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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


It may be fair to say I am consumed by curiosity. I fairly rubberneck when I walk or drive somewhere, including the internet, rarely failing to take in virtually everything interesting there is to behold. I measure this claim against many hundreds of shared excursions during which I continuously pipe up with, "My god, did you see that?!" to draw the reply, "What?" "Hey, lookie there!" from me is frequently rewarded with, "I didn't see anything." "Listen to this headline!" can elicit a "Yeah, so what?" look. I love to learn new things, I love to handspring around in my head, and this often begins with something I've seen that I just can't turn loose. It doesn't have to be lofty or cerebral. For me, a picture does paint 1,000 words.

Once embedded in the head, I have trouble removing an idea or full train of thought until I've exhausted all the possibilities available to me. I Google and Wiki and ask a number of questions of myself: "Would I like to do that?" "Who else was there?" "What happened then?" "Who do I know who would be interested in this or appreciate it?" "Do I have any similar experiences?" Sometimes I cry about things I encounter, or feel helpless to lend any meaningful support to someone who needs it. Sometimes I belly-laugh, and those are the best times. But I get the longest play from the things that just continue to baffle me with "Would anyone really do that?" or "Why did they do that?" "What was somebody thinking?"

So today, it's about food, caused by something I saw online. I have a long, unhealthy relationship with food that includes phases when food was alpha and I was not, when I was alpha and food was not, and many things in between. I am not admirably adventuresome about food. Sure, hailing from the southwest, I'm 100% up for Mexican cuisine. I don't want to try Thai food or Vietnamese. Please don't try to introduce me to a new and exciting experience like that. I'm not going there because I don't want to. Italian or Chinese specialties - yes! Fish or seafood? Not going to do it. I don't care whose recipe it was, I'm not going to try it. On the other hand, in my own cooking, I've stretched far afield from what was modeled in my parents' home.

My father's tastes drove the menus in our home. I am lucky, I suppose, that his sensibilities ran to moderation of fats, salt, and other questionable substances, even decades ago. So dinners in our home consisted of salad, meat, starch, vegetable and dessert. Invariably. Jell-o did not count as dessert. He didn't like casseroles or any form of one-dish meal. He didn't care for many types of seasoning. Onions were iffy for him except with the ubiquitous Sunday pot roast. He didn't like a lot of gravy or sauces cluttering up his food. Bread was white - Wonder Bread. Holding no truck with "circus water" (other families called it Kool-Aid), our beverage of choice was Pepsi Cola. We ate canned vegetables because that's what he liked - no efforts to introduce him to the fresh or frozen varieties ever stuck. He hunted for some few years with business associates, but no venison or pheasant ever made it to our table. Suggestions of foreign cuisine fell on deaf ears and the cheeses used in Italian cooking smelled like vomit, he claimed. I am reminded of the period of time when he had an ulcer. I am lucky we were not all included in his diet of Gerber baby food.

Today, I eat more sensibly than most people if we count most as 51%. I avoid meat, though I am not a complete vegetarian. It is more personal choice rather than a moral stance. I am not so crazy about many fruits, but I have met few vegetables I didn't care to consume - gimme cucumbers. Pepsi Cola gave way to Diet Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper and I take on way too much coffee. No, the caffeine doesn't work against me. I'm pretty flat-line whether I drink coffee or don't drink it. Sure I love a decadent dessert! I just don't go there very often and the sorrow of my life is the day I broke my engagement to Haagen Dazs. Pasta is nice, in moderation. Love cheese, but I also am moderate about that. I don't do bread or juices at all - again, simply a choice. I don't choose to spend part of my caloric allotment on those things. I monitor how I'm doing by a visit to the scales every few days, being mindful of how my clothes fit, paying attention to how well I'm doing when I walk or swim. If I start trending upward in weight, I modify. It's a simple thing that works for me. Nope, I don't aspire to a geriatric modeling career. I want to feel good and strong and I want to live a long, healthy life. Do I splurge sometimes? Yes. Haagen Dazs now has those little $1 containers of their standard products. I eat from those containers 3 times. It makes me as happy as a full pint in one sitting used to do.

Couple all of that with this: I love to feed other people. In fact, I love to overfeed people. During a particular time in my life, Ex had to take me aside and ask me to pull back the reins on feeding him and Amber. They were huffing and puffing at karate, due to my culinary fanaticism at the time. I still read recipes voraciously, intuiting how the dish will taste and present. I smack my lips, even when I know that I won't eat what I prepare - only my guests will taste the offering. And, yeah, I'm still guilty of intimate relationships with some decadent foods. My potato salad will clog an artery quickly. I make a red sauce that gives rise to exclamations of "Mama mia!" And I'm guilty of taking the Milky Way cake to far too many events - made with 6 Milky Way bars and iced with 2 more, it weighs about 5 pounds on the cake plate. I like to watch what other people eat, too. "Hey, what's that?" "You really going to eat that?"

I'm not sure whether to call it a date. I'm pretty sure the other party involved would call it a date. What I might consider a date will require much contemplation and may or may not take up some blog space at a future time, but that's not what this is about. I'd ridden on the back of his very fine motorcycle to the Fremont Street Experience. This was a completely different mode of transportation for me, and kind of fun, though I've never again sought it out ~ he'd thoughtfully provided both helmet and goggles. We stepped first into Hogs & Heifers Saloon where I was almost immediately knocked onto my ass by a very large woman dancing like no one was watching. Home girl had that little saying down to an art! Picking myself up and dusting myself off, I had to say, "I'm not really so comfortable in bars." My friend was OK with that. He was a long time recovering alcoholic who took me into Hogs & Heifers because he thought I might like it. I didn't. Walking outside, we came upon a Soul Food Festival and Street Fair. I stretched out of my comfort zone ~ the fried catfish was good. My friend insisted that I be photographed (twice) with the two Chippendale's dancers on the street, which is also not at all what I do. But I did, with fairly good grace. I did not like this experience. I had to ask these youngbloods how to pose. They told me. Hey - they pose with young and old women all day every day in little clothing and for a price. I wasn't anything new, special or different. They shave their backs. But apparently, not daily. Ugh.

Strolling along Fremont, I began to notice the " deep fried" signs. What? Fried Twinkies? Deep fried Oreos? Fried pizza? Oh, come on! Why? I mean would somebody really . . . well, presumably, because there were long lines in front of the establishments that sell such delicacies.

So, a little Yahoo News teaser caught my eye. I Googled, I Wikied. Yes, it really was deep fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. Though no nutritional information is immediately noticeable, there is a disclaimer that the recipe is a bit labor intensive and its creators intend to soon find out if deep fried lasagna might be a hit. I found other marvels - fried pickles, deep fried Coke, fried candy bars of every imaginable variety, and deep fried bacon. Bacon dedicated to you, Rraine! I've not yet quite figured these things out. You see, I like my spaghetti to smack against my chin and then I slurp it up like Lady and the Tramp. I'm not pickle crazy, but if I go there, I want it cold and crispy. Coke? That's a drink, where I come from! However, in the interest of public service, I thought to share these culinary delights so everyone has time to get some before the Rapture, now scheduled for some time in October. Hey, it won't kill ya! We're not going to be around long enough for these fat bombs to do us any harm. Or so I'm told.

Bon appetit!


  1. I'd be a more adventurous eater if you were allowed to order just one bite of something, to see if you like it. I hate having to get stuck eating a whole meal (especially if I paid for it) that I find out I don't particularly like.

  2. @ Kirk ~ Yes, perhaps if more establishments offered "sampling", I'd become more adventuresome. Geez, maybe I'd even try a bite of deep fried . . . nah. But, seriously, I'm with you. If the house is known for its spectacular whatever dish, then show me and I'll likely buy a serving. Wouldn't they rather have us return as happy, satisfied patrons?

