We open the phone lines to settle your most contentious food disputes this week. Eliza wants to wipe her oily hands on her bare legs — is her boyfriend Connor right to object? Then, Natalie thinks she’s entitled to half of what her husband Josh cooks, even though he’s generally hungrier. What’s the fairest way to divvy up meals? To answer these questions, Dan enlists the help of Drew Magary and David Roth, the extremely opinionated co-hosts of The Distraction podcast and co-founders of Defector Media. You can also check out Drew's writing on SFGate, and Roth's Hallmark podcast, It's Christmastown.
This episode contains explicit language.
Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:
- "Hound Dog" by Jason Mickelson
- "Happy Jackson" by Jack Ventimiglia
- "Get In The Back" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
- "Sweet Summer Love" by Stephen Sullivan
- "New Old" by James Thomas Bates
Photo courtesy of Ginny/Flickr CC.
Dan Pashman: This episode contains explicit language. But if you’re familiar with my guests, you probably already knew that.
Dan Pashman: This is The Sporkful, it's not for foodies, it's for eaters. I'm Dan Pashman. Each week on our show we obsess about food to learn more about people. And today on the show we’re opening the phone lines, taking calls from folks like you. From a couple of Sporkful listeners with food related disputes. We're gonna dig into the dynamics at play and try to bring resolution. I'm not doing it alone, though. Here to help me today are two people, who are perfect for a call in show, because they are well-known for having opinions on just about everything.
Dan Pashman: They are the co-hosts of the podcast The Distraction, and two of the co-founders of the website Defector, where they share their opinions on sports, culture, food, and just about anything else that anyone could rant about. First up, we have Drew Magary, who's also a correspondent for SF Gate, the author of three novels and most important for our purposes, a one time champion of Chopped.
Dan Pashman: Welcome, Drew. It is an honor to be in the presence of a champion.
Drew Magary: It should be an honor for you. You should consider yourself very, very fortunate.
[DAN PASHMAN LAUGHS]
Dan Pashman: And originally hailing from the great state of New Jersey, my home state as well. He's written four outlets as wide ranging as Deadspin, The New Republic, and Food & Wine. As if that didn't make him versatile enough, he hosts a Hallmark Channel podcast. This guy does it all. Welcome, David Roth.
David Roth: How are you? Thanks for not saying author of zero novels. That is correct. This is a way nicer way of describing what I have accomplished to date.
Dan Pashman: Yeah. And is it okay if I call you Roth, as Drew does on your podcast?
David Roth: Yeah, of course. Of course.
Dan Pashman: OK. I mean, I'm very excited to have both of you on. I love both of your work. Drew, I feel like you and I are really kindred spirits. We're both people who have very strong opinions about very meaningless things.
Drew Magary: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Dan Pashman: Yeah, I mean, just as one example, you recently wrote a piece on Defector, that is right up my alley, all about your love of hoisin sauce.
Drew Magary: Oh, yeah! Yes.
Dan Pashman: And I really connected with this piece because you talked about falling in love with moo shu pork, which was like my first favorite food.
Drew Magary: Yes.
Dan Pashman: Like I remember being in Temple and the cantor of my temple asked me, what's your favorite food? And I said, "Moo shu pork." And she kind of grimaced and said, "I prefer moo shu chicken." And my parents had their hands in their head like, oh God.
David Roth: I and your vengeful Old Testament God both prefer moo shu chicken.
Dan Pashman: But tell me about your love affair with moo shu pork and hoisin sauce.
Drew Magary: I just remember, like you said, it was one of the first— like my— so I'm forty-four. So when I was growing up, my parents— because my dad, usually, had to do a lot of international travel for his work. So he is more familiar with Chinese cuisine. And I was like, I had dumplings for the first time. I was like, holy shit, that's the best thing I ever eaten. And then we had the— we had moo shu pork, where they prepared it table side, like it was Peking duck, like they take the spoon and the fork—
Dan Pashman: That's classy.
Drew Magary: And they handle everything, including the pancake with the big spoon and the big fork—
Dan Pashman: Yeah, that's— right.
