Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aaron's iFAQ #5: What Won't Aaron Eat?

J.C. writes:

Hey Bootleg Guy

[That Mexican Guy] turned me on to your blog and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy it. Having never met you, I'll have to take your word that the "current weight" that accompanies your food reviews is the truth. Is there anything you won't eat?

Welcome! I (heart) new readers. And, for what it's worth, the "how much do you REALLY weigh?" question ranks a distant third behind the "why don't you write about music anymore" inquiry and "do a radio version of the baseball broadcasters series" demand.

Anyways, the "current weight" is always accurate and up-to-date. I peaked at 190 lbs. on New Year's Day 2007, got down to 163 lbs. late last year and have settled in between 165-170 lbs. Biggest sacrifices? I stopped drinking three beers every night after dinner and gave up ginormously greasy lunches. "Is there anything I won't eat?" You bet'cha:

(1) Eggs cooked any way other than "scrambled" or "omelet": The morning of my wedding, my groomsmen and I got breakfast at a regional chain restaurant. One of my boys ordered a stack of pancakes with eggs, over-easy. He proceeded to dunk forkfuls of pancake into the runny yolk of his eggs. To this day, the image sickens me.

(2) Fruit-based pies that ain't apple: The slimy, phlegmy texture of boysenberry pie or cherry cheesecake has never done it for me. Canned fruit topping is an abomination of nature, but the religious right would rather protest cloning and gay marriage.

(3) Sour phallic symbols: Funny thing about me – I wouldn't turn down a hot dog topped with relish. I'm marginally OK with pickle slices if they sneak onto a hamburger I've ordered. But, the notion of eating a whole pickle is just…gross. I f*****g love real deli sandwiches (yeah, yeah…"there are no real delis in California! Brooklyn, WHAT! New York, stand up!") and, for the life of me, I'll never know what a whole pickle adds to the experience.

(4) …and speaking of deli meats.: Whenever I tell someone that I really don't like pastrami or corned beef, their response is ALWAYS the same: "You've never had GOOD pastrami or corned beef." For years, I fell for this pro-beef propaganda, before realizing that turkey – with a bacon chaser – is the money meat for big ass sandwiches.

(5) Blue collar beer: Gotta tread carefully here. So, Mrs. Bootleg has these friends. Nice couple, good people, the wife is blazin'. The problem isn't the cheap beer they serve at barbecues, birthday parties and other assorted functions. It's that it always comes in a can. Pour it in a glass and I'll pound away with the rest of the functioning drunkards. In a can, I just can't. (See what I did there?)

(6) Not a fan of the "dark meat": Once a week, every week for the 20 years I lived with my parents, chicken was served for dinner. Back then, there were only two ways humans knew how to cook it: fried or barbecued. True to the infamous Chris Rock bit, my dad got the big piece (breast). My brother always got the other breast. My mom took the two wings, which left me with a two-piece mix n' match of legs and thighs. The first thing that then-Girlfriend Bootleg ever cooked for me was baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I never looked back. True story: I once went to Popeye's and ordered a 12-piece box, all white meat. They had to bring the manager over figure out how to ring up the order. Is this really that unusual?

(7) The "salad" that shouldn't be: My mother also served up carrot-raisin salad, usually as an accompaniment to chicken night. I will never comprehend this concoction. An unholy union of fruit and vegetable – it's sweet like a dessert would be, yet lacks the inherent deliciousness of any dessert. Similarly, it brings none of a salad's awesomeness (blue cheese dressing, bacon bits and/or greasy croutons) to the table. THIS is why I moved out of my parents' house. Well, this and the need for privacy during sex. Those were the top two reasons.

(8) Chitlins, chicken gizzards, neck bones and ox tail: Black people…it's 2009. Quit eatin' the entire animal.

