I have in my Drafts queue another rant about White Privilege. Whatever. I can sum my thoughts up in a paragraph. Those that take it on faith that White Privilege explains anything are stupid. They need to stop sucking their thumb and whining about why other people are to blame for their misery and get on with life. Trust me, if you were able to befriend someone who summers in the Hampton’s you would know that privilege does not protect you from misery.
Also . . . repeating myself and others, are the stories of lottery winners and others who have received windfalls, a sudden influx of cash often makes a mess of things. But, I need to get off the narrow domain of talking points expected of someone like me. Liberals suck, yep. Kind of don’t care. What will get me out of my house, what is worth driving a half-day for is food. Particularly good barbecue. I bought a grill last fall. Nothing special. Your basic Weber grill is available at your local big-box hardware store.
I keep forgetting the point of this space. This is where the odd ones live. The people I write about are not the fat part of the Bell curve where it’s pretty much blase blase until one day you are worm food. The people I write about, the community I want to build are the noisy, attention getting, strong signal ones who make good copy because of their bad choices. I keep yelling at them thinking that they’ll come correct. Right. If they did they’d not be a member of the skinny Bell curve tribe and I’d stop talking about them.
I’m in love with a Japanese word lately. おまかせ. It is, so I’m told, what you say to the guy making your sushi to indicate you’ll let him pick what to serve you. I’ve been treated to this once before. There was a lot of rice wine involved and I don’t remember much. It seems to me that the best おまかせ probably involves friends, a naughty bar girl or three, and bottle service. It’s not something you want to ask for on a budget.
おまかせ. Probably soon. I might even write about it here. Though, to really go for it means flying to Hayward, Ca where my buddy lives and some time in an Asian dive where you wonder if the beef is actually beef. Back to bbq. With the grill that I have and a bag of hickory wood chunks chicken comes out really good. Brined, then smoked, then nom nom. Store-bought potato salad and smoked chicken is good eating. But, you know that, probably.
And butter-bean burgers, which are a three-hour drive from my house. That’s on the list as well. I’m still digging out of the fiscal hole I dug being out of work for six months. Butter bean burgers won’t happen for a while. But, like おまかせ, it will happen.
I’m probably not done asking for the impossible–asking my malcontented friends to be contented. I know, it’s stupid of me to ask a choleric to be sanguine. I keep writing, keep trying though.
Back to food. You would think that home-fries: diced potatoes sauteed would be dead simple. Exactly how hard is it to cut up a potato, put it in a fry pan with some oil, and cook it? Well . . . you do that. Not as easy as it seems, no? The potatoes don’t cook evenly, some get “deep caramelization (burnt)” and some still seem raw. I’ve been making home fries for decades. Each time I make them is another lesson in how it could be better. I’m still improving.
Lately, I’ve been into the little purple potatoes at Kroger. I nuke them until they are nearly cooked. While that’s going on I dice a bell pepper and a red onion. The potatoes come out of the microwave, get diced and added to the plate where I’ve placed the bell pepper and red onion. No sauteing yet, hold on a bit. Ok, now. Now I put some lard (!LARD! Yes, lard, don’t freak) in a cast iron skillet and start heating the skillet. Once the skillet is hot the potatoes, bell pepper and red onion go in the skillet. Saute all that for a few minutes. If you have some chicken broth you can add a couple tablespoons along the way to help everything braise a bit. Season with salt, black pepper and paprika. Once everything is fork tender, serve.
Next thing. Egg on a roll. You may know it as a breakfast sandwich. It’s another dead simple thing. A fried egg on a hamburger roll. How hard is that? Right. Stunningly, the cooks at my workplace managed to mangle this. The egg goes on the flat-top without a ring and gets massacred with the spatula. The oil is canola or some other cheap thing that has a high smoking point. The roll is either an old kaiser bun or an English muffin that isn’t very British and has been in its plastic bag since before my ancestors got this wild idea to get on a boat and evangelize some heathens. That muffin gets sliced in half by a serrated knife that came from out back of the Dollar store. Then there is the cheese, which is some foreign idea of American Cheddar. It is an egg on a roll. It’s not the same as that sandwich I got from the place inside the BP gas station near the Diamond.
Egg on a roll. Cast iron griddle, clarified butter. Use an egg ring, please. Break the yoke. My favorite roll for this is the Martin’s Potato rolls I get at my local supermarket. Fry the egg using the egg ring. Brush the roll with clarified butter and toast it on the griddle. Also cook any sausage or bacon or whatever to go with it. Remove the egg ring, place your cheese on the egg, then the roll top on the egg & cheese.
There will be more sunrises. The permanently aggrieved will get bored with screaming about white folks and move on to the next headline-grabbing grievance. The fat part of the curve will dutifully put away their BLM t-shirts and buy the new, red ones that trumpet, “power to the peepul” or whatever. I kind of don’t care, except that I’ll do my part and write about the idiocy of it all. Meanwhile, there are butter-bean burgers and eggs on a roll to eat.