Originally from Georgia, Caseyrenée Lopez relocated with their family to Virginia in the summer of 2017. They work as a professor of English at John Tyler Community College, and have two collections of poetry, the new gods (Bottlecap Press) and i was born dead (About Editions), forthcoming in 2018. In addition to teaching and writing, Caseyrenée also edits Crab Fat Magazine and publishes chapbooks and full-length collections of poetry and experimental work by queer and trans people at Damaged Goods Press. They tweet @caseyreneelopez.
Here, they talk about fiendish snacking, simple meals, and pizza as a way of life.
On their all-time favorite meal:
I’m a pretty simple human. I love crock pot beef roast and mashed potatoes with a green veggie. This meal, this literal meat & potatoes meal, is something foundational to me—it’s the first thing I remember eating and wanting more of, and I’m pretty certain that my mom was the first person to ever feed it to me. The funny thing about this meal is that it’s really nothing special. When my mom makes it, she uses a fatty chuck roast, and covers it with dry onion soup mix and a can of condensed cream of mushroom. For the potatoes, she uses plain Russets. It’s really simple food, and yet, I can’t get enough of it. I make my own version of roast and mashed potatoes at home, but I make sure my version is completely different from my mom’s recipe. I don’t care that she uses canned soup or dry soup mix, I don’t care that she isn’t the best cook, what I care about is the memories and nostalgia of her roast dinners. My mom asks me very year on my birthday: “What do you want me to make for you?” and every year I say: “Chuck roast and mashed potatoes” and she’ll say: “You always want that. Don’t you want me to make you anything different?” And I happily shrug and shake my head “no”.
On what the light looks like during their favorite meal of the day:
My favorite meal is dinner—that typically means that I’m home, settled in for the evening, and surrounded by my three pooches. It’s not unusual to have dinner late in my house, so oftentimes the sun is down, and the room is illuminated by a floor lamp with soft white shades.
On snacking while writing:
I am a snacking fiend and usually keep Cheez-Its or chips on or around my desk, with a juice box or Coke.
On their go-to late-night snack:
My go to late-night snack is definitely frozen pizza or chicken nuggets. For me, there’s never a wrong time for either of those foods. If my husband and roommate would let me, we’d have pizza every day for dinner because pizza is life.
On their food quirks:
I’m not a picky eater really and love trying new things. I suppose my biggest thing with food is my hard pass on sour cream and bleu cheese—both are gross and I want no part of them. [puke face emoji]
On a recent meal request:
My last meal request was for pulled pork barbeque. I recently moved from Georgia, where the barbeque and mustard sauce is best!, to Virginia, where the barbeque isn’t as great and there’s no mustard sauce. Anyways, I’ve been on the hunt for good pork barbeque for months and just the other day finally found some at this local chain in Richmond called Q Barbeque. It was awesome and tender and the only thing missing from my meal was mustard sauce. I was with my husband and roommate and we were all a bit hangry because of our morning being spent at a doctor’s office, so being able to sate my barbeque lust was made extra special. I was able to have a meal with my favorite people and find a good substitute for Georgia barbeque.