Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Chops is my favourite child

I normally pop the radio on when I'm making myself something to eat or performing any of the other wonderfully onerous kitchen duties at home. Radio Five takes the drudgery out of laundry but it's a close run thing sometimes. Some of the phone-in debates are so ridiculous I spend more time shouting at the bloody thing than mopping the floor. I mean do we really need a debate about whether the idiotic drivers of a council lorry should be allowed to put a golly doll in the window or not? The answer is of course no, to both questions. But bugger me there is no small amount of finger sniffers, mouth breathers, and general oddities willing to contribute to such a debate. It's like arguing if night follows day!

I shall call you Peter (the pork chop)
and you shall be my favourite

The less-annoying-than-he-used-to-be Richard Bacon had some woman on his show on Monday night telling the nation which of her children she preferred over the rest of her offspring.


I mean there is no way that could play on your mind for the rest of your life causing you to eventually move away and cut off all connections to your family etc. Shit mittens for sure! Christmas must be fun in that house, little Frankie-Favourite the golden child plays with his many new and splendiferously shiny things whilst the rest huddle together for warmth in the cupboard under the stairs.

What sort of parent can make a choice like that? It's like choosing your favourite meal, that is to say, impossible! How could anyone really make that sort of choice? I mean there are so many meal combinations to be tried oh and choosing your favourite kid is also difficult. But I suppose parents can favour one child over another for different activities and special events. For example my father favoured me for such chores as collecting wood for the fire and favoured my sister for the washing of dishes. We had a very Hansel and Gretel type childhood. And in the same vein I suppose you can have favourite foods for different occasions.

When I'm sick, proper sick not hangover sick, I prefer the life affirming delights of soup, who doesn't? When I'm suffering the after effects of an evenings libations and am calling all the super best friends to save me from my alcohol induced torment I require, no I insist, on the stomach calming powers of at least two sausage rolls. Later, and I mean much much later, that night I will eat anything from anywhere - curry from the Chinese takeaway, burgers from a McD's, kebabs from a garage - anything. But the next day I will require comfort food, food that makes me feel less deviant and will calm my self loathing. That's when the chops and mash make their quarterly guest appearance on my plate. Nothing scares the heeby jeebies of a hangover away quite like mash potatoes and chops.

Now if I have just completed a twelve hour shift schlepping copious amounts of food and hooch the last thing I would want is pork chops and mash. Post work I seek solace in a bowl of homemade curry or even a spag bol. Takes the pain away nicely. For breakfast my preference is always for something to have made the ultimate sacrifice most likely a pig but the health promotion nazis have got to me with their ceaseless warnings about strokes and heart attacks. So it's now crunchy nut cornflakes and a big dirty cup of tea. I smoke the rest of my breakfast whilst waiting for a taxi.

But is my morning fry up, when I treat myself to one, really better than my chop n mash? Do I love steak more than a bowl of curry? It's just too hard to pick one meal. If I had my way I'd bung them all in a blender and drink them all with a glass of shiraz. I love them all equally. I sometimes picture myself and all the foods of the world running through flowered meadows, skipping and jumping and laughing together. I love all the foods of the world that much. Except beetroot which is of course repugnant, repugnant in the extreme.

I don't know maybe it is possible to choose your favourite child but it's impossible to choose your favourite meal. Isn't it? What say you?

22 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Mash never goes out of style; it's an eternal comfort food of yumminess.
In the spring I like tons of sauteed greens, in the summer tons of berries, in the autumn lots of potatoes and the winter is cheese, cheese, cheese.

Manuel said...

medbh: cheese eh? stick round here i'm full of cheese....hehehe what's your favourite?

DotC said...

Do you have hash browns in Europe? I feel they are the only way to screw up potatoes. All happy crispy on the outside, and dreadfully raw and slimy on the inside. Its like a cruel joke. Like puberty.

Manuel said...

dotc: yeah we have them and yeah they are never cooked right here either......

Silverstar said...

