This Bag Could Change The Way You Cook Forever

No, I’m not talking about my wife, bah boom. Ok, that’s not funny. Thoughts about my wife’s cooking may be found in my NYT editorial, “Nature Gets Even.”

First, let me ask you: do you cook with bags? If so, what are those bags made of? Some variety of cloth? Trousers with their legs tied in a knot and the zipper up, for example?

I have to know your bag habits before I can help you. You can’t just ask me for some random bag hints and expect success to ensue. You’ve got to know bags. You’ve got to have eaten the goddamn nectar of the gods out of bags.

You put the makins (ingredients) into just any bag and expect something edible to emerge, not to mention being ambrosial in its essence, you’re dreaming. You don’t know bags.

First of all, a bag, it has one opening. You try to cook something in what you call “a bag” but it’s got two openings, no way! That’s not a bag! Or even a sack. Or a sac, which may be a whole different thing there.

Which reminds me, do you spend much time with your vacuum bags? If you’re like me, there is nothing more exciting than taking a full bag out to your special corner workspace and opening it up to see what treasures you might find within. No treasures to be picked up by the vacuum in your house? No problem! Creep you neighbors’ houses and “borrow” their bags. Or  vacuum their carpets with your machine. Get under those sofas and ottomans and futons. What an  adventure! I have found things… but I better not get too specific, in case one of my neighbors is reading this.

I was first inspired by tea bags. I used them but then one day I said to myself, hey, why  dip this bag in boiling water? Why not bust it open, replace its contents with stuff I like better, and then just go ahead and smoke the thing? You know? How it is when you get thoughts right out of the ether like that? When you’ve been smoking already?

You see where I’m going here? “Cook” the contents of the bag, don’t cook it. Who needs food? I gave up on food a long time ago. At least, it seems like a long time ago. I’ve opened up the portals. In fact, it’s hard getting some of the portals shut again. But without food involved, they can just hang open, no worries.


7 Mistakes You’re Making With French Toast

From International Food Quarterly.

Just eating French toast is a big mistake in the first place, if you’re restricted to heart-healthy foods; but let’s assume that your life is not yet completely ruined in that way.

The seven French-toast mistakes:

1. Cooking your French toast like you cook your French fries. Avoid deep-fat-fried food in the morning, except for doughnuts with powdered sugar. Substitute fatty bacon strips for food fried in fat.

2. Refusing to eat French toast because the French didn’t send troops to fight in the Iraq war. This is only a good excuse if you know and can prove that the toast in question was cooked back during the run-up to the war when the French turned up their cowardly noses at all those weapons of mass destruction, or before Saddam was apprehended. You’ll sometimes run into such pieces of toast at the army surplus or at the estate sale of an Iraqi war veteran.

3. Dipping your slice of bread in the French-toast batter and then inserting it into your toaster.

4. Using a whole baguette, dunking it in the batter and sticking it in the oven. A reminder, friend: here in the U.S., we’ve discovered sliced bread. It’s the greatest thing since whatever was the greatest thing before sliced bread. There is a reason the French call bread pain or sometimes pain complet.

5. Using duck eggs in the batter. There is something weird and unAmerican about pulling eggs out from under a female mallard. It could be against the law and if it isn’t, it should be.

6. Eating French toast for dinner. I won’t bore you with another of my rants about IHOP. If you want to help the communists launder their money at this “international” chain of restaurants, go right ahead. Eat pancakes for dinner. But don’t kid yourselves. If the Reds eventually  get their way, you won’t be eating pancakes or French toast for dinner; you’ll be eating Russian borscht.

7. Using French toast in your sex play. I know, I know. I say this about every food except ice cream, jello, and cukes, of course. Maybe you know something about French toast that I don’t. After all, it’s French for a reason. Let me know.


What You Don’t Know About Dish Towels

[Headline, Huffington Post, 02/09/12]

1. You never have to wash a dish towel. Why not? Because you are wiping water off clean dishes with it, and that water is effectively washing the towel itself. If your dish towels get dirty, don’t blame the towels!

2. You can use a dish towel as a bath towel but you shouldn’t use a bath towel as a dish towel. This is because you can rub a dish on your bottom, for example, but you ought not rub your bottom on a dish. Wait a minute. Does that make sense?

3. If you are a guy and you want to meet girls at the beach and you take a dish towel out there and spread it out on the sand, instead of a beach towel, hoping to get the “Aw, isn’t that cute” reaction, go home. Stay there.

4. If you are a gal and you want to meet guys at the beach and you take a dish towel out there and spread it out on the sand, instead of a beach towel, hoping to get the “Aw, isn’t that cute” reaction, and you also wear a seriously tiny bikini, and you’re cute, then the size, shape, and color of the dish towel will prove immaterial to your success.

5. In the case of a kitchen fire, knotting together dish towels to use as a rope out the window will get you an “Aw, geez!” reaction when the fire-fighters finally reach you (your remains).

6. On a happier note, disagreements about dish towels and bathroom-guest towels come in at #7 on the list of common reasons for divorce. I believe that guest towels and their use are the real culprit here.

7. You can use a dish towel as an oven mitt, but don’t use an oven mitt as a dish towel. I think a lot about this. It’s a metaphor.

