peachyteachy

For realsies

Some “Burgers” Should Never Be Made October 3, 2013

 

 

This is one of them. 

My son ran across this page in one of my cookbooks.  I probably cooked these evil morsels and wrote this upwards of ten years ago.  These are the very notes I added on that fateful day.   I resented this recipe for a long, long time.  But perhaps this goes without saying. . . As you can see, I was a passionate cook, even then.  

The title, “Hell’s Kitchen” was, it seems clear to me, created due to the existence of this recipe. If, for any reason, you find yourself tempted to Google this recipe and try it, know that this temptation is arising from the bowels of the underworld, and that nothing pure and holy can result.  

DON’T DO IT!

Consider yourself forewarned.

 

 

Now THIS is Corned Beef! March 17, 2013

1932 Libby’s Corned Beef Ad ~ Recipe File, Vintage Food Ads (Other).1932 Libby's Corned Beef Ad ~ Recipe File

As I prepared to embark on the corned beef and cabbage pilgrimage, I was pondering how very difficult it can be to make corned beef actually look appetizing.  Is it any wonder that the above version hides out inside a can until the cash has been exchanged?

Settle down; I am not serving canned corned beef—just because I like Jell-O doesn’t make me that scary and misguided.  However, I am considering departing from the unfortunately named “Boiled Dinner,” and opting to make some nice crispy roasted potatoes, rather than sending them to bathe with cabbage.  If St. Patrick is that offended by a little olive oil, I don’t know how he could have affiliated himself with the Vatican.

Just in case you haven’t bothered (lazy reader syndrome) or can’t (NEEDS readers syndrome) read the copy on the ad, I have to quote some of my favorite portions:

“Everybody’s happy when the mastermind that plans the menus remembers Libby’s Corned Beef!

The family rejoices! Families have a way of being pleasingly outspoken in their approval of this mild corned beef—mild, yet rich-flavored.

She rejoices—the mastermind, that is.  Nothing to do but chill the can in the ice-box, then slice the firm, tender meat.”

Moo0-hooo-ha-haa! The menu mastermind strikes again! Cabbage, schmabbage! We’re having peach halves with maraschino cherries as our side dish! Excuse me while I go and slice that firm, tender meat.

 

Why I Can Never Be a Waitress March 13, 2013

Filed under: bad dining,food,humor — peachyteachy @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

One of the reasons that I appreciate good waitstaff is the memory of how very much it sucked when I tried it.  In retrospect, I probably have a legit waitressing disability that may have qualified me for a special training program, right?

It was summer, and I was nineteen or twenty, when I took this god-forsaken part-time waitressing job at an outfit called “Smokehouse Sally’s.” You may have deduced that their specialty was barbecue.  This was before barbecue was all chic, and I don’t know that these folks had any particular barbecuing experience or ability, but what did I care?

Also, I never met this alleged Sally person.  More on that later.

The guy who hired and trained me was a dick.  I’m sure he blamed Sally.  He scheduled me for these short shifts about a week apart, a strategy taken directly from Chapter One of Moronic Strategies For Training Waitstaff.  My disability, or perhaps my standing as a human being, dictated that if I was shown 37 seemingly unrelated procedures on one day, then didn’t get a chance to practice until a week later, I forgot at least half of them.  I felt pretty confident about swirling salt and ice in the coffee carafes.

The customers were fine, unless you expected good tips.  When Dick let me go after three weeks and three shifts, I was only too  happy to check waitressing off my summer job list. No need to seek a restraining order to keep this chick out of the smokehouse!

It wasn’t long after that when I read a blurb in the paper that told of the demise of the Smokehouse Sally’s owners, due to some messy cocaine dealings.  I didn’t cheer, but I didn’t shed a tear, either.

I did take away my lifelong respect for the challenges faced by waitstaff, and my commitment to tip twenty percent unless there is a big reason not to.

My early experience may have, however, contributed to the irritation I feel when my students ask for ranch dressing when I hand out their daily free healthy snack.  And they make it abundantly clear that twenty percent of nothing is nothing.  That’s some high level math.

