Food Diaries: The Eating (and Drinking) Habits of 5 Notable Brooklynites

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Jenna Park

Designer, co-owner (non-baking half) of Whimsy & Spice

Friday
Breakfast: I’m a lazy breakfast eater. Coffee and an apple this morning.
Lunch: I met a friend at the Smith & Ninth Street stop on the F in the morning. We walked toward Red Hook, stopped by Fairway where I picked up a green juice, and ended up at Fort Defiance after a few miles and a few hours later. I got the Huevos Rancheros, a dish I can never resist ordering if I see it on a menu.
Dinner: When Mark gets in the mood and he has a bit of time, he’ll make Indian food. He’s been cooking it for years–as long as I’ve known him, which is a lot of years. His Indian food gets better with every meal he cooks. For dinner tonight he made a lamb curry, Baingan Bharta (eggplant), Saag Aloo (spinach & potato) and Chana Masala (chickpeas).

Saturday
Breakfast: Toast and eggs at my parents’ house. My mom has gotten into juicing the last couple of years and her strategy is to throw whatever she has in the fridge that can be juiced. Today’s mix: strawberries, apples, banana, cucumber, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Lunch: A picnic of fried chicken, pasta salad, potato chips, and a green salad with chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts, all picked up from the store on the way to our picnic spot at Sands Point, Long Island.
Dinner: Korean food with my parents at a restaurant on Northern Boulevard in Queens. We had BBQ and Naeng Myun, which is a cold noodle dish in broth, as well as the millions of banchan dishes that cover the entire table. Sometimes they bring out so many dishes, we have to stack them on top of each other.

Sunday
Breakfast: Fried egg on rice with kimchee. Does this sound gross? It’s total comfort food for me.
Lunch: banana, handful of nuts, coffee. Lame.
Dinner: A salad with arugula, kale blossoms, bosc pears, and slivered almonds. Eggplant parmesan and spaghetti tossed with olive oil and basil. The eggplant parm is one of those dishes we always forget about, and when we think of it, we get excited and have to have it right away.

Monday
Breakfast: Yogurt with strawberries and bananas, coffee.
Lunch: I had a second breakfast for lunch–granola in soymilk. Did I say I was a lazy breakfast eater? Because I’m a worse lunch person.
Dinner: Leftover eggplant parmesan and spaghetti. Steamed kale, tossed with onion, garlic and a bit of vegetable broth.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Oatmeal with honey, topped with fruit.
Lunch: Skipped lunch. Sometimes oatmeal sits like a gut bomb in my stomach. Had some apple slices later on in the day.
Dinner: Taco night, our favorite! Slow roasted pork, homemade pickled onions, shredded red cabbage, refried beans, salsa, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, cilantro. If there is one fail-proof dinner that everyone in the family loves, it’s tacos. The other is ramen.

Odds & Ends

What five things do you always have in your refrigerator?
Pickled jalapenos–I put it on almost everything.
Condiments–all kinds. Jars and jars of condiments.
Milk–for the kids.
Half and half–for the coffee.
Apples

What’s your go-to midnight snack? 
I go to bed at 1 or 2am and since we eat dinner at 6pm, midnight snacks are actually a reality most nights. When I’m trying to be good I try to grab some fruit, but who am I kidding? Usually it’s a cookie. We also eat popcorn at night a lot.

What’s the weirdest food combination you’ve ever tried?
Mark went through a phase years ago where he was trying out some crazy desserts for the hell of it–sea urchin ice cream, avocado cheesecake–so I feel like I’ve eaten some pretty weird things. More recently, my mother-in-law raved about peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, but I don’t know–it really didn’t do anything for me.

What’s your usual order at a bar?
I don’t really drink because it can randomly give me hives (so attractive), and sometimes I even have trouble breathing if I drink (fun!).

What’s your favorite restaurant in Brooklyn?
Northeast Kingdom. I also like Colonie.

What’s your favorite bar in Brooklyn?
I can’t even tell you the last time I was in a bar in Brooklyn.

What’s your irrational food aversion (if any)?
Cilantro. Given how many Korean people I know who dislike it, I’m convinced it’s a Korean thing. But curiously, my life-long aversion to cilantro has recently gone from total repulsion to “tolerant.”

Are you pro- or anti-brunch?
Pro. There are anti-brunch people?

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