HA!!!!! ironic, if you read through to the end - I began writing this post last night, and meant to save it as draft, and published it instead. So, it's unfinished. But i'm gonna leave it that way...
I know I know, I've done these posts before. But every few years I develop a new set of guilty pleasures - pleasures a true food would never admit to. I can't tell you how many tiresome conversations I have with people who claim to never eat a single bit of processed food, never a secret, late-night drunken trip to Taco Bell, no cheap, mass-produced beer, nothing but the finest farm-fresh milk produced by blissfully happy unicorn cows milked by Swiss virgins, nothing but bean-to-bar chocolate, nothing but cave-aged cheeses, etc etc.
I don't buy it. Growing up, there was virtually no processed food in my house. But even we would make the occasional trip to Wendy's.
As much as I love local, organic, free-range, artisan, and every other tired buzzword out there, I have guilty pleasures. I love cheap, crappy light beer. I love Doritos. Sometimes, I throw my soda cans in the trash instead of the recycling bin.
Eating "purely" has become a religion. And I hate proselytizing. Religion, politics, food, local - I don't care. I don't want the lecture.
Recently, Husband took a good job with a corporation. We've been getting a bit of blowback from it. It's funny - people are quick to criticize him for taking a job with a corporation (and therefore selling out), but no one has offered to pay our health care or give us a 401K. The truth is, yes, it's a corporation. It also pays well and has really great benefits. I'm growing weary of the idea that we should be struggling in order to maintain integrity. I'm tired of struggling. We have bills to pay.
Of course, I realize this is all horribly ironic, because don't I say the same thing? Aren't I proselytizing? I don't know. I hope not. What I want people to do first and foremost is eat really great food. I want to demystify ingredients and techniques so that anyone can make themselves an amazing meal. I want to support restaurants who make amazing food. I'm probably a hypocrite, but aren't we all?
At any rate, don't have the idea that I eat nothing but the most perfectly local organic foods. I don't. I have guilty pleasures. I wouldn't really want to live without them.
- Grippo's Pretzels. I don't like pretzels. They're dry and never salty enough. It's funny because I come from Amish stock, and didn't the Amish kind of invent pretzels? Grippos are completely different. They are so salty you can practically feel your arteries contracting as you consume them. You tongue burns and your mouth waters and you know: this is what a pretzel is supposed to taste like. They are heavenly dipped into things like chocolate ganache and frosting. I have a tub of Marzetti's caramel dip I have half a mind to dip them into. I think that would be might fine...
- Candy. Gummy bears (Haribo brand, preferably kept open at room temperature for about 72 hours, until they are nicely ripened and just a bit hard. Oh, they're heaven. Especially the clear and red ones. There are no substitutes for Haribo gummy bears. It's like comparing gross regular jelly beans to Jelly Bellies. Can't do it. Other favorites include sour gummy worms and Smarties. And sweet tarts.
- Dairy Queen soft serve. I don't care what's in it. There probably isn't even any milk in it. I simply do not care. It's wonderful. Although I always get a twist cone, I am not 100% positive I could identify the difference between their chocolate and vanilla if blindfolded. I don't care.Growing up outside of Marysville Ohio, Dairy Queen was a special treat. Our DQ was owned by two old twins (they seemed ancient when I was little but they were probably only 45 or 50 at the time. My DQ had 2 windows and one twin worked each window and they were a sight to behold. They worked as fast as the wind and always did special things like put candy eyes on your cone.
- McDonald's hash browns. On an objective level, I know that McDonald's is one of the most evil corporations ever. They are largely responsible for enormously frightening factory cattle farms, etc etc etc. But there is simply no better cure for a hangover than 2 hash browns drowned in salt and chased with an ice water.
- Cheap beer. I get all kinds of flack for this one. For the life of me, I cannot understand the current trend to create heavy, overhopped beers. It's a lot like using too much oak in wine. I think when someone can identify a characteristic, they associate that with good. "I can taste the hops in this beer," (and nothing else), "and so drinking it makes me feel like a beer snob." I love beer. A lot. Too much