5 Foods You Should Never Eat Again

[Headline, Huffington Post]

1. That big kid’s candy. What were you thinking? He was bound to find out who did it. Was it worth it? You can answer me when they take the wire off your jaw.

2. Whatever it was that gave you food poisoning that time.

3. Rice and beans on a first date.

4. What got you fat.

5. If you have high cholesterol, anything for which you must lick your fingers.

Unexpected New Cheerios Flavor

[Headline in The Huffington Post, 12/27/11]

The unexpected can be a good thing or a bad thing. A flavor can be pleasant, unpleasant, or just plain strange.

I remember putting something in my mouth once – I had to think about it first. I had to decide, is this something I want to do? Is this something that I’m going to regret? So forth. – and the flavor was, like, whoa, what the…?  Is that…?

I couldn’t put my finger on it. The flavor, I mean. This could be a metaphor for life. You think? Suddenly you’re doing something you never figured you’d do. You’re encountering new sensations, but your mind is preoccupied. That’s the variety of life and the confusion of past and present. You’re doing it, but it might not work out the way you expect.

Take Cheerios. You go into Trader Joe’s and there they are, but now they’re Trader Joe O’s. It’s a metaphor for life again. There are twenty-six letters, but one company picks the O and do you see other companies going with As or Bs or what have you? No. It’s all Os. And that’s just in English. The situation in China is much more complex, because you’re not turning a letter into breakfast cereal, you’re doing it to a whole word. It’s like when you pick a major in college, and are then confronted with its corpus, instead of just goofing off watching movies in your dorm room.

So to continue the metaphor, you can savor the taste or you can spew it from without your mouth onto the barren ground. I don’t recommend or not recommend this. Take the ground into account. Take into account the proximity of others and whether you’re at a funeral or a wedding or watching a pole dancer. Like that.

So to continue the metaphor some more, to buy in or not to buy in? You’ve encountered the flavor. Was it a one-off, so to speak? Do you revisit? Do you tweak the situation to change the flavor a little bit, this way or that, but preserve its basic nuances?

Rely on your gut. That’s what I do. Remember, if you pinch your nose shut, it affects your taste.

Ugly Food That Tastes Good: The 12 Biggest Offenders

(Headline in Huffington Post)

1. A potato that looks like my Uncle Ralph. Isn’t it funny how one potato can look like Jesus Christ, but I get stuck with this thing?

2. Any carrot that resembles a penis.

3. Peas that have shriveled just a little, so their skin is wrinkled. It turns them into some kind of metaphor.

4. Fish with the head still on. It might be different if they had eyelids.

5. Whole head of a pig. Who serves these things? Just kings and such at the banquet table? I don’t recall seeing any down in the supermarket meat department.

6. Roadkill that hasn’t been spruced up a little.

7. Anything, like those fish I mentioned, that can look at you.

8. Anything still alive, especially if it tries to walk off.

9. Fried insects. There aren’t many insects that you could call “beautiful.”

10. Green meat.

11. Lardy or lardish desserts, or desserts made by those who are lardy or lardish.

12. “Long pig.”

The Purple diet

I’ve been asked, “If I go on the Purple diet, will I turn purple?”

No. You will turn purple when you die; or at least, your bottom half will. It’s called lividity. But you probably already know that, what with Law and Order and CSI, so forth.

The purpose of the Purple diet is to help you live longer, not to die. This should be obvious.

Note: there are some folks who do look purple, or have a purplish tinge to their complexion, especially after a hard night at the pub or in the factory sewing leather strips together, or, among the very darkest-skinned Africans, when sweaty, in bright moonlight. This is not related directly to diet, any more than a yellow complexion implies that you eat a lot of overcooked corn. Many yellow-skinned folks have never seen corn, or perhaps know only of popcorn, a top American export to cineplexes around the world.

Why eat purple? To not eat non-purple. Have you ever seen a purple doughnut? You have? Don’t eat it. Have you ever seen a purple porterhouse or purple fries? Seriously, don’t eat them if you have, particularly if you fished them out of a dumpster.

What about purple coloring additives? If you go this route, just maintain your current diet and color everything purple. You’ll hate yourself for cheating in this way, and eat less. Or more.

Purple food suggestions: blue/purple potatoes, eggplant, blue/purple beans, berry sorbet, blueberries, some blue corn, purple cabbage, dried plums/prunes, raisins, lavender ice cream, purple peppers, beets, Kalamata viniagrette, purple kale, grape jello, radiccio, purple pole beans, purple cauliflower, Purple Jesus, purple yam cake, cranberry sauce, purple carrots, blue corn meal, taro, purple basil, blueberry catsup, purple asparagus.

Questions: What if my specimens of the above are not quite purple, but more reddish or blueish? What if the vegetable turns green with steaming? Answer: What is color, anyway? Who’s to say that you and I see the same color when we look at something? My left and right eyes see slightly different colors. Listen. Get something purple, cook it if necessary, and then eat it! This is not religion, where you fret about every little commandment. Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not lusteth after the babe next door, who does not need the Purple diet. What she needs is a steady diet, alright, a steady diet of… aw, forget it.

Celebrities who might have tried the Purple diet: Oprah. Kirstie Alley. John Goodman. Al Gore. Gabourey Sidibe.

Do diets work? Not to be a buzz kill and go dark, but if the Purple diet fails you, rest assured that at some point in the future, the ultimate diet – death – will work like a charm.