Friday Fives – are you gonna eat that?

What ‘secret ingredient’ do you add to your meals in order to improve the taste?

Onion everything. Sure, many folks dice up onion and add it to food. I do too, a lot. Being lazy, though, I discovered onion powder. It’s delicious, and processed nothing. It’s just onion. If I am adding heat to any meat, and you don’t see onion in the pan… then you can assume it’s because it’s chock full of onion powder. PLUS… Sprouts (possibly called Sunflower Market where you live, same company) sells it in bulk. Calhoo, Calhay!

Wanna know something a little weirder? My wonderful friend who we’ll just call ‘Linda’ (since that is her name) uses worshestier sauce (sp?)as her frequent and favorite secret ingredient. We found this out because it was in the amazing lasagna we had just finished. It was in the brownies, too. She swears by it, and she is a great cook.

What did you used to eat as a kid but is no longer available now?

Hobos. Oh, and ding dongs. Sure, y’all heard about the drama about Hostess going under. You heard about Twinkies disappearing. It did, and they did. Some resourceful company bought up the trademarks and started pumping the garbage back out. Hostess no longer exists. That stuff is now crapped out by some savvy hedge fund nerds who wisely bought up the trademarks. Now, your Twinkies are made by Apollo Management Group. SO… they changed their name to Hostess Brands. Clever, huh? The average dope, like yourself, as no idea that Hostess is gone as of 2013.

Wait! Where did we go? Weren’t we talking about hobos? No, we were talking about Ding Dongs… and I said that to say this; it appears they resurrected several classic Hostess products… except the Ding Dong.   Don’t you try and hand me a cupcake and tell me they are the same. That is some bullshit. See, the ding dong (I think we are at a level of familiarity where I don’t have to capitalize anymore) is ENTIRELY covered in chocolate. Here, see this. Cupcake. Ding dong. They brought back the cupcake, but not the ding dong. L

How did you get addicted to coffee?

Now this is at least a little interesting. I had never had coffee until college. It was my freshman year. I know that for sure, because I was still at ASU. I was falling asleep EVERY day around 10 am, which was my history class. This isn’t because history is boring. History is amazing. No, I was just super tired at that time of day. They could have been teaching the history of boobies and I would have fallen asleep. Hey, why isn’t anyone teaching that?

Like a stupid commercial, someone said “hey, you should try pants coffee”.   Smash cut to me wide awake, wired, and happy again. Literally, since that next day there has likely been almost never a day in the 20 plus years since that I haven’t had coffee. It’s a love affair.
What did you have for lunch?

A shrimp scampi I worked up very quick. Nothing fancy. I had a ton of Costco frozen shrimp, and was very hungry. Shrimp is great for this. They are tiny, and so thaw and cook super duper quick. From freezer to fancy yummy dish on my plate sitting down for lunch was maybe 20 minutes, tops. I hope that is a sufficiently interesting answer to a weird question.

What is something you wish you knew how to cook?

 

Chinese food. I love it. I even worked at a chinese restaurant for a long time, and watched the cooks (Iionically, never Asian, in an almost entirely Asian staffed restaurant) and learned stuff. I didn’t learn, how to do it, though. I can tell you what I did learn. The meat is always cut super small. The pans (which were always woks, and that may be pertinent, I don’t know) were always super duper hot. It always involved LOTS of ingredients for the sauces. These guys were pros, and were super fast. It looked like each dish had at least 6 different ingredients for the sauce. This is interesting to note. See, if they were making ‘sesame chicken’, they didn’t just pour in a pouch of sesame chicken sauce. No, they made that shit from scratch… every goddamn time… for every single individual goddamn order.

I still love Chinese food, and its because they did it right.  There were no short cuts in this place.  Every dish was made from scratch, right them, no matter how complicated.  If you order General Tsao’s chicken (every single Chinese place has this dish, they just spell the General’s name a little different)… well that dish was complex.  There was like 11 things that went into that sauce.  No shortcuts for these folks.  Every time someone ordered it they made the sauce from scratch.  They could have made a master sauce in the morning, and kept it warm all day.  Nope.  Also, they always used super good cuts of meat.  Now, when you get General _____’s chicken, you get a fatty cut, EVERY time.  Not at Szechuan Inn in Flagstaff, AZ.

Lastly, everything was cooked wicked quick. Just a couple minutes, tops. This was because the pans were stupid, deadly hot. Just shy of molten and red. NOW… this may not be specific to how to cook Chinese food. They may have done the super fast and hot thing because it was a restaurant and they were looking to ‘turn and burn’ as many tables as possible. I always wanted to ask the cooks, but I didn’t have time. I mean, I could talk to them, because I speak Spanish. Problem is, so did the owner, and he was always back there screaming at them. He was mean, and fierce. I think it is funny, and accurate, to note that the owner never spoke or learned English. He had no need for it, even though we were in a business in Arizona. Nope. He basically never left the kitchen from open to close 7 days a week. The only people he ever talked to were the chefs, who all spoke Spanish.

Here is how I can prove he never learned English, and the chefs didn’t either. I wrote on the big dry erase board in the kitchen ‘Free Tibet’, and it sat there for 3 months. Until someone told him what it was. He was PISSED. See, the Chinese don’t believe they just stole Tibet, murdered and exiled it’s people, and still to this day have oppressed and destroyed the autonomous and peaceful people of Tibet. No, thanks to Mao (and thorough and effective messaging over the years) they believe they simply ‘liberated’ Tibet.

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