Drew Magary: And they like a— I can't even describe it. It looks like a cake stand. It's that shallow, but it has like a pool, like a cistern of hoisin sauce. And they ladle that around. And I was like, oh, I don't know what that is but it looks good. And I tasted I was like, holy shit, this is amazing. And my parents called it duck sauce. They thought it was duck sauce, which is a totally different sauce. So every time, for the next decade, every time I got duck sauce and asked for it, I would get duck sauce. And I was like, this is shit. This isn't duck sauce and I was totally wrong about it.
David Roth: Those were the ten years where that anyone liked duck sauce and it wasn't even duck sauce.
Drew Magary: Right.
David Roth: It was just a mistaken identity case.
Drew Magary: Yeah.
David Roth: It's the only way it would ever work.
Drew Magary: Yeah. So then when I finally figured out the real name of it, I was like, oh my God, now I can find it and buy it and have it anytime I want. So now I have it on my person at all times. Like, I take it on bike rides. I need it.
Dan Pashman: I also love it. And one thing that I realized in more recent years, part of why I love it is, I've also— I also love Gochujang, the Korean hot sauce?
Drew Magary: Yes.
Dan Pashman: And I also love Colman's English mustard. And what all three of these sauces have in common is that they have a little bit of some type of grain in them that gives them a texture. It's not just about the flavor. These condiments or sauces, whatever you want to call them, have a unique texture that I find incredibly appealing.
Drew Magary: Yeah, yeah. And Colman's mustard, if you have too much of it, it will murder you, like you will die.
Dan Pashman: It's intense. It's intense.
Drew Magary: You got to— you got to be real, real delicate.
Dan Pashman: Roth, I want to talk a little bit about your perspective on food. I mean, you wrote a great piece for Food & Wine, sort of thoughtful piece on the cultural importance of restaurants. You, also, seem to really like bread in the can —
David Roth: The alpha and the omega of the food experience. B&M brand products from Maine— so my wife is from New England, from Maine and I mean, I just like foods that are unique to regions, in general. I think it's neat. You know, like growing up in New Jersey, we had our stuff. I mean, there's like, Taylor Ham or whatever and the local products. But a lot of what I eat —
Dan Pashman: Thank you for not calling it pork roll.
David Roth: Yes. I would never. I mean— I respect your listeners too much. But it like, it's Italian American food is what I grew up eating mostly, you know? And it's what my parents like to cook. It's what we mostly went out to eat. And so all of these weird— like I remember my wife's late mom would make baked beans in an earthen pot. A big thing that said like beans on it. And it was old, you know? And I'd had baked beans before, like out of a can or whatever but there was something about like the just like seeing that sort of preparation and that sort of care— and then also those weird products that you can't really get outside of upper New England, like the seriously brown bread in a can. It's delicious. It's just like a way to get molasses into your body more effectively than using a spoon.
Dan Pashman: Right.
David Roth: But it is like, you could put butter on it too at the same time. But yeah, like I love that shit and we have made it after Kate's mom passed, like we've continued to sort of try to— like around Christmas time when we're up there just do a baked bean dinner. And it's good. I mean, everything on the plate is a different shade of like orangish-brown, which is not the most appetizing in the world. But, for me, it's learning a new type of cooking and eating.
Dan Pashman: Right. The piece that you wrote about restaurants, I mean, you sort of encapsulated it in a nugget. But I mean, you made a good case for the idea that restaurants in the public consciousness have changed in the past decade.
David Roth: I sure think so. I mean,I think the idea that, like, your food comes from someplace, you know, that you would be interested in knowing about the farm or the method in which it was grown or any of that? That's new since I got old. That's new, as in of the last ten or fifteen years, I feel like, outside of, you know, like Chez Panisse or like —
Dan Pashman: Right. Outside of certain very upscale circles, I think that's well said. One more thing we got to cover before we turn to the phones. Drew, I mean, I'm sure you're really tired of talking about your big victory on Chopped, which is how many years ago?
David Roth: He's not tired of talking about his victory on Chopped.
Drew Magary: As long enough as if it's new to some people —
Dan Pashman: And so we should say so, you were on it was like a competition. Your episode was a competition among amateurs. You're not a trained chef.
