February 8, 2008

Crippling weaknesses

This "weaknesses" admission will be entirely about food and is by no means a conclusive list. I have had conversations at length with many of my grub-lovin' friends about everything from gourmet risottos and reductions to inane tater tots and toaster strudels. And while I like to cook and experiment and devour the yummy-yet-not-so-common goodnesses, I by no means have a snooty air about it. In fact, I would like to pay homage to 3 particular vices, definitely not of the epicurean variety. First and foremost:

Anyone who has walked with me down that Target aisle next to the cash registers will notice that I never pass by it without slowing my pace and gazing at those yellow bags that call to me like a firefighter ripping off his shirt after battling a three-alarm blaze. I don't bother with the size pictured above - I call those "teaser packs". Bring on at least the 14 oz bags (now Costco sells the XXL bag with the Fresh-loc Zipper that seldom gets employed). Target often has those blessed "pills" (as my mother dubs them) on sale, in which case I get several. Yes, I speak of the peanut M&M. I cannot gauge how many pounds of those sweet little ambrosias I have consumed in my lifetime, but I have no doubt that some of the pockets of peanutty fat from my butt have existed for at least 15 or 16 years.

I recall making this confession not to a man of the cloth, but to a fellow chocoholic in my ward. As it all came spilling out, (the confession, that is) I realized I was holding back. They are even better... "accompanied by a Diet Coke?", Dana filled in. "Yes!" I exclaimed. How did she know?!? The skinny blond shares my vice, but not my pant size... Grrrr....

And now, a haiku.

Fridge solitary—
Keeper of my love blossom,
Flow, blessed nectar

Sachia, entire Ellis family, Christian and Candacy, don't even try to pretend you don't know what I mean. Lately, my only problem with this artificially sweetened goodness is that I can't consume it after 7pm, or I'll never fall asleep at my new 9:30 bedtime. Stupid...friggin'...teaching profession.

Am I saving the best for last? Not really. I have equally strong love for all three vices of which I speak this day, though they fulfill different craving (and nutritional, if we're talking about Peanut M&Ms - right, Mom?) needs.

My fetish for pork products is no secret. I've actually been thinking of joining that one group, PETA. Doesn't it stand for "Pig ETAs"?

My whole family was here in California for Christmas 2007. Since that meant 2 parents, 10 children, 7 spouses and 15 grandchildren, a lot of food was required. We were assigned specific meals to provide to the whole group, and my brother and I busted out Christmas breakfast. I had a whole menu planned - Creme Brulee French Toast with Raspberry Sauce, Spiraled Ham (fried pig), orange wheels, and Bacon Broccoli Salad (fried pig pieces). Notice that doesn't say "Broccoli Bacon Salad." It used to. But that recipe called for 6 pieces of fried bacon. "HA!" said I. Then I told Ted to bust out the George Foremans (yes, we have 2) and get to it. Two pounds later, the salad finally looked decent. As for my family, there were yums all around. Thanks for piggin' out, y'all!

Another bacon story. Our ward had a campout back in September, and while Ted and I hadn't planned to sleep on anything that resembled dirt on a cold and drizzly night, we wanted to go see all our friends anyway. On the way, we stopped at Wendy's because there isn't one close enough to us to warrant the "not going" due to its proximity. You know how it is. If it's a rarity, you go every time you pass by: like Nielsen's Frozen Custard or Cafe Rio or Paris. I'm a big fan of the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger ("Junior Bacon Cheese" for those of us in the know) for obvious reasons, so there's never really a choice to make once we get there except whether to get a regular chocolate Frosty or one of those new-fangled vanilla ones with the root beer in it. What do they call those? Floats? Anyhoo, so we stop in on a Friday night when the less-than-desirable high school crowd is making me hold my purse closer, and that's when I see it. A big sign advertising their next big thing: The Baconator.

