CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Thursday, December 27, 2012

REGRETTABLE EDIBLES


Okay, it's snowing and cold and I'm sick of filling out the forms I've been filling out all morning. I'm also starving and trying not to eat. So, naturally, it's time to write a post on the worst foods ever while listening to BBC World News radio. Ready? Let's dig in....


SPOTTED DICK

Weighing in at approximately 526 calories, this classic little yuckfest is for some reason hugely popular in Great Britian, Canada, and Germany. Which is interesting since I first sampled it in Denmark. And if you love a good heaping spoonful of raisin-laden suet pudding laced with custard, it's not bad. On the other hand, if you're just trying it because you want to say you ate some "spotted dick" and don't know what the hell it is, it can lead to aa lifelong fear of eating anything with a name sometimes used to identify most men's favorite appendage. Someone told me that the name is actually a reference to another, similar dish made with plums known as "spotted dog." Not exactly edifying. But whatever. Any way you slice it (and you can slice it because it's that thick), spotted dick is without question one of the worst things that ever found its way into my mouth. You can make your own spotted dick (why you would want to, I can't imagine) or you can just buy it in a can and save yourself the price of raisins, powdered sugar, and eggs. Just remember: food with names that conjure up images of body parts...any body parts...is almost never ever anything but bad.


HERRING PATE

Yet another horrible food to which I was first exposed in Denmark. Now don't get me wrong. I love Denmark. I have family there. And I've eaten some very good things while visiting, including flaeskesteg, which is an open sandwich made with roast pork and red cabbage on dark bread. Extremely tasty. I wish that I was eating one right now. But herring pate is another matter entirely. At least for those of us who prefer our Saltines slathered with peanut butter rather than mushed-up fish. But peanut butter is hard to come by in Denmark (my daughter-in-law takes a couple jars home with her every time she visits here in the U.S.) and so when little Danish children come home from school at night they're forced to snack on herring pate while they do their homework. They've become used to it. But this is the same country that gave us "The Little Mermaid", so it sort of makes sense. Although, despite the fact that peanut butter is in short supply over there, store shelves are brimming with jars of Nutella. And if I, personally, were a Dane faced with a choice between herring pate and Nutella, I'd opt for the nut spread. But who am I to judge? All I know is that when I tried herring pate, I was just glad that Denmark also happens to be famous for Carlsberg beer, a cold bottle of which I sucked down immediately to keep myself from gagging. Ah...memories.


JELL-O SALAD

Why do people keep making these damned things? That's all I want to know. I mean, has anyone who's ever eaten a serving of Jell-O salad actually smacked their lips afterward and announced, "Man, oh, man, that was scrumptious!"? I tend to doubt it. Hell, just the sight of one of these culinary non-delights is enough to trigger my gag reflex. But for some reason people keep making them. Sometimes they even put whipped cream on top, as though spreading Cool Whip over a wriggling tower of green Jell-O filled with chunks of fruit and/or vegetables could alter the fact that this is one of the most disgusting foods to ever find its way to a dinner table. Maybe it all just comes down to a sense of tradition. Like putting miniature marshmallows in the green bean casserole you serve at Thanksgiving. No one really wants miniature marshmallows mixed in with their green beans, but over the years they've just come to expect it. Same thing with Jell-O salad. No one really wants it, but if every grandmother in the world stopped making it, it would seem...well...odd. So we put up with it. But it's still one of the worst foods that ever came out of a 1950s cookbook.


CREAMED CHIPPED BEEF ON TOAST

I once read somewhere that, when Humphrey Bogart was dying of lung cancer, he kept asking his wife Lauren Bacall for creamed chipped beef on toast. Apparently, it was one of his favorite meals, but even though he craved it, he was too sick to actually eat it, which, according to the story I read, was very distressing for Lauren Bacall, who had to stand there and watch as driblets of creamed chipped beef ran down her husband's chin. Why am I telling you this? Because I'm a sadist, obviously. But also because it's just one more reason that the very sight of creamed chipped beef is enough to make me bury my face in a bowl of Jell-O salad. This has to be one of the worst things to ever show up on a dinner plate. Granted, there are a lot of people who consider it a "comfort food" and treasure the wrinkled piece of notebook paper on which their sainted mum wrote down the family recipe for it back in 1965. But those people are living in a delusional world where their sense of nostalgia has somehow managed to make it seem okay to mix pieces of chopped beef with milk and then spread the resulting culinary cesspool over a slice of toast. You don't have to be Kosher to know that beef and milk were never meant to occupy the same spot on your tongue at the exact same time. It's not just an insult to your palate, it's an insult to cows everywhere. And I, for one, happen to like cows. So, do your favorite bovine a favor and just say "no" the next time someone offers you a plate of creamed chipped beef on toast.