Drew Magary: Correct.
Dan Pashman: But I watched your episode. You did very well.
Drew Magary: God damn, right.
Dan Pashman: I mean, you made pavlova, which is not even something— I mean, I didn't even know what that was. But I know that it’s a meringue dessert because of you, Drew.
Drew Magary: There's a— can I— I got to tell you?
Dan Pashman: Please.
Drew Magary: It didn't make the final cut. But when they were tasting it, Chris Santos, who's one of the judges, said he had never heard of a pavlova. So I educated the God damn judges.
Dan Pashman: Did you practice in preparation?
Drew Magary: I did. I did something where— so the pavlova I made for the dessert round, I looked up a recipe prior and memorized it. I was like, well, I'm not going make ice cream cause everyone who makes ice cream is fucked. And I'm got gonna make a Napoleon because everybody makes a goddamn Napoleon. So it's like, what can I make that's interesting but also has personal heritage because I was born Australian. It's an Australian desert. So I can say that even thought I don't think I had time to say it.
Dan Pashman: Right, right.
David Roth: They would like it if you did that, too, though. They're always like, why would you— and you have to be like, well, my mom always like almonds. So —
Drew Magary: Yeah! I totally was gonna say like, my mom made it for me because I was born in Australia and then my mom died— my mom didn't die but I could have said that it would have been very, very— it would have made the show.
Dan Pashman: Well, I loved when you applied for Chopped and you posted your application answers on Deadspin. And one of the questions was, discuss some of the results and rewards of your cooking, the ways your culinary work has touched others. And you wrote, "Dude, you have 19 essay questions on this application? Are you shitting me? This isn't Harvard Law School. I'm not going to give you some flowery bullshit about my food touching the soul of others. I'm here to make love to your tongue. That's it."
Drew Magary: That's all accurate. That's all correct.
[DAN PASHMAN LAUGHING]
Drew Magary: I don't I don't disavow any of that.
Dan Pashman: All right. You guys ready to go to the phones, help some callers out?
Drew Magary: Yeah. Hell yeah.
David Roth: Yeah, let's do it.
Dan Pashman: All right. Hi, who's this?
Eliza: Hey, Dan, this is Eliza. I'm calling in from Portland, Oregon with my boyfriend, Connor.
Dan Pashman: All right. What can we do for you?
Eliza: So Connor and I recently had an issue come to a head. I do this thing and I don't know how long Connor has known about it. But basically, when I get oil on my hands from, I don't know, roasting potatoes, eating olives, eating popcorn, if there's not a sink nearby, I'll just kind of rub it in to my hands, maybe get a little bit on my forearms. And the other day we were eating popcorn in bed and we were finished with the bowl and my thighs were available and I just kind of rubbed my hands into my thighs. And that was, um— it was a problem. I was banished, told to wash my hands and now we've been discussing whether or not this is an acceptable practice.
Dan Pashman: This is just because you don't want to get up and go find something to clean your hands with?
Eliza: Yeah, it's partially the convenience. But I'm also just not upset by the moisturizing components of the oil. There's lotions with oil in it, cocoa butter. So, yeah, it's partially convenience but I also appreciate my hands being a little bit more moisturized.
Drew Magary: Does popcorn oil offer, any SPF protection of any sort?
Eliza: I haven't looked into that, Drew.
Drew Magary: I'm just curious.
Eliza: But I wouldn't be surprised if there's some health benefits alongside.
Dan Pashman: If it does, we're starting a new business. Let me tell you.
Eliza: I like it.
David Roth: Yeah, this is complicated because it's like on one hand, it sounds— I keep thinking of the most unreasonable oils possible, when you get anchovy juice on your hands, which is impossible not to do when opening a can. That should not be, I think, rubbed into— it's not— whatever it does for your cuticles, it's going to just make it weird for you if you're ever around cats or people. It's just a strange smell and general essence. But popcorn butter, like I think if I smelled more like popcorn butter, I would just put that one in the W column and and keep it moving. Like, that's solid.
