Thursday, April 26, 2007

5 things about (him and) me

Paul recently tagged us for a "5 Things About Me" meme. He cheekily handed the task of selecting five things about him over to his partner, and Mike provided a most pithy profile of the gourmand. We've decided to appropriate this idea and write 5 things about each other.

Here are five things you might not already know about Michael:

1. Michael's CV boasts 3 degrees: in maths, IT and criminology.

2. The first meal that he cooked for me was a huge wok-full of noodles, chicken, veges, peanut butter, and a sachet of curry paste. This was his signature dish and he was secretly disappointed at the lukewarm response it received from me. I was just trying to keep my watering eyes in check - I was no match for the chilli oneupmanship that goes on in a sharehouse of 20-something males. Still, a man who cooks at all is pretty attractive, right? He's since refined his style but still provides most of the enthusiasm (and labour) for the hearty and/or spicy meals on our table: one-pot wonders, curries, Mexican, and the like.

3. Much to my bewilderment, Michael's a sport lover. He thoroughly enjoys a social game of soccer or netball, and has been known to rise early (3am early) to watch a soccer or cricket game in another time zone.

4. Michael's most hated foods are fresh tomatoes and bananas. His tomato tolerance has gradually developed to sauces, sun-dried and the occasional sandwich but there's been no shift on the banana front. Consequently they rarely enter our house at all.

5. Contrary to popular assumption, Michael decided to go vegetarian before I did. (Seems like it's the kind of bleeding-heart thing girls do, and then bully their boyfs into...?) He challenged himself to try it for 5 weeks and then didn't stop. I followed his lead about a month later.

So, to return the favour: five things you don't know about Cindy:

1. Cindy has a PhD. Unfortunately, she makes scant use of her impressive title, leaving it to me to book flights and things for Dr Cindy.

2. Cindy is a weird eater. There are all kinds of rules by which her eating is governed: fizzy drinks only go with fatty foods, pasta and salad must travel to work in separate lunch boxes, coffee can only be consumed with chocolate. And so on. Most weird of all though, is her obsession with eating neatly. On one of our earliest outings together, I sat and watched Cindy painstakingly pick at a slice of cheesecake so that it always looked like it had just been served up. There was nary a bump or chunk missing anywhere, strictly straight lines. After watching this for some time (another thing: Cindy eats more slowly than anyone I've ever known), I took my fork and mashed her cake up a bit. Not a wise move. I honestly think she didn't enjoy the rest of the cake at all. Weird.

3. Cindy's vegetarianism (while copied off me) brought her into line with the way most people saw her anyway. I've lost count of the number of people who've met Cindy and somehow decided that she was vego. It used to happen with startling regularity. At least now their assumptions don't make an ass out of anyone.

4. Contrary to our inner-city, latte-sipping lifestyles, Cindy doesn't like olives. I've been working on her for years, but even a tapenade is enough to turn her off. Other food phobias: uncooked onion and uncooked mushrooms (despite an almost pathological love of cooked mushrooms).

5. Cindy is a talented (if currently inactive) painter - there are at least three of her pictures adorning the walls of our house. She's tried to paint pictures of me twice, but I can't sit still for long enough without falling asleep, so they're both of me in the land of nod (I wonder if it just means she doesn't know how to paint eyes? Hmmm.)

We won't tag anyone else in particular, but please join in if you feel so inclined and give us a link to your post. I'd love to know at least 5 more things about you!


  1. Hi guys!
    We've just read your 5 things & we have to say that writing from the other person's point of view is so much more revealing!
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Paul & Mike.
    PS. Paul also likes to keep certain food seperated, just like Cindy...

  2. Michael, I also hate fresh tomatoe, I haven't eaten any raw tomatoe in years. I ask for burgers, salads and anything with fresh tomato to be removed or I remove them myself. Strangely though, I do like tomato sauce, sun-dried tomato. I don't mind tomato based sauces but tend to pick out the whole chunks of tomato.

    Cindy, I hate olives too. I eat pizzas without olives and any pasta dish that has olives I pick them out.

    Aren't people strange in the things they will or won't eat?

  3. Sounds like we're not the only fussy foodies. :-)

    Paul & Mike, it was a pleasure to *ahem* reveal ourselves.

    Thanh7580, you must really struggle with Italian food if you share both Michael's and my pet hates! I guess there's still room for a good carbonara, eh?

  4. Psst, Michael, the five weeks are up. Eat meat.

  5. You both have amazing tertiary qualifications and would be fascinating to sit next to at a dinner party! Insightful meme.

    Dr Cindy, you are so very right - a man who can, and does, cook is a very attractive man indeed. The chilli-tolerance of an all male household is a VERY frightening thing .

  6. No tomatoes or olives? I guess there are not many Greek salads at your place.

    I agree about the salad and the pasta going in separate tubs.

  7. Shhh, Lynda! If he folds, I'm bound to follow within weeks.

    Lucy, I'd love to think that I'd make good company at a dinner party but I must counter that there exist people with our qualifications (or better) that are absolute bores. :-P

    Kitchen Hand, we manage our own bastardised version of the Greek salad on occasions. I slice up tomatoes after it hits my plate, and Michael does likewise with the olives. Swaps at restaurants and feta all round, of course!

  8. Hi Cindy & Michael! I stumbled upon your blog about a month ago and now I check on it daily and have it bookmarked. With all the great cafes and restaurants you visit, I like to eat vicariously through you.

    I can't relate to your revulsion of fresh tomatoes or olives. In fact, I have both in a sandwich almost every day! (I recommend you try a firm Murray Bridge tomato or some split green olives from the Queen Vic market before you write these ingredients off.) There just isn't one fruit or vegetable I can't stomach.

    May I suggest that you jump on your bikes and cross over to the south side of the Yarra occasionally? I know you're north-side people and you like to sip your lattes in Fitzroy/Collingwood/Brunswick/Carlton/Northcote, but there are some culinary destinations worthy of your consideration on the south side too! Why not start by having Indian at my excellent local, Bala Da Dhaba, in Ripponlea?

    Finally, I agree with Lucy's hunch that you would be great company at a dinner party. Perhaps you should start organising occasional readers' dinners at your restaurants of choice, kind of like the Age does in its glossy mag :).

    Keep up the entertaining blogging. You provide an excellent alternative for me instead of doing actual work.

  9. Welcome, Dmargster! Thank you for your kind words, we're really pleased that you're enjoying what we write and eat.

    You're right about our bias towards the inner north - we really should venture further a bit more often! Even Richmond and Footscray are so far quite neglected, let alone almost everything south of the city. Thank you for recommending your favourite local Indian - this is just the kind of info I hoped this blog would generate, and could be the kick out of Carlton we need.

    Oh, and if you comment during office hours, I'm just as likely to be distracted from my work. ;-)

  10. okay, i have to ask where cindy did her PhD...

  11. Hey Cin, I did my PhD at the University of Queensland (in an ugly brick building away from the sandstone and jacaranda trees). :-)

  12. and you moved to cold and windy Melbourne? must be for all our great restaurants!

  13. Yep, Cin, the good eating's a big part of it. :-D