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Monday, April 22, 2013

Wrapping things up

You only get so many meals so you should think of food as a treat and not a chore. It's been my experience that everyone has different tastes and that often people will try to get you to eat things that are dull, bland, or perhaps even disgusting. Many times they'll explain that this or that food is a delicacy and highly prized by this or that nationality, group, clique, or food critic. Maybe it is but you won't find me eating something that's disgusting just because Gordon Ramsay says it's a delicacy. No mollusks, larvae or roe for this fella. You can keep your funguses and moldy cheese as well. Cottage cheese, turnip greens, liver, Brussels sprouts? If it's gross I won't eat it just so you'll think I'm sophisticated.

Wraps are my new favorite. Flour or corn tortillas stuffed with tasty and spicy food of one kind or another are the most common wraps but nowadays they're putting just about anything in them. A traditional tex-mex burrito is composed of seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, chopped tomato and onion, salsa, and sour cream. You can wrap regular sandwich meat like turkey or ham up in a tortilla with lettuce and cheese for something quick, filling, and fairly low-calorie. My wife gave me a recipe that she got from her Cuban friend that's truly special. Pan-fry strips of pork loin in olive oil and when cooked combine them with chopped tomato cucumber and onion. Serve on fried corn tortillas, but don't forget to drizzle on some lime juice before rolling these incredible little wraps up. Muy delicioso! My personal favorite which I concocted myself from the best of all things is this: a large flour tortilla warmed in the oven or microwave, some cream cheese spread thin, strips of rare steak, melted cheddar cheese, a strip or two of crispy bacon and finally a liberal helping of jalapeno peppers to set it all off. It is sublime.

On the subject of wrapping things up, I just finished A Memory of Light. It was the thirteenth and final novel in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. It was exquisite as Thom Merrilin says, but more than that. The first book in this series was published 23 years ago in 1990 and I've been a true fanatic ever since I turned the first page. You only get to read so many books, so if your book is dry and tedious and you've scheduled a certain quota of pages to trudge through today, I wonder why you're doing it?

With so many things... food, the arts, entertainment, and politics, people wrap themselves up in the expectations of others. Whether it's that NYT bestseller with all the excitement of drying paint, or that popular political talking-point that's antithetical to your religion, or perhaps oozing slime mold that some cook found under a rock and put on your dinner plate, if other people claim that everyone thinks that something is great we often either change our perception or sometimes only pretend to. This is the Emperor with no clothes paradigm. What the world needs is more people telling other people that stuff sucks regardless of how popular it is. Here are two examples of stuff that sucks:
  1. Ogden Nash
    A Caution To Everybody
    Consider the auk;
    Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
    Consider man, who may well become extinct
    Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.

  2. Picasso

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