Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Four short french fry stories

Disclaimer: I know the number four is unlucky in Asian culture, but since I'm Pacific Islander (or as my dad has said, I'm American of Filipino descent) it should be alright....right?

January has seen more highs and lows than I'd like to admit. I've not only recovered from a complicated holiday season, but an awkward stomach flu all the way to Vegas and back. This month has been bittersweet in more ways than one. So to balance out all the crazy, my method will be stream of consciousness, encouraged by one Mr. Conlon back in AP English. Today's topic: Our friend, the french fry.

(1) I remember the first time I saw someone dip fries in their soft serve. I thought they had gone mad. Why would anybody want cold and hot food to mingle? Especially dessert and an obvious non-dessert. Weirdo. That's likely where a glimmer of savory/sweet obsession began. Not the fries in ice cream. More like salt or bacon in chocolate.

(2) Long before Adam Richman found dives back East stuffing their burgers with spuds, it was done around here. It was considered childish (probably because only the kids were doing it). I didn't understand that either. Eat some fries, take a bite of burger. What's the problem? Multi-tasking our food, especially that salty duo, doesn't equate to greatness. It's lazy. You take bigger bites, leaving more chance of choking. See? Not good.

(3) Let's jump, oh, 12 years to my first job after college. I was traveling around the country (and Canada) as a "Training and Installations Specialist". Most of my meals involved room service. It was a belated Freshman 15, for sure. I was in Birmingham, Alabama ; my co-worker and I were invited to grab lunch down the street, at a place called Chick Fil-A. I didn't give it much thought, until the gal who brought us there proceeded to dip her waffle fry into mayonnaise (or maybe it was Larry?). WTH!? I don't get it. Ranch dressing, yes. Maybe even BBQ sauce. But this was bizarro.

(4) Then a few years ago, I celebrated my birthday at a Peruvian restaurant. Their lomo saltado featured steak and fries cooked together. Maybe because it looked cool, but I was digging it. Actually, I bet it's because that's how the dish was supposed to be served. It didn't seem like such a strange merger of tastes. The onion and tomato gave it more street cred. I initially tried it months prior over lunch. Steak and potatoes for the on-the-go crowd? That's what my life has become: An endless list of multi-tasking.

But wait, there's more?

(5) I spent this morning craving eggs and anything besides toast. Rice? Nah, it would take too long. I opened my fridge to see what I could throw together, and you'll never believe what I decided to make:

Spinach leaves, fresh grated Parm, a couple of eggs, and a handful of fries. It was tossed in the same pan as last night's sausage, so there was a little grease left over for extra flavor. And I still had some compound butter infused with herbs to flavor things up. In retrospect, it needed another egg and extra cheese. Not quite a Joe's scramble, but it was brekkie. And it was good.

I've come a long way, baby.

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