 

Image: hellogiggles.com

 

Beware Tapas con Pepsi Part Two: The world is a safer place today September 8, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 11:17 am
Tags: , , ,

I posted this a long time ago. I am pretty sure that three people read it.  But I got the most delicious news that gave me hope that all is maybe closer to right with the world. If nothing else, the world is a safer place! Pepsi/Tapas has closed! I wish the owners the best and I hope that they have given in to their minimalist leanings and are running a profitable bread-only-bakery.

Parents with kids in college go to visit them, and take them out to dinner.  It’s not home cooking, but it’s different than the usual dining hall fare.  For my kid, this usually means something called the Mini Chicken Quesadilla.  So I thought that checking out the tiny town’s tapas restaurant would be a fun departure! Funky, ethnic, Spanishy!

That show on PBS where Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow traveled through Spain, eating and drinking and being in good moods all the time—it had colored my vision a bit, especially since they went to some world-class tapas place with Michael Stipe.  What could go wrong?

On that show, they always enjoyed the most inspired and historically rich wine pairings for everything.  This place not only had no liquor license, it offered one beverage: Pepsi.  Granted, the menu teased that they carried “Pepsi products,” but, when pressed, our server made it clear that, no, there was Pepsi.  Her tone implied that we should have known this somehow, and that all tapas places followed this custom.

HIGHLIGHT: Fabulous bread.

LOWLIGHT:  All else pretty dull and yucky. I won’t go into details. Don’t order seafood.

There is one dessert on the menu. For 6.99, you can taste that traditional, creamy-sweet indulgence known as flan.  Except that, no, we couldn’t. Which we also should have intuited. So we ordered the substitute dessert, which was equally pricey, but best described by my son’s friend who joined us for the hijinx:  “I think it was leftover from someone’s office party.” It was very pink, and was served on pink paper plates, to boot! It was also reminiscent of the strawberry Zinger.  Seven-year-old approved.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken as an omen the fact that, shortly after we entered the restaurant, a twelve-year-old appeared from behind the kitchen entrance curtain, brandishing a plastic pistol.  Next time.  For now, I’m chalking this one up to Memorable Dining Experiences in College Town.  In the end, it will not soon be forgotten. Or repeated.

 

Throwing a Party, Gelatin Style July 1, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,food,humor — peachyteachy @ 7:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

Jell-O is a trademark. Obviously.

I am not throwing a party, at least not the kind that involves people coming over, setting up a s’mores buffet, and playing miniature badminton on our miniature badminton court.  But I did make Jell-O, which is a party in itself; am I right? This partified vibe becomes intensified when one makes GREEN Jell-O (sometimes referred to, loosely, as “Lime”).  I would argue that it is cooler to see the world through a serving of green Jell-O than through rose-colored glasses.

Where does Ms. Peachy come by this abiding passion for Jell-O and its entertaining properties, you ask?  You may be surprised to learn that it has nothing to do with the famed party-starter, the Jell-O shot— although I have perused scores of variations on the theme whilst procrastinating doing some other distasteful,  occupation-oriented task.

I like vintage advertising (not Jell-O shots— yeah, it’s a crazy party life I lead).  One of my faves is a thirties era Jell-O recipe book entitled “The Jell-O Girl Gives a Party.” They apparently used to give parties, back before life got so harsh and we started throwing things all the time.  Either way, this little manifesto of Jell-O was ostensibly written by the Jell-O girl herself, so you can understand why I was compelled to buy it.   There are some recipes in here that will put hair on  your chest, not the least of which is the Prune Whip, which utilizes my least favorite Jell-O flavor, orange. Oh, and, um, prune pulp. The garnish? Think hard; what goes well with prune pulp and orange Jell-O? Prunes, with a half walnut inserted in each one!  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really interested in inserting any nut into any conceivable prune.

An excerpt for your reading enjoyment:

“We worked very hard and fixed the table all up just wonderful.  I wanted to buy the flowers in the shop, but my ‘lowance wasn’t enough, so my mother said I could make it a pussy willow party, with pussy willows, that I could pick myself, in the center of the table, and daffodils from our garden, and a yellow and white cloth.

And we did.  Daddy bought pussy pups for favors.  That was the ‘sprise—You don’t know whether they’re cats or dogs, but they’re very, very lucky.” The Jell-O Girl Gives a Party p. 7.