CLAMATO JUICE

Do I even have to go into detail on this one? It's reconstituted frozen tomato juice mixed with clam broth, for God's sake. That pretty much says it all. Even if you like clams (which I don't), how could you possibly take pleasure in gulping down this fishy concoction? Unless, of course, it's laced with vodka. Even then, knowing that you're drinking something made of tomatoes and liquid squeezed out of a clam should be enough to kill your buzz. But someone must like it because they're still making it. And I still consider it one of the worst "foods" to ever cast its shadow over the dining section of my memory banks.


CHICKEN NECKS, FRIED OR BOILED

I like chicken. I like it baked, roasted, fried, sauteed, and even in salad form (as long as there's not too much mayonnaise). Chicken is an amazing, wonderful, versatile food that has served humankind well for centuries. But there are some parts of a chicken that weren't meant to be eaten by human beings, and I want to go on record as saying that a chicken's neck is one of them. Okay, sure, if you're starving, I suppose it makes sense. But if you're not, why the hell would you even want to? But once again it's a moot question. I grew up with a grandfather who loved eating chicken necks...boiled, no less. Actually, my grandfather ate a lot of things I found disgusting, like dandelion greens and cold baked bean sandwiches, but I never dared to voice my feelings on the matter because he was black, and my grandmother told me that his taste in food came from his upbringing. So I grew up believing that all black people like to eat boiled chicken necks. It was only much later that I discovered the errant nature of my belief. All these years later, I can't think of any black people I know who swear by boiled chicken necks. But I digress (as usual). The point is, chicken necks, whether boiled or deep-fried (as in the photo above), are disgusting. In fact, if you happen to be one of those over-zealous, self-righteous vegetarians who think the world would be a better place if everyone would just stop eating meat, your best bet is to offer all the meat-eaters you know a serving of chicken necks. One bite of meat from the spiny neck bone of a chicken will have them begging you for a bowl of brown rice. I guarantee it. Just be sure to leave the bathroom door open in case they feel the need to vomit first.


TUNA WIGGLE

Why? Number One: It's creamed. Number Two: It's called "tuna wiggle." Need I say more? This is just one more "comfort food" that needs to be banished from the face of the earth. Even if the tuna doesn't actually wiggle, the name still sticks in your head as the stuff is going down your throat, creating a visual to which no one should ever, ever be subjected to while eating. Be smart. Eat your tuna fresh or out of a can. Save the cream for your coffee.


SPAGHETTI AND HOT DOGS

In the picture above, someone has taken the time and effort o actually thread the spaghetti through the boiled hot dogs in what they no doubt consider a fanciful, fun conglomeration of two of America's favorite foods. What could be wrong with that? Plenty, damn it. Hot dogs may be a classic part of American cuisine, but once you know what's in most of them, it's almost impossible to eat one unless it just happens to be that perfect summer day and the hot dog has just come off the grill and you've had enough Molsens to numb you to the fact that you are ingesting beef or pork offals wrapped in a transluscent skin. And spaghetti? Well, let's just say that there's a reason grocery stores sell jars of Ragu. Some things are simply not meant to be eaten together (see "Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast above). My own encounter with this ill-conceived regrettable edible came years ago, when I was visiting a friend who had made it for her son, who usually refused to eat anything, but for some reason, was always more than happy to chow down on boiled hot dogs mingling with strands of naked spaghetti. I tried to eat it, but I was having such a hard time pretending that I wasn't disgusted that my friend took pity on me and handed me a bottle of Worcestershire sauce. "Worcestershire sauce makes everything taste better," she insisted. It was a lie. Not only that, but now whenever I see a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce, I can't help thinking of hot dogs and spaghetti.

So, there you have it. My list of "regrettable edibles". I'm sure you have your own. But if nothing else, I'm a little less hungry than I was when I started this post. Now if it would just stop snowing. Thank God for beer. Skol!

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