Archive for Fast Food

Decorative Salad

Posted in Cooking, Food, Health, Life, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by urbannight

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This is the story of salads.  Or of the salads I think I ought to be eating. Because every time I go to Lauritzen Gardens I think about salads. They always have planters planted full of things that look like salad. Many types of salad greens make decorative plantings and a number of flowers are actually edible.

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On any given day I kinda crave a good salad. But I’m terrible at it. I don’t eat it fast enough and salad fixings end up going to waste. A bowl of greens with a tiny bit of dressing isn’t to difficult to do, but a really good salad takes a lot of work. Cutting up cauliflower and broccoli into really fine bits, mincing sandwich ham, onions, chives. My mother makes very fine, very meticulous salads. It it is going to be for more than her an my dad, she puts the different salad ingredients into different bowls so people can put what they want into their salads. I love having my mom’s salads. Only she lives in Idaho and I live in Nebraska.

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I have been thinking about salads and wanting them a lot more often lately as I keep thinking about losing weight, getting my blood sugar and blood pressure down, just getting more healthy in general. In fact, I mentioned several times today, to my roommate, that I wanted a salad and wanted to get salad ingredients at the store. I thought it was clear that I liked the idea of a trip to the store. He ended up going through the drive through on the way home.

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Now, I can eat fairly okay at this particular fast food place. If I’m careful, I can keep it weight friendly and stay in my bounds for my blood sugar. I have to avoid soda thought. My roommate is also diabetic and his latest doctor visits have seen a great deal of improvement while mine have somehow gotten worse. It doesn’t help that CHI and BCBS didn’t renew their contract and now everyone is trying to find new doctors and the waiting lists are 2 months long to get in to see anyone.

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Needless to say, no salad, no salad fixing for tomorrow, and going through my photos makes me want a salad even though I am no longer hungry. I am also wanting to find cooking pumpkins, because cooked pumpkin tastes yummy.

Cooked pumpkin is yummy.  It is just another type of squash or gourd after all.  But sometimes, some squash can look a little obscene.  Or do I just have a dirty mind?

Cooked pumpkin is yummy. It is just another type of squash or gourd after all. But sometimes, some squash can look a little obscene. Or do I just have a dirty mind?

Ghosts of Food Past

Posted in Food, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by urbannight

When I read the first paragraph of another blog, I was inspired to write one that is less about cooking and more about food when I was growing up.

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This mentioned a number of family favorites and brings back memories for me.

Spaghetti.

My mom’s recipe isn’t fancy.  It’s pretty straight forward really.  Which is why it was the first meal I ever learned to cook.  Jar sauce was not used in our house.  Stewed tomatoes were cheaper and the seasonings were standard spice cabinet items.  Why spend more on jar sauce that wasn’t as good.  I was the finicky one and wouldn’t eat pieces of tomatoes.  So into the bender they went.  Hamburger was browned, liquified stewed tomatoes were poured in, basil, oregano, onion salt, garlic salt, and black pepper were added.  Simmer an hour, or two, or whatever.  Cook noodles and chop lettuse while garlic bread was baking in the oven.  And dinner was served.

I learned to cook this before I could reach the stove.  I needed to for my cooking badge in Girl Scouts.  I stood on a chair to cook.  My sister and I stood on chairs to wash the dishes.  I was still standing on a chair when my sister, 3 years younger than me, could finally reach the sink without the chair.  Sometimes I helped my mom cook while sitting on the counter.

Sometime around late Jr. High or so, I learned to make fried chicken. I had to be able to comfortably work at the cutting board while standing on the floor since this required the use of sharp knives.  You see, buying chicken parts was not yet an option. You had to start with a whole chicken.  I learned how to skin it.  It was weird for me to eat chicken at other people’s homes.  It had skin on it.  My mom was removing the skin before cooking long before it became the popular thing to do.  We skinned it before cutting it.  I don’t know if this was strange or not.  Cutting through the joints required some effort and did cutting the breasts apart.

