Eat/Drink it Up!

Hello there! I have been losing control for about a week now, and while I haven’t yet had any life-altering discoveries, I’m well on my way to completing the list of eight activities that are meant to challenge my sense of control. Here’s a refresher on all the things I’ll have to do during the month of August:

  • Let a stranger decide my coffee order (I can set price parameters)
  • Let a stranger decide my food order (I can set price and basic nutrition parameters)
  • Let a friend of a friend (someone I don’t know well) buy my groceries for a week (I can give them a cash budget and basic nutritional guidelines)
  • Join 1-2 Meetup groups and go to at least one Meetup alone, with no backup
  • Climb a rock wall (I have to try until exhausted to get to top of the wall, so I need to earnestly attempt it at least  a few times)
  • Go rollerskating
  • Spend a half-day doing something that someone else plans, where I have no control over any part of the activity (I can ask how to dress)
  • Do Mom’s “Surprise Activity” with no questions asked (the point of this is simply not knowing what the activity will be or when it will be happening; i.e. “embracing the unknown”)

Last week, I started slow by completing the first (and easiest) two items on the list. I let strangers decide my coffee and food orders. I knew that I was allowed to set some parameters, so that was comforting. I also knew that, no matter what was chosen for me, at least it would be edible (no one would make me eat bark or drink blended grass). I was more excited than nervous for these, but I didn’t anticipate that they would turn out so AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! 

Yum_yummy_emma

First up was coffee.

I went to my local Peet’s Coffee & Tea on my way to my office. Apparently, I walked in during the tail-end of a rush. The staff was looking a little frazzled. I went up to the counter, explained the challenge, and asked the barista to decide my drink for me. My explanation drew the attention of the manager, who was beyond excited about the challenge. She immediately said, “Oo, let’s give her one of the new featured drinks! The coconut macademia latte.” (Little did she know that I LOOOOVE coconut in my coffee.) Anytime they asked me about the drink (size, iced/hot, etc.), I simply shrugged casually and said, “It’s up to you.” When all was said and done I was left with a very delicious coffee drink and a very happy barista who said, “I wish all customers were like that!”


photo (1)

I was so busy enjoying the drink that I almost forgot to take a picture!

Next up was dinner.

The same day, I asked my friends, Julia and Eric, to pick a place to have dinner. They didn’t tell me anything about where we were going, just that they would pick me up around 7:00pm. We ended up at the coolest little pub called The Field in downtown San Diego. It was a pretty neat place.

entrance

pub1 upstairs

I was super excited that Julia and Eric took me here, because I probably wouldn’t have chosen it if the decision were up to me. I didn’t even bother looking at the menu, either. What was the point?? Eric and Julia ordered some Curry Chips as an appetizer – basically french fries covered in curry – and 100% amazing.

l

**Mouth watering**

I explained to the waitress that I needed her to pick my dish and told her all about the challenge. I told her I was willing to try almost anything and that I promised I wouldn’t send it back. Like the barista, she was stoked. She said she really loved the idea and that she might try it herself one day! She asked me if I ate meat, and from there decided what she would order for me. She came back several minutes later with our food, and set down this dish in front of me:

photo (2)

The dish is called a Whiskey Chicken Boxty. It is basically boiled chicken in cream sauce that is wrapped in a fried potato pancake then smothered with more sauce. The waittress explained that boxties are very popular in certain regions of Ireland and that, while The Field has several boxties on its menu, customers don’t usually order them unless they are familiar with Irish regional cuisines. Apparently, even people from Ireland don’t order them if they are not from the regions where boxties are so popular. This prompted me to do a little research about the dish. Boxties originated and are most popular in the northern midlands of Ireland, and are traditionally considered peasant food because they are made with simple, cheap ingredients. The dish is very integrated into the local culture, so much so that even poems and limericks have been made for them. Like this one:

Boxty on the griddle,
And Boxty on the pan;
The wee one in the middle
Is for Mary Ann.

So what was my verdict? I’ll let you be the judge:

photo (4)

IT WAS THE BOMB!! I loved that Boxty so much that I made a new poem for the dish:

Boxty on the griddle

Finally made it to America

And that big one in the middle

Is reserved for hungry Erica. 

So there you have it! I let other people decide my food and drinks and ended up happier and more satisfied than I may have been if I had made the decision myself. The next time you’re out and about, consider letting the barista/server decide your order – you just might be pleasantly surprised!

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That’s two down, six to go!

Keep your eyes out –  I’ll be rollerskating this afternoon, so there will be more to follow in the next few days! 

  • Let a stranger decide my coffee order (I can set price parameters)
  • Let a stranger decide my food order (I can set price and basic nutrition parameters)
  • Let a friend of a friend (someone I don’t know well) buy my groceries for a week (I can give them a cash budget and basic nutritional guidelines)
  • Join 1-2 Meetup groups and go to at least one Meetup alone, with no backup
  • Climb a rock wall (I have to try until exhausted to get to top of the wall, so I need to earnestly attempt it at least  a few times)
  • Go rollerskating
  • Spend a half-day doing something that someone else plans, where I have no control over any part of the activity (I can ask how to dress)
  • Do Mom’s “Surprise Activity” with no questions asked (the point of this is simply not knowing what the activity will be or when it will be happening; i.e. “embracing the unknown”)

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