(9) Breaking news: liver and Brussels sprouts: The great thing is that Mrs. Bootleg loves liver. She made it often for her last boyfriend before she met me. Once I brought my light-skinned, house Negro sensibilities into her life, she had to give it up. Now ask me if I've ever given up anything I like for her? Nope!

As for Brussels sprouts, I hadn't touched 'em since I was 10. A few years ago, I went to the VIP opening of Stone Brewing's restaurant and was offered a serving of fried garlic Brussels sprouts. "I don't like Brussels sprouts", I told the server. "You'll LOVE these", he responded. "They're especially made for people who DON'T like them." So, I popped on in my mouth. Then, popped it right back out. When garlic and grease can't save it…

(10) Chicken Noodle Soup: I blame the fact that the only chicken noodle soup I ever knew came in a Campbell's can, swimming in that salty piss-colored broth. Consequently, when the soup mood strikes me, I'm prone to go with any other offering. Yes, most of them start with "cream of" or end in "chowder". I'd also include split pea, tomato and anything else no one over the age of eight would ever order. This just sealed the deal.


that mexican guy said...

I'm freely recycling someone else's comment/joke from last week...but, how did this post NOT earn the elusive "Negro Elite" tag?

Runny eggs are the nourishment of working class America, Cam! Sour pickles are synonymous with the lunch pail! And you take time to shit in beer in a can too?

You Californians don't represent real America.

mike mejor said...

I've often said that Aaron toes the line between "everyman" and "insufferable assh*le" better than anyone. Who hates on soul food? :)

SHough610 said...

I'm Jewish and I don't like pastrami, it overpowers the flavor of everything else on the sandwich. That salad, was it made with mayonnaise? My dad's best friend from business school (my "uncle") had that growing up. Also, how do you eat pork sausage links? I'd never eat something that sweats. In fact, if you haven't I recommend trying turkey sausage and turkey meatballs.

uncultured nicka said...

I will not eat food made by anyone Rambo killed in any of the four movies.

Including not eating Brian Denehy.

acctg.sean said...

Seriously Cam-ask Mrs. Bootleg to make liver with gravy, onions and diced bacon. You'll never look back.

Also which Popeye's did you make the "all white" request? San Diego's got the "military" on in Tierrasanta, the "Filipino" one in Mira Mesa and the "hood" on in National City. "Confusing the help" probably didn't go over too well.

And have you EVER had that pastrami and slaw sammich? I'll buy down at Omega Deli next week. I want to be there for your face turn towards pastrami.

daedalus said...

as somebody who has known bootleg for awhile . . . yes, the boy is that scrawny. if casa sanchez cannot work its magic of fattening him up, i do not believe there is much that can.

strangely enough, none of the rest of his "crew" could be consider "slight" by any remote stretch of the imagination.

1 - i knew you would not be able to resist bringing those eggs up. proud of you i am. they were delicious!

3 - still living out the scars of AP english?

That Bootleg Guy said...

SHOUGH - Dude, pork sausage links are gloriously sweaty pig morsels. That little "snap" when one breaks the sausage casing with the first bite, followed by pancake n' syrup's magical.

SEAN - So, I see those liver council people got to YOU! You could *wrap* liver in thick-cut jalapeno bacon and sautee it in awesome...I still ain't eatin' it.

Also, the Popeye's in question was in Ontario by my mom's house. The manager tried to dissuade me by telling me an "all white" box would be close to $30. He obviously didn't know the *employed* elitist he was dealing with. One who eats fried chicken!

THAI: It's all lean muscle. And, those eggs. Those slimy, slimy eggs. Jesus.

Tom said...

You would not be amused by the pile of grease, yolk, and ketchup left over at the end of my breakfast of three sunnyside, sausage, and homefries that is bound for a toast moppin'.

Marco from Houston said...

hey Cam, have you ever tried Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)? Its awesome!

That Bootleg Guy said...

As luck would have it, there's a Vietnamese restaurant opening up less than a mile from Stately Bootleg Manor. It sounds like I'll be partaking!