Category Archives: Delicious Foods Presented As Gifts

Cooking with Butter

“Who are the real writers?” asks the author of Cooking with Butter (unpublished 2012, 2013). What are they cooking with? What superior foods lubricate their baking dishes and frying pans? How do they manage to flavor without butter, my accent ingredient?

Is it wrong to obsess about the cookbooks of other authors? What makes them so great? Maybe it’s better to stir fry with sunflower oil. Or with bacon fat. But aren’t we all driving for the same result, the same sensual pleasure? Do we even need multiple flavors in the kitchen? Our cakes will crumble like the Tower of Babel.¬†Eventually all tastes congeal into the same sordid substance. We rarely die with a book in our hands or food on our lips.

Do I honestly think that I can churn out butter like no one before me? Is it inherently selfish to want people to handle my recipes? To desire cravenly that my dishes find a wider audience? Does my cookbook by definition make me an egomaniac? Should I just execute these recipes for my own consumption instead of writing them down and sharing them with the world? Does butter need to be at-large? Should I skip the writing process altogether and just eat this dairy product in its purest form, congealed, with a spoon, from a bowl, in the dark? After all, recipes are always one remove from real food. My cookbook is not butter. You cannot eat it. The only nourishment it may provide is in culinary translation.

I should blog more frequently about butter. I should use social media to hype this essential ingredient. I’m going to start tweeting about my recipes. They’re edible, which means they should be publicized. Butter deserves a full-time hustler. Everyone needs to see how I put food together. Everyone needs to know the taste in my mouth.

Strike that. Sadly, no one is living or dying by my pompous butter recipes. Plus, what if my readers try them out and the butter malfunctions, like the fat operates differently in their personal skillets? And then I’d have to deal with the shame, the remainders.

Oh butter, maybe it’s better we pretend you don’t exist in my refrigerator. I cannot cook you so you’re righteous and savory with every meal. Only sometimes in the dead of night, or when I’m driving alone for long stretches, becoming one with my laden arteries, do I feel that I’m doing something right in the kitchen.

Hey birds, come feast on this block of food

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So far the birds in the backyard have not started flocking to the block of food I provided for them. I don’t know what their problem is. I happen to love blocks of food, especially in wintertime. This bird meal cost me $7, and it’s basically a family-style lasagna. If any birds are reading my blog, I urge them to give this food a chance.

Wait for it. . . an eating video game!

Video games enable people to do their favorite things: shoot guns, steal cars, play golf in the living room. So what about a video game – or even an online application – that lets you eat all the delicious food that you want without ingesting any calories? Instead of a handheld console with ten zillion buttons, you wield an electronic fork, or, if you’re an expert, maybe an electronic knife and spoon as well. Then you assemble virtual meals on the monitor and take virtual bites all day long until your eyes burn. You won’t actually taste anything – this isn’t the year 3,000 – but visually you will be able to fulfill your cravings for the worst, most decadent things. Perhaps Gourmet Magazine could sponsor the eating video game. Or the This Is Why You’re Fat website. God, I’m smart. In this context, “smart” means “lying in bed on Monday night frantically brainstorming about how I can shove more food in my mouth without blowing up like a manatee, my totem animal.”

I envision three gaming levels for three different modes of eating:

Level 1: LOCALVORE

This level is for those who like to be in touch with the land. They can actually plant their own kitchen gardens and slaughter their own backyard livestock on the screen, staying involved in their food production every step of the way, from soil to table. Remember that all of this is a pretend world created by computer programmers and you will not get any agricultural tax credits from the government. Also, you’ll have to kill your pig with a fork.

LEVEL 2: DEFAULT PLAYER

This level is for average grocery shoppers who occasionally buy organic or local food if it doesn’t cost too much more than toxic food from other continents, and who like to eat three square meals a day that incorporate some roughage, and who also like meals to take 30 minutes or less to prepare. They drink two gallons of water and a glass of red wine daily, but they occasionally suck Pepsi through a Twizzler.

