There are certain foods and drinks that you simply must eat hot and some that you must eat cold, but what if you had to pick a temperature for your food for the rest of your life?
This was the topic of debate at our last all-staff meeting. Unfortunately, the debate turned into an all-out brawl with everyone getting more entrenched in their views, but (cough cough) hot had more votes.
As a home cook, it was hard for me to pick a category, since food is so ambiguous and its temperature shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Here are a few examples from both sides of the discussion.
Team Hot Food:
Ellie Myers, Associate Editor
“I love French onion soup :)”
Ella Barry, Reporter
Kira Thorne, Photographer
“Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese”
Nick Smith, News Editor
“Super-easy to make HOT ramen that isn’t just stereotypical instant ramen, it can be spicy if you want.”
Team Cold Food:
Olivia Nordyke, Reporter
“My hot and cold debate answer for team cold is cereal (not oatmeal) and cold drinks”
Kate Marlett, Copy Editor
“Watermelon has to be eaten cold. I love watermelon, it’s my favorite food of all time and the best cold.”
Neako Hallisey, Artist
“…I’m team cold. Pizza is the prime food to have during a blizzard or rainstorm in my opinion.”
Zee O’Donnell, Reporter
“I remember sushi and ice cream got brought up a lot for cold food.”
Both made great points, but hot won the vote and I had to agree. For the sake of the debate, here are a couple quick recipes sampling both temperatures that are sure to sow more seeds of dissent.
Cinnamon Toast: One of my favorite all-time breakfasts. My parents used to make cinnamon toast on the weekends or on busy weekday mornings. Around five years ago, I wanted to find a way to improve the recipe and this one was born. By softening the butter and mixing it with the sugar and cinnamon, you get an even spread of crisp cinnamon caramel on top of the toasted bread. You simply must eat it hot, or the bread becomes stale.
5-6 slices classic white bread
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Toast the slices of bread in a toaster or toaster oven until just crisp, but not brown, for 3-4 minutes. Pre-heat oven broiler and grease a medium sheet pan.
Mix the softened butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl until well combined and smooth. Spread a very thin layer of cinnamon butter on top of each slice and place on the prepared sheet pan.
Broil until deep golden brown and the edges are toasted completely. Be sure to watch the broiler because it can burn the toast very quickly. Enjoy!
Classic Arnold Palmer: While the debate was about food, cold drinks came up repeatedly and almost made me switch sides because I use iced tea as a crutch to get through the day. What’s better than a tall glass of iced tea? A tall glass of iced tea with lemonade!
1-2 black tea bags (depending on your preference for tea strength)
1-2 tablespoons of honey or simple syrup (optional)
½ gallon low-sugar lemonade
In a medium saucepan or tea kettle (depending on the size of your kettle), fill with water and set over high heat. Remove from the heat after the water reaches 180 degrees — below boiling — and add the tea bags. This keeps your tea leaves from getting scorched by the water, producing a better flavor.
Allow the tea bags to steep for at least 15 minutes. Stir the honey or simple syrup into the warm tea. Transfer to a large pitcher or carafe and allow to cool to room temp.
Once cool, stir in the lemonade and refrigerate. Shake well before enjoying over ice!
*If you’re planning on serving the Arnold Palmers to a large crowd, you can adjust the recipe. Instead of refrigerating the drink, add a lot of ice to cool quickly for serving.*
Graphic by Neako Hallisey.