Today was a travel day and check-in day. I got to Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota for a Compassion International conference. So far, all I’ve done is acclimate myself with the surroundings: I know where to go for a good cup of coffee, a wireless hookup, and chow.
Dinner tonight was served in the Nazareth Café, buffet style. What a God-oincidence: I picked up the latest issue of Wired Magazine for the plane ride and read a “How To” article about attacking a buffet and coming out on the winning end.
1. Work in reverse.
Smart buffet operators position the cheapest stuff (bread, pasta, salad, last week’s lettuce) at the front of the table so you’ll fill up on it. That’s why savvy chowhounds start loading from the back end.
2. Keep a low center of gravity.
Remember your high school physics: Torque equals force times distance from the fulcrum – in this case, the plate center. Start by laying down a ballast of solid meat in the middle to prevent tipping. Reserve the outer rim for the lighter fare.
3. Think vertically.
Diners squander valuable real estate by spreading salad alongside the entrée. Get over your irrational feelings about different foods touching – it goes on top.
4. Stick to flat or malleable foods.
When stacked, meatballs and baked spuds behave like ball bearings. This can result in an embarrassing demo of kinetics. That’s why God created Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes.
5. Flood-control your sauces.
Gravies are prone to sloshing, so ladle the stuff behind a mashed-potatoe levee – and hope it holds.
6. Pocket the bread.
Duh! That’s what cargo pants are for.
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