Connor: That's a fair point and if I can jump in really quick to clarify—
Dan Pashman: Yeah, Connor. Please.
Connor: It is olive oil that was on the popcorn, not butter. We went for a lower fat, a little healthier alternative. It was home popped so, you know, in this case, we're eating in bed, which is already like— that's a risky move.
Eliza: I would just like to call out, though, that it a mutually agreed upon thing to do.
Connor: Yeah, that's a mutually agreed upon.
Eliza: We were eating together.
Dan Pashman: OK.
Connor: Absolutely. I should also point out that as much as I love Eliza, she doesn't have the best hand to mouth coordination, i.e., you know, spills fairly regularly. So—
Dan Pashman: Eliza, do you concede that point?
Eliza: It's an absolute issues.
Dan Pashman: OK.
Eliza: I mean, as early as I can remember, so many white shirt casualties.
Dan Pashman: OK, OK.
Dan Pashman: Connor of go on.
Connor: So I think my visceral reaction to the oily hands going immediately to thigh skin is, you know, obviously, I don't want it to rub off on our bedsheets, on on to me, or my clothing because that's impossible to get out. I have no problem with you seasoning yourself. That's very reasonable and within your rights to do so but as soon as I get brought in the fray— yeah, I like the feeling of clean hands. And also, I recognize I might have a little bit of like emotional scarring from my childhood when my mom ever saw me wipe my hands, dirty hands, on the skin, I'd get a smack upside the head. So it's sort of a triggering reaction that I have and I recognize that.
David Roth: Hmm. It's a complicated thing. I don't think I understood that this would have like a Terrence Malick flashback sequence. Like, went back to the dinosaurs and Tree of Life right there but I like that. I think that there's something— I mean, I know for sure that that like— I had similar experiences and I don't really remember a moment where I got away from home and I was like, this is my moment. I'm just going to leave some pudding on my mouth because who's going to tell me to get rid of it. But there is an element of like, yeah, this is like terrible freedom to do whatever you want, but it doesn't come without, you know, that sort of context.
Drew Magary: Eliza or Connor, do either of you ever use your shirt or pants as a napkin in a pinch?
Drew Magary: Never? Eliza, what about you? That's a yes.
Eliza: I will say it depends on the fabric type.
Dan Pashman: That's fair.
Eliza: And the quality of the clothing.
Dan Pashman: Right.
Eliza: If it's like old denim jeans?
Drew Magary: Great napkin.
David Roth: Yeah.
David Roth: It adds value. It breaks them then.
Drew Magary: Yeah.
David Roth: Again, not anchovy oil but other things.
Drew Magary: Yeah.
Dan Pashman: Yeah. No, jeans, like that's one of the best things about jeans is that it is basically wearable napkin.
Eliza: I completely agree. And to the anchovy point, Roth, I think, I would absolutely draw the line at more like— what, meat-based fats.
Drew Magary: Hmm.
Eliza: Like, I wouldn't rub schmaltz on myself or duck fat. I like the more, you know, the vegetal.
David Roth: There's a difference between treating yourself like a napkin and treating yourself like a cast iron skillet. And I think that's a really important distinction to make.
Dan Pashman: How long have you two been dating?
Connor: Four and a half years,
Dan Pashman: And you live together?
Connor: We live together, yeah.
Dan Pashman: OK and Eliza, have you met Connor's mom?
Eliza: Oh yeah.
Dan Pashman: Have you wiped your hands on yourself in front of her?
Connor: Oh, good question. Don't.
Eliza: Not intentionally. However, it's not something that I'm ashamed of and it has become such an instinct and so I wouldn't be surprised if it had happened.
Drew Magary: Have you kept your hands clean on the mother?
Dan Pashman: But she's never smacked you upside the head for it?
Connor: No. My mom's also British, so I think she has the non-confrontational thing with Eliza.
Eliza: I mean, the most egregious thing that ever happened with your mom was the first Christmas I went home to. In the span of two days, I broke three champagne flutes. So I don't know, I mean, I guess, there's a little bit of —
Dan Pashman: Was it because your hands were oily?
Eliza: Maybe, so? I was trying to pick them up and clean them.
Connor: That's right.
Eliza: So there's a little bit of understanding of recklessness.
Dan Pashman: All right. Am I correct that you two do not have any kids?
Dan Pashman: If and when you do have kids together —
Drew Magary: Oh, buddy.
Dan Pashman: What will you do when they wipe their hands off on themselves?
Connor: Inevitably, there would be different approaches. I think, I would suggest to the child, please don't wipe your hands on your trousers. We pay for those. I would like to not replace them as regularly as I have to when you do that. I would love it if you would wash your hands. It would be great if you'd wash your hands.
Dan Pashman: OK.
Drew Magary: I have some unfortunate news for you, Connor....that's not going to go the way you think it's going to go.
David Roth: That's what I was gonna—
Dan Pashman: Drew is a father of three. So he can weigh in on this, as well.
David Roth: I love the tone, though. That's definitely the— I would— I mean, again, don't have kids but the idea of dressing like a rowdy seven-year-old as if they were like an unruly patron at a fancy hotel bar? That's the way to do it.
Dan Pashman: Do you actually like the feeling of spreading oil, olive oil or whatever on your skin? Is there some part of you that likes it?
Eliza: No, it feels great. I mean, my hands are— like they're more supple afterwards. If there's salt in the oil, seasoning in the oil, it's a little bit gritty and exfoliant, like it does a ton for me.
Dan Pashman: Will Connor come around to Eliza’s unconventional moisturizing regimen? Or will Eliza have to start using napkins? When we come back, Drew, Roth, and I give our final thoughts, and deliver a verdict. Then we take another call, from a woman struggling with questions of equality in marriage and in leftovers. Stick around.
Dan Pashman: Welcome back to The Sporkful, I’m Dan Pashman. You know McDonald’s is everywhere. Right? So when you start a story there, you can end up anywhere as a couple of our recent episodes show. In last week’s show, first I take Janie and the kids to a very special McDonald’s on Long Island. Then for the bulk of the episode, I talk with Dr. Marcia Chatelain. Her new book explores the role McDonald’s has played in Black communities, since its founding in the 1940s. And she says, she also has a personal connection to the fast food chain.
CLIP (MARICA CHATELAIN): I had more exposure to Black history because of McDonald’s stuff than I did at school. And I went to a fancy prep school. So I had the best education but it was Mcdonald’s that would open up the pathway to my career. Oh, and look at me now, I’m writing books critical of it.
Dan Pashman: That episode’s up now, get it wherever you got this one.
Dan Pashman: Hey, guys, welcome back.
David Roth: Hey.
Drew Magary: Let's do it.
Dan Pashman: We’re also joined again by Eliza and her boyfriend Connor. When Eliza gets certain oils on her hands, like olive oil, she likes to wipe it off on her arms and legs. Connor says, look, do what you want, just don’t do it in a way that’s likely to ruin our bed sheets or get oil on me. Drew and Roth, I want to hear from you. Your final thoughts on this situation. Roth, you first.
David Roth: I mean, to me, this seems like something that sounds incredibly objectionable just because I had never thought of it. And then the more I hear the argument for what the thing actually is on its merits, the more I'm like, oh, that's actually secretly been normal all along. The only real objection to this is, you know, what it does to the furniture or the broader setting of it. But like as a personal decision, it seems way more valid than I was initially prepared to allow.
Dan Pashman: OK, Drew.
Drew Magary: I, oddly, will go the other way because as someone, who will do somewhat slob-adjacent things, such as that, I have a thing where, you know, I've been married almost 20 years and it's like, you know, if my wife criticizes me, it'll be a thing where it's like, well, it's just something I've always done. This is me. And, you know, the thought is, well, you know, Drew, you can change some things about yourself. It's all right. So it's a thing where it's like, you keep it in mind and you sort of start new habits and you realize that you're OK with the new habits and you can give it a shot and see if it works. And then maybe it won't work. And then you just— you end up, no, I do it to be the greasy thigh lady and that's just the way it's going to have to be and you're going to have to deal with that.
Eliza: Love that.