And they never elaborate any further on those favors (‘sprise!), which are probably going to drastically increase the traffic on this blog.  The appendices include a Pinterest-ish illustrated piece called “Jell-O Girl tells how to do the daily exercises.” These are moves that really could be mastered by any 90-year-old, so it’s pretty inspirational.

My point? Make some! Unless you’re vegan, in which case you don’t like that pesky hoof component. . .

 

Bad Parenting with Bologna/Baloney May 31, 2012

I let him have a bologna sandwich for dinner tonight.  Just calm down; I’m not taking him to Biscuitville and ordering the fried bologna (which, rumor has it, is back). Still, it’s one more thing that I would have to hide in the back of the organic greens drawer of the fridge if I lived in the suburbs.  I’ve been meaning to try the Tofu-logna; I have.  But man, the bologna deals at the deli counter are seductive.  AND there is a chance that I will get to hear someone order it using the “Buh-loan-uh” pronunciation—basically the funniest thing you could hear at the deli counter; weird, Americanized Eye-talian city talk. 

Feel free to call me out on the carpet for feeding my kid such un-healthy, un-local, un-slow food.  I am pretty sure that he will grow out of it (uh, unless he takes after his dad, who somehow consumes half of the bologna supply in the house).  Also, I Googled “bologna related diseases” and it was less scary than Googling “my leg hurts.”  My leg does hurt, and I don’t eat bologna.  Besides, my kid eats bowls full of blueberries, which my research reveals acts as a veritable suit of armor against bologna-borne yucky things.  He’s also skinny and has the metabolism of a hummingbird, so I figure I should get some kind of awesome parenting award for not trying to raise him on red-dyed sugar water (which in my day was known as Hawaiian Punch–complete with stereotypical Hawaiian-ish guy strolling around punching people–way too much like my classroom for me to dwell too long on that memory).  The Awesome Parenting nominations are probably clogging up my inbox right now.  I’m guessing.

For those of you with organic toddlers, your time will come.  One day, you will be dog-tired and your now age-wizened darling will loudly present a bologna manifesto in the grocery store, at which point you will do anything to shut Mussolini up.  You know what’s next.  Welcome to Biscuitville.

images: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTDaZhIK3GfaTrRmRAB9bSg8f1UlU-Z91rhTGTrMbryZY0noiOZ

 

 

Beware Tapas con Pepsi February 22, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 9:36 am
Tags: , , ,

Parents with kids in college go to visit them, and take them out to dinner.  It’s not home cooking, but it’s different than the usual dining hall fare.  For my kid, this usually means something called the Mini Chicken Quesadilla.  So I thought that checking out the tiny town’s tapas restaurant would be a fun departure! Funky, ethnic, Spanishy!

That show on PBS where Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow traveled through Spain, eating and drinking and being in good moods all the time—it had colored my vision a bit, especially since they went to some world-class tapas place with Michael Stipe.  What could go wrong?

On that show, they always enjoyed the most inspired and historically rich wine pairings for everything.  This place not only had no liquor license, it offered one beverage: Pepsi.  Granted, the menu teased that they carried “Pepsi products,” but, when pressed, our server made it clear that, no, there was Pepsi.  Her tone implied that we should have known this somehow, and that all tapas places followed this custom.

HIGHLIGHT: Fabulous bread.

LOWLIGHT:  All else pretty dull and yucky. I won’t go into details. Don’t order seafood.

There is one dessert on the menu. For 6.99, you can taste that traditional, creamy-sweet indulgence known as flan.  Except that, no, we couldn’t. Which we also should have intuited. So we ordered the substitute dessert, which was equally pricey, but best described by my son’s friend who joined us for the hijinx:  “I think it was leftover from someone’s office party.” It was very pink, and was served on pink paper plates, to boot! It was also reminiscent of the strawberry Zinger.  Seven-year-old approved.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken as an omen the fact that, shortly after we entered the restaurant, a twelve-year-old appeared from behind the kitchen entrance curtain, brandishing a plastic pistol.  Next time.  For now, I’m chalking this one up to Memorable Dining Experiences in College Town.  In the end, it will not soon be forgotten. Or repeated.

 

 
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