Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 98: Pastrami Tasting +Cookie Swap=?

"There were so many damn tasty cookies on that table that for me it was the serious dieter equivalent of Improvised Explosive Diet Devices (IEDDs)."


The IEDDs at the Cookie Swap. [Photograph: SE Flickr pool]

Since I weigh in on Fridays I usually plan my eating week so that Thursdays are given over to kelp, miso, and vegetables. Hey, I'm no dummy. I don't want to embarrass myself when I jump on Thinner the next morning. I'm just not that into public humiliation.

But this past holiday week I must admit,things got away from me scheduling-wise. Wednesday Carey put on the SENY chocolate chip cookie finals. The cookies with the 11 highest scores in the preliminary rounds were gathered on our conference table. These cookie tastings are as you can imagine: dangerous, dangerous stuff to serious dieters.

I now try to stay above the fray by tasting only the top five rated cookies by the other cookie tasters assembled at Serious Eats Stadium (my name for our conference table). But the chocolate chip cookie finals on Wednesday turned out to be the prelim for Thursday's eating forays, which turned far away from my kelp, miso, and vegetable regimen. How far?

To the land of pastrami tastings and cookie swaps, definitely places serious eaters don't want to find themselves in the day before a weigh-in.

The pastrami tasting committee convened on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at my house. Erin, Carey, Alaina, Anil, and a special guest taster (who will be revealed in a subsequent post) to try three different pastramis from around the Northern Hemisphere.

I'll save the gory details for later, but rest assured: my serious diet resolve was severely tested.

Thursday afternoon, Erin had organized the first-ever Serious Eats Cookie Swap. Contributors and FOSE (Friends of Serious Eats) gathered once again at the stadium for caloric excess.

There were so many damn tasty cookies on that table that for me it was the serious dieter equivalent of Improvised Explosive Diet Devices (IEDDs).

So what did I do? I brought to bear every ounce of self-control I possessed. During the pastrami tasting I took my queues from our guest taster who very carefully limited her pastrami intake to four or five slices of pastrami in total. She was the pastrami-tasting zen master.

During the cookie swap I talked on the phone, worked, and chatted with people near my desk just so I wouldn't be tempted to raid that damn conference table. I think I succeeded to limiting my cookie intake to half a dozen bites. But how can you be sure in those situations? You can't, so I don't know where I will net out when I jump on Thinner.

The Weigh-In

Here we go, here we go. Interim weigh-ins this week had started high but were trending down. 221. Up a pound. It's time for the Serious Eats overlord to issue some hard and fast scheduling rules. Now.

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: