Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Congress, in case your record low approval rating doesn’t resonate with you, let me be clear, you SUCK! 

We are living in historic times, some of the worst economic times in almost a century, we’re at a crossroads environmentally, peak oil and other energy issues, people are in the street protesting the economic inequity in our society and what pressing action has congress taken to handle these tough issues, oh that’s right they passed a bill reversing healthy school lunches and declaring pizza a vegetable, don’t worry those obese kids are just future insulin customers for big pharma.  A friend of mine just back from France saw a sign on a theater that said American Style seating, curious she asked her hosts, oh they said, “the seats are wider.”  That’s right we have become the fat ass joke of the world, thanks Congress for helping our children.

But it’s ok right, because even if the super committee failed there is a sequestration a process by which a series of automatic cuts would kick in to make up for what an overly partisan committee couldn’t do.  Oh, the cuts don’t kick in until 2013, conveniently after the election in 2012, Doh!

This breaking news, congress already starts discussing how to get rid of sequestration process.

To quote Jon Stewart, “Congress, this is why people hate you.”

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Momentary Food

I first learned about momentary food as an undergraduate at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh.  You see in the old days there was a great little place called the Monopole, and although it was a bar, the main attraction at the Monopole, was Monopole Pizza. 

 You see at midnight, one or even two AM after you had imbibed way too many dollar beers at Woodstocks for Midnight Buzz, you’d wonder over to Monopoles, stand in line, fish a crumpled dollar from your pocket and then buy a slice of pizza.  Usually, you’d have to wait for a fresh pizza from the oven, get your slice and then immediate bite into the slice, and just as immediately the sauce would squirt and burn the shit out of the roof of your mouth.  You’d jump around, drink some beer and then do it all over again, burning your mouth, again.  By the third or fourth bite either the pizza had cooled or the nerve endings in your mouth were so completely shot that they no longer recognized pain and you’d finish your slice of pizza, and happily start the long walk back to campus.

 At some point in every young student’s career at Plattsburgh, maybe on a sunny and balmy forty degree day in March, shorts on, having blown off afternoon classes to enjoy the heat wave, you’d say hey, let’s go to Monopole and get a pizza.  So you scamper downtown with a friend and get really excited.  At a buck a slice a whole pizza would cost twelve dollars but a whole pie is only eight bucks!  Saving four dollars in those days was a REALLY big deal.  So you got a beer and sat back and waited for your pizza, then it would come to your table in all of its steaming glory.  Being sober, you feel sophisticated because you know to wait a couple of minutes to let it cool down so you don’t burn your mouth.  Finally, with great anticipation, you bite into your first slice and completely understand the definition of momentary food and one other very important truth.

 Momentary food is the realization that a particular type of food is perfect within a certain moment,  outside of the parameters of that moment, the food tastes like shit.

The disappointment was unbelievable when this happened to me, being a big pizza fan I couldn’t believe I’d ever eaten this crap.  Then, thinking on it, you realize that wow, drinking alcohol really does impair your judgment (very important truth).  Not only does this explain why you eat Monopole pizza, but also clears up how I woke up in a lot of strange dorm rooms in those days.

One of the most common places you experience momentary food is while camping, including all manners of canned goods, snacks and freeze-dried meals.  All of us have some food that when you’re tired and hungry taste just awesome in camp.  My experience with this came in the form of Chef Boyardee beef mini-raviolis in a can, which I coincidentally discovered as an alternate to Monopole Pizza one night at a convenient store while walking home drunk in Plattsburgh.  As I was saying, in camp fabulous, but one night after work, tired and hungry and not wanting to cook.  I remembered I had a can tucked away and pulled it out, popped the top and sunk in a spoon.  That’s right, I eat these uncooked.   As I with mouth drooling anticipation sunk my teeth into the first bite I realized I had a disease, momentary food amnesia.

 Momentary food amnesia is a condition by which even though you have confirmed an item as momentary food, you once again try to eat it outside of the moment because you’re a dumbass.

