Saturday, April 10, 2010

Culinary Critiques

Have you ever tried to eat food that was presented to you, just to be polite and not make waves? Food that is really not at all tasty, but to refuse it would upset the chef?

What can you do, pull a Seinfeld and shake your head at the bite of pie? Stuff mutton into Grandma Memma's napkins until dogs follow you home? Hide your brussel sprouts under the mashed potatoes like Beaver Cleaver? No. That doesn't work in real life. Sometimes, you just have to stuff your piehole.

My dad liked to prepare BBQ hamburgers and pork steaks on the grill. We ate it. We didn't know any better. Until we grew up and tasted other people's BBQ. Who knew that hamburgers were not dry and mealy? That pork steaks could be plump and tender instead of thin and sturdy like the sole of an Italian loafer? Not us.

Somebody in my family must have been food-poisoned somewhere down the line. My mom cooks everything within an inch of its life. Well Done should be a framed needlepoint hanging in her kitchen. No wonder my sister doesn't like meat. Meat loaf was just like those BBQ burgers: dry and crumbly, with only the ketchup on top holding it together. Pork chops: the other leather. Don't even get me started on the Thanksgiving turkey. There's a reason I prefer dark meat. It doesn't suck all the saliva out of my mouth. Wild game suffered the same fate. Quail, rabbit, or squirrel...they all tasted alike: fried to a jerky consistency.

Desserts are not off the hook. The brownies only look like brownies until the first bite. After that, they look like crushed Oreo potting soil. You could put gummy worms in there and they wouldn't know the difference. Those brownies are as dry as that Thanksgiving turkey in Christmas Vacation. I swear you can hear the air go out of them when you make the first slice. The pecan pie somehow shrinks in upon itself, away from the crust. It looks like some freaky mud-flat landscape.

And we don't even want to talk about the cheese-and-broccoli stems.

I would never mention this topic to the chef. It would hurt her feelings. She means well. She likes her food well-done. Even when we take her a perfectly tender piece of meat loaf or pork steak, she re-cooks it, by cracky, until it is charred.

Like we don't know how to cook!


Cazzie!!! said...

Yes, a friend of mine likes her meat.and she orders it this very way even at restaurants..."Cremated"...done within an inch of its life, you bet!
I reckon I could draw a full mural with the charcoaled meat she eats. LOL

Hillbilly Mom said...

That's a most scathingly brilliant idea: using the charred remains of dinner as art materials!