Tag Archives: food

Speaking of Food…

Here’s a little something to reminisce about… just another piece of our world that has moved on forever.

Are you old enough to remember full 16 oz. packages of hot dogs? Are you old enough to remember hot dogs that contained just pork or beef; without any chicken or turkey fillers? Man! Those were the days. Bologna, sausages, ground beef, and other meat products were just what they said they were back then. You didn’t have to read the damned labels to see what mystery meat-like filler was used in them. There weren’t any mysteries to meat back then.

Unless, of course, you go back a few more years; at which time (turn of the 19th to 20th century) there were a lot of mysteries in your meat. Some of those mysteries you don’t even want to know about. Ever read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle? Heavy reading, dude. It’ll change your opinion of that sausage on your plate this evening. Don’t worry, though. Working conditions aren’t that bad anymore… yeah, right!

Ever seen an abattoir? Make you a vegan real quick like. It’s not for the squeamish. I like to eat dead animals. Right now, I can go to the neighborhood grocery store and buy whatever dead animal I want, for the most part. However, it would be a bit more of a challenge to look ol’ Bessie in those big browns and then bang her in the head with a sledge hammer. I don’t really like vegetables (they’re for rabbits), so Bessie would become dinner eventually.

And then we get back to that incredible shrinking package thing… When I was a kid, a pack of hot dogs was one pound in weight. That’s 16 FULL ounces – avoirdupois. Try to find a 16 oz. package these days. It’s the same for bologna or cheese or sausages. About the only damned thing that’s still one pound is a box of pasta. That shrink ray dude has been sneaking around on grocery store aisles for a couple decades now. He’s a sneaky little bastard.

It’s absolutely unethical for manufacturers and food companies to do this. However, they do it anyway. And folks like you and me just keep on buying the chicken-filled 10 oz. packages of hot dogs for the same damned price we paid for the full pound of the real hot dogs a few years ago. Why is that? I guess it’s because we don’t have much of a choice. If we want the full pound of the real pork or beef hot dogs, we’d have to visit a meat market or butcher shop and pay TOP DOLLAR. Most of us can’t afford that.

All this ranting has made me hungry. I’ll think I’ll go have a couple yummy soy-chicken lips-turkey gizzard-filled hot dogs. Ummm!

I’ll close today with a classic Broderick Crawford closing quote from Highway Patrol

The clowns at the circus, they’re real funny, but on the highway they’re murder!

Click to hear Broderick HERE

Hasta luego, mis amigos…

~Eric

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Ummm… GOOD Burger!

Sort of a restaurant review, but really just a story of a nice evening out with family.

About a year ago at one of my aunts & uncles’ every Wednesday afternoon coffee clatches, my aunt Irma mentioned a really great new place to get a burger. It was called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. And they do mean FRIES… and LOTS of ’em; we’ll get to that in a minute, though.

Time went by… I kept meaning to get to this place and try one of their burgers, but just never got around to it. This past Wednesday, at the coffee clatch again, I mentioned that if I had 20 bucks, I’d go to Five Guys for dinner. My same aunt said, “Rip (my uncle) and I will pick you and Steve (my brother) up tomorrow at 6PM and take you guys for a burger on us!” COOL! Of course, as soon as she mentioned this, two of my other aunts and one of my uncles chimed in that they would like to go, too.

The coffee clatch caravan met at my uncle Pete’s house (couple blocks from my house) Thursday night. We left there and went over to Five Guys for some burgers and fries. There were nine of us. The aunts are my father’s sisters. Uncle Pete is my father’s brother. My other uncles there are husbands of my aunts.

When I was working, I was usually off on Wednesdays, so I’ve been participating in the coffee clatch with these folks for a few years now. My brother and I are both retired sans income (unemployed) at the moment, so we both are usually at uncle Pete’s on Wednesdays these days.

OK, so we get to the place, which is only a couple miles from my house. We go up to the counter and place our orders. I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger with mayo, mustard, catsup, and onions… oh, and a large order of fries. We get our drinks and take a seat. In a few minutes, they call our number. My uncle Rip gets up and gets our orders… served in big brown paper bags.

The “large” fries order comes in a 28 oz. paper cup. They set it in the bottom of the paper bag and then pour a huge scoop of additional fries in on top of that. GREASY! YUM! I was warned by my aunt Irma about the amount of fries they serve you. I didn’t care. I LOVE french fries… and these are the real things, not frozen; they are real, live, had-to-peel-’em taters, folks. Damn! They were good, too.

The burger had a really good charbroiled flavor. Everything was fresh and hot. Even the iced tea was tasty! All in all, I’d have to say this was a worthwhile night out. Not everyone was impressed, but then you can’t please everyone all the time. My brother and I both enjoyed our dinner.

From there, we went back to uncle Pete’s for some after dinner coffee and donuts from a local donut shop where my aunt Sandra stopped on the way back to Pete’s house. We laughed and reminisced about fun times… mostly about trips that my aunts and uncles had made to North Carolina years ago to visit with my mom and dad. They were good memories. My mom and dad are both gone from this world. It’s nice to sit with my aunts and uncles and my brother and remember the old times.

If you have a Five Guys nearby you somewhere, stop on in for a burger. Don’t forget them fries!

Until next time, folks…

~Eric

Who Cut the Cheese?

Well, no one cut it yet, actually. However, we’d love for you to do the honors.

Everyone loves cheese. I love cheese. You love cheese. How can you not love cheese? Lactose intolerant? Sorry ’bout that. Try some Beano®. We gotta’ have our daily cheese… just gotta. Americans like cheese. Average cheese munching in the U.S. almost trebled from 1970 and 2003; that’s 11 pounds per person to 31 pounds (1).  YUM! Most of that cheese was mozzarella; American’s favorite, due to its prevalent use in pizza (2).

So, what’s my point in posting all this praise about cheese? Did you know that without some lowly little microbes, commonly referred to as yeast, that we wouldn’t be able to experience the joys of that hot, stringy cheese that we love so much in double and triple layers on our pizzas? That’s right, folks… a bug makes your cheese for you (your beer, too, but that’s another story).

It had to happen sooner or later… Wisconsin, America’s Dairy State, has named one of these little bugs as State Microbe (3). Yes, that’s right. Wisconsin has a state bacteria. It’s called Lactococcus lactis. It’s one of them good bugs, so don’t be afraid. It’s a distant cousin to that ugly buggy called salmonella;  one constipates you, the other loosens you up. There are differences.

Now you know. Get on out there and have some yummy bug-produced beer along with an XL Meat Lovers pizza with a double order of bug-produced mozzarella cheese. Just make sure that dude slinging the dough around washed his hands so you don’t get any bug-produced explosive intestinal tract clearing tomorrow morning.

Mangia!

~Eric

Notes:

1. Source – U.S. Dept of Agriculture

2. ibid

3. And Now, A State Microbe – NY Times article by Monica Davey