Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Very First Internet Meme

There is nothing I loathe more than being inundated with hundreds of surveys featuring how daring, how sexually mature, or how musically snobbish my "friends" on various social networking sites are. I have absolutely no interest in comparing my sex life, drug history, or any other weird fetishes with these "friends" and can rarely read past the first few lines without completely losing interest. That's why this post proves several important things that are critical to your understanding of me. First, I am fickle – today's greatest thing could be tomorrow's lamest and I'm not afraid to admit that I rarely stay attached to likes/dislikes for long (it's just takes too much energy on my part). Second, I am (kind of) a hypocrite. Despite the fact that I would handily berate any associate for daring to make a post of "have-you-evers", I clearly am willing to commit the same atrocity on the same level, yet somehow expect a completely different result. Finally (and most importantly), you can combine food with virtually ANYTHING and I will embrace it. I bet, if they gave free samples at the Secretary of State – I would line up two or three times a week. If you told me that I had to listen to babies cry for twenty hours straight but afterwards I could have a free pizza – I would so do it. That's pathetic, and I am poignantly aware of my sad, sad standards.


That being said, here is my first attempt to participate in an Internet meme (or random chain floating from blog to blog). I found this list linked to a Slashfood post and decided to read it. Because I hadn't hear of many of these items and wanted to try a lot of them, I figured I would let my readers know where I stand on issues of culinary delicacies. Please note that bolded items are items I've already tried and crossed out items are things I would never consider trying.

Some quick observations: my bolding clearly tells a lot about me – I am a Midwesterner (venison, hare, roadkill [long story]), I am a fast food junkie (big mac, kripsy kreme), and I am a lightweight gourmet (calamari, eel, frog's legs).

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwhich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Now tell me, which of these have you eaten and loved or hated, what's missing from this list, and in the name of all that's holy...

Where are the TACOS??

Friday, August 22, 2008

In all the world there is none so beloved as the one they called "Bacon"

Rather than slather on apology after apology that I haven't posted in FOREVER (over two months!) I felt like I should share with you my loyal readers one of my favorite things in the whole world - Bacon!!

Perhaps the most used meat in my household (much to the bane of my cardiovascular system I'm sure), Bacon provides a versatile alternative to more expensive meats that I would normally use in Pastas, Soups, or on Sandwiches. The plus side is, I save money and eat more bacon. The bad side is - wait, is there a bad side??? My fervent love of Bacon aside, I thought I would share with you some of the more inspired ways I have used Bacon in my cooking to enhance the flavor and/or texture of my meal.

(Photo not taken by me)

I have only made Bacon Wrapped Asparagus once, but it was TOTALLY AMAZING!! I never thought Bacon could so completely enhance the flavor of something and really bring it to a new level! The night Cecy and I made this, it was practically all we could eat for dinner! Being a bacon lover, my ratio of asparagus to bacon was 1:1, however the recipe calls for 4:1 - but whatever makes your heart sing :).

(Photo not taken by me)

Fried Rice, on the other hand, is a staple in my home. This is our typical fallback meal when no one wants to go to a great length for cooking, but we still want to eat something satisfying and savory. In our household, fried rice can be most of the different things you have in your fridge, but some ingredients are key: rice (obviously), eggs, bacon, and sweet onions (fried in Bacon grease). We often have this most basic of all fried rices, however, it's nice to add green onions, carrots, water chestnuts, and those adorable baby carrots if you have them on hand. Fried rice is a very faux-Chinese dish because it's mostly comprised of very American things (like bacon). The only thing even remotely Chinese about this dish is the soy sauce you add on top and the rice. But mmmm....bacon....

(Photo not taken by me)

Now I will be the very first to admit that this is an acquired taste - not everyone warms to chocolate covered bacon right away. But if you give it some thought (and a thoughtful taste) you may be surprised how right it is! The bitterness of the chocolate and the saltiness of the bacon play off one another with daring subtlety, creating a taste sensation so individual and unique that- love or hate it - you can't possibly mistake it for any other. Please note that successful execution of the chocolate covered bacon requires both quality chocolate and quality bacon. If either the saltiness of the bacon or the sweetness of the chocolate are allowed to overpower the overall taste, it will be ruined. Alas, this means that (as with most culinary adventures) chocolate covered bacon is something usually best left to the experts unless you are feeling particularly adventurous or have a particularly strong stomach :).

Finally, I would like to give Kudos to comedian Jim Gaffigan who inspired this post by his monologue on Bacon from the Late Show with David Letterman embedded below. After watching this clip I realized that if he can go on national television and profess his undying love for bacon, I can certainly do the same...on the Internet...on my blog...which no one reads :).

Regardless, enjoy the clip!!