Drew Magary: But you like— you know, it's all about listening and then trying. So there you go.
Dan Pashman: Connor, you would ask us to tell Eliza not to do this anymore? Is that what you're hoping for?
Connor: I don't— I want to say this. I love you the way that you are.
Drew Magary: Aww. Wonderful.
Connor: I don't want you to change your behavior for me except for sometimes. And so, I guess, all I would ask is that you be cognizant of when we're eating in bed that you think ahead, maybe bring a napkin upstairs or a wet one and take care of the business up there rather than, you know —
Dan Pashman: Right.
Connor: Knowingly wipe your hands on the on yourself or me.
Dan Pashman: Eliza, is there something annoying that Conor does that you could make him stop doing in exchange?
Eliza: A trade!
Connor: A trade!
Dan Pashman: A trade. A trade of pet peeves?
Drew Magary: Well, he embezzles.
Drew Magary: So you can't do that.
Eliza: Yeah, there's one thing we haven't discussed this yet...
Eliza: But we got a pretty small kitchen, so things need to be where they are meant to be, if they're not in use. And Connor makes a lot of toast and literally never puts the toaster back in its little zone. So it's always on the counter and then I got to put it back.
Dan Pashman: Hmm.
Eliza: I'm not willing to completely give up the oiling hands, though. Like I would say, OK, not in bed, if you could put the toaster away. That's absolutely something I would agree to.
Connor: I will gladly trade you putting the toaster back in its little cubby for no in-bed hands wiping on skin.
David Roth: Dan, does it always work out this well?
Drew Magary: Yeah, we should—
David Roth: Is it always this reasonable?
Drew Magary: Yeah, we didn't even need to be here. They figured it out.
David Roth: Yeah, seriously. Bang the gavel, man, it seems like we solved this shit.
Connor: This is the most contentious argument we've ever had.
Dan Pashman: Right, but if I can give you a little bit of advice, that's sort of like just raw bartering that you just engage in, Eliza and Connor. Like that's the secret to a successful relationship. You know, you got to be thinking like, all right, you want me to give this up? What can we trade? Let's trade. And now the toast is going to be where you want it to be, Eliza.
Eliza: I know! This is awesome. I've been thinking about how to bring it up for a while. So I do thank you for allowing us to mediate that.
Drew Magary: Turned out going on a food podcast was all you had to do.
Dan Pashman: All right. Well, Eliza and Connor, thank you so much. Good luck with the next bowl of popcorn and batch of toast.
Eliza: Thanks, Dan.
Connor: Thank you. Thank you.
Eliza: It was a pleasure.
Dan Pashman: You guys ready to take another call?
David Roth: Yeah, man.
Drew Magary: Why not?
Dan Pashman: Hi. Who's this?
Natalie: Hi, this is Natalie calling from Novato, California.
Dan Pashman: All right, Natalie, what can we do for you?
Natalie: So I have a— it's more of an internal battle but we'll bring my husband in, eventually. He is the cook of the family, which is great. What happened when we first moved in together when we were first dating was that he would cook the meal and he would serve himself and then me the exact same amount. And because it was delicious, I ate it all all the time. But that was not great for me. It was too much for my belly. So if he serves himself his amount of food and I get served less, am I entitled to half of the meal or at least equal to what he is eating? For instance, we sit down to a casserole lasagna, so I cut it in half. He gets his half, I get my half. I can eat it when and how I want. He can eat it when and how he wants.
Dan Pashman: And so your question, basically, is should you be getting an equal amount of food as him or should you be getting less?
Natalie: Yes. We split expenses, we input nearly the same amount of income. Like, we pay for food the same. I should be able to eat what I want at dinnertime, but should also be entitled to leftovers as well, equally. But now we also have kids. We have a three and a half-year-old and a seven-month-old. So they're also factored into it. How much do they get? Obviously, they get much, much less.
Dan Pashman: Josh, let's bring you in. I know you've been listening. When did this issue first present itself to you? When did Natalie first tell you about it?
Josh: Uh, I feel like it was a few years ago she mentioned something about it, about her kind of stress around not taking as much of a meal at that moment, but I would kind of keep plowing ahead at dinner time and her feeling like she was kind of getting the short end of the stick.
