Tag Archives: food

Whata What?! But Wait!

800px-Whataburger_Texas_TreasureOn February 23, 1836 the great State of Texas was under siege from a foreign source with nefarious plans to take away a foundational key to all that is great about the State of Texas: Remember the Alamo! August 8, 1950, Texas further establishes it’s predominance as the epicenter of Oh-Hell-Yeah when the first Whataburger opens in Corpus Christi. Recently, Texas again went under attack. A group of carpetbagger Yankees from Chicago bought Whataburger.

While I’m sure it was a universal response when the news was announced, my knee-jerk reaction was to saddle up, join the forces, storm the beaches and take it back! Having Whataburger guided by anyone who doesn’t understand that the stars at night are big and bright teeters close to being sacrilegious. How this even happened is unfathomable.

Then I took a minute to fathom it. In their defense, the carpetbagger Yankees do want to expand Whataburger further past the confines of the Red River and into places like, hmm, well, uh, how about MICHIGAN! Now I’m putting away my Bowie knife and considering the full impact of this. Honey butter chicken biscuits would go a whole long way to making Michigan and just about everything north of Dallas a better place. Maybe these northerners are the way they are simply because their lives have lacked Whataburger ketchup all this time. Think of how much closer we’d all be to world peace!!IMG_6375.JPG

Texas didn’t hold back Nolan Ryan from the rest of the world and yet he never forgot where he came from. Fire ants, FEMA trailers, fajitas, Frito pie have all carried the banner of Texas and maintained their integrity. Okay, maybe not the fire ants, but whatever. Dr. Pepper, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and even Bluebell Ice Cream can be found beyond the borders and are none the worse for it. I think we have to have faith that even if you take the Sweet and Spicy Bacon Burger Whatameal out of Texas, you can’t take the Texas out of the Sweet and Spicy Bacon Burger Whatameal.

Is it really fair for Texas to selfishly withhold Whataburger from the rest of the country? Shouldn’t everyone be able to get a #1 cheeseburger with bacon, jalapenos and extra pickles, a side of fries and a root beer shake in the drive-thru at 2:20am? Come on, people, this is ‘Merica!

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Breakfast Brewsky

saturday-morning-lucky-charms-beer.jpgFormer First Lady Nancy Reagan cried out to America in 1986, “Just Say No!” Now is the time to once again put our collective foots down and just say no to an obvious wrong happening around us. I’m talking about Lucky Charms flavored beer. What the heck, people?! This is what happens when pajamas become pants, girls become Boy Scouts, and “house plant” is an option for gender affiliation. Is nothing sacred?

When I was a kid, Lucky Charms was sugar-packed cereal devoid of nutritional value that you got to eat on Saturday morning while sitting in front of the television watching Scooby Doo cartoons. It was your reward for not waking mom and dad up before 8:30am. Beer was never part of the Saturday morning equation until college, and, at that point, no one woke up before noon anyway. So how did this unholy union even happen?

According to the Norfolk, Virginia brewery, Smartmouth Beer, on Saturday, March 2nd, they released their newest IPA beer appropriately (or not) called “Saturday Morning,” brewed with marshmallows. It’s “brewed with house toasted marshmallows and cereal marshmallows in the mash, hopped with Galaxy and Calypso, and dry hopped a whole lot more. This IPA is sure to set you back with nostalgia, on the couch, turning on the best cartoons for a Saturday morning.” Again, my Saturday morning childhood memories never came with the threat of a hangover, but we were Presbyterians, so who knows.

And now that we’ve kicked the lid off of Pandora’s Box, what could possibly be next? Tootsie Roll Tequila? Or better yet: Pot Tarts! A clever mix of newly legalized marijuana with a frosted Pop-Tart®? You can get the munchies and cure the munchies all at the same time, the whole while hallucinating about your first Tonka truck or Barbie doll. How long will it be before the trend turns the other direction and Kellogg’s partners with Anheuser-Busch for Bud Light Flakes Cereal?

Take note all you breakfast boozers, Smartmouth Beer’s “magically ridiculous” “Saturday Morning” is only available for a limited time in Virginia. So hop on your Schwinn’s banana seat and pedal on over there before it’s gone. But bring a note from your mother and a designated driver.

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Toilet and Taquito Trouble

product recall round grunge ribbon stampAt the end of October last year, 2,490,593 pounds of frozen taquitos were recalled with the threat of salmonella and listeria poisoning. Aptly and ironically called “Go-Go Taquitos,” the Texas-based Ruiz Foods products on the list included Beef & Cheese flavor, Buffalo Style Cooked Glazed Chicken, and Chipotle Chicken Wrapped in a Battered Flour Tortilla. Do you want me to wait while you go check your freezer?

