Monday, June 29, 2009

Shut Up And Eat

So, my daughter is having a birthday today...14 years old.  We have a pretty mellow celebration planned--the house will be full of teenage girls having an all-day movie marathon, and I invited a few of my friends over for dinner, just so I don't lose my mind by being the only grown-up in the house.
The invitation to my friends went just like this:  "Hey, I have all this food for Punky's party, come over if you wanna..."
Clearly, very formal.
I invited one of my buddies, and listened while they conferred with their mate about what, if anything, might prevent them from hanging out, and there was nothing, so, game on.
Then, I heard the mate begin quizzing my friend as to what is on the menu, so I told her what was on the menu--your basic Kid Party Fare--sloppy joes and chips.  Lots and lots of them.  And potato salad...perhaps some fruit or something.  Carrot sticks if I'm feeling ambitious.  No big whoop.
THEN, I heard the mate quizzing as to exactly how I make my sloppy joes. 
As in, if they're not made a certain way, she's not gonna eat them.
And also, mate doesn't eat anyone's potato salad but her own.
Here's my thing....I love food.  I f*cking love it.  Not kidding.  If I wasn't generally manic in my activity level, I'd probably weigh a billion pounds.  Short of really great sex, I think food is the best thing, EVER.  I love cooking, and I love eating, and at least once a week, I eat something so incredibly delicious that I have a little foodgasm and make yummy noises.
I love food.  I love trying new things and take an awful lot of pleasure in discovering what amazing flavor combinations people come up with.
Also, I grew up in a family with six children, that was not well off, and a mother who NEVER, EVER failed to put something tasty on the table, even when all she had to work with was a can of somethin', a box of somethin', and 6 noodles.  Once, when my daughters were very little, and their father and I were struggling to make ends meet, she babysat for me for a whole day while I worked.  I apologized for the strikingly bare cupboards, as I was planning a trip to the grocery store that evening.  I returned home to a very generous meal that she had literally pulled out of thin air--she's good like that, my mother...
The other thing about food?  I'm just damn glad I have any, because, I am HUNGRY, people!  Hungry--sometimes in the literal sense, and always, always, in the figurative/metaphorical sense.  I want it ALL, all the time.  What do you have?  Yes, please, I WOULD like to try that, and THANK YOU very much for sharing!  Also, since we are all friends, here, I will tell you that as I am typing this, I am distractingly pre-occupied with the homemade apple-cinnamon oatmeal that I brought with me and haven't had time to warm up yet because I have been so busy working.  If you maintain the order, Work, then Eat, your food will always, always taste good, even if it's just stupid oatmeal, because you earned it.
But anyway...
How do I make sloppy joes....I cannot believe she was SERIOUS!  I have yet to meet a carnivore who gave a damn one way or the other--it's a freaking hamburger meat sandwich!  Only a complete idiot could fuck up a sloppy joe--I have never had a bad one, EVER, and I'm in my forties!  And potato salad?  That's another food teetering on the edge of automatic--how bad could anybody's potato salad possibly be?
Never mind the fact that I invited this person into MY home, my sanctuary, where only a select group gets to go, to share in MY food. 
Unbelievable and un-invited.


  1. So, I have had a bad sloppy joe and I think it had a lot to do with meat choice. I am firmly in the ground beef frame of mind and this bad sloppy joe was made from shredded beef. It must've been a very fatty cut that was done in a crock pot - never drained of its grease and then the "sauce" was poured on without ever tasting it.

    My sloppy joes are made from ground beef, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, salt & pepper with onion & celery thrown in for good, what do you do?

  2. I realize that the point of this post has nothing to do with sloppy joes - but I'm on a diet (gah!) and am currently not eating sloppy joes so I'm now obsessed.

  3. Your recipe is my mom'

    Because I rarely make the things (haven't bought hamburger in over a year, honestly...) I just used an envelope mix, tomato paste and a bit of seasoning salt--the salt because this is a MASSIVE batch and I only got two envelopes mixes and I could have gotten away with three. I think they taste pretty good, but, what do I know? I like EVERYTHING! I am a hamburger purist, however--shredded beef is a whole 'nuther sandwich.

    In fact, if this was a party for grown-ups instead of a party for teenagers, I'd be using this recipe:

    1 beef roast (yes, you can use the cheapest thing...little or no marbeling is good for this.)
    1 envelope dry italian dressing mix
    (or two, if you have a decent sized roast)
    1 beer (something light colored)

    Throw all ingredients into crock pot. Set to Low. 8-10 hours later, shred the beef with two forks. Return lid to crock, and let it soak up the YUM for a half-hour to an hour or so. Eat on rolls.

    If you're super excited about it, you can toss some onions and peppers in a wok for a bit, til just softened, and add that to your sandwich, or maybe a slice of provolone. Hell yeah, baby...

  4. I love to eat and cannot cook to save my life.

    What time should I be there to eat up those sloppy joes?


  5. Still have some left! Bring Beer! :-)


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