Dan Pashman: It seems to me that, Natalie, the question is, is your fair share 50 percent in this case or is your fair share one meals worth, whatever that is for you as an individual person? And the amount of food that is one meals worth varies from one person to the next, based on a wide range of factors.
Natalie: Correct. I agree.
Dan Pashman: And so if Josh made twice as much lasagna, would you still want 50 percent or would you then be happy with 25 percent. Is it about having half or it's about just having enough for you to be able to keep eating it because it's yummy?
Natalie: For me it's about getting half.
David Roth: Really? So even if half is two lunch portions as opposed to the one, you feel like you've put in the work, you've paid the cost to enjoy a boss-sized portion of lasagna?
David Roth: OK. I sort of understand that. But I also feel like this is one of those areas where it seems like there's room to get to yes, if I may use a sports blogger/ podcast term on this one. Basically, if you want a leftover amount to like cover a meal in the middle of the day, for instance, then maybe the size of that meal matters less than the fact that it qualifies as one unit of Natalie food.
Natalie: Yeah I do often ask him when he takes a bite of my food to take a Natalie-sized bite versus a Josh-sized bite.
David Roth: So you've already— you've begun exploring the relativistic space of eating and portioning. So it seems like there's possibly some traction there.
Josh: And just to be clear, like I'm mostly fine with, you know, with her wanting to to claim 50 percent of whatever it is. I don't really have a problem with that. I've been thinking a lot about it over the past 48 hours of trying to come up with the different arguments in favor of what would entitle me to 50 percent plus or whatever. And then one of them being that I do most of the cooking. So does that mean that I should get a little bit more or the fact that Natalie is way more of a snacker than I am? So relatively more of my caloric intake happens at meals, so should that entitled me a little bit more than 50 percent. But I feel like with me, the biggest issue that this brings up is kind of more on the— I don't know— sociological front. And it's like when we're kind of dividing it up evenly, you're trying to divide it up evenly, it kind of brings to the table sort of an atmosphere of competition and uncertainty. And I feel like Mr. Roth is getting a little bit earlier. And it's like that kind of goes against what I would like the family meal to be, which is kind of a relaxed sharing of food.
Dan Pashman: Is there ever a scenario where, Josh, you cooked dinner. You each get your respective portions for dinner, Natalie's being less. And then there's only a small amount of the thing left. And there's a choice where either Josh can have seconds and Josh is still hungry or Natalie can have that piece wrapped up to eat as leftovers later. Are you ever in that exact situation?
Josh: I'd say that's pretty common, yeah.
Natalie: Well, we wouldn't discuss. We wouldn't say those are Natalie's left overs. They would just be wrapped up and then there would be an unspoken who gets the leftovers.
Drew Magary: Who gets— well, you need to write on it with a fucking Sharpie, you know, "Hey, this is mine." Otherwise, it's going to stay there and it's just going to be this passive-aggressive talisman that you're both going to have imaginary arguments about before you even argued about it.
Dan Pashman: Drew and Roth, what do you guys think about this situation?
David Roth: And this is a tough one for me, I feel like it can be done as long as everybody is just sort of on the same page and talking. They're just boring, annoying conversations. I mean, I wish I could give you a funnier answer but at some point you're going to have to just, sit down and freaking hash it out about the green salad that you made and how that's going to be divided out over the course of the rest of your week. But it's definitely better than getting secretly, seethingly mad at two in the afternoon when you realize your lunch isn't there. Like, I think you've got to prioritize one bad experience over the other.
Dan Pashman: Drew?
Drew Magary: I think, if you're either openly or silently wringing your hands over the exact equality between things that are in the house, I think that that— I think, you should just let that go. I don't think it's healthy. The other thing is that you have two kids. I have three kids, I have to, you know, their intake of things is never equal because if I buy something from the store, it's just fucking gone. And you have to do accept at some point that things are not going be ever perfectly divided and equal. So what you can do is, Josh can be cognizant of making sure that there is enough of what Natalie wants when she wants it, of the food, and that Natalie can be cognizant of the fact that she has a big hungry husband, who's going to want some— who's going to want a big piece of chicken once in a while and you meet there. But I think if you're obsessing over, you know, the exactness of the proportions of who gets what, I don't think that that's good.
