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.