  3. I've ALWAYS wanted to try a deep fried Twinkie. Like, morbidly curious. And deep fried Oreos. But, I can't seem to find them anywhere.
    I like the little rubber neck picture. Cute.

  4. @ CramCake ~ Ugh! Not the Twinkie! Of all the terrible choices available, that one makes my skin crawl. It's about the creme (couldn't possibly spell that "cream" for fear of false advertising) filling. I just cannot imagine what the deep frying would do to the creme - but I feel certain it would not be a good thing. And if I were Husband, I'd make you brush your teeth afterward before kissing. You sure the pickles wouldn't satisfy you?

    In deep and sincere friendship: next time you're here, I'll see that you get to satisfy your morbid curiosity.

  5. No, I know, that's why I said "morbid". Twinkies are foul, foul things. I'm picturing in my head that the deep frying process is like magic. Transforming it into something unimaginable. (I imagine I will be disappointed).
    I've had fried pickles. And...I'm good. Not my favorite.

  6. @ CramCake ~ True deal. My dad LOVED Twinkies. THOSE counted as dessert. I imagine the deep frying process would turn that creme filling into a glutinous, yet crunching mass.

    Maybe deep fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick? We could make that together in my kitchen. I'm sure we'd have lots of folks lined up to partake.

  7. I don't remember the last Twinkie I ate.
    I could get behind a deep fried spaghetti and meatball. Especially if there were marinara to dunk it in. Mmmm.

  8. Oh wait, you think the "creme" would get crunchy? I'm picturing it being soft and warm, and the cake both moist and crispy on the outside. Seriously, I'm setting really high expectations of this thing.

  9. @ CramCake ~ Food posts really draw you in, Grasshopper. But I already knew that. "Behind" the spaghetti and meatball is where you'll find me. Like behind the serving table, watching others dine on it.

    I'm cracking wise about the creme, actually. But I envisioned it plasticizing on the outside, due to the intense heat. Like polymer clay. In fairness, you've probably called it about right. I'm just freaking at thinking about it. I'm starting to think in terms of Peeps.

  10. I know, I'm so predictable. I'll always have something to say about food.
    Let's just think fondly of the magical, mystical, deep fried Twinkie. Let's not think in terms of plastic or Peeps.

  11. @ CramCake ~ The Reason I Like You #816. :~} (You talk to me!) So get yourself ready, plan a trip to Las Vegas, and we're there. Maybe it'll even coincide with the Soul Food Festival & Street Fair. And if not, I know plenty of other perverse spots to take you. Can't guarantee you transport on a motorcycle, though, and I'm not returning to Hogs & Heifers.

  12. Aw, Hogs & Heifers was on my to-do list! Oh wait, it was on my to-don't list. We're good.

  13. @ CramCake ~ Ha! That zaftig lady who knocked me down could likely knock you right through the saloon doors and out into the street. We'll find some other mischief to occupy us.

  14. deep fried bacon? isn't that redundant?
    i can't for the life of me figure out how to deep fry coke. wait, did you say peeps? deep fried peeps? cool. the brits have apparently been deep frying things for quite a while, pickles, snickers bars, etc. i'd like to try deep fried pickles. i am quite an adventurous eater, as in, i'll try almost anything once, and sometimes twice.

  15. t-shirt quote: bacon isn't a food. it's a lifestyle. (from calamities of nature)

  16. Deep fried sushi, now available at Kroger's. haven't tried it yet. But pretty much I will eat anything, comes from being in the navy so long. A fitting Wv for East Oceanview - hoded. and another word for transvestites - femens

  17. @ Rraine ~ Well, the deep fried Coke question plagued me, too! What the hell? Here it is from Wiki: "Fried Coke is frozen Coca-Cola-flavored batter which is deep-fried and then topped with Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, and a cherry." So, not anything like what we imagine it to be, or at least not what I thought.

