Wednesday, March 23, 2011

foods men like (3)

pages 12-13

Note that the meal pictured, a footlong sub loaded with lettuce, tomato and cheese, is not accompanied by a recipes on these pages. Perhaps a hearty sub was considered a manlier dish in 1970 than a cold vegetable soup favoured by the likes of Lisa Simpson?

Also impressive: that the sub does not appear to have been crushed while stuffed in the businessman's suitcase. Maybe subs were all he carried in that particular suitcase (the papers on the side were coupons for his favourite sub shops)...which reminds me of a story I read the other night. During the first decades of the 20th Century, the president of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team was a colourful local politician named August "Garry" Herrmann. According to Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella's book The Ball Clubs:

Even for a business renowned for its outsized personages, the new Cincinnati boss seemed like a character out of Dick Tracy. Called a "walking delicatessen" by some, he seldom ventured anywhere without an ample supply of sausages that he would munch on whenever the opportunity presented itself. One more than one occasion, he bolted from a public function because of some mixup that had left sausages unavailable.

If Herrmann was around today, I imagine his primary sausage supplier would flaunt their association with him, or a reporter would accompany him during one of his emergency runs for meat links.

Gazpacho? A cooling, tasty treat, especially in the summer.

Hash browns, home fries, rosti, whatever you want to call them - unless you burn them or toss the wrong seasoning in, it's hard to screw up a comforting side of fried potatoes. My preference is either thinly shredded and cake-like or lightly pan-fried with herbs.

pages 14-15

While the illustrator takes a break, consider these recipes. The one dish I might frown at is the jelly omelet, unless a savoury preserve like red pepper jelly was used.

pages 16-17

Two ends of the culinary cost spectrum: the stereotypical businessman's feast/fancy night out meal and a comfort food whose prepacked form offers cheap eats. The professor chooses neither and goes for a smiling fish (which, we can assure, is not tainted with Joker toxin).

One of the rare times I've eaten a steak and lobster combo happened at La Castile in Mississauga. Back in the days when vendors of my former employer could indulge their clients with a holiday treat, one of our printers sprung for a Christmas season meal. With price as no object, I went to town. After a large appetizer of Oysters Rockefeller, the steak and lobster was placed in front of me. My eyes bulged as I determined that excess was the restaurant's forte - the lobster must have been several pounds, and the steak wasn't a puny cut.

Somehow I downed the entire meal, with a suspicion that never again would I wolf down such a hefty crustacean unless a financial windfall came my way. I needed all the energy from the meal to battle a snowstorm that hit during our meal...slowly but safely I drove some co-workers back along Dundas to drop them off downtown.



Kraft Dinner was often the lunch waiting for me when I came home from morning Kindergarten. Sometimes sliced hot dogs were added. Ketchup was never part of the equation. As time rolled on, I discovered that Kraft was my least favourite brand of mac n' cheese due to its inability to stay creamy for very long. Catelli, one-shot brands with cartoon characters or cavemen...any other brand that had a stronger, cheesier, saltier taste and the ability to stay creamy was tops in my books. Then came President's Choice Deluxe White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese and, except for the occasional box of Spirals, Kraft was permanently left in the dust. By university, it was an occasional treat - never did succumb to the KD diet that the two guys in the above video enjoy.

These days, it's handy to keep at least one box around the house for emergency situations or for comfort food while sick (when it acts like chicken soup).

To be continued... - JB

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