LEVEL 3: LAZY FATTIES

This level is for people who just like to say “Fuck it” and go to Golden Corral when their bellies rumble. Also those who like to eat their ice cream out of the carton and their potato chips out of the pantry late at night while their significant others are sleeping. You don’t have to be a lazy fatty in real life to beat this level, you just have to be able to think like a lazy fatty, which I think we’re all pretty good at in America, especially me (not to brag). In fact, I anticipate a lot of people using Level 3 as a weight loss tool, much like the Wii Fit. The eating video game will let you indulge all of your lazy fatty cravings without consequences. And Golden Corral and Applebee’s won’t have to go out of business even after this game is a runaway hit; they will simply move their more obesity-friendly products into a virtual market.

Of course, this game won’t work if you’re actually hungry. Its appeal is purely psychological. The idea is to master food much like you would master the Super Mario Galaxy or something. Food that is bad for you will become a fantasy land that you have to conquer. And children can learn healthy eating habits by creating their own virtual meals, being judged on fiber and vitamin content as well as visual intrigue. And if parents don’t feel like making dinner, they can just plug their kids into the X-Box or whatever and give everybody a meal-in-a-pill. Which reminds me of my favorite Facebook update from actor slash Facebook wordsmith* Alec Beard: “Alec Beard is wondering: if they do make a meal-in-a-pill, will you be able to take it on an empty stomach?”

*The new actor slash model?

It’s wacky food day at One Star Watt

Wacky food #1: Spaghetti tacos (via a guy I met at a party)
Wacky food #2: Vodka gummy bears (via Neatorama)

Slaughterhouse Highway

The road from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Columbus, Georgia, should be renamed Slaughterhouse Highway. Every other vehicle on Route 29 South is a truck carrying livestock to their imminent deaths. Yesterday I saw blonde chickens with breasts pumped so full of water they could hardly stand upright in their cramped metal cages. I saw cattle stomping nervously in trailers with their big brown eyes peering at me through air holes. “Save us,” they said. “Hijack this truck and drive us to Mexico.”

“I’ll never eat meat again,” I thought. “I love you guys.”

Then we stopped at Applebee’s for dinner and I accidentally ate a big pile of microwaved chicken. I am such an asshole.

Foods currently in season in Portugal

1. Oranges

2. Nectarines

3. Sea snails

A few links about critters and the people who love them

Animals!

1. They’re bisexual, especially in captivity.

2. They’ve enjoyed a short history of radical human advocacy.

3. They would prefer it if you didn’t touch them there.

4. But if you do touch them there, at least make flan afterwards.

Satisfying sound of the day

A fresh bagel, hurled by a bagel-boy, hitting the side of a car filled with college chicks. Thwap!

The perils of drinking until you set the noodles on fire

The last time I made the freshman “cooking while drunk” error was five years ago when I lit spaghetti on fire after an evening of karaoke in Northern Virginia. But last night I really wanted macaroni, and macaroni wanted me. But I only got as far as boiling a pot of water before the house started smelling like burning. So I guess I burned some water. Incidentally, you can’t throw a pot of water on something burning when the water itself is burning, because you’ll just add fuel to the fire. And that, Julia Childs, is how you make Eau Flambe.

Someone help me cut this sandwich diagonally

Actress Brittany Murphy is causing problems on the set of her new movie, according to Page Six.

“She’s extremely difficult. When she gets to the set, it comes to a grinding halt. She’s so hot and cold, you never know.” According to our sources, Murphy insists on having diagonally cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts removed. “She needs one every hour. It’s painstaking – her assistant takes about a half an hour making each one,” said one crew member.

I’m not a gourmet chef, but I calculate that I could remove the crusts from a sandwich, slice it diagonally, and probably even add a toothpick garnish in less than 30 minutes. I might even be able to accomplish the feat in under 30 seconds. This tells me that I should move to Hollywood, where sandwich-making standards are at rock bottom, and then I could amaze everyone with my godly talent. After I have impressed the celebrities with my de-crusted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I will further blow their minds by sticking a straw into a juice box.