OK, this is going to be a shorter one. Not as wordy, but very tasty. The exercise for today, number twenty-one out of thirty-one, is to list out my ten favorite foods. Anyone who knows me at all knows I love to eat. And, other than most green leafy things, I enjoy a wide variety of foods. So the only real problem I am going to have with today’s assignment is picking out just ten foods and putting them in some sort of order. But, that being said, I have no problem picking number one, so let’s start there.
1) The top place in my favorite foods has to go to my wife’s salsa. Nancy makes the absolute best fresh salsa I have ever tasted. I like it so much that I have been known to just eat it with a spoon – no chips or other edible transport. I don’t know how she does it, because when I try to replicate her exact recipe it never tastes the same. Baffles me, but happily she doesn’t make me do the work often. I am sure she sneaks in some secret ingredient that she won’t tell me about. Oh, and by the way, she uses lots of fresh cilantro. Great stuff.
2) Second place goes to Mexican food. I am going to cheat and lump the entire category in here as a food. Yes, I know that because I am doing this that I am kind of repeating number one, but as I have said before, this is my damned blog and I will do what I want. So, number two goes to everything from carnitas to tacos, burritos to carne asada.
3) Buffalo chicken. It is a sickness with me. When I get on a spicy Buffalo chicken bender I don’t get back off for days. I will eat wraps, sandwiches, nuggets, and even put the chicken in an omelet or other breakfast food. Just take some Buffalo chicken, top it with cheese, wrap it all up tight and serve it with ranch dressing and I am a happy boy.
4) Bar-B-Que. What good Southern boy doesn’t love bar-b-que? And no, I don’t care a wit how you spell it. BBQ, Bar-B-Que, Bar-B-Q, whatever. It is all good. But it better be pork, and it better taste good before you ever get the sauce near it. The flavor should be in the meat and the sauce should be a compliment. Our area is famous for mustard based sauces, but I am actually partial to the vinegar based – even though that really comes from North Carolina. But the truth is that if you have a good tasty meat to start with then it doesn’t matter what kind of sauce you use. Except that white mayonaise based stuff. That is just nasty. And wrong.
5) The classic pizza only comes in at a lowly number five because there are so many other great foods. Like most people, I have loved pizza since I was a little kid. Frozen, fresh, plain or dressed up, I just love pizza. To me pizza is like sex – even bad sex is still sex. How can sex or pizza be bad?
6) Sweet potatoes. This is an odd one because I didn’t like them, or perhaps realize I liked them, until I became an adult. Again, it was my wife Nancy who introduced me to them. There was a Mexican place here in town (there we go again!) that served house-made twisted sweet potato chips and she made me try them. I have been hooked on all sorts of sweet potatoes ever since.
7) Pumpkin, just pumpkin. I can sound like that guy from Forrest Gump and start listing – pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, and so forth. I have yet to find pumpkin anything that I don’t like, well maybe other than the pumpkin lattes at Starbucks. Those suck. But I do really enjoy pumpkin ale! I live for autumn and pumpkin season.
8) Key lime pie. Key lime pie deserves a number all to itself. I can eat this sweet dessert until I am sick. I am not as a matter of course a dessert person, but a good Key lime pie can turn that around in an instant.
9) Another much more recent addition to my repertoire is Indian food. Charleston when I grew up was not a place known for unusual of foreign food, so it is not surprising that I didn’t try Indian food until I moved away. But now I am addicted to all forms of curry and other dishes. I am sorry to say that I cannot pronounce most of them, but then again I was taught that I shouldn’t eat with my mouth full.
10) Number ten is going to be a really self-indulgent one. I like pot roast. And when I say pot roast I mean the meat that cooks all day long, smelling up the house with those fantastic smells, and driving insane the poor dogs who have to be in the house with those scents all day. The real pot roast will fall apart when you go to serve it and its flavor will have permeated the little white potatoes that cooked with it. Yes, this is food that I will sneak back out to in the middle of the night and snack on out of the left-over container in the fridge. Sorry Nancy, it is that good. And the dogs can have some of the gravy, but they can’t have my post roast.
And that is ten, but I have realized that I haven’t talked about lasagna or rum or fried green tomatoes or real cream grits or local Palmetto (pimento) cheese, or almost all cheese for that matter, or so many other things. Maybe this should have been my top 100 foods.
Crap, and sorry. I had said this one was going to be shorter and it really didn’t turn out to be so. I guess that when you get me started talking about food that I just take off. The key to all of these foods is flavor. I like flavor. I like to taste my food, and I like it to have personality. I want to get a feel for the place it came from and the person who cooked it. Give me that and I will eat almost anything. Anything except green leafy vegetables.