A spokesman for the company said, “Don’t eat these.” Despite the belief that I’m just one intestinal parasite away from my goal weight, not eating these seemed like a foregone conclusion for me even before I found out they could potentially poison me. If, however, you are a more indiscriminate forager of frozen foods and ingested some, you’ll know you got the taquito Trojan Horse if you experienced, “diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, stiff neck, confusion, convulsions preceded by diarrhea” according to the company’s statement. I’m not clear, though, how that’d be different from any other experience with frozen taquitos. But I’m not judging, just passing along the warning.

In completely unrelated news, 1.4 million toilets were recalled around that same time with the threat they could explode. The explosions have resulted in shattered tanks and tank lids fully launched off the toilet. At last count, 23 people have been injured, one requiring surgery, when their Flushmate II 501-B Pressure-assisted Flushing System exploded without warning.

If a man’s home is his castle, his bathroom is his throne room, right? This is the one place he goes that he should feel a sense of peace, quiet and safety — of course right up until his toilet explodes. Then he’s left with betrayal, porcelain shrapnel, lacerations, and one hell of a difficult story to explain to the paramedics and his homeowners’ insurance agent.

The Flushmate II is common in toilet brands sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot from December 2015 through September 2016. A spokesperson for the company that manufactured the flushing system said, “Stop using immediately.” Which I’m almost sure means immediately after you figure out if you have one of these in your toilet. Don’t just opt for the bush in the back yard for the sake of safety if you don’t have to. Unless you also had the taquitos. In which case, take all precautions.

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Wild Wienie Water

wienersThe accusatory finger was pointed at P.T. Barnum when the words were uttered, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” There is no greater modern-day proof of the shocking truth of that statement than the fact that you can now purchase a tube of Hot Dog Water for $37.99 before applicable sales tax. And people actually are! Seriously. A tube filled with a small wiener floating in the unfiltered water it was cooked in. Just when I thought there was hope for mankind.

Douglas Bevans, who seems to be at the center of the wiener water world, set up a booth at a festival in Vancouver, British Columbia and did a frighteningly great amount of business on the premise that the wonder water would make you look younger, improve your overall vitality, reduce swelling, and – wait for it – improve your brain function. Well, thank God! Because if I’m shucking out nearly $40 for a small bottle of cold hot dog water and actually drinking it, I’ve got serious issues with my brain function, to the point that I shouldn’t be operating heavy equipment, like a toothbrush, for example.

What’s more, you can also purchase hot dog water lip balm, body fragrance, and hot dog water breath spray. Obviously, I need to be drinking my chilled hot dog water because I’m not finding enough brain function to figure out why you’d want your breath or body to smell like hot dog water unless you are an actual dog. In which case, perhaps we should consider expanding this idea into toilet water as well.

When asked to substantiate the miracle claims of his wiener water, Mr. Bevans, who is the Hot Dog Water CEO, hemmed and hawed to Global News, “There’s a fair bit of it that is too science-y for me, but from what I understand from the specialists here working on it, it’s this idea of like-likes-like.” Like oh my God like for sure like I get that… No. No, I don’t get that.

When you boil it down, this is no different than coffee enemas, tongue scraping, leaches, blood-letting, or hay bathing (soaking in a pile of wet hay to relieve joint pain – really, it’s a thing.) But on the chance I’m wrong, just send your $40 directly to me, and I’ll send back a magical package of Oscar Meyers and you give it a whirl.

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You Can’t Call It That!

foodBurger King offends me. Standing in allegiance with vegans and vegetarians everywhere, I must demand that they change their name. Burger, naturally, is an affront to the sensibilities of all animal lovers everywhere. Not to mention, the idea of having a crowned ruler dictating over a bun-oriented sandwich of any type seems highly archaic. To show greater tolerance and understanding, Burger King must forthwith be called Plant Based Protein Socialist Leader.

Dairy Queen also offends me. On behalf of everyone who may be lactose intolerant and unable to speak up for themselves due to irritable bowel, stomach pain and gas, I will be their voice. Again there’s the obvious issue with the crowned head of state thing, which is, of course, offensive, except to a very small portion of the LGBQT population. We’ll give partial credit for that. Otherwise, the name Dairy Queen must be updated to a more sensitive Soy Replacement Benevolent Monarch.

Freebirds World Burritos are okay. They seem to be inclusive of all avian species across the planet and have designated them as free. FreeRangeBirds World Burritos would be even better. No one wants a burrito raised in a cage, so that’d be taking the responsible extra step to ensure that there’s no possibility of anyone being offended.

