Okay, yeah, this is processed and smooshed together animal parts coated with black pepper. But it’s kind of tasty if you don’t think about it too much — which is how I deal with most lunchmeats. And pepper loaf has to be better than the other new cold cut choices: pickle and pimento loaf or olive loaf. I’ve also seen macaroni and cheese loaf before, with big chunks of cheezized pasta protruding from a meat roll. Yikes!
Every fall a portion of my incredibly large family gathers around a vat of clam chowder. It’s called — rather predictably — “Clam Chowder Day” and it used to include a hike up a mountain followed by a mountain of food. Now that most of them (okay, us) are old and decrepit, it’s been winnowed down to just the food. I’m not sure why a pack of polacks would choose chowder as the headliner for their reunions instead of more ethnic fare. Or at least something representative of our land-locked region. But I guess Polishality and logic don’t always go hand-in-hand. Anyway, I’ve never partaken of the sacred broth. Until today. My brother took over as head clam chef — Great-Uncle Wally is now officially retired — and he did a passable job. I told him it was surprisingly ungross. Which is probably one of the nicer things I’ve ever said to him. It helped (a lot) that the clams were minced. There was one incident, though. I found something that looked like a noodle in there. As I was inspecting it, my aunt told me that it was a clam “foot.” I was about to toss it aside when my loving brother sidled up and said, “No, that’s just a noodle.” It took me about two chews to realize which one was full of crap.
I was in a Picky Niki snit this afternoon. I wanted an ooey, gooey slice of pizza for lunch. But, noooooooo, I’ve got to try something new all the time. Geesh. So I grudgingly picked these bad boys up at the grocery store. They had some things going for them. They’re pasta, which I can never get enough of. And they came with this yummy parm/herb/garlic topping. But then they had to go and ruin everything by being sweet. I hate it when I’m ambushed by sweetness in the middle of something good. Very distracting. So I ended up eating all the way around the edges and tossing the pestilent (and weirdly orange-striped) pockets in the trash.
From highbrow to lowbrow: caviar (sort of) to this broke-college-student go-to. I didn’t think much of the oh-so-fancy fish eggs — if that’s the way the non-slacking 53% of Americans are living, they’re welcome to it. And I don’t think much of the dregs of the booze world, either. Smells and tastes like skunky beer. I searched around to figure out what, besides the obvious taste deficiency, made it different from beer. Looks like it comes down to alcohol percentage (malt has more — probably to make you forget you’re drinking something so atrocious) and ingredients (malt adds sugar and corn and such and uses a “bottom fermenting yeast” — which is fitting for this bottom feeder of the drink family). Plus malt comes in these giant bottles — paper bag optional — kind of like an alcoholic Big Gulp. If it tasted that bad when I first opened it, though, how would it taste once I got to the warm, flat end of one of these monsters? I’m just glad I spent my youth with classy brews … like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Milwaukee’s Best.
I thought I tasted caviar tonight, but the webosphere informs me I was bamboozled into eating a knockoff. And it was ghastly — fishy fetal bulbs that not even a good dose of salt could save. My husband wins for best description again: “It tastes like the newspaper I clean my trout on smells.”
Alphonsos are supposed to be the Cadillacs of mangos. Even so, squishing them up into a yogurt drink is a recipe for disaster to someone like me. But I know this experiment is having some sort of impact because not only did I agree to drink it, I also didn’t mind it. Sure, it was a little on the sweet side. And the texture wouldn’t be my first choice. But not half bad, really.
Never heard of these militant legumes. Picked it up because the can was attractive. What was inside wasn’t so pretty. Looked like bigger, mushier kidney beans. So I wasn’t very hopeful. But they weren’t all that bad. Very baked-beany. (I cut them in half, though, so I wouldn’t have to put a whole mush-fest in my mouth. Then my husband made fun of me for eating a bean with a fork and a knife. That’s why nobody likes him.)
These alien-antennae edibles really are fun-guys. They’re super cute, and their aliases include the “velvet shank” — which, of course, delights my juvenile sensibilities. They don’t have an overwhelming flavor. But they also don’t have that disturbing mushroom texture. I threw some into a broccoli stir-fry a few stirs before serving … reminded me of bean sprouts with a touch of mushroom taste.
When workmate Kelly handed me this can of panang curry paste, I told her that I’d already tasted curry. But she clued me in to the fact that there are about a gazillion different kinds of curry. This one is Thai — mixed it with coconut milk (That sounds pretty wild and crazy for me, doesn’t it? Well, it’s Friday. I’m living a little.) Anyway, it’s kinda spicy for me — even if Wikipedia does say it’s one of the milder Thai curries — but pretty good.