    CramCake was unimpressed by the pickles, apparently. I've had deep fried ice cream, many, many years ago. Yes, it was delightful. But a couple of portions of that and one would do just as well to plop them right onto her hips, thighs, etc.

    I'm not surprised you're open to eating experiences. I think you're generally open to new things. Good for you! I need to pry open the steel bars of my own making sometimes. And I KNOW you'll try a dish at least once.

    OK, I'm going to try to locate such a T-shirt, though you are so fit that if you wore one, people would look at you and think it was a joke. ;~}

  18. @ Anonymous who actually is Tag but Blogger is being difficult and won't let you log in (damned good thing I know my followers, isn't it?) ~ All right, deep fried sushi! I don't even do sushi in its intended way. I'm thinking "uh-uh" re: the deep fried version. Although, upon second thought, then all the things that turn me off because they are raw wouldn't be any longer, would they?

    I would also imagine being in the service and traveling to everywhere on the planet would have made you open to food adventures in new locations.

    Hey, hoded, let me know if you see any femens in East Oceanview, eh?

  19. Wouldn't want to tackle anything deep fried other that fish and chips - maybe chicken at a push...

    ..not into the grease..but I will eat most other things at least once! Unless we're talking grubs and the like...

    I learned early on to eat what I was given or go hungry. I pretty much eat what I like when I like - but I always stop eating as soon as I feel full - never ever get stuffed - don't own a pair of scales - don't diet - have been the same size since I was fourteen - I figure it's genetics. I cannot believe you look so well on such a dire diet! And all that fizzy pop! Woman!

  20. I was watching the food channel the other day and some chef rolled a raw egg yolk in some flour and spice mixture and then deep fried it. It looked really good.

  21. @ Rachel ~ I'm with you re: the grease. It kind of chokes me when I think about it. And I certainly won't be the woman to offer any grubs.

    I recently made lunch for a friend. We'd never dined together before so I asked about any objectionable food items. Back came a list including tripe, liver, lima beans, brussels sprouts and head cheese. "You're in good hands with me, my friend," I thought. "No chance of any of that here."

    You make me envious! A woman with a healthy attitude toward food. And a body that reflects that. Good on you!

  22. A Kass ~ HERE you are! Welcome. Please do not remind me of the Food Network, as I have been known to be far too intimate with it from time to time. That egg dish seems to me the only sensible deep fried thing mentioned here. I'm still not big on grease and oil, but at least an egg lends itself to being properly cooked that way, vs. - oh, say - an Oreo or a turkey or spaghetti. Good to see you.

  23. I've had deep fried pickle. Salty, greasy, yeah. But it satisfied my curiosity.


    (Erin talk like Cookie Monster)

    Aw hell, now I have to Google deep fried Coke ... fun post, Leslie. Thanks!

  24. @ Erin ~ Girlfriend, please be careful with that word "addict". I'm a little sensitive! Just kidding. Addiction to curiosity is likely a good thing for me. Les want curiosities (spoken like Elmo).

  25. "I'm not sure whether to call it a date. I'm pretty sure the other party involved would call it a date. What I might consider a date will require much contemplation and may or may not take up some blog space at a future time"--I'm willing to collaborate on this, being myself similarly mystified. But even more mystified about what constititutes "dating."

    and where I grew up, deep fried Three Musketeers Bars were a staple. JF

  26. @ JF ~ Hey, Jeff, nice to see you here. Following you closely, I have also divined that we may share some similar "dating" experiences. I've avoided writing about some of them publicly, because even though I'm frequently not the objectionable party (IMHO, of course), I feel so damnably embarrassed after some of these encounters. Sordid, rather. Oh, I could make them funny. It's just the fact that I'm in the thick of them. I was lunching with a woman friend of like age last week and said the "d" word. She immediately rolled her eyes and groaned.

    Deep fried Three Musketeers! Let's hope we don't send CramCake right over the top with that one.