking for information everywhere I could.  The alarmist sites made me never want to eat again, while other sources left me confused about what was truly healthy and what wasn’t.  Well-meaning extremists tried the motherly routine, “Well, if you really care about your health……” which left me envisioning a life of brown rice and ground turkey for the remainder of my existence.

I finally had the wherewithal to try a little experiment that bloomed from eating a brownie during a pretty nasty case of thrush.  Sugar, all signs pointed out, was the culprit.  I decided that even though I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth I would cut out all added sugar, plus fruit, for a whole month.  This was a challenge, since I made way under what was considered even paycheck-to-paycheck, but a change I actually looked forward to.  It was a small beacon of light in a dark tunnel of not knowing.  Cutting out sugar just for a month cut out my depression, the foggy-headedness, fatigue, and most of that horrible bloating.  I still ate lots of pasta (not knowing at the time about the white flour/broken-down sugars connection) and yogurt (since I read something about “good bacteria” found in dairy cultures) but not any milk and cheese, and noshed down so many veggies it wasn’t funny.  I refused to cut out meat, so I didn’t (that “only ground turkey” thing was still fresh in my mind and I was determined to rebel against it by eating as much cow as humanly possible).

Living like this for a month was the switch that made the light bulb above my head go from zero to a thousand watts in a nanosecond and was the beginning of a whole-life change for me.  Although it took about two years, I was finally able to afford to see a naturopathic doctor in my area who confirmed my suspicions: Systemic Candidiasis: a condition involving the overgrowth of candida, or yeast, cells throughout the body, most-likely caused by the overuse of antibiotics when I was a kid.  One gigantic elimination diet and two years later did I realize the other huge underlying cause of this condition – a severe allergy to the fungus kingdom, including all types of molds.

So let’s recap: after years of sickness, strange symptoms and stumped doctors, I discover I have a mold and fungus allergy that, when not properly managed, can cause a full-system condition known as Systemic Candidiasis (which, in other words, really messes me the eff up).

Here are the following foods I’ve discovered (through much toil and trouble) that I absolutely cannot eat:

  • yeast-leavened bread
  • mushrooms
  • wine
  • beer
  • any mold-aged cheeses (blue, brie, gorgonzola and the aged-so-long-it-actually-gets-moldy parm)
  • any vinegar other than the plain ol’ while distilled kind
  • any food that is fermented using a yeast strand or ‘mother’

These are the foods I need to be extra careful with and/or eat only in moderation:

  • any baked goods or pastas made with bleached flours or grains
  • any grains that aren’t considered ‘whole grains’
  • dairy products, due to their high sugar breakdown
  • alcohol, even the super-distilled kind, due to the sugar breakdown factor
  • sweets of any kind including fruits high in natural sugars
  • any foods that are susceptible to mold due to their growing conditions/time between picking and actual eating – oranges, melons, corn, peanuts and a whole bunch of etceteras I’m constantly discovering along the way

That folks, in a coconut-sized nutshell, is my story. It’s a little bit of hard work, but that’s why I write this blog, pick the brains of every chef I meet and continue to believe that I can have allergies and still eat like a fiend – a healthy-for-my-special-diet fiend.  I’d pass along the basket for donations, but someone keeps putting rice loaf in it, convinced that I have celiac disease (I don’t, but often do eat gluten free, just for the whole grainage and the cute little bunnies on Tinkyada brand rice pasta that I like so much).

Yours in sugar-free goodness,

Cellina The Hopeful Foodie

Call it peer pressure, but everybody knows that I can’t resist being tagged to write a themed post, especially if it’s something sentimental or in any way has to do with the holidays.  That’s why I’m presenting this commercial break of sorts from The Twelve Days of Edible Foodie Weirdness to share with you  my Ultimate Christmas Song.

I’ve been officially tagged by friend and fellow blogger, Magz Parmenter of Tangerine Turtle.  Please do check out her blog as well, where she writes all about her wonderful life in the UK with three crazy daughters, a very charming husband and the great things they do together (like cook, organize and try not to get the flu every three months).

I knew right away what my song was before I knew I was even tagged.  It’s one of those songs that connect so deeply with every memory of Christmas that there need not be one set moment where one thinks back and says, “Oh yes, that was the year or the age or the season.”  It is Christmas, through and through and probably always will be.  It’s my whole childhood with every single song and dish and snack and piece of candy and little wrapped present all in one.

And it’s not just because my dog happened to be named Snoopy.

Guessed yet?