She mixed her own seasoning with the flour for coating it.  Probably nothing too fancy, but compared to what I’ve discovered in the Midwest, she probably had a more flaverful chicken crust.   This is the blandest place I’ve ever lived.  People don’t know what they are missing.  There are more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S.  At least they do up a good steak here. (at most places).

Anyway, my favorites were always the wings.  Not sure why.  Most annoying piece to eat with the least meat.  But I like them best.  I remember getting excited when places started serving the buffalo wings.  And then got a horrible shock.  They had this smushy, undercooked, squishy stuff on it.  Skin.  Skin that wasn’t crispy and crunchy.  I don’t order buffalo wings of any flavor anymore.  They can’t make them crispy and saucy.  My dad always could.  Of course, he didn’t have the gross skin on them to work with.

As I said, I only did fried chicken once.  It was within the month when the stores started selling parts.  My mom only bought chicken breasts after that.  She was even happier the day they started selling them boneless and skinless.  The coating also went by the wayside and chicken was cooked in the pan with seasonings instead of breading.

We only occasionally got KFC, as they now call it.  One day, everything is going to be an acronym and future archeologists will have no idea what anything means.  I already don’t understand my niece’s Facebook posts.  KFC wasn’t really that exciting.  Although we liked the extra crispy.  My dad would just as soon grill outside than get KFC.

More often, fast food was McDonald’s or Burger King.  Or Taco Time.  That was my favorite.  McDonald’s and Burger King both meant a small selection of hamburgers or a fishwich.  There used to be a two person clapping song for McDonalds.  If anyone remembers it, this was the entire McDonald’s menu back in the day.

Pizza was a so-so change of pace.  I hated my mom’s homemade pizza.  I didn’t like the homemade crust or the homemade pizza sauce.  So I was happy to get the store-bought ones.  The only pizza place in town was attached to the bowling alley.  Man did they make good pizza.  That was the best part of the time when my parents were in a bowling league.  Pizza for dinner.  The other side of the bowling ally had a bar.  Yep, my sister and I were those kids in the bar in our footy pj’s.

Somewhere around 6th grade, the ‘Take N Bake’ became the big thing in Pizza.  Small shops opened up where you could get restaurant style pizza all made up for you and then you could take it home and cook when you wanted it.  Mom stopped making homemade pizza after that.

Other family favorites were Swiss steak, Mom’s meatloaf, Dad’s casserole (because it was his favorite and not because he made it, Mom did) and scalloped potatoes with ham.

The Demise of the King

Posted in Food with tags , , , , on September 2, 2010 by urbannight

Burger King is struggling still.  I didn’t realize that in the past 10 years the company had gone from public to private and back to public again.   The WSJ article states some of the problems as to strongly targeting a select group of consumers who have been hit the hardest by the recession and not expanding or revamping their menu enough.

My theory is that the quality of BK’s product took a huge nose dive about 12 years ago.  I noticed that is just wasn’t as good anymore.  So I ate there less often.  There was one chicken sandwich I really liked so I would stop by to pick it up about once a month.  Then about 8 or 9 years ago, they changed the name of the sandwich and the seemed to change vendors for the ingredients.  It tasted terrible. 

One time could be a fluke, but three times in a row was a pattern.  Last summer I stopped by for a fish sandwich because a friend had picked one up and it smelled good.  I hadn’t had one in years.  I stopped by twice.  Both were terrible.

Once upon a time I stopped going to McDonald’s because Burger King had a superior product.  The King’s product has gone so far down hill that I wouldn’t feed it to a dog.  I probably would put it in a slop trough. 

In comparison with BK, Micky D’s doesn’t seem so bad now.  I don’t think I would say the quality has gone up, but it hasn’t sunk any from where it was 30 years ago so I’ve started eating there every once in a while again.  But I don’t have a lot of hopethat Burger King will be around in another 30 years unless they improve their product.  Not just increase their menu.