Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ten foods I love and you might not

I can list ten foods that I love/like/consume with gusto that most other people don't care for:

  1. grits
  2. hominy
  3. rhubarb
  4. turnips
  5. parsnips
  6. kale
  7. anchovies
  8. cream of rice
  9. raw ground beef
  10. Taylor's Pork Roll

Now, I'll admit, at first glance, the list seems padded. Grits and hominy are close relatives; in fact, grits are made from dried hominy. But they're both good, and not very good for you, either! Hominy is best described as "hot wet soggy popcorn" by non-admirers, and "nature's breakfast treat" by us avid homineers. Grits are more like ''hot wet sand," according to those who prefer Cap'n Crunch with their Matt Lauer.

Rhubarb, I believe, is related to celery, but then again, onions are related to lilies, so there you go for relatives. You take a mess of rhubarb and cook it up, put it on some ice cream or in a pie or just plain in a dish, and you got somethin' good, fella or gal.

Again, I guess I'm cheating to list both turnips and parsnips. They are different vegetables and they really can't help it if both of their names end with "nips." (Do you think that's where Nipsey Russell got his nickname?) They're both great in stew or in dishes like what we here at the Lazy 'C' Ranch call "Lisa's Beef" - a crock-pot favorite named for the good friend who gave us the recipe. It says here, you put a Weejun in the crock-pot for long enough with the right juices, and it will come out delicious.

Kale is a green, leafy vegetable like spinach, but tastier, to my mind. Whomp it up with some ham, sprinkle some vinegar over it, and pass the biscuits!

Anchovies make pizza something special. I know they're about as popular as Larry Craig at a Family Forum conference, but who wouldn't like that certain combination of fishy oiliness and salt? Oh.

Cream of Rice is a nice bland hot cereal, suitable for people who were just born or for people born 56 years ago or more.

Raw ground beef is reputedly the hideout for every cootie, microbe and germ...and yet, you take a hunk of it, put it between two sheets of rye bread, pepper and (optional) salt it up, and put a draft beer in your other hand. Presto - instant Baltimore bull roast! And don't worry about all those botulism and salmonella scares: the poor vegans eating lettuce and raw spinach have a lot more to worry about than we carnivores!

Taylor's Pork Roll is the official tubular processed meat product of the glorious state of New Jersey. I bow to no man in my love for all things Jersey, and for Pork Roll. If you go to NJ, seeing Pork Roll on every diner menu is no more rare than seeing 22" rims on Perring Parkway. Throw your TPR on the grill or in the pan, nestle it on toast, an English muffin or rye bread with cheddar cheese and maybe a slice of tomato, and get ready to smile awhile. It's that good.

Runner-up items include pork rinds, but more and more people seem to like them.

Tomorrow - off to the doctor for the 5,000 blink checkup of my surgically-repaired right eye. I had a cataract removed in May. I was the one-in-a million patient who awoke from anesthesia to see the surgeon's fingers as he slid a new lens into my eye. He later told me "That wasn't supposed to happen." That is not something you like to hear from a surgeon.

Another memory - the day after the surgery, I had to go to Walgreens to get a prescription filled - there was some sort of mixup, but I had to have this bottle of eyedrops so as not to get an infection. I was extremely light-sensitive and it was a sunny day, so I drove to Walgreens with a baseball cap, the giant Elvis-style sunglasses that they give you to go home with after eye surgery, and a patch over the eye. The pharmacist told me it would take about twenty minutes, so I amused myself by sitting in the sample electric massage chair they have in the prescription waiting area. I guess I was quite a sight, all Elvis-glassed, eye-patched and buzzing along in tune with the chair. It couldn't have been more than three minutes before the clerk was calling my name. I just know they didn't want me to hang around, scaring the people coming in for their Milk of Magnesia, Ace bandages and cherry chocolate chunk ice cream.


jeff said...

I don't think i like any of the ten foods on your list. I do, however, like COOKED meat.

Meg said...

Rhubarb pie is my preferred "birthday cake". My mom makes it for me every year. Sensational!

The Beynon Family said...

Glad to see that grits made the list! LOVE, LOVE those grits!!

Anonymous said...

Well...let's see - I think I would - and do - happily consume everything on your list except for the last 2 items. And, I'm not sure I can really say I won't eat them, as I don't see a huge difference in my substitutions: raw hamburger>raw fish (aka sushi) and Taylor Pork Roll>SPAM (pink, gross, processed meat! YUM YUM, eatem' up!

Anonymous said...

Hominy is awesome, especially the way Grandma made it - with puddin'. I'm not even sure what puddin' is; it's sort of scrapple-ish....another Grandma food that I love to this day. Keep bloggin', Mark. I check every day for your brand of wisdom.

Roberta said...

I love everything but the TPR. Stewed rhubarb and toast are a great breakfast combo and grits go with every meal.

Michele said...

I love rhubarb--you used to be my "connection"--now I have to hit the streets to get it fresh. And, I like the raw beef with pepper and onions on that little party rye. My parents used to serve it every New Year's Eve. As for Taylor's Pork Roll, my inlaws are mystified by my devotion.