Thursday, January 27, 2005
Ballads About Food
Immediately upon arriving at work yesterday I was dispatched to go help install cameras and registers at a McDonald's on the west side of Chicago. There was a Jamaican guy that owns an electrical company there supervising his employees, and he told me to go eat at McCarty's. Translated sans rasta that means MacArthur's.
I'd never had soul food before. They had liver & onions, neck bones, cube steak, different kinds of chicken, black eyed peas, red beans and rice, collared greens, and a whole bunch of other stuff. All of it was slathered in grease. The hot sauce was thin and looked like sweet and sour at first, but in reality it was the heavy vinegar base that gave it that appearance. Awesome and cheap.
I'll definitely return for more very soon. I don't care if I'm the only whiteboy within a five mile radius and the other customers look at me like I must've gotten lost. The food is just spectacularly great tasting.
Some of the food made me wonder. What exactly are collared greens? I looked up recipes online and all them just have a quantity of greens. It looked like spinach. Can I just go trim the hedges outside and make collared greens? Do I need to wear some leaves in a collared shirt for a day, and then cook them in ten sticks of butter? Somebody help. I feel like an ignorant fool. I'm sure the answer will amaze me as much as the time I discovered the oven can be pulled away from the wall for cleaning purposes.
And what about neck bones? I've found several recipes for pig necks. At first the notion sounds vile. But haven't you ever wanted to suck marrow? I sure have. Sadly, upon perusing these recipes the idea seems to be the same as my ham soup, which is boil and strip, strain stock and combine. There's no mention or instruction for removing bone marrow and turning it into a hot jelly spread. Or for stuffing it in wontons. I'll have to be a pioneer combining Afro-American soul food with Chinese if that dream is ever to be realized. Anyhow, I think I'll boil some necks tomorrow. Tonight I'm doing cajun.
I'm going from a Chef Boyardee guy to an accomplished multicultural autodidactic chef rather quickly. Well, I might, best not get ahead of myself. I haven't accomplished anything on those offensive t-shirts yet.
Well, now I have to go learn what exactly is done to make pig's feet and ox tongue not only edible but delicious. I also must learn just what the fuck a chitterling is.
Tomorrow I'm going to some nightclub for free vodka drinks from 10-11pm. A friend sent me an email consisting of "CLUB BOOBIES VODKA BOOBIES FRIDAY CLUB BOOBIES VODKA."
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