If you were to meet me in the street today, you would get a grown version of Billy Bunter, but I enjoy my food. I always have. I rarely turn food away and the times I do it is for a reason:
Hairy Pork Belly Strips
Anything with Chilli’s
You see, it’s a fairly small list, it’s not a full list, but those are the major ones. We once had a frozen Ham & Asparagus pie in the freezer once for over a year and I refused to even cook the damn thing I hated it to so much. I blame that on the Asparagus Soup that was forced on us a school as a child. There were no options, it was that or nothing… no one EVER ate that stuff, but once a month they served that crap, without fail and without fail, they ended up poisoning the water table of Nottinghamshire for a decade by pouring it down the drains. Personally I think they should have put in a barrel and sealing it and dumping it at the bottom of the North Sea and praying that Godzilla never got created by an accidental leak.
I have never really had too many misadventures with food. I wasn’t really a fussy eater as a child. The only real nightmare event I can remember is whilst on holiday with my paternal grandmother that involved a homemade chicken curry with spaghetti that miraculously made a reappearance 36 hours later completely intact as it went down – after a full day of eating in between. This event scarred me for life and kind of sealed me on the fact that Spaghetti should only be eaten with my Mum’s Mince Bolognaise (which has now morphed into what is now known into Mummy Mince – its a stew with chunky Veg and Mince – great for cold winter nights with a slab of bloomer bread loaf).
Now, if you fast forward to the year 2000 and I take off on my grand adventure to America and I am taken to this fast food joint that is supposedly a great place to eat. Linda used to work for this company as a younger woman and swears by the food. Gold Star Chili.
If we skip back up to the top of this post and the bullet points… number three:
Anything with Chili’s
Yeah, I am looking forward to this meal like Chicken Curry and Spaghetti all over again.
I am not a fussy eater as a rule, I will try anything once and Linda said the food was good, I gave it a try. After all, this was Cincinnati Chili… it was different.
I let Linda order for me, she knew what was on the menu, I had no bloody clue.
She ordered me a 4-Way – Great Kinky Sex for dinner… In a restaurant!
I was presented with a shallow bowl of Cheese Onion Chilli on a bed of SPAGHETTI
I looked at Linda and hoped that she was joking and that she wasn’t channelling my late Grandmother in some kind of sick culinary joke. Chilli and Spaghetti; what was going on? Oh what the hell, get stuck in I thought and hope for the best.
That evening I was introduced into an institution that causes an almost tribal rally cry in Cincinnati and Newport areas. Who makes the best Chilli? Are you a Gold Star or a Skyline person? Last night a local Cincinnati TV News station posed just that question, and in less than 2 hours there had been over 1500 responses on Facebook, today there are over 2200 replies.
I have tried both Gold Star and Skyline Chilli, and I have my favourite, and I miss my Gold Star Five Ways (I eventually progressed to the whole works). The thing is, Gold Star may be good, but it’s nowhere near as good as homemade. Linda has developed her family’s recipe over the years and I get to enjoy the fruits of all those years of development a few times a year, and the next day I get to treat myself to leftover Chili Cheese Fries (just don’t tell my dietician).
Food is my weakness, if I want to torment myself, I will watch Diners, Drive in’s and Dives for an hour just before bed, which will then lead me to have food dreams for the rest of the night. Nightmares of being chased by three foot high Cheeseburgers and being dragged to the bottom of the ocean by pan fried Shrimp just torment me. I don’t know why I do it; I must have some kind of illness.
Until next time…