I wrote an e mail to a friend of mine today, a fellow foodie who was appalled that I own/use a shaker can of Parmesan cheese. Names are omitted to protect the innocent:
I have something to tell you that may change the way you feel about me. I hope you'll still want to talk to me once you've read this, but if not - I understand.
The canned Parmesan cheese is just the tip of the iceberg.
Look, I've traveled, I've eaten at fine restaurants and I know which fork to use when. I can comfortably order wine for a table of 10, and I can create a cheese plate that would make mere mortals weep. I know tartare from tatin, and I can order from a menu, pronouncing the foreign words without pointing.
But the fact of the matter is, I'm having a little fling on the side with Hector Boiardi - you know him better as Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.
That's right, I've committed sins of the flesh with Duncan Hines, Twinkie the Kid and Dr. Pepper.
I've experimented with Sara Lee, Little Debbie and Mrs. Butterworth.
What I'm saying is that l like good food, but I also really like the stuff that I should be ashamed of admitting.
I've eaten and will continue to eat plenty of boxed mac and cheese - because I'm too lazy to make my own mornay sauce. And I'm not entirely confident that I can. I like Cool Whip better than whipped cream. I think Velveeta makes damn good cheese dip, especially combined with Rotel. And sausage. Not chorizo, even - just some good Tennessee Pride breakfast sausage.
I've been known to eat cookie dough for dinner. From the tube.
I think white bread, the really soft garbagey Wonderbread stuff, makes great sandwiches (especially cold meatloaf sandwiches). I like cherry Kool-Aid. I've been known to enjoy canned fruit cocktail.
When I was young, and broke, and not mooching a meal off my parents, I'd eat Dinty Moore stew over biscuits that came from a can. I'd gladly cook that for dinner once a week, if it had nutritional value. It doesn't.
I've never made a custard, and I'm not sure I'd do it well. My pancakes are a disaster. I use a lot of "cream of" soups in my cooking.
I actually like movie popcorn with butter, but I haven't had it in years. When I just out of college, I often went to the movies alone on Friday nights and had popcorn and Junior Mints and saw a crappy chick flick. It was amazing.
I think Shake n Bake is a perfectly great way to enjoy pork chops. And chicken. Cold Shake n Bake chops are an amazing breakfast.
I think Budweiser, really cold on tap is about as good as it gets. I can't do IPAs, Porters or Stouts. Red wine gives me a screaming headache, but I love a good cheap Vinho Verde. I used to drink Zima in college. And wine coolers, from time to time.
I enjoy fried bologna unironically. I know that potted meat is disgusting, but I love it, with yellow mustard.
I occasionally crave Krystals, even though they are responsible for the worst food poisoning of my life. I often tell Atlantans that I ate at the Varsity twice the week of my wedding, and they are stunned at my valor.
What I'm saying, is that I love goat cheese as much as the next girl, but sometimes, I just want some Cheez-Its.
I hope we can still be friends.