Monday, September 21, 2009

Upside-down pizza, candy apples, and devil's farts

Food is big. There's nothing worse than spooning fresh peach cobbler onto your plate and opening the fridge to find... no whipped cream.
My solution is to hide food. I blame my brother, who sat grinning his grandpa grin (he has three grandchildren) at the re-telling of his bottle thefts from my crib. That's where it all started. He'd sneak the empties back in between the bars until the day Mom found him hiding in the toy box, guzzling his latest contraband milk.
That may explain why I hide food, but why am I such a crummy cook? Why didn't my extended family eat all the bright red candy apples I took to the reunion? I was disappointed to re-load half of my personal offerings of love and goodwill back in the car. I mean, I don't want to eat them! Half of them had the misfortune of being dipped in syrup that wasn't cooked quite to the hard ball stage... in other words, the candy coating is very sticky, like caramel, only with stronger pulling power. I realized the error in time to cook the remaining syrup a little longer to dip the remaining apples. Then, glancing at what was left over, I thought, "What the hey?" and drizzled the crackle stuff over some of the chewy apples. It looked kind of neat. Artistic. Shiny and delicious.
But some traitor candy apple eaters must have whispered a warning that if you want to keep your fillings, pass on the candy apples.
I wonder if my dog would eat one? Maybe she wouldn't bark so much if her jaws were stuck together with undercooked candy apple syrup.
On the way home from the reunion, I took pity on my boys who were suffering from hunger. Rather than make them eat something I made when we got home, I stopped and bought a couple of $5.00 pizzas. They ate their fill, but there were leftovers and my nose wouldn't let me forget it. So I asked for a piece, which was passed up to me in the dark car. It felt very strange, and I wondered if someone had accidentally handed me their shoe liner until I realized I was holding it upside down. (Note - pizza tastes just as good upside down as right side up.)
Who can account for my strange taste in foods? Ever since I can remember, I've loved blue cheese dressing. I know it's stinky, but perhaps it reminds me of the dregs of sour milk my brother may have left behind in his bottle-stealing haste.
Another taste I can't account for is my fondness for pumpernickel bread. I still claim loyalty, even though I read just last night that pumpernickel has a bad name, even in its country of origin. "Pumpernickel" is a semblance of what Germans called this dark, pungent bread in their own language, and it translates to "devil's fart."
Yup, that sounds like my cooking, all right.

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