Favorite meal is the one I had in the 5-star restaurant at the top of Whistler Mountain in Vancouver, BC. I don't rightly remember what it was, except that it was so pretty I wanted to take a picture of it, but was too tasty to miss. Now I'd have to get a fricking passport to go back, if I ever did have the money. Not bloody likely.

Manuel said...

silverstar: when i win the lottery i'll send you the money.....and enough for the tip

Anonymous said...

You know I have to say my favourite meal of which I do not have as much as I used to is Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs with Garlic Toast.I love Garlic Toast.

paddy said...

Mashed, gnocci, scalloped, chips, rosti, roasted, baked in the jacket - the spud has a guise to suit most moods. The only times I'll cry off is on a stinkiest of hot days, when the old green salad comes into its own as the refreshing side dish.

You're dead right about the need for comfort food on the second day of a hangover Manuel - but to be honest its something I've really only needed in my thirties. In my twenties the sign my hangover was abating was the presence of another drink in my hand.

Medbh said...

An extra sharp aged white cheddar or an aged parmeseano reggiano would not get away in one piece, Manuel. I'd take good cheese on bread over sweets any day.

savannah said...

favorite meal? impossible choice, sugar...BUT the lamb shanks i fixed tonight were pretty damn good! ;) mmmmmmmm xoxoo

Quickroute said...

you cook? - I thought you'd be scavenging from the restaurant kitchen!

sheepworrier said...

Creamy garlic potatoes, curry, chilli, dirty big cheese burgers, kebab, sphinx chip, anything italian or chinese, sushi, traditional roast, fry-up etc etc - theres just no way to choose! It always depends on your mood, what day it is and occasionally your blood-alcohol level.

Melissa said...

This is making me hungry. I like everything except lima beans and curdled blood.

Though probably nothing is better than a perfectly cooked ribeye. Who cares about cholesterol.

dave said...

Chicken Jalfrezi with pilau rice, garlic naan bread and onion bhaji.


Sharon said...

I couldn't possibly pick a favourite meal. Like you said what you desire depends on the circumstances, like time of day and season.

About 10 years ago my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater, presented a TV series called Real Food. Each week I thought he was showing the best food ever, then the next week it'd be something else totally amazing.

Don't know what I'd want if it was my last meal ever though.

AnFearBui said...

As kids we used to get mash potatoes in bowl with a well of warm milk in the middle with a knob of butter melting in it, sausages around the edge optional -still great comfort food.
Favourite meal.....still looking.

Conan Drumm said...

A leg of lamb, pasted with rosemary, butter and garlic, and roasted so it's crisp on the outside and pink on the bone.

Btw - and off topic, although you did mention Shiraz - what's with all the sulphites in wines these days? I was in a supermarket t'other day and there wasn't a single bottle I looked at that didn't say 'contains sulphites'. Do any of your punters ask, "Are there sulphites in the wine?"

bethanythemartian said...

Oh favorite foods, that's always hard. Sometimes I get in these 'red meat' moods where nothing but steak will do, and then I do pan-fried pepper steak with a lemony sauce thrown together and pasta. Or I'll eat something my ma used to cook- steak strips with Worcheshire sauce and cream of mushroom soup and rice.

I also like baked tilapia with lots of lemon and garlic served with yellow squash and zuchinni.

And I also like Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Potatoes (red, with the skins on). Or sometimes I'll sautee tofu and some vegetables.

Nobody at work believes I eat tofu, either. Bastards.

dave said...

Conan -
In the world of homebrew wine, Sodium metabisulphite (otherwise known as campden tablets) can be added to your beverage to stop the fermentation process.

After all, you don't want to be bottling your fine homebrew and the damn stuff still fermenting in the bottle.

Not sure what they add on the industrial scale, but I hope this helps.

Silverstar said...

As someone who had to give up drinking wine because the sulfites gave me migraines, I bloody well do want to know if there is sulfites in anything. Oh, my aching head.

problemchildbride said...

My granny's cooking. Tastes that I can never recreate and will probably never taste again.

I know. Right fucking little sunbeam I am today.

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