Amidst all the chaos, out-of-whack schedules, and missed sleep of August, one thing has remained consistent: work food!! I swear, the world could be coming to a complete stop outside, but my agency would not miss a single beat on the food front. There’s no way I can possibly capture all the goodies of the past two weeks, but I think I’ve got enough material for a decent-sized summary!
Even though I didn’t eat at the “informal staff gathering” a few Fridays back due to other plans, you can rest assured that I packed up plenty of leftovers from the event, including pounds of salad, crudites, and this turkey and cheese sandwich that took shape as a perfect lunch the following Monday:
I also scrounged up a Kudos bar (I don’t think I’ve had one of these since high school!) from Belkis’ candy jar in a particularly munchy moment:
And found Nydia’s leftover chorizo taco and chicken taquito on the conference room table at the end of one day:
East Harlem makes the best tacos in the world … except for maybe Mexico.
I have to admit that I did supplement the tacos with a purchase. I noticed the juice bar was unusually well-stocked with fresh coconut, so I picked some up on the way home that day for subway snacking:
(Ummmm, disclaimer: Those are not my stubby boy fingers holding the coconut. They belong to my coworker Erik, who generously agreed to hand model. I happen to have graceful long and tapered fingers, fyi.)
A granola bar from Jessica also made its way into the work food repertoire somewhere in the abyss of the past two weeks:
Have you ever had this flavor?? It tasted like a waffle!
Lillian revived the all natural macaroons from “Health Food Store.” I guess the store can get away with calling itself that since it’s the only one in east Harlem …
Apparently, I ate a mint-choxie, too, which I’m pretty sure appeared on my desk courtesy of Jessica:
The big windfall of recent weeks happened when I participated in a focus group about health care workers’ views of climate change. As compensation for being a part of the group, I received a $25 AmEx gift card AND free lunch from El Paso. I started with half a veggie burrito, black beans, and yellow rice:
And followed it up with half a chicken burrito:
I definitely think that researchers should visit my agency to conduct their focus groups more often.
The other phenomenal food experience of the past couple weeks arrived courtesy of Mildred, who just came back from a month visiting her family in the Dominican Republic. She smuggled many goodies through customs, including several jars of dulce, a coconut-milk-sugar pudding-esque concoction.
The office went mad for it, as it is a serious Dominican delicacy. Jessica, Belkis, and Mildred worked on dulce distribution in a secret corner of our floor by the fridge, and I documented the adventure, as usual:
Ohhhhhhh dear, this was soooooooooooooooo jaw-achingly amazing! Please, somebody, take me to the DR asap!
Now, I can sort of see how the dulce would have been smuggle-able through customs, but how about these fresh Dominican avocados?????
I have to say, I have never ever tasted such a delicious avocado in my life, and avocados are already my favorite “fruit.” I didn’t even know it was from the DR when Myrna gave me a bite and I exclaimed something about its sweetness. The insane flavor made total sense when I found out how fresh it was.
Rosalie also made a trip to the DR this month and came back with all manner of delicious Dominican confections, most of them coconut-based:
Nothing like a good dessert sampler platter 😀
All of this coconut candy got me craving the real deal, so I graced the juice bar with my presence again:
In addition to the coconut, I picked up a Spritz It Up juice (spinach, celery, ginger, and parsley) because I was so full of authentic Dominican coconut brilliance that I couldn’t contemplate a solid lunch:
Except for maybe this bite of Deborah’s mama’s cooking:
Myrna offered up her tres leches cake, but I stuck to one bite.
The reason for my cake restraint? I also went to pick up my bridesmaid dress for Erin Gunn’s wedding last week, and it fit me like the tightest glove ever. Since I cannot afford to not fit in this dress, I am going to need to practice more moderation than normal for the next couple of months. I put my coworkers on alert about the dress situation, and Myrna graciously disappeared to some hidden corner of the office with the rest of her cake!
Near the end of last week, however, Belkis proudly brought in a pan full of homemade yellow cake, and I obviously sampled some:
But, again, I stuck to one piece for the reasons mentioned above! I had to work hard to restrain myself with this one because the cake was sitting on the table next to my desk allllll afternoon. Luckily, we had a lot of balloon animals hanging around since we had been planning to have a picnic for the families on Friday before it got rained out. The little dogs came in handy when I needed to hide the rest of Belkis’ cake from myself:
Jessica was so sad about the picnic getting rained out that she decided to dress up in her clown costume anyway and entertain us:
And then she and Belkis broke out the hula hoops that we had intended to use for the picnic, and we got started with the exercise portion of our Friday afternoon at work:
Jessica and Belkis in da howwwwwwwwwwwwse.
Finally, I took a swig of Jessica’s chocolate milk and called it a day!
How do you let off steam at work? Have hula hoops and balloon animals ever made an appearance?