Chick-fil-A, however, is a problem. While I understand it holds a high level of popularity, it has come under fire for the Conservative views of their ownership. I believe that changing the name to Empowered-Woman-fil-A would go a long way to correcting a lot of the offenses, both real and imaginary. You wouldn’t name a restaurant Babe-fil-A or Broad-fil-A. Chick-fil-A just is no longer politically correct and offends all women and those who want to be women or think their women or know women even casually.

In a world where we are all so deeply offended by every single last living thing, I think it’s time that the dining industry do their time in the hot seat. They must stop with the oppression and put the happy back in every single meal for every single person as dictated by that person’s believes and opinions no matter how individual or oddball.

So, if you don’t mind, I’d like a #2 Meal with a Diet Coke and a side of total tolerance and acceptance. Oh, and hold the onions. Onion breath is offensive.

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Rooting for Rutabagas

RutabagaI decided to eat rutabagas. There are zero logical reasons why. I’ve never knowingly eaten rutabagas before, but I’m all about an adventure. So, armed with a Google search and a shopping list, I set out to inflict rutabaga recipes upon my household for an entire week. All week, all rutabaga. Other evil dictatorships have their tortures; I have rutabagas.

Step One: rutabaga identification. First of all, rutabagas should not be confused with rhubarb. While rhubarb is another vegetable that’s really fun to say, rhubarb looks more like weird reddish purple celery. From what I understand, with half a plantation worth of sugar, you can make it into a pie, and should I decide to do rhubarb week, I’ll test that out. Rutabagas, however, look like turnips grown just downstream from the Chernobyl Nuclear Site. According to Wikipedia, it’s “a root vegetable that originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip.” Thankfully, there were no graphics on how you cross breed turnips and cabbages because I really didn’t want that visual stuck in my mind’s eye. What happens in the vegetable bin stays in the vegetable bin.

Interestingly, I also learned that in Europe rutabagas are commonly used to feed livestock in the winter and are often carved out to make lanterns at Halloween. Therefore, my thinking is that if Bossy the Cow will eat them raw and frozen, then how bad can they be baked and smothered in lots of butter? And if it truly does go way south, I can use the rest for nightlights. At less than a buck a pound, it’s an obvious win-win situation, right?

Rutabaga Night #1: Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga Fries. This is just one more sad attempt to make you think you’re eating French fries when you’re not. Accented with plenty of red wine and ketchup, these were actually pretty good.

Rutabaga Night #2: Baked Garlic and Herb Shoestring Rutabagas. I should have quietly stepped back from this one when it required putting a rock-hard root vegetable through the utensil we got suckered into buying that’s supposed to make zucchinis into spiraled spaghetti things. However, with plenty of red wine, we were able to improvise.

Rutabaga Night #3: Carrots and Rutabagas with Lemon and … Okay, let’s be honest. The rutabaga lanterns are cool. And the red wine was great with the pizza we ordered.

(Thanks to Hutchins Farm for the pic of Frank, the over-sized rutabaga)

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Berry Suspicious

blueberriesI bought a pint of fresh blueberries recently at the grocery store despite the fact that they cost more per berry than an ounce of pure silver. But, I’m trying to eat better, so what the heck. I splurged. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed that the label on top of the container said, “I am healthy!” … Wait. What? Was there a question about that? They’re blueberries not chocolate chips!

Okay, now I’m suspicious. Why would they say that? What kind of world do we live in that we can’t just trust blueberries to be what you expect them to be – healthy? I mean, if you’re really blueberries the fruit and not actually BlueBell the ice cream, then you don’t need to state the obvious, do you? Or do you?!

I completely understand that blueberries plus pancake batter, lots of butter and warm maple syrup might tip out of the healthy spectrum. Blueberries that are just an adjective to describe cobbler or pie justifiably don’t make the health nut cut. And just because blueberries are part of the Red, White, and Bluebell flavor of ice cream, there’s no way you can call it healthy even if you squint and lie to yourself. But these are just plain old naked blueberries supposedly fresh out of their natural habitat wearing nothing but what God gived ‘em.

So I started reading the label more closely. Maybe there’s something that they’re trying to distract me away from seeing. Okay, these blueberries came from Canada which rules out my suspicion that maybe they’d been imported by the Columbian drug cartel and this was an effort to keep them from being confused with kilos of cocaine. Although isn’t Canada frozen over right now? Where exactly are they growing blueberries in the snow? Again, suspicious.

All I’m going to say about this is that the cherry tomatoes grown here in Texas don’t feel the need to be defensive. And for that matter, the double chocolate Oreos don’t either. You don’t see “We’re Not Healthy!” stamped all over those. No, they quietly list off their refined sugars and processed flours and preservatives in discrete small print on the back. They’re just Oreos and we accept and embrace them for just being what they are. Which, obviously, I can’t say about blueberries anymore.

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