I honestly can’t listen to this these days without crying like a….hound?  Baby?  Overgrown child of the 1980’s?  All of the above.  And why?

I think there is just something about being the most of who you are, of all you ever could be and knowing that in the end, it’s totally and completely okay.  Of all the Cellina Taormino’s I think I’m the Cellina Taorminoest.

So get your popcorn, your cranberries, beads and string, sit in front of the TV or listen to the many versions of this very classic song on the radio and cry your little self back.

Buona Natale,

Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

So it’s the latest installment of The Hopeful Foodie’s Twelve Day Countdown to Holiday Food Weirdness and I. Am. Tired.  I’ve spent the last couple of days being kitchen slave to every holiday party dubbed “pot luck” and am thus spending Sunday (Monday and Tuesday) away from the stove and in the comfort of my convection-free keyboard.

I’ve also spent all week bombarding the in-boxes of everyone I know and practically begging the 474 people I’ve friended on Facebook for weird food  feedback (post about a Snuggie and you get 45 comments.  Ask about Aunt Angelina’s penchant  for ball joints in cream sauce  and prepare for the sweet sound of silence).  I did however, receive more than a few good gems along the way that make my compulsive urges to write themed holiday posts worth the effort.

The hilarious thing about asking for ideas is that you get the whole family breakdown in the process.  You get the various histories  surrounding  every crazy dish on the table, plus a hint at the personalities of each colorful family member .  At some point, you start to see a pattern and boom! –  that’s where the story comes in, weaving itself around the table like a rich tapestry of ancestral weirdness.  It’s what makes these holidays so genuine and priceless.

One of the threads in this tapestry I heard about this week even further solidifies for me that it doesn’t matter how far north you go – all Italians are weird.  I’m referring to the study in extremes of my boot-like ancestors.  It’s like those people that start to look and act like their pets, except these people traded their Old Country donkeys for Bagna Cauda long ago.

Bagna Cauda – in other words, Piedmont’s version of a garlic jacuzzi for your mouth……during the Winter.

soak here often?

As many of the most treasured dishes we humans have created, this one was made out of the pure necessity of working people.  Wine harvesters, to be exact.  See, back in the day, wine making was some serious hard work.  It took manual blood, sweat and toil.  And what’s the best supplement after a hard day of grape stomping?  Heart healthy garlic, of course.

Anne of Highlandtown offers her father’s warning: do not eat this on any weekday but a Friday.  You are sure to be fired from your job if you come in the next morning reeking of the vineyards of the lower Alps.

So what makes this holiday dish weird enough to earn a spot on the Twelve Day Countdown?  For one, it’s the poster-child of extreme celebratory cooking.  Upon researching this dip of sorts made of oil, small fish and yes, garlic,  I discovered how strict the actual process of picking ingredients and rationing out portions is.  First, let’s talk anchovies, which apparently “should be good-looking, matured at least a year, fresh and fragrant.”  Mmm, the wafting fragrance of fish.  I’m also told that you must buy them dried and salted, and then rinse and bone them yourself.  There was also something about bathing them in water and wine, which gives me strange visions of Marie Antoinette in a tub of anchovies that I’d rather not dwell on.

Next, there’s the oil.  Some swear by olive, others walnut.  Even more skip the oil completely and go with butter.  The most popular choice seems to be an even portion of  the best extra virgin olive oil combined with high quality melted butter in a portion that’s “no less than half a glass (of wine) per person.”  Speaking of persons, serving this for less than a crowd of 15 seems to be a sacrilege, as well.  Onto commandment number three……..

The garlic.  Ah yes, the garlic. The extremists call for a head per person (which is about 10-15 cloves).  Those who actually want to be kissed and slept next to that night lower the number considerably  but never completely cut the pungent bulb out (again, sacrilege).

Lastly, no Yuletide bloodsucker-repelling dip would be complete without the equally dipworthy vegetables. The rule is to not use any veggie that wouldn’t normally grow in Piedmont and to pick  ones that won’t compete with the headiness of the dip.  Stalks like celery, fennel and radishes are popular as well as endive, artichokes, sweet marinated peppers, turnips, kale, cabbage, escarole, cooked and sliced potatoes and even tall spring onions soaked in wine (if you’re gonna slave away in the vineyard, you might as well take some home to stick your onions in).

The tradition is when the last of the  Bagna Cauda is skimming the bottom of its earthen vessel a raw egg is scrambled into the mix over a hot open fire. Now, that’s a frittata (or as my mom used to retort, “no, Italian eggs”)!