Dan Pashman: I hear you, Natalie, because I see in you someone, who just— you're an eater and you love food. That is what I'm getting from you. And when when someone cooks something really, really delicious, you don't— like, you want as much of it as you can have. And if you can't fit it all in your belly in the first sitting, it's not fair that someone else should get more. That being said, to ask Josh like not to sit there at the table and not eat the delicious food that he just prepared when he is still hungry. And if the food right there so that you can have some tomorrow, also feels like a big ask. Like leftovers are supposed to be the things that nobody finished. I think the most obvious solution here is, Josh just needs to cook more food at once.
Dan Pashman: So Josh cook more food but Natalie, let go of the 50/50 concern. You'll get yours.
Dan Pashman: You'll eat a good meal. You'll get some leftovers. You know, it will even out in the end.
David Roth: I do think there's just something really delightfully— calling into a food podcast about this whole thing, ending up like, you know, a sensitive conversation about relationships but that at the end, they're like, you just got to make more noodles, man. You got to do a box and a half.
Drew Magary: But also, the other thing is that maybe, Nathalie, in the interest of balance, Nathalie should be allowed to ask this questions to three female podcasters.
David Roth: Yeah.
Dan Pashman: True.
Drew Magary: Because otherwise she's— you know, there's three beady lads she's talking to.
Dan Pashman: True.
David Roth: Yeah.
Drew Magary: So it's like—
Dan Pashman: Do you think that's part of the dynamic here, Nathalie? Like, being the woman in the relationship is there an equality issue here that is also important to you?
Nathalie: I think only momentarily because I'm also technically feeding our 7-month-old through nursing. So I do need more food right now cause I am providing nutrition to one of our children directly. But generally, outside of that time frame, no.
Dan Pashman: OK.
David Roth: I'll share a bit of wisdom that I remember from a deli menu at the Kosher Nosh in Waldwick, New Jersey, near where I grew up.
Dan Pashman: I love the Kosher Nosh!
David Roth: You know, the Kosher Nosh?
Dan Pashman: Of course, I know the Kosher Nosh.
David Roth: It's on Waldwick, now.
Dan Pashman: Yes.
David Roth: So do you remember, they had a special where you could get one and a half sandwiches.
Dan Pashman: Yeah! [LAUGHS]
David Roth: Which was a weird thing that I've never seen at a deli before. And they had a little rhyme for it and it said, "One, not enough? Two, too many? Try one and a half and you won't leave any."
Dan Pashman: Ahh. Very wise. So, Josh, buy yourself a half a lasagna pan to supplement your full lasagna pan.
David Roth: Simply as that.
Dan Pashman: And all your problems will be solved.
David Roth: Good luck, you guys.
Drew Magary: Good luck!
Nathalie: Thank you!
Josh: Take care. Bye.
Dan Pashman: Well, David Roth, Drew Magary, this was a blast. Thank you so much,
David Roth: Of course!
Drew Magary: Of course, anytime!
Dan Pashman: That was Drew Magary and David Roth. You can find their writing at Defector.com, that’s the subscription website that they co-founded. And you definitely got to check out their podcast The Distraction. If you want intelligent and funny sports talk with a lot of very entertaining tangents and opinions, including many about food, listen to The Distraction. We’ll also link to their social media profiles and more of their work, including Drew’s books and his writing for SFGate, and Roth’s Hallmark podcast all at Sporkful.com.
Dan Pashman: On next week’s show, we take a close look at something you probably use all the time, but don’t think about a lot: your stove. Well, it turns out, the gas stove is in the middle of a huge fight between cities and utility companies and the future of natural gas may be on the line. We'll tell you all about it next week.
Dan Pashman: In the meantime, make sure check out our last two episodes featuring three different stories about McDonald's. If you in Apple Podcasts, Subscribe. In Stitcher and Spotify, Favorite. That way you'll never miss an episode. Thanks.