In addition to being full of lycopene and vitamin C, carrots make life interesting for the non-dexterous. Thanks to their slender, tapering form, they are a real bitch to peel and cut up without slicing a finger. They are basically an accident waiting to happen. For best results while you chop, play the haunting soundtrack from the HBO miniseries, Chernobyl. This will add even more dramatic tension as you work to stay alert to what the hand holding the knife is doing.


This is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as of suspense since you never know how it will turn out. Cooking a salmon is like a heist where you can win big with a honey-glazed masterpiece or lose everything on an undercooked fish that is a sickening shade of pink and full of pin bones. The stakes have never been higher. For this one accompany yourself in the kitchen with the music from Ocean’s Eleven.

Jalapeño Peppers

Not only is this pepper rich in vitamins C and B6, but like Black Widow in the Iron Man franchise, it can take out anybody who crosses its path without exercising caution. Remember those guys from Hammer Security doubled over and unable to speak after going up against Scarlett Johansson? Nothing like a jalapeño to recapture the thrill of adventurous ass-kicking for housemates trapped inside wearing the same sweats and pajamas as last week and the week before that. The one who gets up first from dinner and runs gasping to the kitchen sink wins that night’s “hotness” award.


These are good for vitamin K and potassium. Because of their round shape, they are also loaded with unpredictability and mischief. Watching them tumble out of shopping bags, overturn cups of coffee, and even bounce merrily onto the floor, you may be tempted to revisit Gremlins. As if they weren’t circular enough already, however, melons sometimes require balling. This is a painstaking process similar to restoring old paintings, especially if you are after perfect spheres that come in different sizes for the sake of variety. As you get ready to focus on the task ahead, be sure to grasp the melon firmly to show who is in charge. Then settle in for a full afternoon with the extra-long third movement of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Green Tea

This tea is big on antiviral flavonoids, and it also becomes flavorful when ingested with a shot of rum. To make the last of winter pass more swiftly and seamlessly, we recommend a steady diet of green tea Mojitos with lime juice for extra tang and vitamin C. For a dash of melancholy, chase these down with screenings of Sideways.

Dark Chocolate

This has the same high flavonoid content as green tea. Only it tastes much better, has way more calories, and thus can count on its own as a guilty pleasure. Keeping dark chocolate around the house where you are stuck this winter creates battles against temptation worthy of a Fellini film. Efforts to rein in snacking will give way to prolonged bouts of remorse and self-loathing. Promises to exercise will be made and broken. Before you know it, the warm weather will have arrived. Time to listen to Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring.”