 Given my in-depth experience with several various and assorted types of momentary food, as well as being the person who defined the term, I can say with great authority that Mountain House Beef Stroganoff is the definitive gourmet momentary food, to the point of actually removing itself from the category (and yes Mountain House, I will take a free case as payment for this endorsement, please deliver it before Burning Man).  The majority of the Mountain House stuff is great camp food, although most of it is definitely momentary food, try eating the damn freeze-dried ice cream when you’re not camping.  Also one side note, never, I mean never, under any circumstance buy or eat the Mountain House Pasta Primavera, it’s the last meal little Regan had before she got all green, wonky and head spinney in the Exorcist. 

However, the Beef Stroganoff is so damn good that you can come home from work, dig it out of the camping box, boil water and eat it right out of the bag and feel like it’s a home cooked meal.  If you want to really do it up, you can dump it into a bowl.  I can verify this friends, I did it tonight, and now I have to buy another bag for Burning Man.  Bon appétit!

In an earlier post concerning Burning Man I made a quick reference to Playa Magic and I promised to come back to the concept.  So what is Playa Magic?  I think that question is most easily answered by what it produces this year on the Playa a friend, who didn’t tell us he was coming, who has never been to the event before, simply drives up from LA, into a several mile diameter city full of over 50,000 people and drives right up to our camp.  Just a coincidence most of you will say and I won’t disagree, but the frequency of the coincidences at Burning Man can sometime be mind boggling.  I know of a huge number of instances where people have needed a particular auto part, or special screw, or type of medication and bam, the person in the next camp has it.  I was explaining this concept to a virgin (first year burner) at Center Camp one year and he didn’t believe me.  I had been so bold as to say that I bet you could stand up in Center Camp and loudly ask for anything and you would have it.  He laughed at me and we chatted for awhile and we came back around to the concept of playa magic again and he took the challenge.  He’d been craving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, a few days on the playa usually leaves you craving something, so he stood up and loudly declared, “I want a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.”  He repeated this twice and sat down with a very satisfied look on his face and said, “well?”  I told him to be patient and truly thought I’d been proven wrong when a woman leaned around the wooden bench we were on and said, “here you go, sorry, we ran out of milk,” and then scurried off.  My new found friend just sat there staring at the cookie, “playa magic,” was all I said.

This little story really feeds in to my favorite category of playa magic, magic food.  People who know me know that I’m a dedicated and passionate lover of pizza.  Not any pizza, but real NY pizza and I have often proclaimed that I actually like pizza more than sex.  That was almost tested in college but that’s a story for another post.  So after my virgin year on the playa I had one complaint, that the Random Pizza Camp had somehow not delivered me a pizza.  This camp has always been my favorite concept on the playa, they brought pizza ovens to Black Rock City and made pizzas and then walked out and randomly delivered them to people, talk about karma points.  So my second year on the playa I’m walking along, I was tired and hadn’t eaten enough and was just a tad bit grouchy, when someone taps me on the shoulder and says, “have you been calling for this?”  And there, like an angel, stood a man with a hot, pepperoni pizza and I just smiled, said, “yes” and took the pizza.  It was wonderful to be standing there sharing a pizza with the people with me.

However the greatest magic food experience I ever had on the Playa, and the way I learned of the concept was during my virgin year while camping with the People United for Nothing (PUN).  I was sitting at camp under the shade structure when one of my camp mates came in and told me he’d just run into a New York City hot dog cart and had a hot dog.  I asked him where it was and immediately leaped on my bike and tore off after the cart.  I didn’t find it.  I engaged in a grid shaped search pattern for another twenty minutes and nothing.  I returned to camp totally dejected.  A few minutes later another camp mate came back and you guessed it, I was off again flying across the dust to get to the hot dog cart, again nothing, another search pattern, nothing.  I returned to camp in a seriously foul mood, threw my bike down and isolated myself in the back of the camp to brood.  As I was sitting there a person in our camp who I’d just met that morning tapped me on the shoulder and said, “ketchup, mustard or relish?”  I did not find this amusing and proceeded to tell him so, the complete look of confusion on his face told me I was mistaken and so I said, “sorry, what?”  He smiled, I’ve made hot dogs thought you might like a couple.  I know, the non-believers will say, oh he overheard you, whatever.  Playa Magic my friends, playa magic.   My proof to you, like to my chocolate chip craving friend, will be to let the burners who read this relay their own stories of playa magic and show you how it works.  So, residents of Black Rock, lay out a little Playa Magic in the comments for the non-believers.