If you aren’t exhausted by now you are way too Type A for this blog.

For those of you who qualify as “still an Italian nutcase but just stone cold lazy,” let me introduce you to the other side of our Nazi-worthy portioned holiday.  It’s something that Anne from Highlandtown’s (yes, her again) family calls “Torte.”

just add slime

It’s slimy.  It’s scary.  It’s swimming in booze.  No, not Uncle Guido after too much anisette, but Torte.  In Anne’s  family’s terrible broken English it’s more like “Turtle” though bears no resemblance to the docile creature.  After years of wondering just how far back in family history  this traditional layer cake went it was finally discovered that next to the extensively labored-over Bagna Cauda, Torte was nothing more than vanilla wafers soaked in applesauce and drenched in either almond or anise flavoring.  It’s like the Type B of family recipes.  The green Jello pistachio salad of the north, if you will.

Whether you’re sucking down the slime or slurping up the fishies in garlic sauce this season, remember what the vast and culturally diverse citizens of that wonderful country Italy have to teach: when all else fails, grab the anisette, and teach Uncle Guido how it’s done.


Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

Since he came up during my image search for Bagna Cauda, I assume that this holiday post is "Pope Approved."

Special thanks to Anne Fresia for the hilarious glimpse inside her very Italian family, as well as LifeInItaly.com and The Food Timeline for the awesome information on Bagna Cauda.

Last December The Hopeful Foodie rang in the holiday cheer with The Twelve Days to Christmas Countdown, where the strangest food-related holiday gifts were scoured over the internet and presented to you in semi-psycho blog format.  This year, I want to be a little more multi-cultural about things by bringing forth the strangeness of the products we actually eat for the holidays.  You know what I’m talking about – those dishes that both delight and perplex you, ones passed down through the years, or new ones that stayed in a certain decade never to be seen again (like, for example, the great Let’s Make Everything Out of Tofu phase of the 1990s).

Being that I’m merely one person with only so many strange and unusual family traditions (most of which fall into the “let’s pass out drunk into the Christmas tree” category, thank you, Mother) I opened this one up to just about every person in my email inbox to share.  Let’s face it: we all come from different backgrounds, cultures and distinctions – each one having so many rich, beautiful and strange customs to offer.  They might as well be highlighted during the most emotionally-heightened time of the year (besides, mom never passed out in my Easter basket, now did she?  That would be a no.  A big whopping ho, ho, no).

First on the list, to bring us fully into the season of edible weirdness is the ever-dreaded “why-is-it-wiggling?” creation that fits under the umbrella category of Dessert Salads.  Oh yes, friends – the Lime Jello Pistachio Salad.

issues blood-curdling scream *Aaaaahhhhhhh!*

I will never understand why someone back in 1972 (and originally in the 1920s) thought it necessary to merge two perfectly wonderful meal categories into one deplorable black corner of edible hell.  If that wasn’t enough, they decided that both the birth of the Christ and the lighting of the menorah candles were appropriate occasions to present said unnatural dish year after year after year.

In doing some research of this extremely clora-colored dessert I’ve discovered that there are many ways to merge jello with other objects.  Some people use actual lime-flavored gelatin.  Others opt for pistachio flavored pudding, which always looks so sad and alone all by itself on the grocery store shelf.  From there the possibilities range from mini marshmallows to fruit cocktail to crushed pineapple to cottage cheese.  For some reason it always seems like it’s served on a bed of something, whether it be a store-bought pie crust or, like my friend Ken, who contributed this idea hilariously  stated, lettuce: ” Why the heck does a salad need a bed?  It’s just going to get eaten.  Is the bed to make its last minutes more comfortable before I sink my thangs into it (yes, he said “thangs.”  What thang he’s  referring to is between him and the Jello)?” I even ran across a recipe that called for a can of Coke being added to the mix along with maraschino cherries and a handful of nuts (which you must be if you’ve actually considered bringing this to a party).  At this point you must know that the another name for this bizarre creation is the famous Watergate Salad.  It never ceases to amaze how long the green, wiggly thing has  managed to last through the years.  It’s called Watergate Salad and we all know how that turned out!

Let’s lift up our pudding cups and make a toast to the green stuff and the first day of our twelve day extravaganza!  Stay tuned every few days or so for the next post-worthy entry.  If you have a dish to share, please email me at: justcellina@yahoo.com

Watch me wiggle,

Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

Special thanks to Ken Poindexter and his Jello-savvy grandmother.