Holy atherosclerosis. Two meat patties, two pieces of cheese, SIX STRIPS OF BACON. I admit I wasn't hungry enough that night to order this satanic temptation despite the pillar of light that surrounded the picture, for I knew it would take a fast Sunday or two before the growlings were too large and long to hold me back. But I swore on my grandfather's medical records (he died of a heart attack due to...something) that I would not rest until I accomplished that feat.

Fast forward a couple months later when we went to Utah for Thanksgiving 2007. We planned to go to Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay in Vegas on the way back since Ted had not yet seen it, and just happened to be famished on the way out. I figured we'd head to the In N Out on Tropicana before taking to the road again, but Ted wanted to venture a little farther down that street. We didn't find anything. Until that red Wendy's signed sent out its eerie neonic waves, pulsating with "baconator, baconator, baconator" on its crests and troughs. Well, troughs was just about right. I ordered the blasted thing. I barely finished it. That there sammich was a good'n, but it didn't taste how I expected it. Despite its toutage of SIX STRIPS OF BACON, I could barely taste it! All I got was greasy beef when all I wanted was something more like this:

Except I'd use whole wheat bread. It's healthier.

The ride home was interesting. I'll leave it at that.

The experience did not cloud my love for bacon (and subsequently, all things porky), but I'm noticing that my clothes just ain't fittin' like they used to. I'll have to lay off the pig and peanutty goodness and up my consumption of that life-giving serum for a while. Or....



Renee said...

One word...sick. And here are a couple more: We have finally found another way in which we are not the same person. I have to agree with you on the peanut M&Ms. You'd be hard pressed to find a tastier treat. However, I'm not with you on the diet coke or bacon (in fact, I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the picture of the bacony sandwich). I might go as far as to say I'm totally against you on a combination of the two, but to each their own, I suppose! The highlight of the post was the imagery of, "those yellow bags that call to me like a firefighter ripping off his shirt after battling a three-alarm blaze." Nice work!

Shannon said...

PLEASE tell me that is not a new marketing ploy for Coca-Cola. I think my aorta just punched my right ventricle as a warning sign. Though I can imagine the wide eyes and numb brains as hands like zombies reach for the can with the fluorescent supermarket lights behind it mysteriously costumed as celestial glory to taste of this new product while directors of the board cackle in marketing success. "MUAH-AH-AH-AH!"
And I heartily agree with all association with Peanut M&Ms, especially that firefighter vision. Don't forget his heaving chest while holding a child he just rescued from the white hot flames.

dana said...

I'm SO glad to have a shout-out under any post describing chocolate obsession and crippling weaknesses. I swear every day I say, okay tomorrow I'm not eating any chocolate. That tune is starting to sound lovely, I shouldn't stop singing it.
And yes to Peanut M&Ms. When I was kid, my grandma always a big Costco size bag on her counter. And that smell of the bag (chocolate mixed with plastic), the first time it's opened....YUM. I can sense it right now. mmmm.
thank you for having cravings.
I seriously want a diet coke and dark chocolate right now.

The Hyer Family said...

Allison, honestly you kill me...I almost peed my pants...both my kids are asleep so I had to painfully stifle my laughing...the difference between you and me is that I don't limit my obsession to the peanut variety of M&M...I'm a lover of all types...the good old plain are hard to put down...so I don't...I love it...and is the Coke thing for real?

Kizzycakes said...

assison, you are a fun one aren't you? i so admire your passion for food. you just reminded me of the costco m&m bag i have stashed in my pantry that i haven't reached into for a couple hours. thanks a lot. so much for my hot bikini bod.

The Facks of Life said...

Matt and I are cracking up right now. All I ate the first few months of my pregnancy with Mia was junior bacon cheese burgers from wendy's. Great! I'm pregnant again. Anytime you need to fill a need and make a run to the unholy wendy's, I'm with you! You need to ask Laura Daines about her diet coke dream. It's almost as good as yours.

Laura said...

yeah, diet coke with vodka. a pregnancy dream! definitely blogworthy.

The Cooling Rack

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